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Mum & Parenting

Christmas shopping on a budget

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‘Tis the season to be jolly, but, how jolly can you be with money being tight and having lots of stuff to buy and people to buy presents for knowing that January will soon come knocking. The pressure and temptation to spend increases every holiday season, this is especially true with mums having young kids who we don’t want to let down by not giving them at least some nice toys they want and taking them to all the fun spots in town. Here are ten easy, last-minute Christmas shopping tips for busy mums trying to do their shopping on a budget:
• Make a shopping list
Make a list of what you would need to buy and people you plan give presents. And don’t be afraid to trim it. It’s fine to restrict this list to very close friends and family. Special Season’s Greetings on social media is just okay for every other person you know.
• Set a spending limit
We overspend when we let our emotions get the best of them. Write down the maximum amount you plan to spend as an individual or as a family. If you are shocked by this total, go back and reduce until you reach a total you are happy with.
• Pay in cash
Choose to pay in cash and you’ll be forced to stick to your budget. When you use debit/credit cards, it’s so easy to lose track of how much you’ve spent.
• Shop by yourself
“Spend the money jorr!” We all have friends who make us spend our money. If you shop alone, you’ll likely spend less. A crazy shopping partner can distract you from your budget by convincing you to buy something unplanned and unnecessary, including the kids!
• Shop for sales at discount stores
Check out the discount stores where you can find good quality stuffs at low prices. If you shop exclusively online, remember a particular shop may not always have the best price. Be sure to check out other specialty stores.
• Consider combined shopping
Get your friends and colleagues together to shop as a group. You can contribute money to buy foodstuff such as a bags of rice or even a whole cow and then share. Great way to save money and stress, and you are likely to get a discount too!
• Do-It-Yourself Gifts
Homemade gift-giving is a great way to save money. Consider giving a platter of your own home-baked goods or hamper instead of a very expensive gift. TIP: If you are really in a rush or don’t have the baking skills, you can always purchase ready-to-bake cookie dough and cake mix from the supermarket. Candy mugs, crafts, cards and photos also make great gifts.
• Re-gifting
There’s always that birthday gift you never used which is sitting in the back of your wardrobe. Wipe the dust off, rewrap it, and you have a lovely gift for someone. Please make sure you don’t give it to the person who gave it to you it in the first place.
Tis the season to give
Give your time, show family members and friends that you want to spend time with them. This can be much more rewarding gift than a material item. This will give you a great chance to catch up with loved ones and show them how much you enjoy spending time with them.
• Plan ahead
Don’t wait until late to start your holiday shopping.
Follow these tips and you’ll thank yourself in January when you don’t have any Christmas debts to pay.
Enjoy!

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Mum & Parenting

Blame legal system for increase on rape cases – Dr. Somefun

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The adolescent Sexual and reproductive health officer of UNFPA, Dr. Esther Somefun has given reason why there are many rape cases in Nigeria. She said it is largely due to the legal system that does not reprimand the perpetrators of rape cases or other sexual abuses in Nigeria.

She declared this at the launch of 2000 young girls as participants in the adolescent health project for girls organised by the Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative(YEDI), funded by the German government‘s Federal Ministry Economic Cooperation and Development held in Lagos.

The adolescent health project tagged; BMZ Skillz Girls project, strictly for young girls between the ages of 13 and 19. She explained that the reason for rape cases in Nigeria was,“because we have legal system that does not reprimand the perpetrators of rape cases or abuse. Even when they are reprimanded, the punishment is so mild that they buy themselves out.

We have individuals who do not respect their fellow human rights coupled with cultural issues where, if a woman is rapedit is brushed aside or if a girl is raped, gets brushed aside.”

On the collaboration between UNFPA and YEDI, she said, for them in UNFPA, they have worked with YEDI and YEDI’s support for ‘Hello Lagos’ centres. They are centres which provide comprehensive health, friendly services.

“These centres at different places where young people have access to information with all accurate information, on their health, sexual reproductive health unit. If they are not feeling well, they can have access to healthcarefacility and if thereistheneed for referrals, we do provide that,” shesaid. Somefun explained further that it also has to do with societal values and self-esteem.

“Example is the abuse of Codeine that is going around town. It has become an easy drug for youths to take and feel high. So, the fact is that they have easy access to drugs, and their self-esteem is on the high and at this age range young people tend to want to feel high, feel good and they believe that by feeling good and feeling high, you need to use something to enhance your feeling good, but knowing that you can feel good with so many other things, go out with friends watch movies, you don’t have to take drug to enhance your self-esteem.”

She however commended the regulatory agencies, “I will still go back to say that it is because our regulatory agency are trying, but they need to do more because if you go to other countries or other African countries, you can’t just walk into a medicine store and get medication freely. She explained that there must be need for the patient to have a prescription.

“Although, we know that young people have their own issues, if you have a system that is porous that allows easy access in drugs on those that should not have the drugs, it is called why drugs, why use, why prescriber?” Obviously, the country is having people who should not be holding such drugs in their hands without prescription to use it.

On her admonition to youths, “As a young man you don’t have to rape to feel good. Remember that that other person has a right and by raping does not improve your ego or does not make you a man. It only makes you a coward,” Dr. Somefun said. Psychologically, she explained that the youth could be traumatised trauma especially holding onto the pains.

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Mum & Parenting

Between discipline and abuse in marriage

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Some have said it is necessary for the husband to discipline his wife as a show of love and care just as a parent would do to an erring child. Some have even come up with Bible verses to back up this claim. But then, who disciplines the man when he errs. Or doesn’t he err at one time or the other?

I came across an article on VirginiasSecret- Garden at mattforney.com where a woman shared her perspective and personal experience on wife discipline.

The following are excerpts from the article and responses from readers: “A lot of people think the Christian Domestic Discipline lifestyle is abusive. Going by what the mainstream media says, I’m actually a Stepford wife who lives in fear of her husband.

Somebody save me! But the reality is that husbands absolutely must assert dominance over their wives in order to have a happy marriage. When my husband spanks me for upsetting him in some way, he’s not just reaffirming his status as my master and the head of the household, he’s satisfying a primal urge in me, letting me know that he cares.

It’s been shown time and time again that neglected children will act out and deliberately break the rules in order to get their parents to pay attention to them…

We women are the same way; when our husbands and boyfriends ignore us, we’ll do something to annoy them just to get their attention. We ladies can reign in this behavior on our own somewhat, but we need the guiding hand of a man to suppress it completely. It’s the nature of Eve’s sin: we women are inclined to rebel against earthly authority, to the detriment of ourselves and our husbands.

Because feminists have obscured this fundamental reality, neither men nor women can effectively deal with womens’ rebellious nature. Modern marriages follow this typical pattern: Wife acts up in an attempt to get her husband to bring her under control. Husband ignores wife, either because he doesn’t know he needs to discipline her or he’s afraid of the legal consequences of doing so.

Wife becomes contemptuous of her husband for not putting her in her place and starts acting up even more. Husband continues to ignore wife, creating a downward spiral where sex drops off, arguments flare up, and both sides are increasingly miserable.

Wife files for divorce because she is not haaapppy. When women and children misbehave, they are not just looking for punishment but looking for absolution.

Assuming they’re not psychopaths, they know what they’re doing is wrong; they want an authority figure (husband or parent) to tell them they’ve been bad, punish them for it, and then forgive them afterwards.

This cycle of misbehavior, punishment and forgiveness scratches an inch deep within the female psyche, letting us know that we’re being looked out for.

Now, I’m not saying that you should encourage your husband to give you a shiner. There’s a right way and a wrong way to be disciplined. But our inherently sinful and defiant nature means that our husbands have to discipline us to keep us happy. I hate getting spanked. When my husband calls me into our bedroom and tells me to pull my skirt down, I feel dread.

I hate having a sore butt and I hate being driven into a crying fit. My husband has told me over and over again that he hates spanking me too, because seeing me crying and in pain breaks his heart.

But despite the suffering and tears, I’m grateful that my husband corrects my misbehavior. When he gets finished paddling me and holds me afterwards, I feel a deep satisfaction in knowing that he loves me enough to protect me from myself.”

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Mum & Parenting

Why are women so good at putting off happiness?

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You woke up really excited, it’s your special day. Your husband says good bye as he rushes through the door, he’s running late for work. You can’t believe he didn’t even wish you a happy birthday! Well, maybe he has a surprise for you… throughout the day… no call, no Whatsapp message, no post on Facebook, on his profile is still Arsenal logo …mmmhhh!

He comes home in the evening in a hurry to catch up with the live football match on Super Sports, and screaming all through. And you’re sitting there, boiling and ready to explode.

You are so mad you are going to be ‘unhappy’ the rest of the week, maybe month! That is just one of the many things our husbands do that make us feel bad, also stuffs like dropping dirty socks around the corner instead of the laundry basket, snoring while we stay awake rocking whining babies who have no plans whatsoever to fall asleep. Then the kids bring a whole new dimension to our frustration…

let’s not even talk about in-laws who come ‘visiting’ and never ever want to leave. Everything seems orchestrated to make sure we are NEVER happy. Our response: We put off our happiness for the time (whenever that is) when everyone will stop being such a pain, and just get their acts together! Little wonder we are often so miserable. I would like to share a piece of advice from a fellow mum, courtesy P31.org: We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough and we’ll be more content when they are.

After that, we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, when we are able to go on a nice vacation, or when we retire. The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges.

It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with…and remember that time waits for no one. So, stop waiting….

until your car or home is paid off until you get a new car or home until your kids leave the house until you go back to school until you finish school until you lose 10 lbs. until you gain 10 lbs.

until you get married
until you have kids
until you retire
until summer
until spring
until winter
until fall
until you die
There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. “…Happiness, sought by many and found by few, is matter entirely within ourselves. Your environment and the everyday happenings of life have absolutely no effect on your happiness except as you permit…Happiness is wholly independent of position, wealth or material possessions. It is a state of mind which we ourselves have the power to control – and that control lies with our thinking.” – Claude Bristol Happiness is a choice. Choose to be happy anyway!

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