Customarily, marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman and usually marked by a ceremony that pronounces the couple husband and wife in the presence of their families and friends. What makes it a contract, in my opinion, is the legal binding nature of the union. Typically, a court or legal authority in a state issues a marriage license to a couple that intends to get married upon their application to do so, and the couple thereafter receives their marriage certificate after fulfilling the requirements as set forth by the authority.

Marriage is a contract between two persons to stay committed to each other in good times and bad times. It is a serious commitment and sadly can be cancelled by a divorce when one party doesn’t, or perhaps both parties don’t, fulfill its side of the obligation. It is a contract that should be respected not only because
It could last a lifetime but because it affects the physical, psychological, and emotional health of the parties involved. It starts with two parties, under normal circumstances, and will include more parties, once the couple intends to have children. As one who has had an active marriage contract for almost two decades, I offers suggestions of how to preserve your marriage contract for as long as possible.

  1. Don’t take your partner for granted: the two parties in a marriage and their opinions/contributions are equally valid and matter. If you are in a marriage, where you don’t consult your partner on issues that affect your home/family, this is a red flag. Each party should be expressive and can talk about or over anything. My mantra is ‘no holds barred;’ talk freely. For religious folks, who read the holy book out of context, “The husband is the head of the wife,’ but this doesn’t invalidate the wife. The wife is equally important and not inferior. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church. If you love someone, you don’t look down at them, intimidate or relegate them.
  2. Show interest in learning what is going on in each other’s lives. Your interests may not be similar but give your support when and where necessary, and sometimes when it is least expected. For example, show up at his polo games or accompany her on her shopping trips.
  3. Communicate: this is major!! If you have issues with a contract, do you say something or nothing? Something, right? Consistent communication is vital for the successful execution of a contract. If you don’t give feedback to the other party or get any feedback, why should you expect positive changes or how do you want to them to make amends. In fact, consistent and effective communication with the other party (your spouse) should be done during courtship or the dating period , prior to your marriage. My mantra is ‘talk about everything.’ Communication doesn’t always have to be about ‘constructive feedback.’ It can also be ‘positive reinforcement’ to let the other party know what he/she is doing well while rewarding them with gifts or favors.
  4. Focus on how to get better: don’t spend the bulk of your marriage/contract focusing on what the other party is not doing well; rather work on how you can be better. Ask yourself- how can I be a better spouse, what are some innovative things that I can do to make my marriage (contract) worthwhile. What are some things that I need to stop doing and some things I need to start doing and communicate these to your spouse so that you are accountable to him/her.
  5. Plan: Several contracts fail due to lack of proper planning. As cliche or mundane the word ‘plan’ sounds, planning in a marriage is vital. Plan, regroup, plan, regroup, and plan again. You never go wrong planning. Planning is usually task specific and extends beyond communicating. It is akin to coming up with a strategy or roadmap i.e. how you will tackle an area of your marriage? What are the steps you will take in solving a challenge? What are some resources that will be needed? Actualizing or carrying out the plan is another important part of planning and involves dividing up the tasks- who will do what or who will oversee the implementation of the plan?Planning shouldn’t be rigid or taken too seriously. After all, the marriage contract involves a couple in love and that should not be hard on each other. If you can’t fulfill your part of the contract for a good reason, talk it over with the other party (your spouse). Planning can cover any tasks/topic such as how many children you want to have, where you will live, etc. Whatever works for the parties (you and your spouse) is great. However, plan in a constructive manner and make sure you and your spouse (both parties) are in agreement and in consistent communication

I will state here that there are legitimate reasons why some marriage contracts are annulled but if you are in a marriage contract where both parties(you and your spouse) are genuine and willing to preserve or rejuvenate your contract, remember the importance of not taking each other for granted, communicating effectively and consistently, personal improvement and proper planning. I wish you the best!!!


Thankfully more places are opening up and pretty soon, this pandemic will soon be behind us. So Last Month, I got on a plane and flew for several miles and hours to fulfill some of my parenting responsibilities. Halfway through my flight, I had to use the toilet and as expected the toilet was in a bad state- wet floors, wee-wee on/underneath the toilets seat and soap scum all over the sink. I can’t stand a dirty toilet that I need to use, and every time I am faced with one, I simply roll up my sleeves, clean up the floor, toilet, and sink before and after use. I believe the little things we do go a long way to make a difference. I had the choice to do one of the following when I found the toilet in a bad state:

  1. whine and complain to the flight attendants to do their job.
  2. use the toilet as is and don’t clean up because it wasn’t my job to do.
  3. Clean up the toilet before and after use.

I chose the high road- option 3- it wasn’t convenient but it left the toilet in a better state not only for me but for the next person. The funny thing is that I have cleaned airplane toilets so many times. It isn’t a one- off act. I mean, for me, this was also an opportunity to set the example for the next person. I know some people might ask, ‘why didn’t inform the flight attendants to do their job?’ Well, I wasn’t in the mood to do this . However, sometimes, there are some things that are better left unsaid

What does it take take to make a difference-

  1. A little step- it is the little things that matter and count. Julia Carney wrote in her poem (‘Little Things,’ 1845) ‘ Little drops of water, Little grains of sand, make the mighty ocean, And the pleasant land’
  2. An opportunity- You may not have that big opportunity now to be on the world stage but what are you doing with the little opportunity that you have? You don’t have to clean up an unsightly toilet on the plane like I did, but can you do your little part to make the whole part more impactful?
  3. No expectation of a reward- Rewards are great when you expect praise or admiration for something you have done. When your intention is to genuinely make a difference, such as or living your selfless values, please don’t expect a reward. If you get one, it is okay, but don’t expect it.

Making a difference shouldn’t be too hard. It can start with a decision in your heart today to resolve to do those little things in your own way I.e. volunteering to read to a group of underserved children or donating supplies to an orphanage. These acts of kindness go a long way to make our world a better place. We should not be prodded to make a difference- do it willingly and cheerfully because it is the right attitude. When we make a difference, it also give us self-fulfillment while contributing to the lives of others. Today is a perfect day to make this decision- set out to make a difference when faced with any opportunity, and don’t forget, expect no reward in return.


They say parenting changes your life but I will say in most cases, the child changes the parent and has a greater influence in setting the direction of the parent’s life. For almost two decades, my life, career decisions, and actions, interestingly, have always revolved around my children. I am not sure if it is a bad thing but it feels right. Looking back now, I see ‘growth,’ not only on my part but on my children’s part as well. From infancy to toddler to preschool to school age to adolescence and adult stage, the children and parents are growing and developing together
Being a parent not only reveals our strengths but also our vulnerabilities. I don’t think there is ever a ‘perfect’ parent or a playbook that tell us how to be one, however, parents can strive to be intentionally responsible and not nonchalant, excellent and not mediocre, diligent and not inconsistent, loving and not loveless, in an effort to make their experience positive and worthwhile.
Being a parent has made me a better person. This doesn’t mean that I am without fault but that I have learned from my mistakes and made amends. It also means that I now feel confident in my abilities and have been (I am ) successful with using them to help my children develop and influence others in positive ways.
Nothing prepares a parent for the joys and challenges that one will experience. You simply learn how to parent from‘day 1’ and along the way. I have learned several lessons from my children, who are the reason for becoming a parent in the first place, but my lessons of L.O.VE are ones I want to share. The word ‘love’ means patience, not proud, not disrespectful, not self-seeking, not easily angered, no record of wrongs kept. It is actually the answer to many of the problems in our world today. However, the lessons I have learned from my children are couched in the acronym L.O.VE, which I will share:
1. Leading with impact. My children have simply allowed me to lead. Once they came into the world, they came with absolutely no knowledge of what the world is about. A child relies on the parent to be the first teacher and trusts them to lead the way. You may not be a natural leader but you will definitely learn to lead when you become a parent. What better way to lead than doing it in an impactful way.
2. Opportunities. In my children, I have learned to seek opportunities to be better i.e. attending programs or reading books that will help me become a better parent or finding ways for them to access better opportunities in education, or for us (parents)to improve their standard of living or personal development. etc. Whether it was practicing how to make my daughter’s hair when there was no one available to do it or taking on a new job or career path so that my children observe the value of hard work, or quitting my job so that I can spend quality time with them, I have always sought and maximized opportunities whenever I found them. My children have shown me not to make them the excuse for not pursuing my dreams, goals or ambitions but the reason to do it.
3. Versatility : Parenting has helped me to be versatile. When my children were younger, i often was the cleaner, cook, driver, teacher, and still had to pursue my educational and career interests, all at the same. As a matter of fact, I still wear many hats today.
4. Excellence: I have always been excellent in whatever I do, even as a young 8 year old, who would iron her notebooks to ensure that it was neat. However, becoming a parent, took it a notch up. Being excellent doesn’t mean perfect. It just means that I strive to do well and be better in whatever I do. I think this has to do with me living with the consciousness that my children are looking up to me and I can’t afford to fail them.
The lessons that you have learned as a parent or will learn in the future will never be exactly the same as mine. We will all have different experiences but the most important thing is to be ‘present’ in the lives of our children (precious gifts), especially when they need us; enjoy every moment that you have with your children, especially when they are young, and create long lasting memories for (yep!!keepsakes and journals never run out of fashion) and with them. Trust me- there will be a ‘pay off’ at the end of it. Before long, we will see and experience positive growth. Keep going parents, you’ve got this!!!