Thanks for tuning into this episode of MomTalks with Christa, all right so when I first set out to do this show, we kind of started small, we started with a lot of local influencers or people in the industry moms that were in the group. And as we got bigger I thought it would be so cool just to spread mom talks out worldwide, start talking to moms from all over the world to create this connection. To see how moms are in different countries, what struggles are the same, what struggles are different, how do they do different things, how is breastfeeding here versus another country. I just thought it'd be really great just to expand mom talks as much as we can so I’m so excited for today's guest we are going all the way to Maldives to talk to Nawa who found us on Instagram and we kind of talked through there she had our lactation cookies and we were just kind of just would chat on Instagram a little bit and so I invited her on just to kind of share motherhood in Maldives, share what life is like and because I think we're all familiar with Maldives seeing the sandy beaches and we see the pretty pictures online it's such a big tourist destination. But I thought it'd be just so cool to have her on and share what it's like growing up there and what it's like living there and becoming a mom so we're just going to dive right in and talk to Nawa from Maldives so enjoy this little journey that we go on today. All right, we are here with Nawa and she lives in Maldives and I’m so excited to get to talk to you just about everything I mean from breastfeeding to your culture in Maldives and I’m just so excited to talk to you. So just to get started, can you just kind of tell us a little bit about you and what you do and we'll kind of go from there.
Nawa: I live with my family here, my mom, my sister, and then we have my husband and my daughter living with us. So we like, live together. I have been living with my mom since I was born, we don’t want to live separately. It's very difficult for us. Is that like do you think it's more common where you live or is it kind of just like within your family more common to kind of. No, it's actually common here like we live mostly with our parents yeah. Oh very cool so tell me about life in Maldives like what's it like growing up there, what's something that's really unique to Maldives and your culture there. Our country is actually very famous for the white sandy beaches and we are very welcoming, we are very warm, we are very friendly, and what can I say this country is like so famous, like mostly everyone knows about this place I love how beautiful this country is and I believe that whoever comes here like we just give our very best, like out of everything just to make them feel happy and to feel them comfortable here.
Christa: Yeah it's definitely a top visitor country. That's correct, right? Yeah I was like I always see gorgeous pictures, I know a lot of people were there, and there's so much to do. I always wondered what it would be like living in a tourist kind of country.
Nawa: I know people just dream to come here and we already live in here.
Christa: So every day for you is like waking up in paradise.
Nawa: Like yeah, definitely yeah.
Christa: So are you guys currently in the summer season where you?
Nawa: No, like actually we have only the rainy and the summer here okay mostly these days like end of the year usually it's raining.
Christa: Oh really, okay, all right interesting. So let's kind of talk about what it's like raising a family there and kind of just talk about your personal experience I know you have a daughter, so what's it been like raising your family there and just some different cultures maybe in your family that has kind of been brought down to you and how you kind of are starting to parent.
Nawa: It's tough but all this is a beautiful country, geography divided into a small like we come from a very small island, we are coming here after studies to live here, to start our life, to give a better future to our kids. Like those days it was very different, like the wife will stay at home looking after the kids but now, like the mom and dad, they will go together to raise the kids. We have to work because not everyone is born with the gold spoon. yeah to give a better life we have to, we are working. Is that what you think is the biggest difference between like your generation and like your parents’ generation is now both providers or both parents are providing? Yes, I think well, since the time I remember my mom has been working since I don't know maybe I was born or something because she wanted to give us a better life and until today she is still working because the women here want to be really independent. They just want to go with the flow.
Christa: Yeah, no I think that's awesome that's really cool that it's like, because yeah I think here too it was kind of like our parents’ generation and then like my grandparents’ generation it's very like, the women were more likely to stay home and the men worked but I think it's becoming a little more it's definitely changing with each generation a little bit more and more. Of course it's different with every family too so it's kind of cool to hear about how it's changing for you guys as well. So you said you are still living in the same house with your parents that you grew up in, so what was like the biggest adjustment for you becoming a mom and kind of still living with your parents and kind of making that adjustment to a mom now.
Nawa: I think actually like watching her grow so fast, I want to be like the closest person to her where she can share everything with me, not like she just wants to like she's scared or something. I mean I was a person who was able to share everything with my mother. So like that I want to have the same kind of relationship but the same bond with her as well.
Christa: So what do you think has been your kind of like the hardest part through motherhood, like what were your biggest struggles and adjustments that you had to overcome?
Nawa: It's very difficult, I am a working person, so for me to adjust at the same time to balance the work life and also to give time to my daughter it's very difficult. Sometimes she'll be crying and also since she was born during the pandemic so I have been at home for nine months, I have been working from home. So sometimes when I’m working I can hear her crying. She's like, she wants me, she needs me. So it's very difficult for me to balance both life, like the mom life and then the work life. So you mentioned you had your daughter during the pandemic so I’m just so curious like what has that been like for you guys in Maldives, like how have you guys adjusted to this kind of new normal and what was your birth like, would you guys have new regulations and things that you had to follow? Yeah, my daughter was born in the March and that time it wasn't like this. I mean it was slowly the cases were increasing and since then the government has actually put some restrictions like we can't, I mean not everyone can go to the hospital on like I remember my family my relatives they were like so mad at me for not letting me them in the hospital to see the baby, like when I brought her to the home also they were like calling me and telling me why can't I let them in because they just want to see the baby but it was my newborn so I was like really scared for her. I don't want anything to happen to her obviously, right. So yeah, I think it was really challenging for me. Yeah I can only imagine like already with becoming a parent during this time but during a pandemic when yeah all these and new things coming out. And then we had the lockdown I think after one month and then we have been at home for maybe four months or something and then still I did not take my daughter out. So like, when I used to go for waxing or something she'll be like crying when she see other people. It's like a new thing for her right.
Christa: Yeah she's probably just so used to being at home right now.
Nawa: Yeah so she thought this is the only one like inside the house, only her mom, dad, her grandmom.
Christa: I’m so interested because every country has had its way of dealing with the pandemic and setting different rules and stuff. So I know like a lot of moms out here like they weren't able to. I mean some weren't even allowed to bring their husband or their partner to the hospital.
Nawa: Yeah I was lucky, like that time it was not like this.
Christa: Let's kind of talk about, so you were in the hospital your husband did get to come and then once you went home you started breastfeeding. What were the hardest parts about breastfeeding and what did you kind of learn through your struggles with breastfeeding?
Nawa: Sometimes like it was since this is my first baby so it was very difficult for me like I don't know how to like how to feed her or anything even though when I was in the hospital I was told how to do like this, how to feed and all that. But still like when you come home you're alone, like yeah my mom was there so she was also helping but I think like when you're new for something you just need some time and I think you’re the only person who can teach you right, not everyone, not anyone else can do that.
Christa: Do you guys have a lot of community support or obviously this could all be like before the pandemic because I know a lot of things have changed like even up here a lot of classes and hospital support have all kind of moved virtual. So did you have that kind of support for breastfeeding or just different kinds of classes or support to kind of move into motherhood?
Nawa: No, actually we don't have anything like that here. It's just that when you give birth and when you are at the hospital from there they will just tell you what to do and all that. We don't have any kind of a community or something like where they can ever be you or something or like that. I just did my research and then I just went to google like, how to help myself because there were some days that I had so many things in my mind that no one can actually answer or like no one can help me with. So yeah, I think the google was the everything for me
Christa: Yeah I mean sometimes I think that's all it takes is just kind of seeing what's out there yeah googling, seeing other people's experience, and getting help that way. That's awesome and I think it's so cool that you guys had that like your family around you so you have support from your mom and your aunts close by you because I think that's a huge thing to have that close-knit community around you.
Nawa: My mom was always there for me.
Christa: What kind of advice do you have, I know a lot of moms, I think when I originally wrote this question I wrote it about breastfeeding but especially being a mom that had her baby during the pandemic I know there's a lot of moms right now that are currently pregnant and still kind of anxious or nervous about it so, what kind of advice do you have for moms that are currently pregnant or just had a baby in the pandemic that are kind of feeling a little bit of stress and a little bit of worry because of everything going on?
Nawa: What I can say is that it's just you who knows the best for your kid no one else will know. Like do what's just best for you both, what works for you both, and it's not easy, breastfeeding is not easy. I know how many hours I have been awake feeding my baby and still I don't want to be like giving up. I want to continue like as long as she wants I have been scared maybe one day I might not be able to do this but then what I feel is like it's just what she needs, like we have to give her this we just can't stop just because it's difficult for us or maybe there's no other way for us.
Christa: Yeah, just kind of thinking it as this is what she needs right now and doing everything you can.
Nawa: Yeah, maybe like tomorrow so when she grows up we can sleep, we can enjoy, we can go wherever we want. But, this time won't come back right. So what's something that you've learned about yourself? Whether it's through pregnancy or through becoming a mom. What I have learned is that you have to learn yourself, not like you have to go and ask everything from someone and then maybe that person is going to be with you each and every second like, how to do this, how to do that, and all that. It's just you have to work yourself and to learn to figure out which way is the best for you.
Christa: Yeah, I’ve heard that a lot in my interviews where so many women get overwhelmed by all the information out there and they read everything and when it comes down to it, I mean kind of like our brand MommyKnowsBest when it comes down to it, what's best for your baby and it's good to kind of take pieces of information but ultimately what's going to work best for your schedule, your family, and your baby. So just like a little update, what is the Covid situation kind of like right now in Maldives? Like are you guys able to go out a little bit to like public places or is it very kind like controlled where you guys go?
Nawa: Yeah, the Covid situation right now in Maldives is under control. Like we had I think maybe 41 deaths here. Though, I think two to three months back there was like maybe more than 100 positive cases here, but now mostly it has like 10 or maybe sometimes eight so that much is controlled. But when people are going around they wear the mask, and when we go to the restaurants and cafe there's a way we can sanitize ourselves, and when we are going with the baby they will sanitize the high chair as well.
Christa: Okay cool so it seems like it's getting much better for you guys then and awesome. Yeah, it's so interesting like every country is kind of doing their own thing right now so I’m always yeah to see yeah we're doing. How are you navigating being a new mom during this kind of crazy time that we're living in?
Nawa: First of all, I’m very much concentrating about the post-baby return to work but since the authorities have told us that if you can walk while staying at home then it's actually the best during this time. But it has been very challenging to balance the, as I have said, the mom life and the work life as well, and my family, my husband, they are really supporting like every day. Every morning when I wake up my husband will be taking care of the baby until I finish my office work, until I finish doing my workout, then my mom will be also helping him as well.
Christa: It's awesome that you're able to like work from home. I think that's such an awesome benefit about certain jobs especially in this climate everything going on right now. So did you all, did you always work from home before all this or were you in an office?
Nawa: No, I was in the office until I had my labor pain. I was there, yeah I was working until the last minute I remember and then I couldn't go that day, I couldn't go to the office because I was having so much pain and the next day I ended up getting but.
Christa: Oh my gosh, oh wow and the timing like with everything going on it wasn't the timing for you was like perfect because you were able to like before a lot of the craziness and I don't, I’m sure maldives was, since you guys are smaller it didn't get too out of hand but that sounds like at least you were able to work from home right away and you guys. Yeah. How is maternity leave and all that work by you?
Nawa: Here actually we get six months of matter until you are in the government sector. But since I am working in a private place we get like three months. Okay. Yeah, and then I was lucky to get four months because my management was really nice and they let me take one moment. And then I was scared when my maternity was going to end. I was so scared like my baby's too small. I didn't want to go and then the Covid situation came, actually I was lucky, I’m still lucky I’m at home with my nine months old. That's amazing because I think, yeah there's so many people now that are figuring out that they can do their jobs at home and now you get to be around and be there for your daughter. Before, I mean before the situation came maybe some people were thinking it's actually a must that you should go to the office and do your work but because of this Covid, I am sure that most of the people will be thinking like, why should I go to office when I can work from home?
Nawa: Maybe so many people have actually figured out how they are going to do it like maybe before they did not have any idea about this.
Christa: Yeah, exactly. I think yeah, I think a lot of jobs are kind of morphing into this new thing where they're kind of realizing like a lot of people can work from home if you don't need to be at the office, so I know we've kind of done that here a lot of us MommyKnowsBest we've started working from home. I was at the office for a little bit but we have a really small team so we've kind of just kind of bounced around but I can definitely see especially with having a young baby that would be really able to do that. Cut out all that commute time and extra time away so that's awesome. So what do you say is the best part about being a mom?
Nawa: You might experience the small moments that can't be explained. I believe like time flies, you'll never know when your baby will grow up. So just enjoy the small moments, you never know this time won't come back.
Christa: I always like to end these interviews with what I call them fun thinking questions and it's kind of just to get a different perspective of different moms. So my first question is, if you could have a billboard made today, where you could share one tip with moms everywhere, what would you have it say?
Nawa: I was just a stone returned to anyone else. Just know what your heart says. Do what your heart says,
Christa: perfect, yeah. That's great. What advice would you give to moms that are in a hard spot right now?
Nawa: This, it's just a phase, it will go. We all have been there and from there we are learning and yeah you're doing a great job and obviously you're the best.
Christa: So let's talk a little bit about where everyone can find you on Instagram. I know you have amazing pictures and amazing tips for moms, about breast about, I think you have tips for feet, like weaning, and you've got tons of amazing pictures too. So, yeah, how do I find you on Instagram and just talk a little bit more about what you have on your page.
Nawa: I wish I could have started this a bit earlier when I mean obviously I did not have time when I had my baby to post pictures or anything. So, I am actually trying to help the people who are actually struggling with weaning, breastfeeding. I am trying my best to help everyone, anyone who comes with a problem or something, I just try to help them. Now I’m a person who posts videos of weaning and all that, but I wish maybe I could have started this a bit earlier when I was breastfeeding so I could have helped so many people. When I was scared of like, my milk supply would go low or something there was no one actually I could ask for help. It was just google and I just did my research and everything. From there I just went to this moment like lactation cookies and I believe when I bought it just helped my life and that's the way I am actually trying to help others as well, like to help people. I know there's no way I mean not everyone will know how to buy all this and everything so I’m just trying to help everyone like maybe I can bring something, I mean, what I have been using and then let people know what is this to give them knowledge. That's how I want to help everyone.
Christa: Yeah, definitely, and I think you're already doing such a good job of that already because I mean I see like, when you share about your breastfeeding journey or I know you shared about MommyKnowsBest lactation cookies. And I’ve gotten messages from people in Maldives asking about the lactation cookies and just different tips and stuff and so I think you're already kind of raising that awareness. So I think it's amazing what you're doing because there's so many. I think there's so many countries that still don't have either access to the knowledge or support when it comes to breastfeeding or boosting your milk supply. So I think that's so cool what you're doing. Because everything you kind of show is helping your followers and people around you so I think that's awesome.
Nawa: Yeah, I don't want any person to feel like, what am I going to do? Like, how am I going to do anything like that? So when someone comes to my page or my vlog, I want everyone to know, like, this is the place where I can get help, this is a person who can help me and tell me what to do. Like that.
Christa: Yeah, I think that's the whole thing with like the reason why we started this show is because like, so many moms and women out there have so many things that they've gone through or they've learned and I want to give them like a space to be able to share their story because I think there's so many moms out there going through the same exact thing, but they don't know where to go and so like by you and by all these other women sharing their stories it's going to help so many women that are going through the same thing. Maybe not now but maybe they will in a little bit and then they'll be like, hey I remember hearing about that. Yeah, so I think it's amazing what you're doing, I think it's really great.
Nawa: Yeah, thank you.
Christa: Yeah, awesome. So where can everyone find you on Instagram, like what's your Instagram handle if they want to go ahead and give you a follow there?
Nawa: My Instagram is like royalwildKat and in from Arabic I have written
Christa: Awesome. And I will link it below too for everyone that is watching or listening to the podcast, we'll definitely put all your links there. And are there any other social media links or pages that they can follow you on?
Nawa: No, right now I’m just going through with my Instagram because I don't have too much time for everything.
Christa: But I know, I’m sure I know you've got so much going on right now Instagram is pretty much where it's at anyways, so that's awesome. Yes, We'll definitely link it below and so everyone can check out your page and see all the different tips that you share as well and see the beautiful pictures of Maldives.
Christa: Awesome, well thank you so much for coming on, I’m really glad we were able to figure out at times I know the time difference is crazy between the two.
Nawa: I know we have been trying so hard to get on this.
Christa: I know I was like, there's got to be a time that's going to work so yeah, awesome, well thank you so much for coming on I really appreciate it.
Join our private Facebook Group - New Moms - Breastfeeding & More Support Group by Mommy Knows Best: https://bit.ly/3gQIF9z
*Mommy Knows Best is committed to providing informational, motivational, and inspiring videos to all moms. Statements in this video are for informational purposes only and are not to be taken as medical advice or recommendation. Any health concern or condition should be brought to the attention of your doctor.