Rayo Abe is a Professional Housewife and is the face of the LagosHouseWife brand. A graduate of English Language from the University of Ilorin, Rayo made the choice to be a Stay at home mum even before marriage. She started LagosHouseWife as an Instagram account to show women what and how to pack school lunch for their children and it quickly expanded into a hub for Women, Wives and Mothers everywhere in Nigeria to learn everything from cooking the most amazing meals for their families to raising their children, enjoying their marriages whilst learning how to successfully run their homes and businesses.
LagosHouseWife currently hosts Cooking with Lagoshousewife, a cooking show which airs every Saturday at 6pm on Instagram and Facebook Live. She is also the host of The Main Ingredient, a cooking and nutrition program which airs on Classic FM 97.3 every Sunday at 1pm. Rayo Abe shares her Mompreneur journey with Leading Ladies Africa.
On Growing Up, Dreams and Aspirations
I’ve always known working outside my home right from when I was a child wasn’t my path. I think it was inborn because my mum worked a 9 to 5, my aunties worked 9 to 5 too; I was constantly surrounded by women who worked 9 to 5, but I just wanted something different. I did work for a while. I did my NYSC with Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja and I was retained. I ended up working there for four years. It’s an amazing place to work and I learned skills that are valuable to me today. That experience however, solidified my resolve to tread a slightly unconventional path- to become a fulltime housewife, stay-home-mom and subsequently, a mompreneur.
Challenges with being a Stay-Home-Mom
Being a stay-home mom comes with several challenges. On my journey, I have come to realize that:
There is a tendency to lose yourself in your role of taking care of your family and home. It’s so easy to make it the whole of your existence and forget you are a whole person with needs and ambitions
You tend to take on more than you should. You need rest too. But it’s so easy to fall into the whole ‘I can do everything’ and end up overworking yourself.
Being a Stay at Home Mom means your availability is depended on. Anything that makes you unavailable can throw the home out of balance.
Societal Myths on Being a Stay-Home-Mom
I have heard quite a lot of untrue conclusions about being a SAHM including:
Your husband will see you finish – (No! Not if you are married to a man who loves, values and understands the importance of the role you have taken upon yourself.)
You will have to beg for money – (depends on the type of man you are married to. Make plans with your spouse and decide how much you are given monthly.)
Stay at Home Moms do nothing but gossip all day – (a gossip doesn’t need to be a Stay at home mom to gossip. You will do that anywhere you are if you are a perpetual gossip.)
Lessons Learned on the Journey
Developing yourself is key- I took a Baking class which kickstarted my current business. Don’t waste time, don’t be idle. Empower yourself, learn skills you can fall back on.
Knowing your self and mastering self discovery is key.
On Spousal Support
Having a solid support system- husband is really important. Husbands can help out by:
Letting her sleep in on weekends. Take the children and just let her relax
Sometimes, just take over her duties for a day and let her put her feet up. Tell the kids ”today, we are working for mummy because she does so much for us.” And when you are done, clean up! You are not helping if you cook then leave the kitchen dirty. Clean up!
Pay her! Put a financial value on what she does and pay her monthly.
Influences, Role Models and Mentor Figures
My mother. She’s late now but she was able to combine being a career woman with being a wife and mother so perfectly. Her example is what I follow.
Michelle Obama – I love her. She is so family oriented and yet so strong and independent. It’s so easy to get lost in the shadow of a strong and famous spouse but she is so visible and strong in her own right without also overshadowing her husband and children. I love that.
Jamie Oliver – I love how he is using food recipes to make a healthier world. To foster family unity. His food journeys show family bonds and history. I truly desire that level of competence and skill- to use my cooking to foster family relations.
Chrissy Teigen – her sense of humour is amazing, her love of life, family and food makes her perfect!
Marketplace Christianity by Robert Fraser
Any book by Nora Roberts or Stephen King
Advice to Stay-Home-Moms
Being a Stay Home Mom, Housewife or Homepreneur is not for everyone. Just as I was not cut out for 9 to 5, not everyone is cut out to be a Homepreneur. So first of all discover yourself to know if this is what you should be doing.
If it is what you really want, then, stick with it! It doesn’t necessarily get easier, but it does eventually become rewarding and fulfilling. A rollercoaster ride but very fun.
You can do it, but you cannot do it all by yourself. Ask for help, accept help.
Don’t isolate your family. They are the most important part of your journey. Involve them.
Put God first.