Published on May 4, 2018 — Leave a comment

Hear the Scoop on Trill Motherhood from BOSSMOM Nation Founders Shah and Aliyah

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We couldn’t be more thrilled about bringing back badass moms with these two incredible women. Meet Shah Zareef and Aliyah Muhammad, the force behind BOSSMOM Nation, an online community that celebrates “trill” motherhood. With a commitment to education and prioritization of self-care, BOSSMOM Nation is driven by purpose and the desire for personal growth. With a combined seven children between them, they juggle motherhood and a entrepreneurship from Oakland, CA (Shah) and Atlanta, GA (Aliyah). Get to know these two inspiring women and find out everything from their secret mom hacks to the songs that make them feel.

Tell us a bit about your family:
Shah: My husband and I have been married for 12 years with 4 children. Ages 9 (Saniyah), 7 (Khayri), 2 (Aziz) and our newest addition is six months old (Nasir).
Aliyah: I have a 16-year-old son (Malik), and two daughters 9 and 6 (Justice and Amirah). After a 12-year marriage, my husband and I decided to separate and we now co-parent from Atlanta and New York!

Besides being a mother, what else do you do? 
Shah: Until about three years ago, I was a salon owner and hairstylist. After my third child I decided to close my salon and be a full-time homemaker. I started a community called BOSSMOM Nation with my lifelong friend. We started the  community to connect, support, and inspire mothers to pursue their personal dreams in the midst of motherhood. We are currently in the works to launch an app that will allow mothers to connect with local moms in their area and many other great features to build local community. 
Aliyah: In addition to being half of BOSSMOM Nation with the bestiest of besties, I am a flight attendant. Cool, I know! However, I’m ready for it to take the back burner while I work on building this brand and Nation with Shah.

“This look is one of my fave badass looks! I’m like Queen Zorro ready to save the day in my hat & cape. The hat adds instant glam, the cape makes me feel powerful, and I paired the look with a pair of fun black booties.” – Shah

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A day in the life of you:
Shah: I rise with the sun to make sure I have a little silent me time before my children wake. “Wake before the quake” is what I call it. By 7:45am I’m headed out the door to drop my older two children off to school and my 2-year-old goes to daycare with my sister-in-law, while I keep my littlest baby with me to run errands, do house chores, and work on content for BOSSMOM Nation. On Monday and Fridays my 2-year-old  doesn’t go to daycare so I use those days to incorporate some kind of toddler activities to keep him busy.
Aliyah: Early days. A big mission of BOSSMOM Nation is self-care and I have taken a personal obligation to incorporating that into my life. I find the best time and place to do this is in the mornings before everyone wakes up. I commit to about 1-2 hours of this. Then, I’m getting the babes ready for school. Back home for some errands, work, and home care until the children are out school. Homework, family socializing, dinner and house work until bed. The weekends are for whatever the kids want to do and extra rest!

What makes your approach to motherhood unique?
Shah: My approach to motherhood is unique because I’ve decided to go with the flow, and to shift and pivot when necessary! Motherhood is always presenting a different set of unpredictable challenges, so over thinking things will drive you crazy.

Favorite badass mom moment:
Shah: My favorite badass moment to date is the night I went into labor with my 4th child. It was my oldest child’s 9th birthday and we were planning to take her to dinner at Benihana, mine and her favorite restaurant! Earlier that morning I had a feeling that by the end of the night I’d be delivering the baby, as the day progressed so did my contractions. Around 6:30p.m. a part of me knew that I should probably be on my way to the hospital instead of getting ready for dinner reservations, but I was craving fried rice so I told my husband to let his mom know we’d be dropping the children off after dinner to head to the hospital. When we made it to the restaurant, they were behind on reservations and my contractions were getting more intense! I went to the bathroom, came out of the stall and looked myself in the mirror like, “Girl, you’re not getting any rice tonight, get out of this place and go have your baby.” I came out to break the news to my baby girl that I wouldn’t make it through her birthday dinner and that she’s going to be sharing a birthday with her little brother. Within about 45 minutes of arriving at the hospital, I’d given birth for the 4th time! The badass thing about this story is that I was completely in tune with my body down to the minute almost! I knew when it was really showtime and I didn’t give up hope on my fried rice craving until I absolutely had to! Pretty badass if you ask me 🙂

What’s the one thing you wish you had known before you became a mom:
Aliyah: There’s no refund policy. Hahaha, just kidding. I honestly love being a mother. My mother was a rockstar mom, so I kinda had a good idea of what was to come.

“I love flowy, feminine pieces that move. When I need to look polished, this is my go-to look. A striped pullover and luxe maxi.

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What quick advice do you have for badassmoms-to-be?
Shah: Don’t sweat the small stuff! You were born equipped with everything you need to birth and care for your children.
Aliyah: Your children are individuals. Let them be and enjoy how their mind flows and evolves.

Hardest thing about being a mom:
Shah: Consistently making time for myself! I’m training my family to understand that if mama isn’t taking care of herself the family will not thrive!
Aliyah: Realizing that most people in your home only think you need a semi-break 1-2 times per year on Mother’s Day and possibly your birthday! lol

Best mama hack:
Shah: Never leave home without snacks for the kids and yourself! Hangry mama and children is a recipe or drama!
Aliyah: Get your rest. NO MATTER WHAT. Find some time to recharge.

How do you balance self and mamahood?
Shah: It’s an ongoing struggle but the key to making it happen is being as organized as I can be with my time. Choosing to read or meditate rather than scrolling on social media, or rising early with the sun to pray instead of sleeping in.
Aliyah: Still working on it and I have found peace in that it’s a constant work in progress.

What do you do for fun?
Shah: Read,  I’m a modern day bookworm 🙂
Aliyah: Learning something techy, laughing, and my favorite, sleeping!

Best life hack:
Shah: Pray, pray and pray some more!
Aliyah: Stay positive and remember, “A loss ain’t a loss, it’s a lesson.” — Jay Z

The activity that gives you the most joy:
Shah: Soulcycle
Aliyah: Sleeping and talking to my children or Shah.

“I styled all of my pregnancies with my favorite pair of maternity jeans, a T-shirt, and my timeless cardigan wrap from Taylor Jay Collection. Super comfy and easy to pull together! This look takes me from school drop-offs and into my day full of errands.

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What song makes you move?
Shah: Beyonce Schoolin’ Life.
Aliyah: Drake’s Nice for What.

What song makes you feel?
Shah: Anything by India Arie or Jill Scott
Aliyah: Beyonce’s Lemonade album

What excites you about fashion today?:
Shah: I’m excited about the minimalist approach to fashion, shopping for timeless staple pieces that can be mixed and matched endlessly!
Aliyah: Accessibility and creativity. You can get it everywhere and in all forms.

What excites you about shopping secondhand?
Shah: Secondhand shopping has always been a part of my lifestyle, my mother shopped thrift stores when I was a child, so I grew up with a love for secondhand goods.

Describe your personal style:
Shah: My style is becoming more and more basic with a dash of fun pieces in between!
Aliyah: I love flowy, feminine pieces that move. I am big fan on color but I don’t get to play with it often.

What inspires your style?:
Shah: My lifestyle inspires the clothing I wear. I must be able to be stick and move in my pieces! I’m always on-the-go so stylish sneakers and perfect fitting jeans are my go-to.
Aliyah: Comfort and pretty. I really like pretty things that flow well.

“I love distressed jeans. They’re so easy to dress up with a pair of chic booties.” – Aliyah

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Favorite designers and brands:
Shah: My number one go-to brand is from my designer friend and her brand Taylor Jay Collection. Locally made here in the Bay Area, there’s so much versatility in her threads.
Aliyah: I can definitely agree with Shah on this one. Every one of her pieces provide ultra feminine flow.

How does thredUP fit into your life?
Shah: thredUP is a win-win, I get to shop affordable secondhand gems and online!! No need to go into the thrift store and search for the goodies. thredUP curates the pieces perfectly, and that’s half the battle.

Favorite thredUP shopping hack:
Shah: Know exactly what you’re looking for.

One thing you are doing to make a difference in this world:
Shah: Creating space and community for women of color to share our stories and advocate for one another’s needs.
Aliyah: Raising good humans.

Words to live by:
Shah:
With every difficulty comes ease.
Aliyah:
Nothing last forever. Both good and bad.

Photo credit: @melissademata

Any other questions for Shah and Aliyah? Send ’em over in the comments below.