Meet Seba, a sensitive, kind, and resilient single mother who shared what motherhood means to her in our recent open casting call to ‘all who Mother’. We were inspired by her strength as a solo parent to three children, as well as those she nurtures in the classroom. Oh and did we mention she's tiktok famous?
Tell us about yourself, and some of the pivoting moments that make you the woman you are today…
My name is Seba Dilaimi and I am a UK born Iraqi. My parents met and had me when they were both studying for their PHDs in the UK. I spent my primary school years in Kuwait until the Gulf War hit and we were sent back to Iraq, and lived through the Gulf War. When the war was done, and the borders were open, my family drove to Jordan where we spent a couple of years while waiting for our immigration application to New Zealand to be approved. This was a big moment in my life, and really does change the way I go about life. I always remind my children, and students how blessed we are to be living in a beautiful country with so many blessings! Safety being one of the biggest!
Raising three kids solo makes you a super hero to us! Those early years can’t have been easy to navigate, what would you go back and tell yourself, or do you have any words of comfort for other women in a similar space.
Solo mum of 3, not how I envisioned my life, but I would not change it for the world. Yes it was hard! So hard sometimes I wanted to give up. I really hit rock bottom, and it may sound crazy but my children were my rock, my strength that kept me going. They pulled me up many times when I said it was all too much. I worked hard and I went back to university because I wanted to be someone who inspired not only my 3 children but other children to find the power within themselves to be the best they can be. Believing in yourself and loving yourself - dreaming big and working hard to chase that dream. I have always said to my children, hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard!
If you are a mum going through tough times, please remember that you are strong! You can push through and it does get better. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, even when we don't see it right away.
The best thing about your children, what you cherish or what they have taught you.
My children have taught me what unconditional love is! The bond we have is priceless. They are my best friends and I know no matter what, they never judge me. They are truly my biggest fans!
Congratulations on your career, raising a family while studying is no small feat. What does being a teacher mean to you?
Teaching is by far the most rewarding job. I am in a place where I can inspire, support and guide so many tamariki. Each and every day is a new adventure, full of laughs and tears. I get to watch them grow into their unique selves and then cry as they graduate at the end of Year 6. I just hope to be the teacher that the children remember! just like those teachers who were influential in my life and I remember.
What does motherhood means to you?
Motherhood, one of life's greatest gifts and blessings. Watching my children grow into teenagers, and seeing their personalities blossom. I am just beyond proud! I can't imagine life without my 3! They truly are my everything.
Spoil them with Saben this Mother's Day.