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What’s in It For Me; Question From A “Non-Mamipikin.”

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It was back in 2013 when I first heard about the No Mami Pikin Left Behind Blog. Based on the meaning of “Mami Pikin” I immediately thought this was not for me. With that in mind, I didn’t see the benefit of attending the first Mamipikin Talks because I asked myself, what’s in it for me; a “Non-Mamipikin”? I tend to navigate towards opportunities for self-growth, empowerment and giving back so even though I did not attend the event, I was looking forward to the outcome and followed-up on it via Facebook. Based on the information I got, I attended the next two MamiPikin Talks and registered for the most recent one.

This blog post is for those who like me a couple of years ago are wondering what’s in it for them, be it the book or the event. I enjoy reading and I tend to be curious about newly published books so when I heard about the upcoming release of the book; Mamipikin Talks: A Safe Place To Be You;  I restructured the line-up of books I had planned to read so I could read this book and still meet my reading goal by the end of year.

When I just started reading non-school related books; between 2002 till about 2009, it took me about 3 months to read one book. From 2010 until last year, it took me about six weeks to read one book. So at the beginning of this year, I set a new goal to read at least one book a month, listen to at least one book on audible per month and one to three podcast a week. How am I doing with that goal?! Find out on my next blog.

Mamipikin Talks: A Safe Place To Be You; written by Euryka Fon-Ndumu who happens to be the first guest to make a second appearance on the SitMpod. Her first appearance was back in April of this year (Click to watch) and her second appearance was last month (October) where she talked about her recently published book mentioned above (Click to watch).  

Euryka Fon-Ndumu is a wife, mother of four, God-mother of several children and part of a large external family. In addition to that and being an author, she is also a “multi-faceted entrepreneur, CEO and lead designer at Asheri’s Events Planning and Design; a powerhouse international event planning, design, and production company.” She also founded “No Mami Pikin Left Behind” (No Mothers Left Behind) and “Mamipikin Talks” (Mothers in Conversation) in a continuous effort to inspire, empower, uplift and motivate women. Oh boy! Was that a mouth full?! As you can see, she wears multiple hats and she has the energy level to match all that! You will be able to tell from watching the interviews (links above).

Sometimes; words, images, and appearance can be misleading. Just like the term “Mamipikin” got me to think that this it is only for and about women who have given birth, I used to have a misconception about those with tattoos until I read a book titled “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” by Richard Carlson. Heard of the expression “Do not judge a book by its cover?” It was an eye-opener and now I have a different view/appreciation for the art and self-expression which has taken me to a whole new level of... (What's the word I'm looking for…?)

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Here’s a sneak peek of what's in the book/event; Mamipikin Talks: A Safe Place To Be You, even if you feel like a “Non-Mamipikin.” For the men, attending the event may be a little too much (Estrogen) to handle hahaha! But reading the book, in a nutshell, will help you understand your sisters, wife, female friend and... You'll get an insight into what women go through and sometimes have a hard time expressing it because they either don't know how to initiate the conversation or may feel embarrassed talking about it. This could help improve communication and bridge any gaps.

Now over to the “female Non-Mamipikins.” At the very beginning of the book is the clarification of the misconception that this is not only for women who have given birth. This book is for ALL women irrespective of whether they have given birth or not because of their nature, women are nurturers.

According to the merriam-webster dictionary, other words associated with “nurture” include to bring up, to train, educate, support, encourage, feed, nourish and protect. Not to say men cannot play this role, but as women, it is in our basic nature or natural instinct to want to nurture. As women, there is that natural tendency to be the primary caregivers; remember I do not say all women nor all men because with the representation of the distribution of the population on a bell curve, most fall within the center of the bell curve with... let’s not get into statistics but I hope you get my drift?!

Here with a few quotes from the book Mamipikin Talks: A Safe Place To Be You that stood out to me…

“Commit to giving yourself those things that you absolutely desire. Give yourself your time, your energy and most especially your love” It is impossible to pour from an empty cup, we can’t give what we don’t have and it is difficult to acknowledge and or appreciate something we do not recognize in ourselves. Take for example if we do not believe in ourselves, our abilities and or capabilities, we would find it hard to openly receive a compliment or encouragement.

First-time Moms there’s a gem in this book for you! This gem will also be beneficial for women who had a child/children in a culture different from the culture they grew up in or different from the culture they raise previous children in.

“You are a big part of your support system. Stay consistent, build strong and healthy relationships, do not be afraid to ask for help… You should be able to give as much as you expect out of anybody.” Emotional support versus financial support, find out in the book which is much valuable and why.

Engineers, engines, reboot, and tune-ups? Sounds like dealing with some car, machines or electronics, right?! What has that got to do with us as human beings? We need a well-functioning system in order to walk in our purpose. If we fail to do oil changes and tune-ups on cars, guess what happens?! Same applies to us; failing to take care of ourselves could lead to a mental breakdown; find out for yourself in the book about different ways to rejuvenate and which tune-up strategy will better apply to you.

Truth vs Privacy: “When you go through life and choose to share your journey so that someone else doesn’t suffer your pain, you are walking in your truth. What we conceal for fear of not being accepted will hurt us more… we do not live in this world forever… love on purpose, not conditionally.” This right here is deep! I had to reread it a couple of times to grasp it and do some reflection.

Social media/Social life vs real life? Let’s talk commitment! Hahaha, I had to flip the pages to read the subtitles in this chapter before going back to read it in its entirety. Additional areas that stood out to me include; taking charge of your mind, setting boundaries, ditching unattainable expectations, not letting your current circumstance label you, the degree inside of you (not necessarily the formal education) and not treating yourself like a clearance item.

As with every book, there would be concepts or analogies used which not everyone would be able to grasp. For me it was the chapter on “womb police” and the stages of labour. However; I looked at it from the perspective of “timeline police” as with regards to being pressured by society, family members, “friends”or even ourselves to meet up with certain expectations at a specific time/age forgetting that we are all on a different path with a different purpose in life.

To crown it all, this book celebrates culture/tradition, the family unit, sheds light on the power of individuality and its impact in the community as well as the impact of community on individuality. Sets on light bulbs and brings about ah-ha moments. It has a planner included with visuals that awakens something within you. Like the expression “This picture gives me life!” Need a kindle version of the book?! Grab a copy on amazon and discover your reason why.

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