I have three best friends, but I get to see Tolu and Zinny more than I get to see Oluchi, and that is because, we, the three musketeers are single, while Oluchi is married with twins. Tolu and Zinny complain about not knowing what’s up with Oluchi anymore. Oluchi and I however, get to see more often than she sees Tolu and Zinny, because our kids have play-dates often and we use that time to catch up. So last Saturday, I took her kids and mine to my mom’s so all four of us could hang out. This initiative of mine came up when Oluchi asked about Tolu and Zinny when we met at a school fair, and complained about how she misses all our girls’ hangouts and feels overwhelmed by parenting duties. The problem with Oluchi is that she sees motherhood as a job that must be done twenty-fours a day. She doesn’t believe in taking breaks and would often feel guilty if she left her kids to have some ‘me’ time. Often, I have preached to her about being able to be a great mom, only when you have enough time to take care of yourself. Working like a jackass is counter-productive because when you break down or get frustrated, you are not able to be effective as a mother.
Anyways, I was finally able to convince Oluchi to take a day off from all her chores as a mother, especially as her husband was out of town at a conference in Abuja. After dropping the kids at my mom’s, we met up with Tolu and Zinny who were already together and went to the beauty salon to fix our hair, nails, lashes and get manicure and pedicure. We had so much fun chatting and laughing over different stories that everyone was throwing in, while we were being beautified. From the salon, we went to a nearby spa for some good Japanese massage. Oluchi fell asleep during her massage, and because we felt so compassionate about how stressful her life was, we begged the masseuse to allow her take a nap, while the rest of us got facials. When Oluchi woke up an hour later, she stretched happily and said “wow, that was a better sleep than I have had since I got married!” It was when everyone around looked at her queerly that she realized she had spoken out loud. She flushed in embarrassment and Tolu quickly covered up, by asking for our bill. We were soon out of the spa and sitting at a corner of a bar, drinking champagne.
Ever curious Zinny asked Oluchi “what was that about? What you said at the spa? Have you not been sleeping well?” Oluchi, who knew better than to be embarrassed around her besties, laughed before saying “My dear, if not for the concealer and foundation I heap on my face every day, my saggy eyes would get everyone around me worried.” Tolu sat aback in surprise as I asked “what is the matter hun? is it the kids?” Oluchi told us, it wasn’t the kids that was making her lose sleep, that in fact, she prefers sleeping in the kids’ room but that was affecting her sex life with her hubby, so she had to move back to her matrimonial bedroom. She opened up about Nelson’s deep snoring and how she could never bring herself to sleep through the noise, no matter how tired she was after running her business and taking care of the kids. She said she often fell asleep at 5am when he got up to get ready for work, only to wake up again by 6:30am to get the kids ready for school. Her survival strategy was to return home after dropping the kids at school and catch another two hours of sleep, before getting up to go to her boutique.
I asked if she had told Nelson about his snoring and how she was losing sleep, considering that most people who snore never know they snore, unless they were told. She told us that in their early days, she was ashamed of telling him because she didn’t want to embarrass him. Unfortunately, one morning he accused her of being lazy because she was still asleep by 8am and out of pent up frustrations, she blurted that it was his snoring that prevented her from sleeping. Nelson denied snoring while sleeping and a huge bickering ensued. The following night, she recorded him snoring with her phone and when she played the video for him the next morning; shame, embarrassment and humility washed over him. He apologized to her for what his snoring was causing her and begged her to bear with him. These days, he goes to work and doesn’t complain that his wife did not make breakfast for him, because he understood that while he sleeps, she was awake.
Remembering that Kenny was such a heavy snorer when we were together, I gave Oluchi tips that helped us work things out. I first asked her Nelson’s favorite sleeping position and she said he likes to sleep on his back, so I told her that heavy snoring occurs when there is a lot of pressure on the lungs while we sleep, which is why people with tummy fat snore more than those with flat tummies, because while they sleep, the fat in the tummy rests on the lungs and put pressure on air coming in and going out. i told her that the pressure is reduced when we sleep on our side, so she should encourage Nelson to sleep on his side. I also advised her to try falling asleep before Nelson sleeps, because it is easier to sleep through snoring if you are already asleep when it starts. I also told her to tell Nelson to sleep with two pillows, instead of one, because when his head is raised, breathing is easier. Tolu was seriously taking notes on her Galaxy Note as I was giving Oluchi my tips, and it was then that she told us that Dele was also a heavy snorer. They were glad to receive tips on what to do, and I was happy to help my girls. I mean, that’s what friends are for! Right?