You could say that Nadiah M Din wears many hats. Not only has the actress starred in well-received local TV series like Mata Mata, clinched a role in an Italian film Le Badanti (speaking Italian!), danced in Sinaran The Musical, and hosted shows, she can now tuck motherhood under her belt.
In November last year, the 28-year-old gave birth to a baby boy Nahyan, now 6 months old. Since then, Nadiah, who is married to French husband Bilal Jeanpierre, 32, has had her hands full caring for “poupon” (French for baby) Nahyan.
Not surprisingly, Nadiah, who has been in over 40 dramas or performances, has been focusing on motherhood and her little one since he arrived late last year. Her best motherhood moments so far? “To witness him grow every single day ― he does different things, and I’m so happy to watch him talk ― the first word that he said was ‘mama’”.
“I’m so happy to watch him talk – the first word that he said was ‘mama’”
No worries if you miss seeing Nadiah on the screen, she’ll be back on 9 August to co-host this year’s National Day Parade! Having just finished filming a show called Pontianak in Malaysia, plus, she also auditioned recently for yet another show.
SmartParents sits down with Nadiah to get an update on how she’s been adjusting to life as a new mum!
Hi Nadiah! How have you and your family been adjusting to life as a family of three?
I’ve been adjusting really, really well, of course with the support of everyone around me like my family, my mum and my sister. Without the support of everyone, I think I wouldn’t be where I am today. And Bilal, my husband, is coping really well as well, because he loves being a father. I’m also enjoying each and every step of being a mother.
Your baby is now 6 months old! What has the motherhood experience been like for you?
It’s been great, every day is a blessing for me, every day I learn new things about him, about being a mother, about how to cope with things at home. You know, it’s not easy being a first-time mum, you have to adapt to having a baby, and literally, literally everything I do I have to think of him. Like if my friend text me like “hey come, let’s go catch up for coffee!”, I’m like, “oh..” because it’s not as easy as “okay, let’s go!” cos I have a baby I need to consider, but most of the time, I take him out with me as well. I don’t really restrict myself from going out because I know that it’s nice to take him around together with me as well. Apart from that, every day is a learning journey for me, and I’ve never stopped learning ― even now.
“It’s not easy being a first-time mum, you have to adapt to having a baby, and literally, literally everything I do I have to think of him.”
How is Bilal doing as a dad? Is he very hands-on?
He is, yeah ― he helps to change his Pampers. On weekdays I try not to let him wake up because he’s working nine to five, but on weekends, he will wake up. So on that part, I’m really blessed to have a husband who bothers… I bet some husbands don’t really care much!
Do you plan to let Nahyan learn both French and Malay?
Oh, actually, we already train him now. I teach him Bahasa Melayu and English, and my husband speaks to him in French. He cannot speak to him in English because his pronunciation is sometimes a bit French, so I don’t want him to go haywire [laughs].
You and Bilal have so many sweet pictures on Instagram! What’s the most romantic thing he’s done for you?
[Laughs] Can I say none!? No, no, no, okay lah ― the most romantic thing is ― a lot lah, quite a few. I mean, actually every day he is very romantic, because he does a lot of the house chores for me. I believe some husbands will be like ― no, the wife does the housework and I work ― but Bilal is a house husband, and one who goes out to work as well.
He always makes sure that the sink is very clean, he always makes sure that the clothes are very well organised, and he does a lot of laundry. Trust me, he does more than I do. So, my job is to mess up the house because of my child, and get ready very fast and go out somewhere, and then he’s the one who will clean it up [laughs].
“I mean, actually every day he is very romantic, because he does a lot of the house chores for me.”
You’ve just gone on a family trip to Paris ― was it harder to fly and travel with a baby?
Oh, definitely yes ― you know when you’re just two people you don’t need to think about Pampers and changing in the middle of the night because someone suddenly smells of poop, then you gotta wake up. So, that’s what happened to us ― on the plane, he berak (pooped) three times ― I don’t understand why. It was not easy ― we had to make sure he was comfortable, had to make sure that his milk was sufficient, and that there was food for him. We also travelled with more luggage ― you know, compared to all of our bags, his bag was the heaviest bag because he had a lot of clothes compared to me and Bilal. So, it was not easy but I’m so glad that we managed to overcome it very, very well.
How do you, Bilal and Nahyan spend time together ― spend family time?
We love to go for walks in the park, or most of the time we spend time with our family, we go to my mum’s house and we can have a mini-gathering. Sometimes, we just order food, and we Netflix together as a family, we will just laugh over whatever random things, and then we will go swimming. Sometimes, we will have a gathering with his little cousins, ’cos I’ve got seven nieces and nephews altogether, so he’s got a huge pool of cousins!
“We’re happy with three, but four is the best.”
As an actress, do you think that it’ll be harder to juggle work with family time?
Well, of course it would be difficult, but I think it’s definitely doable, I’ve been getting help from my sister, Tini M Din, and my mum, Hamidah, they both have been helping me look after my son sometimes when I have work. This year, I am hosting the National Day Parade, and I think it’s my husband, my mum, my sister helping me to look after Nahyan as well.
You’ve acted in a variety of shows ― from musicals to an Italian film. Which project would you say has been the most challenging for you?
The Italian one because I had to speak Italian and I didn’t know any. I had told told the director when he auditioned me that yeah, I speak very well, but I had zero knowledge. Until two weeks before I flew over, I made sure I learned a little bit - crash course, and when I was there, they really believed I could speak Italian ’cos I spoke with an accent. They believed me because I just memorised my lines in Italian, but I made sure I knew what the meaning is at the back of my head. So, when I met my teacher before I flew, I asked her to help me translate the whole entire script, and I just delivered my lines while memorising it.
You first acted when you were only 5 years old ― if you weren’t an actress, what do you think you would be instead?
Newscaster or a painter [laughs]. I like TV lah! Both my mum and dad are artists, my late father was quite a well-known artist here and internationally ― he had a lot of exhibitions overseas ― Amsterdam, Paris… I paint once in a while but now, forget it lah, no time. I took art in my school days and I did really well.
Are you working on any upcoming projects besides the upcoming NDP?
Well, I finished a film in Malaysia, it’s called ‘Pontianak’. I decided after this, I’m not going to do any project until National Day because I need to be with Nahyan before I leave him on National Day. So as of now, I am not, but I just auditioned for one show which I believe, I think I might get it, but I cannot disclose any details as of now.
Please fill in the blanks:
The first word Nahyan said is…Mama.
I hope Nahyan inherits my…Personality… and my husband’s… features.
My go-to comfort food/dish is… Cheese.
My favourite baby brand is… Stokke.
My biggest celeb crush is… J Lo.
I’m counting down the days until…I get to see my son walk.
Photos: Instagram/Nadiah M Din
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