Early days: a Diary


Sunday 6 September 2020. 2147hours
Muna came to the hospital earlier this afternoon. She came to see me and to meet Njeeh. Big sister, baby brother – my daughter meeting my son, that’s something of a solar eclipse. There was no one I was more excited for to meet Njeeh than her. She had been asking for weeks, ‘Mummy, when is the Baby coming?’ ‘Is the doctor removing him today?’ ‘Are you going to get him from the hospital, Papa?’ Njeeh was in the nursery getting blood drawn and the nurse insisted I go wait in my room, that she’ll bring him to me when they’re done. But I didn’t want that. I wanted to wait so I could be the first one Muna sees him with. 

They finished, the poor boy had cried himself to sleep. I had told Muna to sit on the ka couch in the corner and wait for me, eyes closed. I walked in and placed Njeeh in her lap. I told her to open her eyes.

Guess what the look in her face said? She was totally confused, disappointed to some degree. Taken aback. I knew she was because she did that thing she does with her mouth. I think she expected him to be a walking talking super fun toddler. Someone like her but less little. Instead she gets this puny newborn who doesn’t know how to do… pretty much anything.

She doesn’t pronounce his name right, either. She says Ni-jee. At least she warmed up as the afternoon wore on. 

Monday 7 September. 2133hours
We returned home from the hospital today. Late afternoon. Skies still hang low. Kina Lucy were here to welcome us. Lucy, Maggie, Wangui and Winnie, my lovely sisters, Rosie and Susan couldn’t make it. There’s nothing in this world like a sister. Aki. I feel bad for my pals who don’t have sisters. I hope our next baby is a girl. I want Muna to have her own sister, someone to do life with.

Anyway, Mummy wasn’t around to shake things up with Kale songs so kina Lucy played some jams from YouTube, ha-ha. Rose Chebai’s ‘Tumdo’ and the works. Bluetooth Bose speaker instead of handmade leather drums that smell of smoke. They danced in that lazy way Kales dance. The one-dance-fits-all-songs dance. I swear. They’re such Kale women. Ha-ha. I’ve left them in the living room drinking and hanging, I’m in bed.

First night at home with the baby. Look at that. 

Emotionally, I’m OK. But the avalanche is coming, that emotional avalanche. It’ll hit later this week, for sure. And next week. I’m in between hormones in this moment – the estrogen is fading away, prolactin is coming, plus oxytocin. Prolactin will make me feel lumpy, oxytocin happy. I’ll be a ball of emotions. Mood swings I won’t be able to explain. A dampening I won’t shake off. Stubborn useless tears. 

Tighten that girdle, woman, it’s going to be a crazy ride. 

Tuesday 8 September. 2315hours
Today is officially day four of maternity leave. Njeeh is four days old. I think he still thinks he’s in my belly. He must look at us staring and think, ‘Who are you people?’ We are your family, kiddo. Your rides or die. Did I mention that he still looks a bit funny, especially when I take his photos? He has that scrunched up newborn face that’ll soon open up. Blossom like a… I want to say blossom like a red rose, but c’mon. Writing standards are low but now thaaat low. He does the most adorable thing with his mouth, though.

GB sees me perambulating the digs with Njeeh in my arms or watching Netflix while pumping, or napping in the late afternoons, and he assumes I’m on holiday. Or on a break from life. Having it easy. I’m not.

What he doesn’t understand – or what anyone who has never had a newborn would – is that there is always something to do. Some mothering. It’s a never-exhausted to-do list. Mothering is hard work. The only time I have nothing to do is the small window between him going to sleep and me in bed. About 15 minutes before I shut down as well.

Fifteen minutes, that’s all I get to myself. Know what I’ll do with my 15 minutes? I’ll continue to write. Journal. Journaling has always centered me. Pressed the reset button. Put things in perspective. And so I will journal. Everyday. As long as I need to.

I will journal – on Google Notes – because it’s easy to lose it. It’s easy to lose myself. So damn easy.

Sunday 13 September. 2327hours
I had the best day today, the best one so far. Njeeh slept in our bed with me – ha-ha – and GB in Muna’s. He suckled himself to sleep, Njeeh that is. The hours he awoke coincided with my N-REM sleep, so I woke refreshed and energetic. 

I was up by 4.30AM, listened to Boyz II Men, expressed 200ml (I am obsessed with expressing breastmilk! Counting millimeters is what I do when thinking about that day that has been). I later stuffed my face with Aunty Willow’s chapos and minji, downed my supplements, had a shower then took Njeeh outside to soak in some sun. His skin is pale and peeling, as wan as spring chicken. And he has never seen sunshine before or felt wind in his face, so it was heartwarming to imagine how it was making him feel.

We later napped all afternoon. I pulled his body so close to mine we were about to meld into each other. 

On any other Sunday we would be hosting guests. But, you know, 2020, COVID. To be honest, I’m happy about this no-guests rule. I get to have the day to myself and Njeeh and just rest. Rest and bond. Recover. Guests wear me out, actually I get worn out with the thought that they are coming and that I’ll have to entertain. They come bearing diapers and words of encouragement and boatloads of wisdom but they also wear me out. Sorry. Rather, I’m sorry for not being sorry.

Last two days I have gone to bed feeling low and abandoned and without bearing. Today, I go feeling full and spongy and sunshiny and that I have tamed this beast called parenting. I am happy in this moment. Content. Thank you, Lord. And thank you for my little growing family. Winnie turned 26 today. Happy birthday, Love. 

Tuesday 29 September. 1429hours
I’m feeling so needy right now. And I am wishing – hoping, dying – for some attention and love. No, not attention. More like recognition. Acknowledgement. “I see you, I appreciate you, I thank you, I love you.” You are seen, you are appreciated, you are thanked, you are loved.

I know who I would like to hear these words from but I also know that I am expecting too much. Rather, I am setting myself up for disappointment. Unmet expectations equate to disappointment. But can you imagine how you would feel if they – Njeeh, Muna, GB – would actually verbalise these words in context. 

Aunty Willow said it and that felt good. She is a woman, after all, she empathizes with me. We mirror each other as women and mothers and caregivers. As givers, generally. All these others take from me but don’t return in near-equal measure.

You know what, I will tell them how I feel. Fuck being so strong and so put together all the damn time. I am human, a girl and I get vulnerable too. Mama, too, needs some attention and love.

I want to cry a little but I also don’t want to.   

Wednesday 30 September. 2223hours
I am already in bed. Pretty early, right? Njeeh is snoring in his crib like a gentle giant, which means he’s getting quality REM sleep. Yesterday I changed his bedtime routine and it went horribly. Jesus. A book I’m reading – ‘The Happy Sleeper: A Science-Backed Guide to Helping Your Baby Get a Good Night’s Sleep’ – says to have him in bed by 7 p.m. This early bedtime is in line with his circadian system and will have him sleep through the night by three months, it says. So I brought his bath time up from 8.30 to 6.40PM.

Didn’t the young man fuss! Jesus. He was waking almost every hour. I even stopped checking the time because it was depressing me. Poor fella didn’t rest well. Then it was an unseasonably hot night. His tummy made him colicky. I napped at around 1AM, maybe two, who knows. That nap is what gave me the strength to push myself until 6AM, when he finally dozed off.

Anyway I am keen on getting Njeeh to sleep through the night because the night wakings are frustrating me. Last week Saturday I pinched him in his sides, hissing at him to stop crying. It was those wee hours, the hours of thick drug-like sleep. Zombie mode. I was pissed off because he had spent most of the day snoozed out – so why was he bothering us at night? I felt terrible. Gosh. He cried much harder after. Because it was painful.

I pinched my three-week old baby, can you believe that? Forgive me, dear son.

His skin reddened at that spot, it has only just cleared today.


I am so sorry.

Friday 9 October. 2308hours
I wrote today, for Saturday Nation. I wrote and filed the copy. My mind was crisp as I wrote, crisp as a green apple. As an apple cider. It was like I had never left. I feel good. Deliriously good. I feel like myself again. I feel in control. That everything will be OK.

I will keep writing and filing copy, just so I can chase this high again.

Writing for a living is difficult.

I sometimes feel cursed to be chosen as an artist. But on the days it goes well, this art, on the days you get this high, when you connect with your soul, like today, it’s nothing short of beautiful. 

He came
Lessons from the pump

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Florence Bett-Kinyatti


Columnist Saturday Nation Writer Craft It Author of best-selling ‘SHOULD I?’ and ‘HOW MUCH?’ ~ Guiding word: Overdrive Subscribe to our Newsletter👇🏾 eepurl.com/igmN8P
  • Dear God, 
It’s me again.

I don’t pray as often as I need to, You know that. I don’t kneel by my bed in child-like humility, as Muna does. I don’t whisper a prayer in the morning. Or at noon. Perhaps just in the evening. 

This going-to-church habit is a constant false start. So is reading the Word. 

I’m often guilty but I also know: You and I have a language only we can understand. 

I speak to You through this gift You bestowed upon my Kale shoulders, this gift to write in colour. It’s a gift that sometimes feels like a curse, a burden I have no choice but to pursue. 

Yet other times – most times, actually – it’s the very breath of my essence. Everyday I sit to write, when the words flow from my head and heart through my fingers to the page, I feel You next to me. 

You are here, Lord. Hovering. Lingering. Swooshing about in Your regal robes, like a character from Bridgerton.

Sometimes You get so close I can feel You breathing on my neck and I’m like, ‘Err, God, do You mind, personal space?’

And You chuckle uncomfortably. ‘He-he, of course. Of course.’

I’m here to tell You, Thanks!

I hosted my first in-person event last March, Lord, thank You to all the lovely ladies who granted me their time and full attention. 

I’ve carried them in my heart since and every day, my prayer is that You bring them closer to the life of abundance they each seek. To their own version of wealth. 

I always call them by their name: Becky. Purity. Lindsay. Wangui. Naomi. Shiqow. Mercy. Liz. Winnie. Polly. Nduta. Lynet. 

And Mike. 

Dear Lord, I’m prepping for my next in-person event in June, Inshallah. 

Walk with me as I get there. 

Love always,

  • Highlights from our first-ever in person event hosted by Craft It and @financialfitbit 
Thanks to all the lovely ladies — and gent, hehe — who honoured us with the privilege of their time and attention. And colourful energy. It’s been weeks since and it’s only now that I’m coming down from the high. 

Thank YOU!

🎥 @mikemuthaka 

#craftit #author #MakeYourMoneyMatter #personalfinance #money
  • I am a woman.

I’m strong. I’m brilliant. I’m like a comet shooting across the sky, I’m so bright you have to put on shades to see me.

I’m almost 40, I’m almost fully realising myself as a woman and the power of womanhood I possess.

I’m so powerful that if KPLC connected me to the national grid, I’d power up this country and we’d never have another blackout.

Ho! Ho! Ho!


To recognize and celebrate International Women’s Day today, I’d like to recognize and celebrate eight women.

I have eight things to give away to each of these women:
a) Two tickets to my upcoming event on March 18 with @financialfitbit Theme is ‘Make your money matter’
b) Three autographed copies of my book ‘Should I?’
c) Three autographed copies of my other book ‘How Much?’

To participate:
1. Like this post
2. Tag women who deserve a win of either event ticket or book (tag as many women as you like)
3. Tell us what you’d like her to win and why she deserves the win
4. Make sure your tagged women follow @_craftit and @financialfitbit 

Here are the rules for the giveaway:
— One woman, one win
— Winners will be contacted via DM
— Giveaway closes at the end of this week, Inshallah, on Sunday 12 March
— Only open to people living in Kenya

All the best!

(Swipe right to see the women I’m celebrating.)

#craftit #internationalwomensday
  • My 2022 word of the year was Wholesome. 

Wholesome meant engaging in moderation and in pursuits that didn’t leave me feeling yucky.

An example: there’re weekend nights I’d go out then have too much to drink. On the drive home, I’d tell GB to stop the car every half mile so I could throw up on the side of the road. Then I’d take three working days recovering. 


No more of that nonsense.

Now I have only two doubles of Singleton whiskey and chase it with water. I eat less food and I eat better. I take my supplements. I treat myself to an early bedtime and arise with my body clock, no alarm.

I spend a lot more time hanging with my kids, Muna and Njeeh. 

I buy fewer things. 

I play the piano. 

I created a disciplined routine for my work and take Thursdays off. 

You catch my drift…

Wholesome has become my lifestyle. 

(By the way, I was asked, ‘Where does this word-of-the-year come from, Bett?’ I don’t know about other people but for me, the words present themselves when I’m journaling. My spirit tells me what it needs; I must be still enough to listen and brave enough to obey.)

My word for 2023 is Overdrive.

My two books have unlocked new opportunities for me as a writer and creative. As an urban brand. I’d honestly not foreseen them. 

I know that if I adjust my sails to where the wind is blowing, these opportunities will translate to wealth.

Last Friday, I listed all the work I’m already doing and all the new opportunities – potential and realised – knocking at my door.

I asked myself, ‘What am I taking up here and what am I dropping?’

The response, ‘None – we go into overdrive and smartly pursue them all.’

#craftit #urbanguide
  • Years ago, my best friend said to me, ‘Bett, we’re almost 40 – forget makeup, let’s take care of our skin instead.’

I had to laugh because this was coming from Terry. Terry my Kisii pal, this fine gyal with skin the colour of honey, the only practising SDA in my circle. 

Terry had spent her 20s and early 30s sleek with Arimis. That’s right, the milking jelly with a lactating cow on its logo. 

Arimis addressed all her skin pickles back then. It was her problem fixer. Her Olivia Pope. It’s the one thing that always said, It’s handled.

Now here she was preaching to us about a consistent skincare regimen in the AM and PM.


It wasn’t until Terry shared her selfies on our girls WhatsApp group that I stopped laughing. It wasn’t until we stood next her – and took these selfies – that I reeally stopped laughing: Terry’s skin was youthful and toned, plump. Hydrated. Moistured but not shiny. 

It looked like it had been kissed by the Greek goddess of radiance. 

So we gathered around her feet and said, ‘Forgive us, master. We are ready now. Teach us everything you know.’

She did. 

Terry and I now spend plenty of time before work and before bed squeezing out little portions of expensive skincare products from expensive tubes, we layer them on our face in a calculated measure.

This serum here is for the circles under my eyes and the fine lines around my mouth.

Turns out I’ve been giving away too much of my face: I’ve been looking too hard, laughing too easily.

I’ll have to spend the next year into my 40s with my eyes half shut and laughing little. I'll have a resting bitch face.

Don’t blame me, blame the retinol.

And age.

#craftit #urbanguide #urbangirl
  • I’m Bett. I’m the author of your favourite books about money. I’m hosting an in-person event in March, Inshallah: This is my personal invite to you.

#craftit #moneymaker #moneyinkenya
  • I am hosting my first money event this March, Inhsallah. It’s the first of quarterly events I have planned for the year. 

(Give me a moment here so I pull myself together long enough to write this. I’m smiling very hard right now, ha-ha, I look like a donkey.)


The event will be in-person. On a Saturday morning, a loose three hours which, I am certain, you’d have burned on some other pursuit you couldn’t account for later. (I’d probably be oiling the hinges of a squeaky door or decluttering my sock drawer.)

My guest host for this edition is Lynet Kyalo. 

Lynet is a personal finance coach under her brand @financialfitbit She also hosts @getyourbagrightpodcast 

Buy your tickets from our Market.

Early bird tickets are discounted until the end of this month.

Limited slots available. 

#craftit #millenialmoney #moneyevent #moneymaker
  • Sometimes I sit down and read my own book. 

Odd, huh?

Reading my own stories is like an out-of-body experience. Or getting introduced to myself again. An outward journey inward.

It’s fascinating.

I also read because I need to improve my writing for my next project.

We call them the Elements of Craft: things like sentence structure and punctuation, word placement, story length etc, they all inform your reading experience.

This is what makes the book easy to read, and has you turning the pages.

Cop your autographed copy and #betteryourmoney 

#craftit #howmuch #millenialmoney #moneymaker