If you had asked me a couple years ago if this journey would be in my future, I would not have guessed it in my wildest dreams. Now, I can’t imagine it any other way. I’m still in the middle of finishing the last pending aspects for our brand launch, and unexpected challenges keep creeping up. Something I’ve learned along the way is to focus on my tasks and accomplishments one day at a time. Just like parenting, this is the birth of a new baby, and it shouldn’t be rushed.
I always knew growing up that I wanted to become a mother. In fact, I always said I’d only have kids if I could be and give them only my best. I soon realized how difficult it was to be the mom I always wanted to be, especially if I decided to continue in the corporate world. In the beginning, you’re totally lost, still figuring your new rhythm as a first-time parent—how could you also be expected to go right back to work as if nothing had changed, as if you hadn’t just been reborn yourself? Everything is different: your body, mind, priorities, hormones, lifestyle, routine, you name it. Add in figuring out how you’d work breast pumping sessions into your day the office. It’s overwhelming, but we’re expected to go back in those doors the same person that left, minus the baby bump.
When my husband and I decided for me to stay at home, it was shocking how dismissive our society is to stay-at-home mothers. I felt such pressure as a woman to go back to work, but I simply wasn’t ready to be away. I also couldn’t fathom just handing over my paycheck to childcare. It didn’t seem to benefit our family at all. I was trying my very best, but what I got back was, “What do you do when you are home all day?” Ha! As if my job as a parent ever stops!
Still, I felt it deeply. The independent woman in me needed to at least reclaim some monetary independence, a small self-empowerment outlet. What I discovered was the awakening of my life’s passion.
Today, more than ever, I’m grateful to demonstrate to both my daughters that you can make your dreams reality even as a stay-at-home mother. There are so many barriers for working mothers that I find truly unfair and incomprehensible, especially in comparison to many other countries around the world who seem to understand simple but important concepts as paid maternity (and paternity!) leave. I am determined to show my daughters that women—especially mothers—are strong, talented, and fearless. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to work from home so that I can capture these fleeting moments of their childhood, especially knowing how rare this opportunity is for mothers in this country today.
I admit that if it wasn’t for the trouble I encountered when my first daughter developed eczema, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. What was once an extremely frustrating obstacle turned out to be such a blessing. I have always been a firm believer that everything happens for a good reason, that each and every part of an individual’s journey has its purpose. The reason I feel so strongly that that’s true is because I’ve never personally experienced any trial or tribulation that hasn’t had purpose in retrospect—whether was learning an important lesson, mastering an essential life skill, discovering my innate strength, building unshakable beliefs, or leading me to a better path.
Because of my daughter’s suffering, I discovered my life’s vocation and my true passion. I’m grateful for every treatment we tried, for every lifestyle change we committed to, and to every minute I spent desperately searching for a solution. If I hadn’t been through this, I wouldn’t have been forced to experiment with skincare, and I might never have known my true calling.
Besides all that motherhood has meant to my professional fulfillment, it’s been a constant reminder of a woman’s innate strength, and let me tell you, women are fierce. When I was expecting my first, I made the surprising decision to have a waterbirth. Nobody in my immediate circle knew about this, and my mainstream medical care providers were extremely disrespectful and vocal on their opinion about my choice. It felt in my heart it was best for me, and both my husband and I were ready to set off on this adventure as a team. As you can imagine, the delivery was incredible. Twenty minutes before I had my baby in my arms, I thought this was humanly impossible. Yet, the moment my daughter made her entrance, on her own terms and in total calm, I knew my body was made to bring her into the world this way. I’m holding back tears as I type, because this is the moment I knew what self-empowerment truly was. It was no surprise that I chose another waterbirth with my second daughter, who this time was born at home.
Their coming to the world was my greatest achievement, and it’s given me the confidence that I’m capable of accomplishing my wildest dreams. I don’t think I fully understood my strength until I experienced motherhood. If someone told you you’d be sleep deprived for years of your life while experiencing the entire spectrum of human emotion on a daily basis and chasing around what often seems like a wild creature with unlimited batteries, would you think, “I can handle that”? I certainly didn’t, but every challenge in raising my girls taught me that I could handle anything.
Motherhood has not only showed me my own inner strength, but also such deep appreciation for our time together. I’ve come to learn that everything is a phase. When one challenge ends (hooray, she slept through the night!), another one begins (someone’s fallen out of the bed because she’s squeezed her way into our queen-sized bed again). So, I might as well embrace every phase and be thankful for the lesson. It’d be all too easy to wish my way through their childhood thinking, “it’ll be easier when….” But I want to know that I savored every moment, even the not-so-glamorous ones, like rear washing after going to the potty. They’re only young once, and however challenging, seeing them grow is the greatest joy imaginable.
My strength also comes from my marriage. I’m so thankful that my husband encouraged me to figure out what I wanted to do, listened to me talk about everything I wanted to create, and now celebrates right along with me when I express how much joy I feel feel in making it a reality. He was the one who told me, “Ok, make it happen. I got you.” Isn’t that every wife’s dream right there? There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t appreciate his faith in me and his encouragement. It’s truly made me stronger, as a wife, as a mother, as an individual, and as a business owner. He has made all of this possible.
My husband and I met when he had just started in college. Later on, we decided for him to focus solely on his studies while preparing for his military career, and I'd be the main income earner. This was a very unheard of decision at the time, especially within the Latino community, but one we felt was right for us. It just so happened that when my daughter was born, he graduated from both the university and military program. It was then that we transitioned back into military life and me leaving the corporate world. As you can see, we tend to make decisions as a unit, and those decisions don’t necessarily abide by society’s rules. We do us, and it works well for us.
Now he is reciprocating with his full support for me to fulfill my dream. He takes time off when I need to travel or attend events in the industry, whether it’s to network, study, or research. He believes in what I'm creating, and he too feels passionate about me bringing my dream to life. I truly couldn’t do it without him, and I would never want to.
This journey has definitely been an adventure, but I embrace it. If you’ve read my other posts, by now you probably have realized that I love a great adventure. Working from home with my daughters every day is a juggling act, but I wouldn’t have it any other way—for their sake or for mine. I count my blessings with every step and am so excited to see that light at the end of the tunnel. Soon enough, my dream of seeing my brand Adélie® launch will be a reality. It will be all the more meaningful with my daughters and husband to rejoice along with me. They are the reason I am here and the reason I am doing this.
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