Courtesy of Aaliya Yaqub

My 'Secret' To Being A Mom Of 4 & A Physician Isn't Much Of A Secret

By Aaliya Yaqub

When my husband and I found out that we were expecting baby number four last year, it sent us into a mini panic. Our lives were already so full: two intense careers, three energetics kids between the ages of 6 and 2, a new home build still in process. How were we going to make it all work? I couldn't imagine how we would have enough time for our relationship, a social life, and ourselves.

I’m a physician who serves as the medical lead for three different healthcare startups and an angel investor. I love my work and I also really love being super present with my babies. I felt like I’d finally pinned down a system for making it work with three kids, and now we were adding another one. It felt safe to say that things were about to get wild.

Well, our fourth baby was born two months ago and it’s been great so far. She is the sweetest, snuggliest little sweet pea and we are soaking it all up. We’re also getting into a good groove, which I can say is largely thanks to the fact that I heavily rely on being organized (I’m talking calendar, regular meal planning, and creating lots of routines). I also find it incredibly important to use baby care products that actually work and save us time. For us, that means super absorbent Pampers Swaddlers diapers for our baby, which have been instrumental in helping us avoiding excessive nighttime wake ups and unnecessary clothing changes after a blowout. I’ve tried so many diapers over the years and have learned how leaks lead to unnecessary stress, so I’ve learned my lesson — and I know so many mamas reading this can relate.

My daily and weekly routine has also become fine-tuned with the addition of our littlest baby. Now, I save time and stress by pre-packing the kids' lunches the night before, and dinnertime in our house is all about quick and easy. I pick out and set aside the week’s outfits for myself and my family every Sunday. I use dry shampoo to extend the life of my blowouts, and I make sure to find the time to schedule a mani pedi once a month because it makes me feel good to be pampered. And, I take the kids to the park or walk around the neighborhood after work and on weekends to get in a few extra steps. I also rely on a handful of solid colored neutral clothing staples to help me look polished and put together as much as possible. Although, I will admit that milk stained shirts and topknots make an appearance here and there. We’re all just trying to survive right?

Photo: Courtesy of Aaliya Yaqub. Design: Allison Gore/Romper.

One of my biggest mom tips, though, is to love yourself as hard as you love your kids. Be kind to yourself. None of us are perfect and it’s easy to feel like you’re not doing a good job, but guess what? You are. You’re the mom that your babies love. And you’re a better mom when you aren’t feeling guilty, stressed, or inadequate, so please take care of your mind, your heart, and your spirit. These little people are only little once, so enjoy them. Take the pressure off of yourself. You’re doing a great job, mama, and no one can be a better mama to your babies than you can. Surround yourself with a good support system of friends and other mamas. It’s always easier when you feel like you’re not alone.

This post is sponsored by Pampers.