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. How?

  1. Get MORE HELP
  2. Make changes
  3. Make more time for myself

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

  1. Mom guilt is more alive with single moms, no help from the father or either co-parenting . I think mom guilt is knowing that your child has no one else but you and so every move and decision you make makes it difficult to list the things you do above. You work, leave your child either with a nanny or at crèche. It’s not guilt, it’s fear because you know if anything happens , it’s all on you and no one else and therefore your health is important, the drive to work has to be the safest, going out for drinks has to be safe. Mom guilt is different for moms.

  2. I really love this article. Its really inspiring and motivational to working mums. I was a stay at home mum and have recently started work again and I’ve been feeling mum guilt often but this really makes me feel good to read. Thanks

  3. Laaiqah Deedat

    I love this rushda!!! Thank you so much for sharing. I have a 2yr old and a 5month old, so mom guilt is Real my side!!! This has been a good read and left me with lots of positive thoughts. Thank you

  4. This is everything!!!!!!!!!!

    I suffer alot from mom guilt, with 3 kids its not a dam easy to drag them along with you everywhere but the fear of being a “bad mom” kicks as soon as i want time out.

    Just reading this makes me wana go to the salon, go on a date night & just live my freaken life! In moderation ofcrz.

  5. Thank you for this! You are an amazing mom and person. In a world where it is all about boasting and being fake you are as real as can be. You are someone we can aspire to be! #nothingbutlove

  6. Ah this is so good Rush!! I’m a new mom to a beautiful 5month old and I’ve been struggling with this idea too but having read your perception of it hasn’t helped me understand that there’s nothing wrong with making more time for myself and what feeds my well being. Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable 🙌🏽🔥😊

  7. Aaah, I so badly want to get my hair done too! Def need to make time to do so. I’m sure my 8 month old sweetheart can spare me for an hour…maybe,lol.

  8. Anique Coetzee

    Great article!!!
    I have no guilt at all, taking care of my own needs is a new concept for me. I’ve been a mom for close to 17 years and have made myself a priority in the last year and a bit ♥️
    Children are suppose to enrich our lives and be part of it. They’re as amazing as we allow for them too be
    #NoGuiltTripsHere #HeroesTakeCareOfThemselves

  9. It is sadly the ones asking about the mum guilt that want us to feel bad about what we are doing/ not doing. I used to get asked by a family member when I went back to work how I could leave my baby. The very same person mentioned how they would love to work when I resigned to be a sahm. I have learnt to (on most good days anyways) take the comments with a pinch of salt. Let’s be kinder to our fellow mums! You rock mamahood!

  10. Yesss! I needed to hear this!!!

  11. Mrs Joseph

    Love this!! 👌❤

  12. Omw this is exactly what I needed to read so inspirational

  13. dominiquecampher

    I like this and in many ways you have inspired me on my journey, I have been ridding myself of #Mom Guilt for the very Selfless reason “if I do not take care of me , how can I take care of him?” We need to remember a concept as simple as this :If you had a Golden Goose who laid Golden Eggs, what would you take care of first? The Goose ofcause , so it is that we need to Look after our self and be better so we can take even better care of of Golden Eggs 🙂 . Love this well done @RushTush <3

  14. Kareemah Rawoot

    My son is almost two years old and I STILL have mom guilt every single day when I leave for work and every single time I want to go out or make even the tiniest bit of time for myself! I often avoid doing things like having my hair or nails done etc because I feel so bad for not being with my boy but the truth is, he is so happy to be with his aunts, uncles, grandparents he doesn’t even notice that I’m gone lol. After reading this article I feel I need to make a huge change and start taking care of myself first! I totally needed this read! You’re honestly the biggest inspiration rush!

  15. New school thinking. That’s y we need new moms to post so they can innovate the older parents who was living in a bubble of guilt.thanks Rushda Moosajee for this

  16. Great read. People make new moms feel guilty because of how they would have done it. Arg!!!

  17. Love this, we should not feel guilty when we go to work or do things for ourselves. We were “people” too before kids came along. I love getting up and going to work but I love coming home to them in the afternoons and seeing to their needs. I think not seeing them all day makes you miss them, makes you look forward to going home and spending time with them… I don’t have any guilt issues with going to work because I love the financial independence, I love that I can contribute to the household and I don’t have an issue if they have to go to aftercare till I am able to fetch them – they are more privileged than many kids in many ways…. and they know they have a mom and dad who absolutely adores and loves them!

  18. Great read, love this so much!

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