Make your bed…. On second thought, don’t

If you are one of the three people left in this town who have not mastered the urban metaphor of ‘make your bed’, here is what you need to know: They say to make your bed first thing in the morning, before you do anything else. 

Don’t let it air while you take a piss or clock in your vinyasa yoga. Don’t drink your prescribed three cups of water, to empty your bowels. Don’t reach for your phone to check your Instagram feed, or your emails or WhatsApp chats. Don’t flip the pages of your journal or your Bible. Don’t put the sufuria of tea to the boil. Don’t feed your paradise fish or water your peace lily. 

Make your bed first, and make it well: tuck the sheets tightly into hospital corners, fold the duvet over, fluff up the pillows and arrange them as they do with the beds at Kempinski Hotel. 

To make your bed in this manner – every morning – is a metaphor for life. 

They say that it may seem like a trivial seemingly meaningless task, but what it does is set you up for great success. To change the world. The discipline and pride of completing this trivial task every morning sets the pace to complete other onerous and significant tasks throughout the day. And if you just so happen to have a shitstorm of a day, you will come back home to a well-made bed. A bed you made, nonetheless, and you will think to yourself, ‘I’m not so hopeless after all.’

Here is my truth: I no longer care if my bed is made or not. First, it is no longer my bed but ‘our’ bed. I share it with GB – my lover (he-he), baba watoto, Mr. Kinyatti himself. One of the rules GB and I have in our marriage is that whoever leaves the bed last makes it. 

I like this rule because it has no room for bullshit. 

I don’t even remember who came up with it. 

Anyway, the rule is simple and unambiguous but what it doesn’t take into account is how GB and I are built: He and I have utterly different chronotypes. (I just learned that word as I researched this story. It’s a smart word, aye? Chronotype, I like it.)

I am an early bird, GB is a night owl. Picture this, it is 9p.m, the jingle for Citizen News is playing on TV. The kids, the nanny will be in bed. I will be in bed as well, under the covers, courting sleep while reading a book from my Kindle. GB will catch the news to the end – sports, weather, bloopers – then he will fire up his laptop to clock in another three, maybe four hours of work. He tells me he relishes the stillness and silence that the night gifts him. 

I almost never hear him come to bed at night. He almost never hears me when I awake at five in the morning. He possibly can’t because he is layers deep in his sleep, the restful kind that makes your limbs feel like boiled spaghetti – I can tell from his laboured irregular breathing and snoring. 

Surely, at 5a.m, I cannot exercise the metaphor to make the bed because the man is in there sleeping. 

GB is the kind of person who packs on the day of the trip or gets up at 8.48 for a nine o’clock online meeting. And he won’t be late. He is also the kind of person who, once the ball is in his hands, will run with it until the sun sets. Everything else in between will be secondary to him.

This is why I return home from beating deadlines all day to find the bed as he left it in the morning: neglected and unmade, his head imprint still on his pillow. 

What would you do here, dear reader? Hell, what would Jesus do?


I am 37. Urban mother to two toddlers. A published author, columnist. Small business owner. I no longer have it in me to throw a fit over an unmade bed. When I was 26, I would have thrown a royal fit, I guarantee you that. Now I just don’t have the willpower to. I am depleted at that hour, my battery is flashing critical. 

Plus generally, at my age and station, there is a lot I overlook, I no longer sweat the small stuff. I overlook the nanny burning the gas cooker at the highest flame, burning it until it is hissing. Her washing teacups with what feels like a swimming pool of water. GB slamming the microwave door, as though it owes him money. The living room rug that has dried mounds of bean stew from last Wednesday, when we had chapos.

I don’t burst a hernia from the kids breaking my favourite plates and bowls one by one by one. (As a young wife fresh in her new home, there is a 24-piece John Lewis set I used to save for wagenis, ha-ha. Getting them out from the cabinets was like putting on white gloves to read medieval manuscripts. And after our guests had used them, I would wash them myself and dry them straight from the sink, so they would go back into the cabinet. Express, special treatment. That was in 2014, when I cared too much, got my knickers in too many knots. Now we are in 2022 and most of the set has been exposed to an inch of their lives. Only three bowls are left, all the side plates and dinner plates have been chipped. If John Lewis would come to our house and ask to see the set, he would collapse.)



My major concern when I am at home in the evenings is whether the kids’ bellies are full, their backs have been scrubbed and they are layered up proper for our chilly Nairobi nights. Having them in bed by eight makes me feel like an army general claiming victory in war. 

I know you are wondering if I make our bed before I go to sleep at night. I don’t, actually. What I do is to straighten the sheets on my side of the bed, smoothen the duvet cover, fluff up my pillow and dive right in.

We can carry on like this for a week, give or take. Or until the edges have come undone – when the bedsheets have tightened into a ball and the duvet is facing in the wrong direction, so your feet are out in the cold. This is when I will make the bed. Or he will. Or won’t.

But for most days, I allow myself whatever sleep our unmade bed offers.

My personal equivalent to this make-your-bed metaphor is to take a shower. I discovered this secret in 2021 – the first thing I do when I awake at five in the morning is to grab my towel and head straight for the shower. I take a shower then I dress up in clean decent clothes. I dress better if I am planning to leave the digs later. 

For me, it is not about completing a task but readying myself for whatever randomity the day will fling my way. You wait, I will be smelling like a flower when I change the world.

I will be smelling so fresh that no one will ask me whether I made my bed.

An edited version of this story first ran in the Saturday Nation on 1 January 2022 (I think), under my Culture column

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Comments (2)

  1. Joy D'Souza

    I learnt two new words! Chronotype and randomity!
    Cheers to smelling like lilies every single day!

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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

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