I shared a video on social media about how I am able to wear hats with labels that say: Work From Home, Single Mama, Nanny Auntie, Book Publisher, Book Seller, and Book Writer. Which, for the past few years I have been sharing how I’ve created my life here and there, and how moving forward I want to be more intentional and focused with my storytelling. I believe that self-help books work and that the whole genre is a gift to humanity, therefore don’t mind if I do add my two cents to this bucket about the things I’ve experienced in my lifetime. And while the title is about being a mom, you really could replace “Mom” with the labels/hats you wear.
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My Journey as a mom and my pursuit of healing (moments of wellness)
I’ve always been really big on speaking up and advocating for mental wellness and therapy. As a survivor of trauma, one of the many ways that I’ve been able to keep moving forward has been through engaging in creating and executing a mental wellness plan for my life and for my family. I talk about this later on in the article, but it’s important to mention it here because without this plan, without therapy, and without being aware that I needed to get help, I might’ve become like so many others who’ve struggled and succumbed to their intrusive thoughts. But I haven’t been overtaken. By pursuing my dreams and working on myself, I’ve found better days – healing/ more moments of wellness.
Having big dreams of being married, pregnant in the kitchen with a Chef, a mother who works from home, operating and owning creative businesses, having a couple of children, and being able to travel at my leisure; this lifestyle that I have seen others living, and that I’m still pursuing, is worth living and going after, and I have. I have been living my dreams.
As of January 2023, I am a single mother to a published author and artist of a child. I work from home and open and operate a couple of creative businesses and I get to travel from time to time. I get to help my younger sister look after my niece and I am happy and enjoying my moments of wellness. I’d say I’m 80% there, I’m realizing my dreams and doing the best with what I’ve got, and I’m 100% grateful.
Here’s how I’ve done it, am doing it, and how you can do it too, no matter where you are at in life.
How to be (fill in the blank) and pursue your dreams
Before I was a mother, I was a woman with dreams. I was THAT kid who believed in the dream that they sell you in school about living your dreams ( the one you decide for yourself), the “American” dream, and going to college. And I’ve accomplished many things because I believed I could. I believed that my strength was called determination and that being determined would carry me through anything.
It first started when was a part of this program in middle school and high school called A.V.I.D. (Advancement Via Individual Determination). My A.V.I.D. teacher really highlighted and made me aware of my strength of determination and helped me get into college by focusing and building on it. But it was able my own belief in my strength of determination that carried me through 7 years of undergrad and 5 different colleges and universities. It was my belief in that same strength that’s carried me through motherhood, my career, and my relationships. And while I wear many hats, I come first in my life, and have to put my wellness first. I’m determined to see me through.
What I learned from 2022, is that my life is up to me and I am able to navigate my life by working on my mindset and looking closer at what I believe and how those beliefs are showing up for me. By practicing this self-reflection I’ve seen that by working on myself, I show up as the best version of all those things listed earlier.
When I am doing what makes me happy, how I want to do it, I show up better. Isn’t that what we all want? To be better? As parents isn’t that what we want? To be better parents? For me, that’s really the ultimate life goal/dream is to show up as the best that I envision myself to be.
Self-development is a lifestyle. I’m always growing, always learning, and always chasing after my dreams. It’s in me. It’s in my DNA. But there are definitely some practices/ actions that I take that help me keep this up.
#1 Make time for yourself
There is so much to unpack here, but let’s see if I can do it. At the foundation of this action are the beliefs that self-love is important, and that it’s important to love others as I love myself (genuinely). THEREFORE, hell yea I am going to make time for myself. Not making time for myself is neglectful and I wouldn’t dare neglect my child, my family, my friends, or my career – it doesn’t feel good when I do- so I better not neglect myself. I can’t give anyone else the best of what I don’t have of for myself.
I’m serious about my “me time” because translates into me being serious about the time that I spend in other areas of my life too. It all starts with me.
It all starts with you! So make time for yourself first.
#2 Have a plan
In the 10-second clip that I shared concerning this topic, I mentioned that having a routine helps me navigate my dreams and turns them from thoughts into reality.
I have a plan for my family, for myself, and for my business. I know what I require and I learn more about needs/requirements – because they change as I grow – over time. I know that at the core of my plans, I require happiness. I know that I am happy when I am able to be the most impactful. I know that I am able to be the most impactful when I put myself first. It’s all tied together.
I cannot have one without the other and if I do I work to bring them into alignment. Sometimes life happens and things beyond my control get me off of my plan and that’s okay. I don’t beat myself up for it anymore, instead, I revisit the plan. I revise it, I reset it, but I don’t give up on my plan. I simply move pieces around the core. The core being what makes me happy/ well.
#3 Stand up for yourself
As someone who was really timid as a result of emotional trauma, I’ve been able to find wellness through speaking up and standing up for myself. I had to. There was no way that I was going to be happy/ well if I didn’t stand up for myself, my time, and my values. I’ve had to help the people that I work with understand that I’m speaking up because I require respect.
Respect is a minimum and a birthright that we all deserve and one that I absolutely enforce in my life. I’ve had to set boundaries around my time, especially my me time and the time of the year when I evaluate my plans. I’ve had to lovingly communicate the changes that I’ve made in my life to those who need to know. And those who respect me arrange themselves in my life according to works for them and me.
I wholeheartedly stand on the belief that those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter. It’s not selfish to speak up and express yourself, especially if you’ve grown and are doing things differently than what you were doing in the past. It’s a part of the process, and however difficult or easy this may be isn’t relevant. It just has to be done in order to keep living your dreams.
Those who I love understand that if I’m not living my dreams, or if I’m not in pursuit of them, I am not well and my wellness and my happiness are important to them as they are important to me.
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