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Mom Guilt by Rushda Moosajee

I’m a modern woman. I make the rules I like, work for me, the ones I don’t, I chuck. My husband always says I push limits, test things and see how far I can take something unorthodox. I guess I married a man that would subtly remind about boundaries, but at the same time support me as I break societal norms and cultural expectations. As far as MOMMYING and DADDYING GO, we are both doing our best. People often ask. How do you deal with MOM GUILT? lol. This is a whole new concept to me. I didn’t know I was supposed to feel guilty for being alive with basic human needs, once I became a mom. At the same time, how come no one was throwing around DAD GUILT? Turns out modern day moms feel guilty, when they leave their kids to go to work, run errands, perform tasks of personal grooming, have lunch with friends, a date night and so forth. I don’t recall my mom feeling guilty having to work and contribute to a better life for me and herself as a kid. I was grateful my introverted mom has her independence, her own life with friends and maybe the odd hobby. I understand many of us moms have to go to work. For me its non negotiable. My career is who I am. My independent financial freedom is something I will always keep investing in. I can do as I please with my money, spend it however I wish on my son and my family. Running your own business means no maternity leave, no medical aid and no sick leave. Everyday I work on building enough for all my maternity leave in the future. Time and memories with my family is what I grind for every day. I went back to work 3 months post birth. IT WAS HECTIC. For many reasons. One being I WAS EXHAUSTED. You only really get out of the woods after 4 months. The woods is a term I use to describe the fight or flight survival instinct as new parents. Being exhausted means your body and mind cannot recover. It can’t overcome stress and can’t succeed physical trauma (birth). 

The second reason was the stress of BREASTFEEDING, especially because I wasn’t a successful pumper. I was rushing home between sessions with the girls and my own training and some life to repeat. I feel these two reasons were the major contributing key elements resulting in my HAIR LOSS. Of course not to mention the halting production of Growth Hormone once you’re no longer preggy. 

SO STRESS AND EXHAUSTION. How do I combat stress? I make sure things are being managed.

I stopped breastfeeding for several reasons, I don’t want to go into too much detail. My milk supply wasn’t keeping up. I wasn’t getting any rest, I was drained, my body wasn’t recovering due to zero sleep. My husband being an excellent father stepped up to do every single night shift when I stopped nursing. He wakes up to this day when Haydar cries. He soothes him and offers him his bottle. Haydar loves falling asleep on his chest and they have endless cuddles. Some people just cope fine with less sleep than others. I don’t, he does, lucky me. He understood how important it was for me to sleep and recover. Do I feel guilty about this? No. Not at all. I’m taking care of myself so I can take care of Haydar.

In the beginning its easy to cart a baby with you to gym, the salon, errand running and lunch. Once they grow into their own independence, they want to do their own thing. Since day 1 I’ve tried to be as easy going ad adaptable with Hay. Taking him everywhere with me, making him feel comfortable and confident in different environments. I’ve also allowed him to sleepover at his grandparents and visit family often, many play dates with cousins etc. I want him to live his best life, and that doesn’t always mean he wants to run errands, hang out at the gym or sit with me having lunch. We are lucky enough to have family support and eager hands to spend time with him. It’s beyond just babysitting. His days are filled with activities like walks, play dates, art, park outings, garden visits, swimming, the aquarium and school. I don’t want to bound him to me. I want him to be independent and free thinking. Am I guilty when I go to get my hair done? No. I am not. Wrestling a toddler who wants to clearly play at home with all his toys is far happier in his own routine. Am I happier once getting my hair done? Absolutely! We both stay winning. Lol

I’m also very lucky that I work for myself, I can take Haydar with me anywhere. To the gym, important events, on shoot, radio interviews and to train my girls, he’s on the beach when we train and on the prom with us when we run. When I was ready to fall preggies, I had established a work routine that would allow me to take time off. Being a personal trainer is demanding, as you have to be available for people outside of their working hours. Early hours of the morning and late at night. Being in control of my hours, I don’t work on Fridays. It has always been my time to run the mountain, be creative, catch up on marketing, new projects and do meetings I can’t fit into the week. Friday mornings has now become Rush & Hay Swimming Mornings. eish. I hate the pool but I love my son. He is part of my life and I’m lucky I created my business to include him. He is the original Glow Baby and has inspired so much of what I do and have created. MOMMA GLOW DIET is because of my breastfeeding journey with Hay. I hope to build many more products in the future, with my next pregnancy inshallah. My first pregnancy I was too focused on other things, but going forward, I am to create projects around a holistic approach to healthier families.

Do I suffer from MOM GUILT? NO. If I suffered from anything it would be FOMO. Lol. I need to remind myself that I shouldn’t smother him, but allow him to grow too, and spend time with other people that love him. Its selfish for me to want him in my space 24/7 when I am working on my own agenda, perhaps dragging him along, when he is tired or he could be galavanting with family members living his best life. All this time, I thought my kids would wait on me, when I’m out here waiting on him! Haydar, living his best life!

Love, new mom Rushtush

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I got this, you got this! (Our Mamas always had this).

I think with social media and its on the second updates, everything is news. From the meals we cook, to the places we dine at, special dates like anniversaries, private moments like proposals, even peoples intimate 9 week fetal scans bombard our screens. It’s an era of over sharing, seeking approval by posting our achievements, and feeding our ego with likes. Yes of course it’s a fantastic tool to let your friends and family know what’s up. For me social media built my business and my brand that is Rushtush. I’m not here to post about how amazing I am, nor am I searching to belong or even to be adored. I’m here to educate and empower through my life experience. I hope to encourage you to think about the choices you make, question the decisions you make and why you make those decisions and to also provide solutions for problems you find yourself faced with.

Yes, I am expecting, and even though bearing life is a miracle, I’m not the first woman to ever be with child and I won’t be the last. I mean: HOW DID WE ALL GET HERE? My son won’t be the first boy to have ever been born either. Us women have tall jobs, we do all this, like our moms did, and back then there was no social media. Did our moms ever complain about morning sickness? Was there a platform for them to boast about their baby bumps? No. They were silent super women. Silent super heroes, handling their shit. I am however going to be, not so silent. Especially on matters like women’s health and wellbeing during this delicate and miraculous time.

I didn’t want to post a “coming out” announcement. I wanted to live my life and for the first 12 weeks, I wanted to survive my life. Lol. I didn’t need people’s advice and opinions. I also didn’t need people treating me like I was disabled. It seems all my symptoms were a dead giveaway and many were pretending I wasn’t pregnant more than I was pretending I wasn’t pregnant.

Being 4 months pregnant has confirmed many things but one applicable to this post is; that people will always have something to say, whether it is coming from a sincere source or from a malicious place, you still have to KNOW WHATS BEST FOR YOU! Healthy Mom = Healthy Baby (rushtush:2017). The rest is in Gods hands. From the moment you pee on a stick to discover you have possible life growing inside of you, is the exact moment your maternal instinct kicks in. Would you ever do something radical to jeopardize the gift of possible life?

Yours in fitness and health,
Rushda xx