Dating back to the 20th century, an American family, including five young children faced a tragedy that had never been heard of before. During birth, the expecting mother passed away, leaving her husband to bring up 6 children alone. William Smart committed himself to parenthood and raised 6 wonderful children. A number of years later, in 1910, Mr Smart’s eldest daughter, Sonora Dodd expressed her love and gratitude to her father, welcoming other families to join in the honour to their own fathers. After a long but worthwhile process with the city administration, Sonora introduced Father’s Day as a national holiday in order to praise, thank and welcome fathers of the community.
Now an international celebration, Father’s day is supported all over the world. Celebrities, the general public and even the most unique fathers take pride on this day, 12th June 2017. Not only is 7 children hard work, but bringing up 7 sporty, healthy and happy children which are all very talented and goal-orientated requires love, commitment and a super-dad! Luckily, Myprotein had the opportunity to catch up with a super-sporty dad…
Rustam and his wife both excel within sporting disciplines, Rustam is a boxer and his wife a gymnast. In 2013, one of their daughters, Evnika Saadvakass, became a true internet sensation, Evnika simply uploaded a video of her intense training session and received an astonishing 3.5 million views. Within the millions of viewers, numerous celebrity fans praised her performance, including Roy Jones and Mike Tyson.
How does it feel to be a father of seven children?
Did you feel any different between your first or seventh child?
Yes, sure. It felt different but it’s not simple. When you are expecting your first child, you are filled with the sense of delight.
The excitement after your first child is born is indescribable, as with his birth the first true family day begins.
With every new child born, my excitement got stronger. It’s an amazing feeling, bursting with new colours each time. With every new child, my family became healthier, stronger and wiser.
Until lately we had six kids – five girls and one boy. Lately, our seventh baby entered our lives. I’m on cloud nine.
Is everyone in your family an athlete?
Yes. All our children are keen on sport and active games.
Who in your family is responsible for sports development of your children?
I am lucky to have my wife – we are more than just a family, we are a team. I suppose I can be called chief trainer of the Saadvakass family, we’re a cross-functional team (laughs). My wife Anna provides us with everything necessary, takes care of the general condition of all family members, including me. If I am the heart of a training process, then she is the blood circulatory system. However, all family members contribute to the training process.
Are you a strict trainer? And father? Do your children take advantage of their trainer also being their father?
Certainly, I consider myself a strict trainer and I want my kids to see me as a strict father, but I don’t know what they actually think. During training sessions, I have to be strict but I don’t always succeed, more and more often I want to tell jokes with my children. I think parents should keep the educational process in balance. My wife Anna is a very soft person – she often goes easy on children, therefore, I took the role of a strict parent. Together we keep everything in harmony.
In my opinion, an important part of upbringing is to create a certain atmosphere in your family – it’s like fertilised soil for a plant – if an atmosphere of love and mutual understanding rules at home, a child will grow a good, kind and honest person.
What is the most difficult part of being a father to seven kids?
The hardest is to be equally good and bad for every child, to make sure that a seed of discord won’t grow between them. Besides father and trainer, the major part of the time I also have a judge also living in me – this role oppresses me the most. On decisions, I take indisputable matters that occur between children, depend on their further relations between each other.
What are the happiest moments of being a father?
A birth of a baby, it’s laugh, the first step, the first word, the word “father” said for the first time, small wins – these all constitute happy moments. However, lately, I’ve discovered a new happiness of fatherhood – to be acknowledged by social surrounding. After you called me “super-dad”, I’ve been singing around the house, mainly the hymns of various states (laughs). I think it was one of the happiest moments of being a father.
How do you celebrate family holidays? What is your role as a father in it?
We love family holidays. Usually, my senior daughters bake pies, cakes and various delicacies. It’s a great pleasure when my kids come into my office with their pastry masterpieces for me to try and then wait for my verdict. Sometimes I have to eat absolutely inedible dishes brought by my junior daughters. The latest dish was a salad with shredded carrots, raw dough rolled into a circle shape, and carefully sliced raw potatoes … I ate almost everything!
How do you spend weekends?
We like spending weekends outdoors. My senior son Rush is 15 years old and has recently started to help me arrange weekends and holidays, which makes me very happy. We like having a barbeque by the house, cooking shashlik. While my son and I boss it outdoors, girls help my wife with salads and snacks. We rarely spend weekends in a small family circle. Commonly, we always invite friends – our usual circle is 16 people.
Do you follow any specific diet? Could you share a nutrition secret with us?
We always try to have a diversified diet! We eat a lot of fruits, vegetables and meat which are the basic for the good function of your body. I think our little extra tip would be to eat nuts and honey, we always have those two on our table! Also, for our daily health and energy we are consuming some Myprotein products, I choose that brand because at the moment it is the best quality that you can find on the Sport Nutrition market.
What advice and recommendations would you give to those who strive to become super dads?
First of all, don’t be afraid. All information is contained in you on a genetic level – love for kids and desire to create a happy family will help you to find correct solutions in the process of upbringing.
Second, learn to listen to nobody, even such experienced guys like me. Trust your instincts. Remember that up to now the world has no absolute recipe of “perfect upbringing” – an advice without fatherly love will bring no benefit.