Motherhood Interview with Shakira Akabusi.
Shakira is a mum of 2, founder of Strong Like Mum and a pre & post natal wellness expert. I had the pleasure of interviewing her on all things motherhood and what it means to her. You can check out Shakira's website by clicking the photo.
Please define motherhood in your own words.
Motherhood has been the most liberating experience of my life. In contrast to how it was portrayed to me during my first pregnancy, becoming a mum has actually boosted my confidence and set me free of conforming to stereotypes.
How have your notions as a woman changed since motherhood?
I have learnt more during my time as a mother then I ever did during school. In the first instance, becoming a mother highlighted to me the importance of passion. I am eager for my children to believe that they can achieve anything they set their minds to and I want to lead by example. It’s a popular belief that children ‘learn from what we do, more then from what we say’, and I believe that’s true in so many ways. My passion is health and fitness, however whatever your goal, it’s important to trust your instincts and believe in yourself.
What do you want or wish for most for your children?
I’m a strong advocate for self love! I want my children to grow up truly accepting who they are and all their unique quirks and idiosyncrasies. Learning to appreciate your self and be comfortable in your own skin ( and mind) is so important. Especially in a time where social media can at time dictate how people should be in order to feel successful. I believe that enjoying what you do and loving life are the highest form of success you can achieve!
I know a lot of women who struggled with their own identity after becoming a mum, is this something you have experienced and if so how did you/do you deal with it?
This was something I worried about during pregnancy. I was constantly being told of all the things i’d never do again, “I’d never sleep again, never have confidence, never be as fit, never wear a bikini etc etc” and as a person who’s always embraced a healthy lifestyle, it felt as though I was being told I had to change who I was in order to become a mother.
But it couldn’t have been further form the truth. Motherhood is liberating! Yes it is demanding however, I found that after having children my passions were stronger. I suddenly felt empowered to achieve anything I set my mind too!
How important has the support of other women/mums been for you?
The support of other mums has been incredibly important to me. At times it’s these friends who have kept me sane and calm. In particular, those early days where so much seems daunting. It’s great to have people who are on the journey with you.
I would really love to get your thoughts on the external pressures for mums, whether it be body pressure, the pressure to be wonderwoman every day, to be able to cope with everything, how do you deal with this?
I deal with it simply by NOT allowing those pressures to control me. There is no ‘one-way’ to be a mum. During my first pregnancy I was constantly told what I wouldn't be able to do anymore after becoming a mum and Created StrongLikeMum as a way to combat that. I wanted to show that you can create any motherhood journey you want to.
What is your ‘you time’ moment?
Haha, with a 10 month old this time is rare but more often then not it’s when I’m exercising. I run a lot and that amazing alone time. Swimming is brilliant too as you’re forced to ditch the headphones and just embrace your own thoughts.
What has been your proudest mum moment so far?
My proudest moment is over-coming my OCD this last year. It’s been tough to struggle with this and be a parent, however I consider myself recovered now and I’m so proud that I can set the example to my children that it’s ok to have weaknesses and flaws but that they do not need to define you.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
L.R.Knost said “ No one is a perfect parent but that’s ok. Little people need connection not perfection’.
Anything you would like to share with mums out there or women considering children?
Motherhood has been the greatest adventure and has literally set me free! It’s incredibly empowering, humbling and enjoyable. It’s tough but of so very worth it. Whether you choose to become a parent or not, Shatter The Stereotype!