By Sheba Siddiqui @shebasid & online at: shebasiddiqui.com
Ottawa makeup artist and mother of four, Seema Haider, is always on the go. When she’s not using her makeup brushes, she’s brushing toddler teeth. Between running her own business as a highly successful makeup artist and threading expert while raising four children, maintaining a healthy marriage and caring for her aging parents, you would think Seema is stretched thin. However she somehow always manages to keep her head above water. Seema believes most of the credit is due to her husband Mohammed.
“He is the sole reason I am able to have a successful career. Without his support, I would never have started down the path of becoming a makeup artist. Because we continued to grow our family in the midst of me building my client base, it was very challenging to work while I had a newborn to attend to.”
Not only is Seema a makeup artist for brides and modeling agencies, she also styles hair and threads eyebrows. Because business is booming, her schedule can often be unpredictable, working six to seven days a week. Managing family time in between all of this can become challenging.
She says, “By having ten years of experience under my belt, I am able to finally say no a little more often than I may have when I first started out. My family is what makes it all possible. Without their support I wouldn’t even be close to
where I am now.”
Seema believes having it all doesn’t come easy. “Women have to understand what ‘having it all’ really is about. Is it a huge success in your career, at the expense of precious time lost with your growing family, or is it balancing both and accepting that sometimes you may have to let that big promotion go simply because it doesn’t fit in your ‘having it all’ framework.”
Seema believes a supermom is a woman who understands the commitment required to balance her life with the lives of those closest to her. However she doesn’t believe it’s always attainable all of the time. “The ideology behind the societal definition of a supermom is inherently flawed and therefore unattainable. Society defines a supermom as a woman who has a successful career and perfect children with high levels of extracurricular activities and a happy husband that has his fantasies fulfilled each night!”
Seema also believes that women often judge and put pressure on each other. “We have this need to prove to ourselves and to others that we can be everything to everyone at all times.”
Her own mother has had a big impact on her ability to ‘do it all.’
“My mother is the most amazing person, she cares for my ailing father and she has full control over our kitchen. I never have to worry about dinner.” She also acknowledges that her mother raised her during a different time, when children were able to play outside alone instead of sitting in front of a TV playing video games all day. Also, being a stay at home mom did not have a stigma attached to it as it sometimes does today.
Her husband Mo is also a hands-on dad, which makes a big difference in their lives.
“My husband is always ready to take over the workload with the kids the minute he walks through the door, and now, as my children mature, they are starting to become more independent. It’s amazing to be a part of my super family.”
Seema also acknowledges that in order to maintain a successful work/life balance, you must delegate so that you can focus fully on each task at hand. She believes that any woman who hopes to be a ‘supermommy’ can only really come close if she understands all the resources that she is blessed with; be it a supportive husband, wonderful kids or helpful family and relatives.
“We both decided that I would breastfeed each of our children without supplementing with bottles, and Mo made it work. He would literally stand on the sidelines while I did long, tedious photo shoots and hold our then newborn in his arms. No strollers either, we followed what is known in the west as attachment style parenting. Or days when I had a full day of weddings, he would meet me in between sessions so I could feed our little man and then wait in an area nearby until I finished.”
“That is pure love and respect that I will remember always.”
You can follow Seema’s journey at: www.seemahaider.com
Do you think it’s possible to be a supermommy? Do you ever feel external pressure to be able to do it all?
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Great article! My favorite part was: “Seema also acknowledges that in order to maintain a successful work/life balance, you must delegate so that you can focus fully on each task at hand. She believes that any woman who hopes to be a ‘supermommy’ can only really come close if she understands all the resources that she is blessed with,” Often times those striving to be a supermommy will fail to delegate, or ask for help seeing it as a sign of weakness.