HERA PEREIRA IS TWO YEARS OLD…… and only 104 posts young…..Yeah I deserve sweetchin music

Hello I am Hera (chorus – Hi Hera)…. I am a terrible blogger…….

I must have left down a lot of my readers. Who can blame them? My inconsistency is disgraceful…… If there was a blogging association, I will have been expelled and thrown in a dungeon filled with miniature kaijuns (yeah, I just watched Pacific Rim…..I really liked it……)

ok…Two years….My baby blog. I never did let you mature and reach your full potential. I goofed big time….but I took out time to do something special for you. I contacted some of the people who wrote to you and shared their life with you to see how they were doing. Didnt get through to all but the ones that responded…..boy have I gotten some juicy tales for you……

Happy two-year anniversary to me…..sigh…..I am a terrible blogger…..

crying

SWEET CHIN MUSICsweet chin music property of WWE

The bridesmaid specialist is now the bride

Hello people. Remember I posted an article a lifetime ago about how my sister was always asked to be a bridesmaid and I never was…..almost never was. read that HERE . I am excited to announce that the bridesmaid specialist is now the bride.. hurray. This weekend, a wise wise young guy took another of the Idrisu girl as a wife. (We Idrisu girls are very special with a heart of gold…. though I like to think that mine is more of titanium mixed with a little platinum with just a hint of………..what was I again?)

Ahaaa the wedding….Thanks to our relocation which was very timely, I was able to attend the ceremony. Considering how vain I am, I was determined to look fabulous to all the aunties and uncles who had not seen me in years. I have worked relatively hard all year to lose the baby weight and I was a few kg shy of my ultimate goal but alas! I try if I do say so myself. Continue reading

Continuing the circle of domestic violence

A friend of mine contacted me last week asking for information as how to obtain a divorce in Nigeria. I have not practiced in over 2 years but I dealt with a lot of divorce matters in my time. I was able to tell her what she needed and directed her to a lawyer. I was very curious but I knew I couldn’t ask. This young lady got married last year and just had a kid five weeks ago, so I was praying it was not for her. I forgot about it until yesterday when she contacted me again asking for more details, specifically grounds for divorce. At this point, I had to ask if she was ok. She replied that she was not. She then went into the sad but familiar story of domestic violence. Her husband had been using her as a punching bag for months now and she had endured it, according to her, for the sake of the pregnancy (which made little sense to me, because her being pregnant even puts her at more risk, but to each his own). She said one month after her caesarean, he beat her up again in the presence of his mother and she knew she could not deal with it any longer.

I asked her where she was and she said she was at her aunt’s home with the baby. Bewildered, I enquired why she was not with her parents and this was her response (I have her permission to quote her verbatim. I removed all my questions to her for easy reading) Continue reading

The Childless Nigerian Wife

I came across this post from my one of my favourite bloggers and friend Ilsa Aida and it inspired me to write this. Here are a few excerpts

That beautiful day arrives. You dance, you are excited, you feel beautiful, finally you have been joined at the hip with the man of your dreams (or so you think)

Days pass, months crystallize into years and they begin to look at you. Your spouse begins to look at you because you have not uttered the words ‘I am pregnant’ Both families begin to give advice about how to get pregnant, you struggle with what to do while trying to stand firm on your beliefs.

When all you really want to do is run, run and stay on a bed forever.

Now and again, you are reminded that you are barren and little by little even your spouse begins to discount you as a human being. You are strong, so you must be strong.

Then in a moment of clarity in between your depression, you wonder where the ‘better for worse’ is.

You wonder if you have ever been really loved, you wonder if all the ceremony was for show. Truth is, you were married to provide a warm body and birth heirs to brag about.

Your sense of identity is lost because in your refusal to provide a child, you are not relevant in the scheme of things and everything you do is constantly weighed against the fact that you have not borne a child.

for more, visit http://ilsa-aida.blogspot.com/

Now, I have a lot of amazing friends who would make amazing wives but for some reason, are yet to settle down. Then there are those amazing friends who have settled down and would make amazing mothers but they are not yet blessed with the fruit of the womb. I see them running from pillar to post, from one fertility clinic to another and my heart breaks for them. I find myself questioning God (I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it) why children are born into abusive poverty-stricken home with only a bleak future awaiting them and not in loving home so desperate for them.

Honestly, I cannot imagine what these women go through. They have to put a brave face to the world while their heart aches. They have to smile and rejoice as their friends and others who married years after them give birth. They turn to God in fervent prayers, wishing with all their heart and soul that they don’t see their period the next month. And when the period comes, the depression sets in month after month after month. The pressure that the husband faces to be strong for the two of them, to comfort her, placate her and make her feel secure. There are many Nigerian men who stand with their wives in this trying times, but there are so many more who crack. They question the wife’s history and assume promiscuity , they put her down, they kill her spirit and sometimes (if they are not the one with the problem) they get another girl pregnant.

The level of wickedness that a childless Nigerian woman sometimes faces from her own fellow woman is unbelievable. Even those with wonderful mother in-laws begin to feel the brunt when years pass without a child. They begin to ask questions. Some want to find out if there is something spiritually wrong. Others get downright hostile. In gatherings, women constantly talk about the achievement of their kids in the midst of the childless one. I am not saying that you are not allowed to celebrate or be proud of your kid simply because someone else is yet to have, but a lot of tact is required in such circumstances.

I know a lot of my readers would probably be wondering ‘What is the big deal? Adopt already!! Use a surrogate or something’. These are excellent choices but Nigeria is still a long way from this. Thankfully IVF is catching on and more couples are going for it. However, it is very expensive and sometimes it does not work, discouraging a lot of people from trying. There are a lot of abandoned kids just looking for a home but the average woman wants to carry and birth her kid. And who can blame her?

I say a long deep prayer to all the ladies looking for a child. It is not easy to be patient and no one would ever understand how hard it is. All one can do is empathize. Please be brave ladies. God is not asleep and he will work, but don’t sit on your hands waiting. Get proactive, get fit and visit the fertility clinics. Baby dust to the childless Nigerian wife.

The title “Mrs”

Nigerians are obsessed with marriage. It is an unescapable and undeniable fact. As soon as a girl finishes the university(some even before), the questioning begins “Do you have a serious boyfriend?” Why will u bring home a man for us?” As she gets older, relatives start to broach the subject as well. As she nears her 30s, it is a ‘free for all’ From aunties to distant cousins to the mallam selling chewing gum down the road. They all begin to ask “you no go marry. Your mates don born finish”

In April and August, I have published two contrasting experiences. One was aptly titled “Single shaming”, the story of Felicia(not real name) whose siblings and friends have all gotten married. (You can read it again HERE) She felt ostracized by her best friends who didn’t invite her for their reunion and alienated by her married younger sisters. I got in contact with the now 33-year-old Felicia a few weeks ago. As much as I would have to be delivering a happily ever after story right now for Felicia, her fairy tale is still in the works. She is currently dating though. She is with a 42 year divorcee with 2 kids. It raised some red flags with me. Now I have nothing against divorcees. I have handled a lot of divorce cases in my time and I do realize being divorced doesn’t necessarily mean the party has a bad character. Sometimes people are not meant to be. HOWEVER, sometimes the divorce could be due to the character of the divorcee. I was concerned as to whether she had let the pressure get to her and is settling or genuinely ready to be with the man and become an instant mother. She assured me she was. Looking forward to the wedding bells in the future.

My next writer had no qualms about admitting she was settling. In August, Susan wrote in stating that she was about to have this huge extravagant wedding with an amazing man who loved her. The catch was she didn’t love him. Not even a little bit.(or so she says. She was waiting to feel butterflies) Her main consideration was her age. (You can also read that HERE ). Some readers advised her not to go through it. Others told her the love would grow. She went through it and even posted all the pictures on Facebook. It was truly an extravagant wedding. Yesterday, I got into a chat with her and asked if the butterflies has arrived. She ‘lol’ed and said no, but she was comfortable. Comfortable…… Not happy…. Comfortable.

Now I am not trying to poke holes in these ladies’ lives, neither am I trying to criticize their choices. I understand all too well the intense pressure of being an unmarried girl in her thirties in a country like Nigeria. A lot of hype is attached to being a ‘Mrs’ over the general happiness of the girl in question. Marriage is one of the hardest thing in the world to handle, and it takes the constant effort to make it work. So it’s not about being a ‘Mrs’ but staying a ‘Mrs’ while keeping your dignity and sanity.

There once was a blogger named Hera

There once was a blogger named Hera.

She started with so much fire.

She has so much to share with the world

Then Life interfered. She carried belle.

And the fire simmered. Ideas came and went, never to be typed, lost in the sands of time.

She hung in there………barely, making promises after promises and never fulfilling.

 Then she gave birth to her precious little Beebee.

She felt energized and up to the challenge,

She worked out a schedule to be a wife, mother, homemaker and blogger…basically Superwoman.

However babies don’t work with schedule

She failed in the last task

Her blog clocked one year and she didn’t even post.

Her free time was either spent sleeping or sleeping. (no typo)

Weeks went by without a post

Stories left hanging

The fire has almost been put out on the blog known as Hera Pereira……………….

But Wait!

What is this?

The fire is being rekindled

Slowly but surely, she is blogging again

Precious sleep time going away

But she doesn’t care

This is her first baby

Her Passion

Sure, it will always take second stage to family

But at least it will have a stage.

There IS a blogger named Hera

And she is back with a vengeance

Rant- I am no Super mom!!!

Hello everyone, a few days ago, I wrote a short piece titled ‘I don’t get religion’. While I was extremely careful not to bash any religion, I guess just writing about religion in any light that is not 100 percent positive is controversial (as I feared). While I did get a lot of positive feedbacks, comments and likes, I had to take it down because someone whom I greatly respected, asked me to. Now I was very resentful at the request for two reasons. First, I didn’t write anything negative and secondly, I felt as if it was a sort of censorship for my blog. However, my respect was greater than my indignation. So I took it down. Of course the person spent the next couple of days trying to ‘educate’ me on why I should get religion. Wonderfully, the ‘education’ went beyond emphasis on faith and focused on logic and rationality, so I guess I got something out of it.

Long Preamble. sorry….back to my Rant.

My BeeBee turned a month yesterday………..Yeaaahhhh! I finally broke down…….Nayyyyyy!

I thought I was ready for motherhood. I read all the books, all the articles, everything on dealing with newborns and avoiding common pitfalls. I guess I didn’t bank on having other people to look after as well. Two days after returning home, I was back to household duties and I was irate. The incision still hurt and moving around was difficult. The first two weeks drained me mentally and physically. Of course BeeBee was perfect and could do no wrong, but I did have severe homicidal thoughts towards the hubby. However, as much as I hate to admit it, the strain helped me recover very quickly. I have been feeling great. Three hours of sleep at night…no biggie. Making breakfast, Lunch and dinner for hubby and his mother….Piece of cake. Making the house presentable for visitors…..forget about it. I am super mom….I could do it all

super mom

Except I am not super mom. #sadface

exhausted mom
Continue reading

Three weeks and counting………. Party Planning commences

My Beebee is three weeks old today. Hurray. She marked the day by being miserable all afternoon. Such a champ. She didn’t cry or fuss when being held, but as soon as she is put down, she becomes really uncomfortable. I Was very worried even though my mother in law assured me it was normal. Am guessing it is gas (Spent a good deal of the afternoon rocking her with one hand and googling baby related articles with the other). I kept giving her gripe water hoping to relieve her (Please mothers, does that really work?) We ended up putting her on her stomach (Even though that scared me because all the baby sites advocate that babies be put to sleep on their backs) and she was finally able to sleep. (Typing this as quickly as I can before I jinx it and she wakes up)<

exhausted

So I have scheduled a date for my baby dedication/party. And if you have read my post on child dedication almost gone awry , you would realize it is kinda a big deal…..for me at least. I have been planning it for two years. I have gone through all the details in my head, all the things I want to do, what I would wear, what she would wear, what I would cook blah blah blah. I have planned for so long that I am absolutely….. 100 percent certain that it is NOT going to go as planned, because it NEVER ever does. I don’t know if I over plan things or my expectation is way too high. I feel like a bridezilla or is it a Mummyzilla?

The event is February 14th, a good month away and I am already making a shopping list, picked the baby’s outfit (which may not even fit by then) and worrying about little details. I am sleep deprived and I am here worrying about an event 30 days away. You can’t completely blame me though. If you read the above post, you would realize that things can go ‘sour’ really quickly in certain events, so it is necessary to worry and plan….and worry. Deep breaths Hera. I really would like to make some unique meals I have learnt (and hopefully perfected) the past year, but I have never cooked for more than 15 people at a time, so I don’t know my cooking skills for large amount of people. Will it be bland? Will there not enough seasoning? Will they hate it? Am I over thinking things again? AAArrggghhhhhhhh

hair tearing
Anyways, I will keep you all updated on how the day goes. I will make a conscious effort to focus more on sleeping and my little BeeBee than worrying about how a party turns out, but I have a reputation to maintain. (I make a lot of mouth so I gat to deliver. Me and my big mouth)

So any tips on how to plan a rocking party with ease would be most welcome

Open Letter to Aida Zoe

So my little BeeBee is 2 weeks and 4 days now (Feels way longer) It has been an interesting learning experience. Good news! I am 10kg down already. Hurray (No, I am not exercising or dieting or deliberately trying to lose weight yet. I am vain but I am not that vain). I am eating well so the baby eats well. So imagine when I start putting in some real efforts. (I have 7kg of pre pregnancy weight and 10 kg of pre Bahrain weight to lose in 2014). I gat time.

I am really so blessed. Sure, this has been a very frustrating period and I have thought of ingenious ways of killing my husband, hiding the body in the desert somewhere and collecting his life insurance (If he has one). Let’s just blame hormones. But my little one is perfect. She is so active and loves to play with her hands. She hates being swaddled and has the most adorable sleeping position. She doesn’t cry at all. She fusses when she wants to be changed or fed and just stay calm afterwards. She takes her baths, injections and massages without a whimper. My mum says I was like that (I doubt it). Everyone says she looks like me now. I can’t really tell, but if she does, I must be STUNNING.

Musing done. I came across this amazing poem on the blog of a good friend of mine. It really got to me. It is something I and I am sure billions of women around the world can relate to. You can check out her blog “Through my eyes” at http://ilsa-aida.blogspot.com The poem was aptly titled “I am waiting for you” but since it is the season for open letters in Nigeria, I am going to title it here “Open letter to Aida Zoe’. Enjoy. Hold a hankie. Continue reading

The Trials of Fatimah- the struggles of an orobo Part 3

Sorry, it has been so long since the last Fatimah update.

Excerpts from last post
“You are very pretty, Fatimah’
“No, I am not” Darn it. Me and my big mouth. A boy calls me pretty and I go ahead and deny it. Genius me, but thankfully he goes on
“Nah you are pretty. In a chubby way. And I like Chubby. Want to have lunch here tomorrow, same time?

At this point, I was speechless. He called me chubby. Not fat, not orobo, but chubby. I think I am in love. I nod my acceptance and he smiled again, shook my hand and left.

I have a date. Me! Fatimah Yusuf has a date. I am finally part of the rush. Woohooo!!!! I need another plate of rice. I cannot contain my excitement! Tomorrow is so far away.

    AND NOW
    June 28 2005

‘That’s not a date’
“of course it is.’
No, it is not. He said “want to have lunch tomorrow”. that doesn’t make it a date jo’

That’s Ngozi. Trying to ruin my one good moment. I had told my room mates about my date when I got back to the dorm. While Stella was excited for me (Stella is an amazing roomie, even though she did pour my miracle weight loss formula away); Bose was indifferent.(I can’t blame her. She had a lot of boys on her case. I personally think it is only because of her “assets” because I found her rather plain looking…..or maybe its my beef talking), but Ngozi took it quite personal. She decided to analyze the circumstances and the words spoken to decipher if it was truly a date. According to her, the tone did not indicate a romantic overture, the school café is the most inappropriate place for a date as it was too public and the third unspoken reason(in my head at least was that she felt that I was too fat for anyone to want to go on a date with) I was getting mad, as she kept pushing but I knew I had the perfect come back

‘So when Oke invited you for the weekend and you didn’t let us hear word about the date, but it turns out that two of his friends and their girlfriends were also there. Then, according to your analogy, it was not a date either since it was not romantic enough as four other people were there abi. Didn’t the boys share one room and the girls shared another?’

Continue reading