Moms Q&A is officially back and I am honored to start this new series with the stunning Reevana Govender, Mrs. South Africa 2017 Finalist.
My first interview in this series was back in 2014 with the gorgeous LeAnne Kistan-Dlamini who is such a people’s person! The whole idea for the series is to take a peek into the life of Celebrities, Bloggers, and Mompreneurs who are building their careers while being moms.
Meet Reevana Govender – Optometrist by profession.
Reevana is happily married to ex-Lotus FM DJ Chandresan Govender and together they have a beautiful 3-year-old daughter named Mayil.
She’s got beauty, brains and the dance moves too! 😉
She’s currently the brand ambassador for Bona Bolo Vision for learning which is an NPO that takes eye care facilities to peripheral areas of our country.
1. Which was the first beauty pageant you entered?
Miss Tinkerbell at the age of 10, I placed second.
2. Why did you enter Mrs. South Africa?
I entered Mrs. South Africa because I love what the brand stands for. It showcases the real women of our country and gives us relatable role models to look up to. It gives real women, wives, mums and career women the chance to make a difference and follow their dreams. It breaks the stereotypes of traditional pageantry and it is actually a women empowerment program. This was a program I wanted to be involved in.
3. How has the competition been thus far?
It has been life-changing, I feel like I am growing daily into a better version of myself. I have had the opportunity to network with the most beautiful and inspirational people. I feel privileged to be a Mrs. South Africa finalist and to be able to go on this journey of self-discovery and growth. The support I have had has also been so overwhelming and it keeps me motivated.
4. One thing/memory you will take away from the competition?
The friendships I have built and the 24 new sisters that I have.
5. What advice would you give to another mom wanting to enter a beauty pageant?
I would say go for it but to also do your research to ensure you are involved in a program that aligns with you.
Mrs. South Africa recently launched the 4her female empowerment program for all South African women. I think this is a great program to get involved in to understand what Mrs. South Africa, in particular, is about.
6. What motivates you to get out of bed every day?
My husband and my child, I love them more than anything and in everything I do I hold them as my reason and my driving force.
7. What has surprised you the most about being a mom?
That you can love and hate your child at the same time lol jokes…I didn’t know what unconditional love meant before my daughter and that overwhelming feeling of complete and unconditional love and that natural instinct to protect and nurture surprised me a lot. Like they say it’s a mothers instinct.
Please tell us about Mayil and how she influenced you?
My daughter is a ball of energy, she lights up an entire room, she is animated and loves being the center of attention. She loves dancing, acting and if you spend time with her you will have to call her Elsa of Errendale. She is my inspiration and my reason. She makes me want to be a better person and she makes me want to work harder.
8. Was your pregnancy everything you hoped for and expected it to be?
My pregnancy wasn’t planned, so that was a shock in itself. Apart from that, I had a smooth and wonderful pregnancy.
9. Did you have any cravings and what was the strangest one?
My husband was on standby for 2 am craving runs but I had none!
10. What was your reaction when you found out the sex of your baby?
At first, I thought I wanted a boy so when I found out I asked the doctor if he was sure. After having my daughter, I realized I am such a girl mum!
11. Did you exercise while pregnant? Share with us some tips.
I did a bit of yoga and I bounced a lot on an exercise ball. The ball helped a lot, I would also suggest all expectant mums get an exercise ball.
12. Did you have Natural or C-section? Was it exactly like everyone told you it would be?
I had a natural birth, I had a quick and relatively easy delivery(my husband begs to differ) but it was a beautiful experience. I labored at home for a few hours and went to the hospital still feeling relatively fine to be told I was 8cm dilated. At some points the pain was unbearable but the moment I met my daughter it all disappeared.
13. Did you breastfeed or bottle feed, tell us about your experience?
I battled with breastfeeding in the beginning and it broke me, no one tells you how hard it’s going to be. Eventually, we moved over to the bottle but both come with their ups and downs and I became a believer that fed is best in whichever way is possible for mum and baby.
14. Babies go through different stages as they develop. Which has been the most challenging one for you?
(Teething, potty training etc.) Mayil teethed like a pro and potty trained so quickly so I have been blessed in that regard. But 3 years and 3 months later we still don’t sleep through the night. We battled with that in the first year but now it’s a lot better but still never a solid 8 hrs.
15. Do you have a sleep schedule with your child? Did you try sleep training?
We do have a night-time routine and she is in bed by 8. We didn’t try sleep training as it was not something we felt we needed to do. We co-sleep (till today) and I fed on demand in the first 2 years and that made the nights easier for us. The nights are long but the years are too short so I enjoy having her close to us.
16. What are your favourite baby products?
I love xgel, I believe its the reason Mayil teethed so well. We did not have fevers or sleepless nights over teeth. I enjoy pure beginnings, epi-max body wash and I am loving doves new baby range.
17. What do you always carry in your handbag?
Wet wipes, lipstick, and a charger.
18. How do you manage your successful career while being a mom?
I have a wonderful support, my husband is very hands-on and we share all responsibilities. I think women are also so much stronger than we know and we should embrace that. I believe I can and I do.
19. What are your top tips for balancing work life and home life?
I think it’s about being able to blend rather than balance. I work well with checklists and prioritizing. But I also believe that when I am a career woman, I don’t stop being a mom or a wife. I try not to compartmentalize my life but rather integrate the two.
20. Do you think moms lose their mojo after having kids?
I don’t think we lose our mojo but our priorities change, becoming a mother especially for the first time is overwhelming. After more kids come along its easy to step into the routine of life but I think it’s important to make time for each other and not lose that spark.
21. Do you feel moms are pressurized to look and act in a certain way?
I often receive the comment that I look good for a mom and I find that to be a bit of a contentious statement. I think we are all individuals and should be able to embrace motherhood in whichever way we see fit. I don’t feel pressured to look or act a certain way as I was raised to embrace my uniqueness but I think society has been conditioned to believe there is a standard by which moms should conform. I believe in breaking stereotypes and reconditioning mindsets. The change starts with us.
22. Which other mother’s do you look up to and why?
This might sound like a cliché but I look up to the strong mothers and motherly figures in my life, I was a “laat lammetjie” and was molded by very strong women. I feel like I have incorporated a little bit of each of them into my journey of motherhood.
23. Share with us some of your quick style tips.
I believe in creating your own style that speaks of your own individuality and think it’s so important to feel comfortable in what you wear. Currently, I am loving darker shades, maroons, emerald green and navy. I am also loving prints like florals and checks.
You can vote for Reevana in the Mrs. South Africa pageant by SMSing #sabc3 Reevana Govender to 35959
Follow her journey on social media:
Red outfit family pics: Navlee photography
Reevana alone: Minisha Ramadu Photography
Maternity: Gilda Harris Photography