The wonders of parenthood
Rafi Hossain: Please tell us a bit about how your experience has been the past few months.
Jubaidul Haque Reem: Needless to say, the feeling of becoming a father is truly a beautiful experience. But something I did not expect after Nabila got pregnant is how much closer we would become as a couple over the next couple of months. Throughout the journey, our relationship as husband and wife has grown deeper. We have truly shared a very unique and enjoyable experience. Even though Nabila had to deal with the physical strain of carrying a child, it has been a wonderful journey for both of us.
Masuma Rahman Nabila: I have always heard that people who have never been through this journey will not know how it truly feels. I believe it is true because the thrill and excitement I have felt cannot be described with words. Even though I had to deal with some physical strain as Reem said, it has been interesting to learn about how our child is developing and the intricacies of pregnancy. Access to such information has become much easier with the internet. The people around me were incredibly supportive as well. The new mothers I knew also tried their best to guide me throughout the journey and gave me valuable advice. I was in a Facebook group for mothers, and even there, strangers came forward to support me. That was a nice feeling.
Rafi Hossain: Nabila, now that you are a parent, are you taking a break from work?
Masuma Rahman Nabila: When I first got pregnant, I received various offers to work on projects, all of which I had to turn down. After people heard the news, they started to ask me when I would be fit enough to take on these projects again. Back then, I thought by October, I would be able to work on a few of them, but now that our baby is on the way, I feel like I should give them more time before taking on any project. The truth is, the whole experience is such a new thing that I cannot say anything for sure right now. However, my work is a part of my identity, and I cannot be without it. So, slowly but surely, I will be back to work soon.
Rafi Hossain: What do you think of Reem as a father?
Masuma Rahman Nabila: Reem is a very caring person. He takes care of his family and me. He is also my friend and supports me throughout the entire day. I think someone as kind-hearted as him is bound to be an amazing father, and I do not doubt that.
Rafi Hossain: Reem, what are some things you hope to do with your child in the near future?
Jubaidul Haque Reem: I often picture all the good times I will get to spend with my child. I have already thought about the stories I shall tell them, the music I will introduce them to, the people I will talk to them about, the posters I will show them, and several other things. I spend my days thinking of these things, and I am very excited.
Rafi Hossain: Many celebrities avoid the media when they are expecting. How do you feel about that?
Masuma Rahman Nabila: Since I am involved with the media, I get recognized by many people. Although I do have a personal life, I do not have any strict restrictions for what I can or cannot announce to the public when it comes to these things. As long as my personal space is not invaded, I think it is fine for people to know that I am expecting since they would notice it anyways when I go out for work. I do not have a reason to hide it because I believe it is normal and natural for a woman to expect a child after getting married. But like I said, as long as I am physically able, I may go out to meet friends, to shop, or for work. I once shared a video on Instagram for an endorsement, and someone commented, saying I was sick and should have been resting. Unless there are specific complications, I do not think pregnancy is a kind of sickness at all. I believe that as long as I am healthy, there is nothing wrong with working. Again, it is very natural, and I believe it is something we should normalize. Especially during a time like this, I may get bored if I stay at home for too long. I think it is a healthy practice to go out sometimes. As such, pregnancy should not be stigmatized as a controversial thing.
Rafi Hossain: Reem, do you still go to the office for work?
Jubaidul Haque Reem: I do still go to the office, but nowadays I come back home sooner. I also rarely go out without Nabila and try to spend most of my time with her. I even skipped a university alumni program today.
Rafi Hossain: With the rise in domestic violence during the pandemic, how do you think couples can have a peaceful, loving relationship?
Masuma Rahman Nabila: I think of myself as a simple person, and I find people who commit acts like domestic violence very complicated. I want to ask them if they even want to be happy in the first place. I think they do not even know what happiness is and how to achieve it. They do not know what they want in life and like to live in a state of restlessness. I think this is what causes them to act that way. Either that or they may be bringing their anger and frustrations with them to their homes. A home should be where you take a break from the outside world and relieve yourself. They do the opposite and use the people in their homes as outlets for their anger and frustrations. Love to me is about companionship. When you are committed to someone, you should be understanding and willing to make compromises. Marriage is a big decision in anyone's life, and there are many considerations to be made. I do not think anyone should rush into it without thinking about it properly. There is also societal pressure, but I believe people should be smart when it comes to it. Reem and I have also had some disagreements. But we make it work by communicating, respecting each other's opinions, and finding a middle ground. Over time, we could understand our different views better. We knew we wanted to spend our lives together, and I do not think anyone should get married without being sure about fully committing. Before marriage, I had too many expectations, but later, I learned that there is not always a solution to everything. Specific things should be ignored. People have to be patient with one another and suppress their egos. That being said, if there is ever a situation where someone is unable to make such compromises, it is better not to be in an unhappy relationship.
Jubaidul Haque Reem: It is difficult to explain why we see this. If you look around, nowadays we see people dealing with pressure everywhere, whether it be from work or financial struggles. When we were growing up, people focused more on things like the arts and sports. People would participate in various activities. Recently, we see less of that because people already have too many things to deal with. It causes a great deal of stress. What we have to do is work on making ourselves more tolerant of these things. We should also work on being more tolerant towards our partners and other people. When Nabila and I have any disagreements or misunderstandings, we talk about and resolve them immediately. We have been able to communicate our feelings to each other well. I think more people should try and do that. As Nabila said, it is important to be compassionate.
Rafi Hossain: How do you feel about the media following celebrity relationships?
Masuma Rahman Nabila: In my personal experience, the media has not been intrusive in our marriage. However, I have recently seen both the media and the general public overly speculating celebrity relationships. Even in social media, people are often pessimistic whenever there is news of celebrities getting married. I think this is very wrong. Before marriage, I would sometimes post statuses on Facebook when I was upset. Nowadays, I do not feel like doing that, because no matter what I am upset about, people inevitably assume it is related to my marriage.
Rafi Hossain: Why do you think people have this pessimistic attitude towards celebrities?
Masuma Rahman Nabila: As I have said earlier, I think sometimes people cannot find their happiness and, as a result, fixate on public figures. Instead of working on themselves and focusing on their betterment, they try to demean others and focus on the negative aspects of their lives to feel better. Many people think they are perfect but really, I think they should focus more on developing themselves into better people.
Rafi Hossain: Before marrying Reem, what were some things about him that you found attractive?
Masuma Rahman Nabila: There are many things. One of the most important things is Reem and I knew each other for a long time, and as such, we knew we would understand each other on a personal level. We were at a point in our life where we both wanted to settle down, and marriage simply felt right. Many people were also very supportive of our decision and held us up to high standards, which felt very nice. Moreover, we had similar personalities, and I would say that is why I chose him as my husband.
Rafi Hossain: Many say that the relationship between a couple changes after they get married. Do you think that happened in your case?
Masuma Rahman Nabila: For us, there was always a lot of romance both before and after marriage. But one thing that changed significantly is that our friendship grew even stronger. After we come home from work, we both tell each other about how our day went. We watch a lot of movies and series together as well. Having a supportive friend like him is very pleasant.
Rafi Hossain: Do you think your celebrity status affects your relationship?
Masuma Rahman Nabila: I do not live my day-to-day life as a celebrity. When I am in the studio or at the office, only then do I consider myself one. Outside of that, I am just like any other person. I do not carry my celebrity image around in my personal life or when I am with friends or relatives. As such, I would say it does not affect my relationship at all.
Rafi Hossain: We wish you all the best in your journey as parents!
Transcribed by Rakaat Sharif