Real Mum Interview : Sheila, The Creative Mummy
Sheila, Which 3 things would you like the MumsVillage audience to know about you?
My name is Sheila Bennati. I’m a mom blogger because I love writing and documenting milestones, a creative with a passion for the arts, design and photography as well as a health enthusiast, branding myself as a healthy baker/cook, natural remedy YouTuber and yogi.
2. What is your Occupation?
I’m a social entrepreneur.
We like Numbers
1. How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have one child and she’s 4 years old.
2. How many diapers do you think you’ve changed?
3. How many selfies do you take in a week?
4. How many videos of your kids do you take in a week?
Now on to Other Fun Questions
1. How did becoming a mum change your personality?
Becoming a mum shifted my way of thinking, I am now more patient, tolerant and selfless. Motherhood also birthed a new form of strength and my daughter has been my strength since, making me more focused, driven and goal oriented. Being the introvert that I am, becoming a mum has taken me out of my comfort zone and has made me more social, confident and outgoing.
3. How do you play with your kid?
I am a very hands-on mum and creativity is my forte, I try to involve her in all my activities and projects alongside setting up play dates and taking her to playgrounds. Through those she has grown to love baking, knows the basic ingredients. We practice yoga together and partake in online yoga challenges, if she’s not in front of the camera, she’s behind it snapping my photos (tripod held of course). Because of my love for art, we do painting and a lot DIY projects together, and I have framed two of her paintings thus far. We play a lot of games together, create games, read her books and give her math and writing assignments. I have invested in spending time with her when I can and have limited her TV viewing hours to night time so we foster a more interactive and productive relationship.
4. What was the most memorable thing about being a new Mother in Nairobi?
Getting to my watch my daughter perform on stage at a school event.
5. What do you think is the most inaccurate thing about how movies portray childbirth?
Oh my goodness! The whole labor scenario is over exaggerated, I was induced and had a natural birth and the experiences I had was nothing like the movies. Then getting back to my pre-pregnancy body weight took over a year.
6. Share something your children have recently done or said to make you laugh?
Some time back my daughter asked her aunt for money and my aunt told her, “Money doesn’t buy happiness”, then my daughter responded, “Well money buys me dresses”. This is the logical thinking of a preschooler who loves her dresses.
7. How did you choose your kid’s names and what do they mean?
We did some research online, friends and family chipped in, then settled for a name my sister picked out and one internet name as a second name.
Share your tips with others
1. What are the top 3 kid’s places for fun in your neighbourhood?
Samsung playground at Valley Arcade and Junction.
2. Which activities do you regularly engage in for recreation with your family?
Short walks, biking, eating out, zoo trips, outdoor games and sports.
Your Nostalgia of the Past and Hopes for the Future
1. In what way do you hope the workplace will be different for your kids?
Some workplaces are slowly transitioning into more accommodating areas for children, hence why companies now have small play areas for kids, nursing rooms and offer daycare services for kids. Some also have annual events where families come together outside the office for casual networking. I hope more workplaces will embrace this.
2. Do you think your job will exist when your kid is your age?
Possibly not. In this changing world many new things are coming up that are triggered by our environment, society and other global frameworks. There might be another form of entrepreneurship or a new platform that might be created and the shift in professions and demands may change. Social entrepreneurship might also get vamped up which could also contradict my response. Bigger and better opportunities are growing daily as new phenomena are created.
3. What is the one thing or experience you never had that you want for your kids?
I want my daughter to practice ballet and gymnastics, because she’s as flexible as I am. There’s more opportunity now because they offer it in school and as an activity in various
4. And on the flipside, what is the one thing or experience you wish your child could have from your childhood that they can’t?
I remember how ‘free’ life was back then, after school we’d play with other kids in the neighborhood, run around in open spaces and go back home past 5pm all dirty and muddy. Then do it all over again the next day. We used to make balls out of plastic bags and deliberately put in stones to make our games more challenging, one in particular ‘dodge the ball’. All kids do nowadays is play indoors, make use of the little space available in compounds and play with gadgets. Socializing unfortunately happens in schools and a few other areas, then security has also become a concern.
5. What is one thing you miss about your life before your kids?
6. What is the most annoying interview question you’ve been asked that you’re glad
When are you planning to have your next baby, its time your daughter has a sibling?
7. Being an entrepreneur probably keeps you quite busy. How did you make sure it did not take away too much of your attention from the rest of your family?
It can be challenging at times because I’m also a Masters student and have other projects under my sleeve. I just set time aside to focus on my family, so it’s basically managing my time and prioritizing my family when home. So I generally sleep less, and I’m up really early working uninterrupted.
8. In what ways is your parenting style similar to your Mother? In what ways is it different?
My mother and I are both strict parents so we definitely share that trait and we’re different when it comes to our parenting styles, old fashioned parenting meets modern parenting. We were bound to clash there.
Related: Real Mum Interview- Nigerian Social Entrepreneur, Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli