Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo enjoys helping women live optimized lives. She does this through a number of platforms notably, CoachE’Squad Ltd., her global fitness company where as well as coach women on how to lose weight, also encourages them to lead on a healthy lifestyle. She also runs, The FAB Sister’s Blog– a Christian lifestyle blog that houses her glam’ and ‘not-so-glam’ experiences as a Christian, Christian wife and mom in 2019. Asides being a fitness coach and blogger, she also runs a non-profit (Stay Home Moms Nigeria) that encourages stay-home-moms to maximize their lives effectively whilst being productive at home.
‘The housewife midwife’ as she likes to call herself, discusses her mompreneur journey with Leading Ladies Africa. Be inspired.
Being a Stay-Home-Mom in 2019
I think that one of the most EPIC things we have been called and privileged to do is motherhood. One of my best teachers when it comes to combining both spiritual and professional knowledge on parenting is Dr. James Dobson and, in his book, bringing up Boys, he says:
I have the highest respect for those who are blessed to be called mothers. There are few assignments in human experience that require the array of skills and wisdom needed by a mom in fulfilling her everyday duties…
I agree whole heartedly and so if a woman finds herself in this Stay-Home-Mom (SAHM) role without any other conventional job taking her time in a particular season, the best thing she can be and do is FULLY immerse in that role and bring grace, strength and wisdom to and from it. Michelle Obama, despite being FLOTUS said her most important title by which she would like to be addressed is Mom-in-chief, and she wasn’t even saying that tongue-in-cheek. Having read her auto biography, the soar away best seller BECOMING, I truly see that she was quick to give up so many positions more conventionally seen as ‘successful’ to be a mom.
That’s EPIC yo… EPIC!!!
Now, with that firmly established, that there is nothing unsuccessful about being a full time stay-at-home mom, we must also state that a woman who finds herself in this position and fully immerses in it, flipping her pity party for a fruitful one soon finds that her home becomes a platform to not just serve her family but also the world.
I love how unconventional the world is becoming these days especially as regards career paths. You can literally be anything. So for instance, a mom of 5 boys (God bless her) who has fully immersed in her role and truly runs the home like a boss soon finds that all she has learned about structuring and assigning tasks and feeding her kids healthily and choosing the right schools for them, and teaching them the right moral and godly values are so huge that she has to write a book, and bam! that book may become a best seller. She is still a SAHM but is now also a proud best-selling author
It is interesting for me to watch my life unfold. I could never have thought this up. I was this frustrated stay-at-home mom, and now I get to help other SAHMS both online and through regular events, like: ’The Domestic Queens Hangout’ which is an offshoot of my organization: Stay Home Moms Nigeria.
The Tipping Point
I didn’t decide to be a stay-at-home mom primarily. I had dreams of working in the United Nations and with my First class and best graduating student degree coupled with a whole lot of raw faith, I got my dream job. But the nuances of a long-distance marriage, working in a different town from hubby and not having the right support system to cater to my then new state of pregnancy and subsequently motherhood, I had to give up that career. It was PAINFUL cos hello!!! First class students don’t become ‘house wives’ haha. But I guess God had me where he wanted me because I literally could not do anything else but stay at home given the peculiarities of our young marriage at the time. It was the ultimate sacrifice I had to pay. Once I realised, I had no choice, and guided by some of the best teachers and moms around, I flipped my pity party for a fruitful one, fully immersed in that season, started to draw strength right there and be a better wife, mom and human right at home.
I had previously gained a lot of weight as I was low-key depressed about the whole thing, so I committed to losing it and with how successful my weight loss story was, (30kg in about 4months), I started to help women through their own weight loss journeys, first for free and then for a fee. Today, I run a fitness company all still from home, while still maintaining my ultimate title of Mom-in-chief and Domestic Queen.
Downsides of Being a Mompreneur and Conquering Societal Perceptions
First, time management. With no external pressure on your time, you may soon find yourself coasting. You watch a ton of TV or lounge on social media into the night, wake late, not shower until 3pm, wear your night wear, wrapper and hairnet all day, eat at irregular intervals and generally do nothing of worth. I dealt with that a lot until one day I took my life and hours back. Started to apply the same procedures that gave me a First class in University of Ibadan, like structuring, journaling, confessing and planning my day right down to the hours. I was like this Boss at home. I soon found myself telling people I couldn’t honour invitations especially when they came too late, because I was busy. Some people scoffed like ‘Busy doing what?’ You are just a stay-at-home mom’ but it didn’t faze me. I was not just another housewife, I was Mom-in-chief and I had a whole kingdom to run.
A second challenge is people looking down on you. My thing is this, if you truly find ways to be productive at home, even though people cannot see the fruit at first and may be nasty or condescending, you keep doing you. One day, they gon’ know girl… (saying that in Tiffany Haddish’s voice and attitude). I had a neighbour who plainly insulted me because I was taking my kid to Day-care when all I do was sit at home and do nothing. It hurt at the time but I am so glad I didn’t let it affect me enough to upscale that thought into believing that was how everyone saw me. Even if that was the case, it didn’t matter. I was working on something and now they see it. Haha
The third I would like to share is, don’t assume like many others assume, that because you are a full time stay at home mom, you don’t need help. If you are a Domestic Queen reading this, you need help my sister. You need to be more than diapers and breastmilk all day. You need someone to provide care for your kids while you do something that excludes baby/toddler/child language. What ‘help’ looks like for me on the home front keep evolving. From day-care, to live-in helps, to having friends mind my kids while I rush somewhere for work, to finally school haha. Yes, school is a kind of help as the teachers take care of them for those 6 hours or so, while mommy can do her thing. The nature of your kingdom will determine the kind of ‘help’ you need per season so don’t be ashamed of getting help.
Most Defining Lesson Learned as a Stay-Home-Mom
The biggest thing I learned during this season- (*season where I hadn’t yet started running my business) was that I was completely identified in Christ and didn’t need a job to give me an identity, healthy self-esteem or confidence. All of that flow from a relationship with Christ as that is something that cannot change. I can lose a job, lose money and even lose people but with a steady relationship with God, I’m good.
So, I learned to stop being defined by ‘stuff’.
Oh, I work in the United Nations.
I made a first class
I had my baby abroad
My baby takes only Enfamil
My kids are in XXX school
My bank account is popping
Because I had been reduced to ZERO, I saw how quickly everything that can be shaken will be shaken until that which is unshakeable, that is a ‘for real’ relationship with God remains and how all things must flow from that alone
From that mindset, I started to build my life again, and this time, build on better foundation.
The Role of Spousal Support
Husbands should indeed help their wives even though they are full time Domestic Queens. I think that the kind of help really depends on the couple and their home. For some, a domestic help would be heavenly but another woman may not want that, or maybe they live in a one-bed home so that’s out. One woman may want her hubby home on time to help with domestic work but another doesn’t mind the long hours as when he is home, he adds more work to what she has to do.
So, I would say look within and then respectfully share with your husband how specifically you would want to be helped. Don’t forget to also commit it to prayers and then also pray for strength and grace daily. I also did a post on how husbands can help out at home here.
Structures for Navigating the Mompreneur Life
My mompreneur journey has been amazing. Somehow, I have managed to build a million-naira business that pays me monthly far more than the UN did and would have. Here are a few tips that makes my work from home work:
First, I take myself seriously enough to work diligently without supervision. I am my own boss but I set the highest standards for me. I have a work space at home and every work day, I am there.
I also have help. Both at home and in the business and I know how to delegate. I don’t attempt to do it all. I don’t just delegate tasks, I delegate authority, meaning I empower them to make decisions on my behalf. (This is the leadership part of me which I heavily stoke by investing my time in Leadership podcasts like the Craig Groeschel Leadership podcast, and trainings like Daystar Leadership Academy, which incidentally is run by my church)
I have crazy structures in place both for home and for work. Any serious human being in this life must have structures.
I am constantly going for and updating my knowledge. I have UK and US certification in my field and now, I am working on being certified in Child Nutrition as this is a new passion thanks to Michelle Obama.
So even though I work from home and for myself, both peculiarities that can make me less efficient, I make sure to fight it by being self-disciplined.
Mentors and Role Models
Joyce Meyer is my number one role model, mentor, G-mama, and teacher. Christine Caine is my person of hope and hero. Michelle Obama is EPIC. Lisa Bevere is a huge example to my life as a woman first and a mom of boys.
Debola Deji-Kurunmi (DDK) and Pastor Mildred Kingsley-Okonkwo are the biggest female influence in my life in Nigeria, after my mom. I love Ellen DeGeneres like crazy. Sarah Jakes Roberts and Heather Lindsey are my role models and also corner girls. A few of my friends also really inspire me even though we are on a vertical relationship. Friends like Aijay Ufomadu, Ogochukwu Okekeocha, Theodora Ayeni, and Ezinne Kanu. I am sure I have missed out some.
Becoming by Michelle Obama.
Making Work At Home Work by Mary Byers.
Fire brand by Debola Deji-Kurunmi.
Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere.
Out of Control and Loving It by Lisa Bevere.
Unstoppable by Christine Caine.
The Confident Mom by Joyce Meyer.
Parenting Isn’t for Cowards: The ‘You Can Do It’ Guide for Hassled Parents by Dr. James Dobson.
Dare To Discipline by Dr. James Dobson.
The Strong-Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson.
Bringing Up Boys: Practical advice for raising the next generation of men by Dr. James Dobson.
Bringing Up Girls: Practical advice for raising the next generation of women by Dr. James Dobson.
Preparing for Adolescence by Dr. James Dobson.
About Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo
Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo (CoachE’) is a Food and Fitness Coach and CEO at CoachE’Squad Ltd, where she serves Jesus and Fitness to the world. Asides helping women live optimized lives through a healthy food and fitness routine, she runs a personal Faith-based blog (www.eziaha.com) where she chronicles her Christian walk. She is a First-Class Graduate of Sociology, holds a UK degree in Personal Nutrition and a Pre-natal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist Certification endorsed by the American Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA). She is also a Graduate of Daystar Leadership Academy (DLA). Above all these, she is a proud wife and mom to two boys and takes that assignment very seriously. She is a product of many teachers and mentors, regularly pours into mentoring younger folks, and attends Daystar Christian Centre.
Eziaha can be found on Instagram as: @coachesquad, @stayhomemoms.ng and on Twitter as: @coachesquad and @eziahaa
You can email her on firstname.lastname@example.org