This article is a part of the #ShareWhatMatters campaign, a movement dedicated to sharing positivity, gratitude, activism and the stories that really matter.
When I first became a mother I believed that everyone else’s needs and wants were greater than my own.
I now know that’s not true.
As a young mom, being able to raise and love my children is a gift I cherish and find joy in, but it’s not the only thing I find joy in. At one time, I forgot about my dreams and personal happiness outside of being a mom. I felt guilty. I felt guilty because working women in 2016 are still for some reason made to feel that way. I felt like having any other type of desire or interest in something would spark others to judge me for not putting a thousand percent of my energy and time into my kids. I had to do some soul searching before I could figure out the root of where this pressure came from.
To be completely honest, I probably judged moms that chose to work outside the home versus staying at home to care for their children too at some point. Before you have kids, you have many expectations as to what it will be like. You think you know what kind of mom you will become and how your children will be. You establish a false reality. I learned quickly after my daughter was born that motherhood isn’t always pretty. It’s hard. Really hard.
Before kids I was a makeup artist, and loved it. I love transforming people through makeup. I love to see their reactions and enhance what people have already been given. It wasn’t a job to me. It was fun and enjoyable for me. With my pregnancies I get very sick and because of that I was on bed rest for the first four months. My career started to fade away quickly. It never really got back to where it was going since then.
Now, here I am, 2 years, two kids later, and I get lonely and exhausted. Although I realistically know I can’t work as much as I want to now, my desire is to be able to do it part time again. Right now I work when I can and it requires my 7 month old to be worn on my chest while I do so. It’s not ideal, but it’s what I have to do to still have a connection to what makes me happy. My 2 ½ year old just started preschool 2 days a week for 5 hours, and believe it or not this was a decision I wrestled with so so much. Not because I thought anything was wrong with it, but because I was afraid other people would think I’m a bad mom. My fears became a reality when I did get backlash on that decision. Despite the judgment, my daughter loves it, and I love it because I have time to do makeup again.
To all the other Moms out there: YOU are the parent and YOU make the decision that best suits your family. There is no one size fits all. What is right for your family, may not be what’s right for mine, and that’s OKAY. Opinions are purely that; opinions. It doesn’t need to affect you, unless you let it. I LOVE the time I get to spend with my girls, but I also have a lot of other passions as a makeup artist.
So to the full time working mamas, get it.
To the part time working mamas, get it.
To the full time stay at home mamas, get it!
Whatever category you fall into, don’t forget about your passions and dreams. It’s easy to forget yourself when you’re a parent. Most days, you are just trying to keep them fed and somewhat clothed. Parenting does require sacrifice, and you’ll find that there will be seasons that require more of your time than others, but in those times remember the dreams you dreamed when you were young still matter. The dreams you dreamed yesterday still matter.
In fact, having your kids see you dream – and not only dream but live out those dreams – is SO important. It gives them permission to do the same and be inspired by you. Serve your family, but also serve what sets your soul on fire. Ladies, we were created to kick ass. Let’s empower each other to take this world by storm while raising a generation of smart and strong dreamers.
More About the Author
- Janae has been married almost 5 years to her high school honey and together they have two precious daughters. Besides wearing the wife and mama hat, she is also an LA trained makeup artist and business owner with her husband in Dallas, Texas. Most days you can find her half awake chasing a strong-willed toddler, reheating a cup of tea and wiping baby butts.