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I gave up my career for my family

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When I was a kid, my dad worked long, hard hours at a job he didn’t particularly love because … because that’s what dads do. Or at least that’s what I was taught. As the youngest of three kids, I didn’t get a lot of time with Dad. Even though our mom worked, she was around more often, and she changed jobs whenever she needed so it could accommodate our growing — and ever-changing — schedules. It was clear that, to her, career came second.

As I grew up, I always just assumed that my family pattern would be more or less the same. Regardless of whether I loved my job, I’d work as hard as I needed in order to make enough money to make sure my family was well cared for.

But, as corny as it sounds, life never goes the way you plan. And I couldn’t be happier.

When my wife, Liz, and I had our first child, I endured a punishing schedule in a tech company. I was expected to work long hours, weekends, and holidays so we would meet targets and keep the company in the black. As a consequence, Liz spent a lot of those early days alone and, she told me later, lonely.

Eventually, she decided to go back into the work force, which meant we had to seriously look at daycare options for our then-10-month-old baby. Let me just say: The options were bleak. The city we live in is very expensive, and daycare for an infant was topping out at around $1,700 a month. That was more than my monthly take-home salary at the time, so it was clear that a tough decision needed to be made. Do we restructure our budget — and possibly lose some of the comforts we are used to — to accommodate the cost of daycare? Or does one of us stay at home with our kid?

After a lot (a lot) of discussion, it was clear that Liz’s career was more lucrative. So rather than spend more than I was making, we decided I would leave my high-pressure job and become a stay-at-home dad.

The first few weeks were harrowing. The baby was still breastfeeding, and he had a hard time adjusting to Daddy being around all the time. Honestly, so did I. It took some time for me to get used to the drop-in centers, the coffee dates, and being the only man on the stroller stroll. After a life of flying solo at the office, being constantly around a drooling, snotty baby was an adjustment. I didn’t even really understand how often I needed to feed or change him until I was with him day in and day out.

Eventually though, wearing the title of “stay-at-home dad” became a source of pride for me. I liked being able to teach my son his first words, and how to use a spoon. And I loved being there for milestone moments, like helping him take his first steps. Witnessing that — all while watching Liz’s career flourish — made me proud of the decision the two of us had made, gender norms be damned.

That was five years ago, and since then, we’ve had two more kids. Before our second son was born, I decided I wanted to go back to work for a bit so my wife could take some much-needed time off. Rather than another high-pressure tech job, though, I worked in a hotel — a job I’d had many years ago. Because my boss was accommodating and the days were less stressful, what started as a short-term solution eventually became a great, part-time job for me.

Plus, being a SAHD — and then partially returning to the work force — made me realize just how strong my relationship with Liz was (and still is). Regardless of what society expects us to do, the two of us have always taken the time to check in and see what the other needed. Our decision to make me a full-time SAHD made sense for our family at the time, as did the decision for me to pick up a part-time job. But Liz and I made those choices together, and rather than force one of us to do something that they may not really want, we do our best to find balance. I’m not saying we’re perfect but, if anything, this experience has taught me that we’re a team.

These days, I still hold that part-time job, which means I still get to always be around for my kids. I love that I’m the one who gets to put them to bed every night and spend time on the weekends with them. I think if I had stayed at that tech job, I would have regretted missing those moments. Sure, things can get hairy with our brood of three, but I never would have truly understood what it takes to be a full-time parent, with all the schedules and meal prep and planning.

I’m not saying being a stay-at-home dad is for everyone. It’s hard to be the only dad at circle time, and figuring out what your baby needs can be a challenge. But for me, it’s always been worth the ride.

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Travel

Exotic Resorts May Be the Best Bet for a Holiday

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An exotic vacation usually means exploring a distant foreign country, whilst resorts are places
to go for rest, sport, or which offers a particular speciality, with many resorts being part of a
popular tourist destination or on or near a beach. If you are planning a vacation to an exotic
resort it can be a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to a far-flung destination or a luxurious place to
stay closer to home where you can enjoy some pampering.

Why stay at an exotic resort

Exotic resorts often offer all-inclusive vacation deals, along with other options that leave you
to plan your stay more precisely to your own wishes. These resorts offer excellent customer
service, superb accommodation and facilities and are usually to be found in beautiful settings.
Here are some of the best resorts from around the world for you to consider:

Four Seasons Resort, Seychelles
This famous resort has made many feel they have entered Paradise. The gentle ocean breeze
floats up the granite hillside and into your tree-house villa tucked away from the other guests
staying at the resort. This is perfect for encouraging you to relax, either by your private pool
or in the clear blue waters of Petite Anse Bay. Perfect for a romantic stay, there is a Spa for
pampering and the chance for a sunset meal on a deserted beach.

Some enjoy simply sitting on their balcony, gazing at the ocean between reading their book,
sketching or checking out international bookmakers and betting sites for the chance of a
flutter. If you want another type of adrenaline kick, check out the resorts excellent kayaking
and snorkelling facilities, which are recommended by nearly all who try it.

Anantara Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand

The ultimate tropical getaway, the Anantara Resort is an award-winning site modelled on a
traditional Thai village and is just three hours drive south of Bangkok. The location is where
Thai royalty and aristocrats have been holidaying for almost one-hundred years. Today, you
can visit historical attractions alongside theme parks and shops as well as vineyards and golf
courses.

The resort is set among 14 acres of lush tropical grounds with lotus-filled lagoons and
meandering pathways through exotic foliage, with many rooms overlooking the shoreline.
Each day, chefs prepare freshly caught local seafood alongside Thai specialities. The resort
also has an award-winning spa located within a lagoon-inspired oasis offering you the perfect
opportunity to relax.

Kurumba, Maldives

Kurumba is a well-established resort that opened almost 50 years ago and continues to offer
superb hospitality and contemporary facilities. There are seven speciality restaurants offering
cuisine from Italy to the Middle East as well as Thila, a restaurant which extends out over the
water which offers gourmet breakfasts and seafood dinners.

You can go snorkelling over the nearby reef full of colourful marine life or sign up to a dive
package as part of your stay, or just enjoy a private pool when staying at one of the spacious
villages. There are also deluxe beachfront bungalows offering direct beach access and views
of the crystal-clear waters.

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Coronavirus

Healthcare Workers To Receive Coca-Cola-Funded PPEs From Nigerian Red Cross

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Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease in Nigeria, our healthcare workers have continued to lead the charge against the disease. As the number of recorded COVID-19 cases in Nigeria began to increase, these healthcare workers rose to the challenge and fought tirelessly to protect the lives of Nigerians impacted by the disease.

Considering the risks these healthcare workers face, there is a crucial need for adequate protective equipment for these brave frontline workers.

Coca-Cola is excited that over 400,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) procured to support the intervention efforts of the Nigerian Government and other key stakeholders to fight the COVID 19 pandemic have arrived. We do believe that this will to provide succor to our healthcare workers on the frontlines

These PPEs comprise N95 respirators, surgical masks, examination gloves, face shields, medical gowns, no-touch thermometers, disposable aprons, heavy-duty rubber gloves, rubber boots, basic masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizers.

Since the first confirmed case of the disease in Nigeria reported in February, over 800 healthcare workers have contracted the disease. While Nigerians are encouraged to stay home where possible and practice social distancing, these healthcare workers are needed across the country in the continued fight against the disease.

This donation forms part of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s COVID-19 relief interventions in Nigeria. The Coca-Cola Foundation has provided $2.5m in grant to IFRC who seeks to directly impact the lives of 1.4 million people in Nigeria and across other countries in West and Central Africa under this partnership.

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Events in Nigeria

Taking Care of Tomorrow’s Leaders Today – The itel, Lagos Food Bank Example

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Waking up to a special meal or choice gift is the best feeling ever. Hundreds of children in Mushin, mainland Lagos, had a filling taste of this feeling for the October 1 st celebrations. It’s an experience they will remember for a long time.

Being one of the most responsible corporate citizens around, celebrating Independence Day was always going to be on the radar for itel Mobile. To make this possible and memorable, the brand got to work in earnest. The focus of the work was picking the best way to commemorate the 60th independence anniversary of the most populous black nation on earth.

The efforts soon paid off through an impact-driven partnership with the Lagos Food Bank Initiative. With the arrangement, both partners considered a couple of activities capable of affecting communities positively and bringing smiles to people’s faces in Lagos. At the end of the exercise, taking care of children, the leaders of tomorrow, in the commercial city secured the highest votes.

With the decision, itel Mobile set about making this happen. Not surprisingly, the decision was
influenced by giving children the means to excel and prepare them for leadership and nation-building, for them to enjoy better life. For the good of their immediate family, community and the Nigerian society.

Idiko, Mushin, a suburb of mainland Lagos, was chosen as the benefiting community. And the partners strategically reached out to the beneficiaries, children and families, with gifts of love, care, happiness and support made possible by the itel Love Always On CSR initiative.

Over 1,000 families benefited from the gesture as well as 600 children, and each one of them received food packages to celebrate Nigeria’s 60 th Independence Day commemoration.

Speaking on the event and itel’s Love Always On CSR Initiative, Oke Umurhohwo, itel’s Marketing Manager said, ‘We wanted to mark this year’s Independence Day celebrations differently, and that is why we did something so momentous for our children. Children are the backbone of any longstanding community, and as such, we are proud to be able to give back and support them on their journey as leaders of tomorrow and for a better life.’

To meet the demands of the memorable event, 30 volunteers joined the customer-centric brand and the Lagos-based NGO to share smiles, and to convey just how important it is to love and take care of today’s children who will ultimately become leaders of tomorrow.

With the thoughtful activity, there are insights for everyone, from the government to citizens, on partnerships that are capable of making life better for children. Indeed, itel Mobile and the Lagos Food Bank Initiative have offered a great template on bringing this to reality.

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