Gotta love “the gram”. Instagram has given a platform to develop relationships with incredible women I wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to know. Such is the case with Northern Cali, wife, mom, and co-founder of BOSSMOM Nation, Shahidah Zareef, “Shah” for short. Speaking of short, can we talk about that haircut!? FLY!!! Always happy to see a mama, doing her thing, keepin’ her style, and making it look easy.
Which it isn’t, for the record. Shah’s got quite a bit on her plate as a “mompreneur”, which is what, I suppose, made us soul sisters in my mind. As a fellow homeschooling mother hustler juggling several balls, I was immediately drawn to this self proclaimed “community builder”. Her posts are always lovely to look at, honest, empowering, and encouraging to women, letting them know they’re not alone in the ebbs and flows of the crazy journey of motherhood; good, bad, ugly, and amazing. As mothers we are certainly stretched to find out things about ourselves we couldn’t know any other way. Shah, who was always an entrepreneur, is not shy about saying, motherhood was not necessarily her “master plan” in life but through it, her faith and trust in, “THE Master’s Plan” she’s learning she’s stronger and capable of more than she could have dreamed. I can relate. The woman speaks my language, so when putting the Mom Life series together, I immediately knew I had to take a cyber visit to the Nation of BOSSMOM, and learn more about Ms. Shah.
Marriage after babies and getting “sexy” back:
Our solo-time together just got slimmer, so now we have to make an effort to stop and acknowledge each other as an individual pair from our children and pour into our relationship. After 11 years of marriage we sort of mastered making time to check in and spend time together. I must say it’s usually that year mark after having a baby that I feel like me again. My weight is finally balancing out, the baby is more independent, I’m finally getting more sleep all these things represent my sexy coming back! 🙂
Motherhood; is it what you thought it’d be:
Hmmm…To be quite honest,I never REALLY had a strong opinion or idea of what motherhood would be. I’m the eldest of 4 children, growing up I was faced with a lot of responsibility at a young age therefore, having children wasn’t something I dreamed off but I knew I’d be a mother someday. Fast forward to marrying my husband…after enjoying our marriage for 2 years we agreed we were ready for a child. Each of my children is a “love child” I like to say. As the love in marriage strengthened, we felt drawn to grow our family even more. So all this to say, I didn’t enter motherhood with a preconceived idea of what it might be and with that, I’m able to self-develop and appreciate what motherhood is meaning for me.
Faith after babies is STRONGER indeed. I’ve always been strong in faith, it’s what my mother practiced & preached the most. But, my children triggered and awakened a relationship with GOD that I didn’t have before. It’s just something about bringing new life into the world that opens you up to life through a different view. It’s a blessing
A bit about those who make you the BOSSMOM you are:
Saniyah is 8 and she’s a bit of an artist, my sister in law (her aunt) is a phenomenal artist, she has 4 daughters & they are all artists as well. Saniyah grew up around them so she’s a natural. She’s also a very athletic child, she recently joined a track team & wants to try gymnastics. Khayri is 6 and he’s the skateboard KING! He’s been riding since he was 3, and I must say the boy has skillz 🙂 Aziz is 18months and he’s like the little handsome bully of the crew, he basically RUNS our entire household.
Boys vs girls:
The only difference I’m experiencing between raising a boy and a girl is that girls are waaaaay bossier! LOL
100% true! Okay, let’s talk BOSSMOM Nation:
BOSSMOM Nation came about Summer 2015. My best friend from preschool (Aliyah) and I started a blog to create a voice for motherhood that we hadn’t heard yet. Initially at that time we simply wanted to share our stories and build a community of women around us that could relate and share as well. Our focus is on delivering a dose of reality through social media along with resources to motherhood through self-care and community building.
What’s the plan:
I see us experiencing exponential growth not only online but offline too! We plan to have a local BOSSMOM Nation women’s club in a number of cities, filled with women who are present to support each other and build relationships through motherhood and beyond.
That’s huge! I love what it says on the BMN website:
“We believe that if it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a NATION to support its mother. BOSSMOM NATION wants to be a resource for every mama that chooses to make us part of her sisterhood.”
A sense of community is so important. As a mom, knowing there’s a place to turn offering no judgment and support can really change the game.
I’m grateful to say I haven’t come encounter with any judgmental moms (that i know of at least) so I make sure not to be that way myself 🙂
Your struggle of motherhood and entrepreneurial life:
I haven’t had a regular job since college days. I was a hairstylist/Salon Owner for 6 years before I retired after baby number 3. Being a hairstylist and running a salon with other stylists was a lot more than I could handle as a wife & mother of 3. Plus, after gearing closer to homeschooling, the picture became extremely clear that I was entering a season of my life where my career/business needed to take a back seat in order for me to be fully present in my family’s life the way they needed. I look forward to re-opening my salon back one day in the future 🙂
And your juggle?
I can answer this with a list of things that contribute to my day going smoothly BUT let’s keep it all the way real. MOST days things are unpredictable. As a homeschooling, stay at home/work from home mama, I never know what the morning is going to bring. The one thing that I’ve been sticking to lately is rising early before the children. A moment to sip tea, pray and mentally run through the day before it smacks me in the face is a game changer for me!
We decided to homeschool for a number of reasons. I myself became less confident in the public school system and their ability to educate my children & properly prepare them to be thought leaders in the future. Homeschool also gives me the opportunity to accelerate my children in areas they are ready or give more attention to areas they need more time.
A day in the life of this homeschooler consists of…
A normal day begins with me waking at least an hour before the children to have tea and handle any personal business like, emails, social media planning, etc. then when the children wake around 8 we have prayer time followed by our “morning meeting” and breakfast. After breakfast, I usually begin independent study with one child at a time while the other works on an education activity of their choice. Between the hours of 9am to 1 o’clock we focus on our studies, after that we take a park break or the children can watch a documentary on Netflix and relax. After this point the baby is most likely down for a nap, which then gives me time to work & do some lesson planning. Things change daily but we stick to our daily objectives no matter what time they actually get done. I look at homeschool as a way of life, education doesn’t stop, theres no set hours like traditional school. Their ALWAYS learning and I’m ALWAYS teaching.
Amen to that…Thoughts on Kids and technology:
I’m all for technology, I love it! But there’s a time to turn it on and a time to turn it off. I think I do a good job at teaching that message to my children and they get it. They watch T.V. and during the week it’s usually an educational series or documentary on Netflix. The weekend is their opportunity to watch movies galore and play games, because during the week mama means business!
Best advice you received as a new mom:
Best advice from my mother…”Take care of yourself first”
Your advice for new moms:
Well, for brand new moms, I’d say…rest and recover as much as you can because as children age, they require even more of us to be mentally and physically present. Give yourself grace through the journey, we were created to be great at motherhood so once we find our flow, even on the rough days we know we’re doing okay :).
Inspiration comes from:
I’m inspired most by my purpose and understanding the power of having one.
We are living in, let’s just say, “unique” times. What do you most want your kids to know?
Faith in GOD rules over everything
And with that, we drop the mic! Thanks for sharing Shah.