What would my Mom Talks Series be without engaging my very own beautiful sister Tasha. She’s got the biggest heart and I must say her daughter is lucky to call her mama. Just a few days ago as I was looking at some hilarious childhood pictures wondering why we chose to pose in the toilets of all places (Nana must have been the photographer😂😂) and that’s when I realized how far we have come as sisters, friends, and now mothers.
Here’s a conversation with Tasha, hope you enjoy it.
BEYOND BEING A MOM, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW ABOUT TASHA.
There are quite a number of words I would use to describe myself but in a nut shell, let me say I am an easy-going and fun-loving person who usually goes with the flow unless otherwise. I believe in acknowledging and celebrating all the small victories because these are a part of your growth journey and form the bigger picture of where you want to be in your life.
Career wise, I am a strategic planner working at the National Planning Authority. Working in an environment where I can directly contribute to policy for the betterment of my country is so rewarding.
KEHLANI IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL NAME? WHATS THE STORY AND MEANING BEHIND IT?
Well…. I had a list of like 10 names and Kehlani wasn’t even on it!!! So, as I was on the internet I stumble on it. I thought to myself “this is a really nice name, very refreshing”. (So did her Dad!). So, I looked it up. Kehlani is of Hawaiian origin meaning “from the heavens” which without a doubt our baby Kehlz is.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST WEEK / MONTH / YEAR WITH A BABY LIKE FOR YOU?
Oh my…it has been a journey filled with lots of laughter, hugs, pain, tears, name it. The first two weeks were ok because she slept most of the time and for very long hours, at times I would check on her to see if she was breathing! After that, I suffered with wounds on the nipples and that made breastfeeding a major challenge. Kehlani had a mild tongue tie which we discovered after 5 months of toe curling, excruciating pain during breastfeeding. After we had it clipped things got better. Now on top of that, there was the sleepless nights of colic (which lasted over 3 months), the bad diaper rashes, bacterial infections and milk and pumping struggles.
That aside, the joy of watching her learn how sit, crawl, stand, walk and talk baby outweighs all of that. I thank God everyday for all He has done, continues to do and is going to do for us.
DID YOU SUFFER FROM POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION OR PREGNANCY BLUES? IF YES, HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH THIS?
I had some moments where I would feel overwhelmed and low. I don’t know if I would label them as depression. I have such a strong support system that has always been there for me. Sometimes I always wondered how some people abroad do it!!
I focused so much on the keeping my body, mind and baby well during pregnancy than I did getting to know more about post baby. I thought things would be smooth sailing after she arrived, little did I know it wouldn’t be that easy. Kehlani and I not being able to enjoy breastfeeding as I had anticipated really did one on me. But I managed to get through it. I openly talked about it with friends and family and read a great deal about how to deal with it and other things. It gets easier!.
I urge first time mothers to get knowledge about what to expect when baby has arrived.
WE HAVE HEARD A LOT ABOUT THERAPY IN RELATION TO DEPRESSION. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THERAPY? DO YOU THINK THE AFRICAN SOCIETY NEEDS TO ADAPT TO THIS OR ITS JUST A WASTE OF TIME?
Often times people are afraid to open up about a situation they are going throughbecause they think they will be judged or laughed at. From my experience, postpartum depression is an important topic that is not given much attention. I think that it should be handled right before birth. For example, Antenatal classes should integrate a topic on the likely causes of depression. Sensitization should be increased to make women more aware.
Therapy can help mothers get through those first days/week/first year so that they can continue to take care of their little ones and themselves.
BEING A BUSY WORKING MOM THAT YOU ARE, HOW DO YOU SURVIVE MOM GUILT?
Mom guilt is sooo real. I don’t think one can ever survive it. It’s just something I accepted I have to live with. Whenever I start to feel it, I tell myself “Mama has got to do what she’s got to do”!!! For my sanity or for Kehlani’s wellbeing.
DO YOU THINK “ME TIME” AS A MOTHER IS IMPORTANT? IF YES, WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE “ME TIME” ACTIVITIES?
Me time is extremely important for Mums. At the end of the day, your babies are going to grow up and leave you with their Dad or Alone. Its up to you to find time for yourself to do the things you love to do and not lose track of who you are besides being “Mum”.
Personally, I love to go to the gym, swim, hang out with friends, shop.
DO YOU THINK THE CORPORATE WORLD LAWS AND REGULATIONS FAVOR MOTHERS AND WOMEN IN GENERAL? WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON THE 3 MONTHS PERIOD OF MATERNITY LEAVE?
I think that they have tried to be considerate enough to give mums some time to bond with their babies. However, more effort should be put towards making the working hours flexible once Mum is back at work or allowing her to take 1-2 hours off to breast feed her baby.
Of course, 3 months leave can never be enough though. At times I think to myself, if I had conceived and given birth while being self-employed it would have been hard for me to look for a cooperate 8-5 job.
DID YOUR COLLEAGUES’ ATTITUDE TOWARDS YOU AT WORK CHANGE FOR THE BETTER OR WORSE SINCE HAVING A BABY?
Since having a baby, everyone is actually more thoughtful. So, it’s for the better. My boss usually says “For you Tasha you can go after 5, we know you have to be with the girl”!
WHAT ADVISE WOULD YOU GIVE ANY WOMAN TO BRACE THEM FOR THE TOUGH CORPORATE WORLD?
IF YOU HAD THE POWER TO CHANGE ONE THING, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
Surprisingly nothing. I have learnt to live without regret.
HOW WOULD YOU WANT YOUR KEHLANI TO REMEMBER YOU?
I think I am going to write a few things that I learn as I go along this life journey for my kids. I want my children to remember me in so many spheres 1) as Mum; who taught them the right values, who was there for them, to listen, advise, laugh and cry with them; 2) as an achiever career wise 3) as a compassionate lady who cared about the well-being others.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS MOTHERHOOD EMPOWERED YOU?
Being a mum has empowered me in so many ways. I am more aware and cautious about how I spend my money. I actually have a budget application on my phone to keep track of my expenditures.
I have learnt to be more patient with people. To persevere in whatever, I set out to do.
BEING AN ECONOMIST, WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE TO WOMEN IN RELATION TO FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE AND SAVING.
Financial independence is a choice you have to make. Know what you mean when you say you want to be financially independent and how you are going to get there. This is because your finances are spent on several aspects of your life. So, I would say;
CONNECT WITH TASHA:
Instagram – @tashapurple25
Facebook – Tasha Balu
Thank you for stopping by Loves. Be sure to add me on Instagram @itsmayabee Twitter @itsmaya_bee, Facebook Itsmayabee and Snap Chat @itsmayabee11.