The problem with gender neutral.

I am probably the one who feels the need to speak about this topic even more so; I have a daughter and a son. And if you don’t know what gender-neutral parenting is, well its when two loving parents try to raise their “seed” without the confinement of gender stereotypes. For the record, I like that part of the method. However, here’s where I have a problem with. First, I have known my children a collective of 4 and half years. And within these years, I have seen how my daughter has blossomed into a confident young female. And though my son is only 2 years, I can see what type of man he will grow up to be. Now, I am not raising my children in a strict gender-neutral home but I do not have gender specific toys. My aim as a parent is to allow my children to find their truth with toys that will aide their learning and communication. Here’s an excellent example, my son plays with a baby doll (those anatomically correct baby dolls that look like a baby) and loves it so much he sleeps with it.  Now my 4 and half year-old daughter loves watching “PJ Masks” and “Paw Patrol”; two cartoon shows that a geared towards boys of her age group. My daughter still plays with her “Barbies” and loves anything girly like unicorns and sparkles, but her favourite colour is purple not pink. My son too, he loves cars and trunks and especially rough housing games. You could say they are a happy balanced of gender-neutral parenting.

Here’s where I believe this new parenting trend has gone too far. When you don’t tell your children their gender until they are 5 years with the hopes of them choosing their own gender when they are ready to be a boy or girl. I have news for you, your little “bubba” has already been assigned a gender and that happened in the womb at 4 weeks. It’s good for a parent to raise their off spring away from the gender stereotypical roles of society. I mean that’s my parenting aim; I sit in my living room watching tv every evening and I am yet to see a positive representation for both my children.

The world will tell our children, that boys must love football and girls must play with dolls and play dress up. But my problem is, if I allow your son to play with dolls and play dress up but not tell him he’s a boy; then you are setting him for gender confusion.

Secondly, it’s seems to me that society has created a hatred of genders. PERIOD. Not roles, but whether you are a boy or girl. There seems to be a fear nowadays of raising hyper sexualised females and males or even heavens forbid bigots. As if to say if you are born a boy you will develop to be a sexist bigot. Or if you are born a girl, you’ll grow to be a stay at home mum aka housewife where you simply just live for the joy of taking care of your husband and children 🙄😴.

If you haven’t figured it out already, I am raising a black man and dark-skinned black woman, and society has not been favourable to these types of people. Let’s digress for a minute, the #metoo movement was started to help women speak up about being sexually abused and bring the attacker to justice. Now, let’s talk about the black men who have been trailed and convicted on rape charges only to be discovered that no such attack happened. How about the #blacklivesmatter movement, this movement was started because black people in America were being treated unfairly by the police.

Ok, the point I am trying drive is that it’s not neither the colour nor gender of a person determines who they will become. But that of their character, I read someone- and thank God I read it while I was pregnant with my first. That it takes 7 years to develop a character, so in those 7 years parents or parent to be you must develop a character of a confident young man or woman. The aim I believe is not to desire your child to grow to choose a gender, but rather to desire a positive role he or she may want for themselves. It’s ok for your son to want to be a nanny or midwife (yes there are male midwives I met one) and your daughter to want to be a firefighter or footballer. These to me are what gender-neutral roles look like, and not dressing you children in blacks greys and whites because pinks are for girls and blues for boys.

Gender neutral parenting is meant to allow your children to find themselves together with finding comfort in their own genders. To realise that there are no jobs for men and women, and that all jobs can be done by everyone willing and capable.

So, if you’re looking to surround your seed in a gender-neutral environment, remember to also tell them it’s great to be a boy or girl.

Until next time,

Stay blessed, stay positive, stay humbled

Wambui

Burn out, is it a real thing?

Burn out, writer’s block, procrastination or the mouth full, stuck in a funk.  There is always a name for that feeling of not wanting to create. Of late I’ve been hearing these new buzz words going around, “burn out”. At first, I was what’s burning out? What causes this thing to burn out? How do you avoid this to happen? Then, I realised for the last 6 years I have experienced this “burn out”. Can I be honest with you? I believe it is not a real thing, no serious don’t go yet. Let me explain.

Burn out, to me is an excuse. Phew! So glad that’s out of my chest I feel lighter saying that.

No, serious. It is an excuse and, therefore.

So, you want to write that book but every time you turn on your laptop, computer and BLANK. Nothing comes out, no typing sounds, your notebook is still blank because you haven’t bothered to even jot down any ideas. Or you spend hours on YouTube watching amateur film makers recite their “exciting” lives for your entertainment (FYI I was being sarcastic). Telling yourself “I can do this”, so you buy the equipment to help you become the next Casey Nesitat; but they’re still sitting in the box which has only been opened once since delivery.

When the few people that know about your writing dream or YouTube dream ask you, “what happened to that book you were writing”? and “So how’s your YouTube channel going”? Seriously some of these questions that get asked. These are the questions that make you stay “burned out”, you panic and start thinking you will fail. As in, everyone is looking at me to write the next Harry Potter or become the next YouTube star.

I read somewhere (those “Limitless” moments) that George Orwell’s book 1984 was not a best-selling success when it initially came out. But it is now, imagine if George Orwell never bothered to write 1984. Or even release it to the public?

We now live at a time when you can virtually be a self-published anything. You can be the next George Lucas and release your awesome short film on YouTube- that’s how Issa Rae started out now look at her. Or your little book could be the next best seller.

You simply do not know where your efforts will take you if you never try. There’s a well-known story in the bible of Jesus walking on water, do you know that one of his disciples walked on water too? Yes, Peter he took the leap of faith when Christ called for him to join him on the water. Out of all the disciplines in the boat with him, he was the one that believed he could and now we still talk about the incredible thing that he did on that day.

Whatever you desire from your creations, it could be making things with your hand or even starting that book or YouTube channel. Stop giving yourself excuses and just do it. You seriously don’t know where your leap of faith will take you.

Oh, before I leave. Catch me on Instagram (wambui_kibira) I post my writing exercises there and you get to see my BTS of my life.

Until next week

Stay blessed, stay humbled and stay positive

Wambui xoxo

Why to simulate is to fail!

The beauty of standing out.

I struggled writing this article this week; why? I struggled with this, for the longest of times I thought I had to write what people wrote. When I decided to take up writing as a career, I was reading a lot of black literature and a lot of them were erotic 😄😛🙈. So, I naturally thought that’s what I should write since I am a Black writer and my books would fit the black literature genre. I quickly learned that I’m too shy to write erotic books. I have learned that when starting an author career, you need two things. The first grit, you need to have the ability of not giving up; you know the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. The second, time; you need time to show off your writing style. Ernest Hemingway’s work is renowned for its plain and sparing use of language, so a fan of his will be able to tell if a book is his or a Dan Brown. You just simply know these authors because they keep writing and bringing out the same body of work.

So, as I keep writing on this blog every week, I hope that my writing style will be established. Allowing time to define how I write this early on in my writing career is most important, I don’t want (luck of a better word) get lost in sauce of the growing number of authors. I’d like to believe that as you read any of my books you know you are ready a “WAMBUI KIBIRA” book. I want to write books that inspire and encourage people, and of course the occasion bout of laughter with my books.

As you, the reader takes this journey with me. I want you to see the growth from these early days of writing to when I become the East African Chimamanda Adiche. I guess what I am trying to say is, I am not willing to simulate; because this is to fail.

Until next time,

Stay humbled, stay blessed and stay positive.

Wambui

xoxo

DIE FOR SOMETHING

It’s spring time here in the UK, the sun is out almost everyday now and getting warmer. But today’s topic isn’t about the beautiful tree blossoms or the fresh brand-new daffodils. No, I want to share with you what rapper Nipsey Hussle’s passing has taught me. I wasn’t a big fan of his music, but I loved what he did for his community outside music. Nipsey had a passion for his community so much so he did something that most rappers didn’t do, he refused to move out of his neighbourhood so that he can rebuild it.

When writing this post, I struggled to get the words out; that and I wanted to respect his family and wait a week of two before I share with you what his passing has taught me. Like I earlier mentioned, I wasn’t a big fan of his (not in a bad way I still liked him); but it’s still sad to hear that 2 children are now without a father and a life partner (Lauren London) must now understand she’s left without her beloved. I cannot imagine being in his family’s shoes right now, but Nipsey left a legacy that his son and daughter will be proud of him when they’re old enough to know the story on how their father passed.

Nipsey’s passing taught me two things, the first find something you are willing to die for. For some it’s their children, their career or a family legacy. For me, it’s my craft; my talent is my calling. Since I was a child, I always wrote stories in my notebook, daydreamed the stories in my head. It wasn’t until I entered the big wide world of adulthood that I discovered this was what I was put on this earth to do. I was called to write, to be the C.S. Lewis of this generation, I was to shine my light in this industry. Just like how Nipsey used music to inspire and empower the younger generation; I want to do the same with my writing. I loved how, Nipsey never turned his back on his community. The way he started a business in the very same neighbourhood where he grew up and hiring the youths of his childhood community. I love that, you know the narrative; you grow up in a community where you feel has no opportunities. The moment you get your golden ticket out you disappear and the hope your little community had with you is quickly dashed away with the only suitcase you packed to leave it. Nipsey Hussle didn’t do that, he stayed and became that hope. This has resonated with me so much, not only do I want to inspire others through my writing/books; but I want to see my community change. I know that sounds like a big job for an aspiring author, but if I can do just one thing where I am at that moment. I will encourage others to follow suit; my only prayer for Nipsey’s community is not to give up his legacy and to take this opportunity to continue building the fallen neighbourhood he left behind.

However, there’s always a twist to your happy ending, and Nipsey had enemies that hated his vision and probably his success. What’s worse, he knew his enemy – worked with his enemy. This too taught me something that your enemies aren’t people you don’t know, they could even be your closet friends or worse an actual family member. Even Jesus dined with one of his enemies (Judas). But this didn’t stop both Jesus and Nipsey to live out their calling, their life missions. When you find that one thing you are prepared to die for, you will have haters. They will come from different areas of your life and will try to intimidate you from fulfilling those goals you have set for yourself. That enemy could even be so close to you, it could even be yourself.

The point I’m trying to make with this post, is that whatever you are fighting for; keep fighting. You may not see the outcome of the vision you have, but you will be start of it all.

So, what are you fighting for?

Until next time

Stay blessed, stay humble stay positive

Wambui Kibira

Why Christianity?

“For my Word is a double edged sword”

It will never be my intention to turn this blog about my faith, however it is a major part of me. With that being said, without being a walking cliche; my faith completes me. So I figured as much to explain why I chose Christianity. And I guess the only reason this is my “first” (this one doesn’t count) post, is that this topic is the most important part of me. If you desire to know and understand who the author of this blog is, then you must first know why I am a christian.

Of all the four major faiths, why did I find myself being a Christian? Well, the obvious and simple answer is that I grew up being a Christian. Bet let’s be honest, this answer isn’t enough in today’s growing understanding of faith and the freedom to practice.

Growing up, we were encouraged to go to church on Sunday and appear good. Especially growing up in Kenya, my first 9 years were all about our good works. This got you your good reputation; that if people saw you go to church on Sunday, all your bad deeds of that week were forgotten because you seem like a good person – a godly person.

To understand why I picked Christianity, the scriptures Colossians 1 all the way to chapter 4 will show why. But we focus on Colossians 1:13-14, “He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” I love this verse, it reminds me that I don’t need to do “good deeds” to be loved or accepted by God. And for someone who battled depression and rejection, this is music to my ears. Knowing that God loved me first (1John 4:19) is enough to want to know and be known (Proverbs 1:23) by this Christian God. I know some people will be like “but you’re worshipping a European God”, and the truth is that was my first question to God. “Aren’t you (God) a European God?” “I want to worship the God my ancestors worshipped”. These were my early conversations with God, and God took me to a journey (Jeremiah 33:3), where I discovered that we created race. It was never God’s intention for us to be divided by race, and that God is an inclusive God. He does not care how you look like, He simply just wants to be known by your spirit man. Which has no gender, race, social statues, how well you’re educated or economic statues. It’s all the willingness to serve God wholly and obey His Word.

Being a Christian, is like entering a family that is close and have equal standing with everyone whether you’re new to the family or old (1 Peter 1:15) (Luke 15: 15-32). There is a sense of knowing, in Christ that you are a team; that the change that is happening in you and around you are team work. That with God you know “He will never leave or forsake you”. Christianity isn’t about rules and doing good deeds. Christianity is about belonging, knowing that you now know your identity is with Christ. No one can tell you who are because with Christ you already know your identity.

Until next time

Stay blessed, positive and encouraged.

Wambui xoxo

An intro?

Hello there,

It’s not my first time, I’ve had countless of blogs. Ok! I just lied there, I’ve had 5 blogs hehehe; first one I started because everyone was starting one- so FOMO anyone?

Now, the title! I am not good at introductions, I ramble a lot. But, before you click off and continue to live your life, hear me out. No, seriously just hear me out, pretty sure you can spare 2 minutes (5 if you are slow reader 🤣). I created this space to share my thoughts, my loves, my dreams; and most of these things will consist of Christianity, motherhood, being a black woman (read African) living in the UK and my journey of entrepreneurship while being a single parent.

I initially wanted to introduce myself as a bubbly and wholesome person that the world paints most bloggers. Then I thought, that wouldn’t be me. I driven by coffee, green tea, Jesus and sarcasm. I hate pinterest, but love minimalism so you will not find #mumhacks on this space. What you will find is a glimpse of what’s in Wambui Kibira’s (that’s me if you read this far) brain.

My literature agent, HA! That’s a joke, I don’t have one….I’m a BLACK author🤣. Anyways, I thought this would be a great way to creating memories with whoever is reading this blog with me. Let’s charter these memories of myself going from virtually unknown author to the next Chimamanda Adichie- oh there will be alot of references of her. If you stick around long enough you might be the lucky few who get to read my first novel.

So for now, the next four posts will of the four aspects that consists of who I am; Christianity, motherhood, an African woman and a single parent. Also, some articles will be poetry, short stories or like this one an essay.

So until next time,

Stay blessed, humbled and loved

Wambui Kibira