Motherhood….8 years on

Today is our daughter’s birthday. Her birthday is special in many ways. Her name is Minana a Shona name that means miracles. Here is the story behind her name.

Sometime towards the end of 2009 we discovered we were expecting. Like all soon-to-be parents we were excited discussing name options. I wanted a girl and hubby wanted a boy. I craved peaches and nectarines…luckily they were in season. My sister in law referred us to a gynaecologist whom we would visit monthly for the usual prenatal checks.

On one particular visit in February 2010, after looking at the baby on his very low resolution scan, he asked us to have an urgent scan at the nearest imaging centre. He scribbled something on a paper, sealed it in an envelope and stamped it URGENT in red. He said he would wait for us to return with the results no matter the time😳😳. I was beginning to get nervous.

At the imaging centre there was a bit of a queue. We waited for over an hour and eventually got served. The elderly gentleman who did the scans sat us down and explained that there wasn’t any heartbeat they could pick from the baby. It’s called a ‘silent miscarriage” and happens when the fetus is no longer alive but the body does not recognize the pregnancy loss or expel the pregnancy tissue. So the usual miscarriage signs such as bleeding would not occur.

I have a vague recollection of the next few hours. I remember crying uncontrollably, getting back to the Gynaecologist’s rooms and being asked to immediately go to hospital so he could perform the procedure to clean my uterus. Because we were in the 11th week of the pregnancy our families didn’t know yet and neither did my employer.πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯. In all this i remember insisting on spending the night at home and only returning in the morning for the procedure to which the gynae agreed.

Over a year later we discovered we were expecting again. I remember I craved sadza and funny meats I would not usually eat like chicken gizzards, matumbu etc. My work colleagues were convinced we were having a boy! Two years later, on exactly the same day that the silent miscarriage was cleaned out, at the same hospital, our daughter was born. We called her Minana! For us it was a miracle that the day we had cried two years before was now a day we were celebrating.

A friend asked why we hadn’t called her Munana (one miracle) and called her Minana ( many miracles), I told her I was still expecting more miracles. And you know what, twenty eight months after Minana’s birth, the twins Isaiah and Joanna were born.

Today I celebrate the girl who birthed a mother in me, the girl who as a baby taught me things about myself that I never knew e.g that I can live on a lot less sleep (πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ #thischild) she believes everything is possible, she wants to be a ballerina ( I had hoped she would outgrow this but she hasn’t), she wants to be a fashion designer, a world champion swimmer, an artist ( think Leonardo Da Vinci) and a world renown chef. I asked her why she would want to do all this and her answer – why not? Oh and this is the girl who inspired this blog!

Happy birthday baby girl.

May the leadership anointing on your life manifest.

May your gifts make room for you and bring you before great men (Proverbs 18 vs 16)

You are a blessing to us your family, you are a blessing to your nation and to the world.

If you see me acting extra today, bear with me….its Mimi’s birthday and she’s our miracle, a true testimony. If God can do it for us, surely He can and He will do it for you.


And the hustle continues..

This is my second post on the side hustle series. Today I am featuring a woman who is makes superwoman look like an amateur. Read on to find out how she does it.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Talent Tarisai and many of my friends call me Tarie. I am a strong willed person. I always love to challenge myself by making sure that l achieve whatever targets l set. I am a proactive person who likes planning in advance.

What made you decide to have a side hustle outside of your 9-5 job?

The cost of living is now high and the salary is just not enough. I therefore decided to get out of my comfort zone and start something l am passionate about.

How do you allocate your time between your job, your side hustle, your studies and being a mother and all other roles that you have in life?

I have a full time job which is 8 hours of my day. After work l give time to my family as l have 2 toddlers, then l commit 3-4 hours for my studies. For my side hustle l have partnered with my husband. We have a financial consulting firm. I think for us its easier because we work in finance so doing our clients’ books doesn’t take much of our time.

You are also a blogger, what made you decide to start blogging?

I noticed that many of our clients and other people in general lack financial knowledge. So one day as l was studying i came across a topic that fascinated me so much I decided to write an article on it. I wrote my first article and posted it on a Facebook group called She Counts Bricks. The response was amazing and that’s how my blog which you can read here started.

Tell us more about your blog

I blog about financial education. In my articles l always give references to real life scenarios so that it can be easily relatable. In addition to my blog, I also have a Facebook page called Let’s Talk Finance With Tarie.

Any parting words for the #muminstilettos out there?

Ladies all I can say is commitment and good planning is the only solution to manage this. Proverbs 16:3 always motivates me it says “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans”.

So that’s how Tarie is doing it, with commitment and planning. If you need financial advice or someone to do the books for your side-hustle, reach out to Tarie through her Facebook page and remember to also follow her blog by clicking here.

What’s your side-hustle and what made you decide to start? Do share in the comments section and let me know how you are getting it all done.


Everything else + the side hustle

Given the demands on our time as #bossbabes #mothers #sisters #friends, sometimes students and so many other roles that we have, the environment is demanding that most working mothers also have a side hustle. Over the next posts, I will be featuring some #muminstilettos who in addition to their 9-5 are also managing successful side hustles to find out why they decided to have side hustles and they are managing to do it all.

Today I will feature Tabeth Ruvarashe Manyonga. In addition to being a mum with a day job, she runs several entrepreneurial ventures, has several side-hustles, she is an author and is also a life coach. Below my interview with Ruva.

Tell us about yourself
My name is Tabeth Ruvarashe Manyonga (Mai Penda). I am an Entrepreneur, founder of Heavenly Aura Fragrances a company that specialises in the manufacture of oil based perfumes and cosmetics, co-Director of Unique Innovations a company that specialises in the manufacture of temperature retaining bags, TEMP-BAGs (cooker, warmer and cooler bags), bean bags and baby foldable bags, a member and Agricultural Extension Officer for LaSACCO (Ladies Savings and Credit Cooperative) an organization that focuses on empowering and funding for business women. I am an author and I published my first book Passage of Life last year. I am also a Life Coach, an Administrator for the Entrepreneurs Shop, which sells baby wear, groceries, kitchenware, cosmetics, gas accessories and appliances and i am very passionate about sales and marketing, can sell anything legal and right…

What made you decide to have a side hustle outside of your 9-5 job?

Being a single parent has been my biggest motivation since i have to give my sweet daughter the best life she deserves. It is also a good thing to have multi-income streams it makes life easier.

How do you allocate your time between your job, your many side hustles, being an author, a mother and all other roles in your life?

My day starts at 5am and ends at 10pm, though on the busiest days i wake up at midnight and get back to bed around 3am. I have a 15 minute home workout before i take a shower. Before i leave home i have a little time of bonding with my daughter. I get to the office at 8am and focus on my daily schedule. I leave work at 7pm and get home around 8pm, i have my supper then play with my daughter. She is pretty much of a late sleeper so we then rest together at 10pm. I work from Monday to Saturday and Sunday is church and family time. Once or twice a month i go out with my friends.

You are also a blogger? What made you decide to start blogging?

I am a very passionate writer so i decided to expand my scope of writings and the need of making more money through my writing whilst reaching a greater audience.

What do you blog about?

I am a storyteller so my blog is a series of real life, motivational and inspirational poetry and short stories and my blog can reached here

What can you tell other working mothers who would also like to start their side hustles?

There is a saying that goes, “JOB stands for Just Over Broke”, so its wise to have a side hustle. You can start from selling sweets or muffins at work. Just find something you will be selling. Create as many income streams as you can manage.

So there you have it from Ruva. One needs to have more than one stream of income so that you are not Just Over Broke πŸ˜‚!

You can follow Ruvarashe on the blog below.

The holidays are over…and it’s back to school


The holidays are over. I am a bit sad about that but I am equally excited about the New Year. Talking about the holidays, somehow such seasons always end up being very busy periods for me. That’s because our helper also goes on holidays for the whole month. We considered

getting temporary help to come twice a week but eventually decided against it and decided to see how we would manage on our own.

I must say it wasn’t as bad as I imagined it would be. Our eldest is turning 8 next month so it was a great opportunity to have her do a bit more around the house. Because the twins are very competitive, they also wanted to do everything she was doing, which was really good because everything was turned into a competition to see who made their bed the best, whose room was the most tidy and who did more chores.

Because the holidays were long,we relaxed our whole morning routine. We are now trying to get them back into the school morning routine but this week has been a bit challenging. I am hoping the remaining days of the holiday will be enough to help avert world war 3 in our home come next week when the new school year starts.

Since our children started school, it’s now a tradition that I drive them to school for the whole first week and make sure they settle well.

As you prepare your children for the new school year and for you getting back to work,consider things that will simplify your life and reduce stress for you as a working mom. For me two main things have made a huge difference and you might also want consider them.

1. School meals – from this year the school now provides two meals for the children as part of the school tuition. This for me is a lifesaver as I had to find very creative ways of packing 3 snacks per day for 3 children who like different things. If your children’s school has an option for meals at school, please consider this. The weekly menu should be sent ahead so you can ensure the meals are balanced.

2. Transport services- if you are able to drop and pick your children from school daily, this might not be relevant for you. However if like me you live in a city that has one of the worst traffic congestion, then you might want to consider using a transport service. This could be the school bus, a carpool with other parents or a transport service provider recommended by the school. This has been a real life saver for us.

What are some of the things that are making your working mom life easier that you could share? Please comment and remember to subscribe and follow so that you get all my posts right into your inbox.

Wishing you a prosperous 2020


Burnout… Final Post

This is my third and final post on burnout. In the first post I wrote about symptoms of burnout and in the second post I wrote about causes of burnout. Today I will write about some of the ways to deal with burnout. I am a working mom of three. My children are 7 and 5 and a bit more independent now but a few years back they were younger and demanded more from me. What I am proposing here has worked for me.

At work

There will be times when more is expected from you at work. During such high pressure times, make sure your family is aware of the increased demands on your time and ask for their support and assistance. If a sister can help with the school run, accept the help or ask for it. If hubby can help with homework during that period, ask for this. Do not try to do it all by yourself.

At home

There will also be times when more is expected from you at home. You wear so many hats and sometimes you need to be there for those you love. In the same way you would let your family know of increased demands on your time from work, let your boss, work colleagues, subordinate or however you need to tell also know of increased demands on your time from home. Ask them to help with some of the work or negotiate for longer deadlines on your work deliverables.

If you are one of those people whose personality lends them to burnout, you need to do yourself a favor and remember that sometime 90 perfect is actually better than undone as you wait for hundred percent perfection. This is of course also in the context of what you do so do not take me out of context. There are things that will require 100 precision and without it there will be dire consequences. The truth is the majority of things do not require this.

Find time to rest and recharge doing things that you enjoy. Also share with me on the comments section how to deal with burnout.

Stay winning, stay thriving, at home and at work!


Burnout… part 2

Today I am continuing with the series I started last week on burnout. In my previous post I wrote about some of the symptoms of burnout. If you did not get a chance to read that post, you can find it here. Burnout…Part 1.

This is a 3 part series. Today I am going to talk about the causes of burnout. You might have identified some of the symptoms in last week’s post. Lasting resolution to any challenge lies in identifying the root cause and dealing with that.

Causes of burnout can be workplaces related, personality related or family related and at times a combination of all the above.

Workplaces causes

1. High pressure work environments- Some work places are high pressure in nature. Think of medical staff who work in emergency rooms or chefs who work in extremely busy kitchens. (I am sure you can tell I watch certain tv shows πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚). Even outside of such environments, most workplaces have high pressure periods when the workload increases. Repeated exposure to high pressure environments or failure to manage the high pressure periods at work can lead to burn out.

2. Too much work can also lead to burnout. Add to this unclear work priorities and you are sure you have a totally burnt out employee.

Personality causes

3. Certain personality types are likely to suffer burnout compared to others. Think of OCD perfectionist. I have heard people talk of their OCD as if it’s something to be proud of and yet it’s a disorder. Until my twins were born I was this type of person but I quickly learnt that my sanity was more important and 80% perfect and done was better than delaying whilst waiting for 100%.

Family related causes

4. In the personal home and family space, one can also pass through periods of pressure that could easily result in burnout. Financial pressures, caring for sick relatives are some examples of periods that can exert enormous emotional pressure and result in burnout if not handled properly.

5. Now can you imagine a combination of the above on one person?? πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯ High pressure period at work that is accompanied by an intense period of pressure in the personal space of a person whose personality is prone to burnout? That is a recipe for disaster.

In my next and final post on this series, I will share how to deal with situations that cause burnout and thrive as working moms. Until then, stay calm and in control.


Burnout…Part 1

This was one of those very intense weeks for me. Not in the sense that I had a lot to do, but more in terms of the depth, intensity and the demands what I was working on put on my brain power. Weeks like this happen often for most working mothers and before you know it and without even realizing it you are totally burnt out. The situation is more compounded by the fact that we are still primary caregivers at home and once we get home from work we still have another shift commonly referred to as the double shift.

Based on my experience being a very ambitious working mom, over the next few posts I will be sharing more on this subject. I believe in self care first which enables you to then look after those you love and do amazing work whether you are a professional or running your own business or both.

So how do you actually know you are experiencing burn out? Well, like I said, I have some experience here. I am a working mom of three children under 7. There was a time the twins were newly born and our oldest was a two year old who took every opportunity she got to remind me that she was also still a baby (πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I don’t even know how she knew how to say that).

The symptoms will obviously differ from person to person but include some of the below:

1. Waking up tired regardless of how much sleep you get.

2. Making silly mistakes.

3. Being irritated by things that normally don’t rattle you.

4. Forgetfulness

5. Loss of appetite

6. Insomnia (the opposite of 1) above

7. Physical and emotional exhaustion and general lack of energy

8. Lack of concentration.

The list above is in no way exhaustive. I therefore invite you to also share some of the symptoms of burnout that you have experienced.

In my next post I will share some of the ways I have handled burnout.

2019…my year of #boldmoves

2018 has come to a close. This is the time when most people are pumped up about the changes they want to make in their lives and the goals they want to achieve in the new year. This probably explains why gyms are full in the first weeks of January yet this somehow fizzles out as the year progresses.

I am a firm believer in goal setting. However it need not be done on the 1st of January. Any day is a good day to start something. Below are a few suggestions on how to deliver on your 2019 goals/ resolutions. (I am not bothered about semantics. The important thing is that you are working on achieving something that is important to you)

1. Write them down. This is extremely important. Don’t just have them in your head and expect that something will happen. The act of writing down is a commitment you are making to yourself and allows you to come back at set intervals to review your progress.

2. Once you have written them down, put them somewhere where you can see them often. I have always written mine down in my journal but this year i am doing something different that i saw from my niece. She has a white board in her bedroom which has all she is working on at a particular time. As she achieves her goals she ticks them off and adds new ones. So in addition to writing in my journal, i will have them somewhere where i can constantly see them.

3.Break down each goal/ resolution into smaller building blocks that will ultimately lead you to the big goal. The smaller blocks should be specific, measurable, achievable and time bound. For example, if you would like to start a business in 2019, your smaller building blocks would include tasks such as writing your business plan, registering the company, open bank accounts for your business and so on. As you tick off these smaller tasks, you will be building towards your bigger goal.

4. Find an accountability partner that you trust and can share these with so that they can hold you accountable and also encourage you when you face challenges. It is also possible to have different accountability partners for different goals/ resolutions. Your accountability partner on your weight loss journey need not be the same person as the one for starting your business or achieving a certain career goal. It is well and good if you find one person who is a able to do this but it is usually not the case.

5. Commit to a schedule for progress review of your goals on your own as well as with your accountability partner.

6. Finally get up and actually ‘do something’.

7. Whilst at it, remember to enjoy yourself.

I have declared 2019 my year of #boldmoves. I will be making some really bold moves that i will share with you on this platform. Remember to follow me here to receive updates and be inspired as we ‘journey together’


What are you thankful for?

Thanksgiving is an American holiday that started around 1619 as a celebration and thanksgiving for the good harvest. This year the holiday is being celebrated on Thursday 22nd of November.

I really like the idea of giving thanks and gratitude and actually setting aside a day to do this. In the busyness of life, sometimes we forget to take a step back and appreciate the good things that God has blessed us with. Not everything might have gone according to your plan but the fact that we are still here is something to be grateful for.

As we plan for the new year and bring the year 2018 to a close, do not forget to give thanks to God for how far He has brought you. You might not be where you wanted to be, but you are definitely not where you started from.

What are you thankful for today?