Motherhood – joy, pain, nostalgia, guilt and so much more. I always wondered if other moms had the same fears, frustrations and hopes I did.
Sometimes is easy to get lost in the endless discussions about vaccinations, online learning, and so many other important things – but what about the big picture stuff? What really goes on in our heads? I always felt the need to be heard, but struggled to find a space for women, and specially mothers to speak frankly.
In this chapter of Raw Motherhood you will hear from Joany who has the most beautiful and sincere smile and lives in Portland, OR with her husband and two kids. I loved learning more about Joany and I’m sure you will too
Tell me a bit about yourself, what would you like others to know about you?
I am a wife, mom to a ten year-old and a four year-old, and a teacher. I love going outside when I can and playing sports, especially basketball with my son and husband. I love going to the park with my kids and playing board games at home with them. One of my favorite things to do is read a good book when I can find some quiet time to myself.
How do you define motherhood?
Motherhood is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs I will ever have in my life. We are tasked with raising these little people into good human beings. Sometimes, we think we are failing because things get tough, and sometimes we can see how truly amazing our kids are growing up to be.
Do you feel motherhood has changed you? In what ways?
I feel motherhood changed me because I now put my kids’ needs ahead of my own most days. When others ask us to come over or go out to dinner, we make sure that it is at an appropriate time and we won’t get home too late for bedtime. When my kids were younger, our entire lives revolved around nap times and bedtime. Now that they are getting older, I am slowly starting to add more things just for me back into my life, but I still choose their needs ahead of my own most days.
What is your biggest fear as a mother?
My biggest fear as a mother is losing my child to someone taking them, an accident, or them falling into the wrong crowd when they get older. I have grown these babies in me and they take up a huge part of my life and heart, so I don’t ever want to lose them.
What support do you think mothers lack the most in society?
I think the biggest support mothers lack in society is financial support after they first have their children and during the first few years of their child’s life. I feel mothers are asked to return to work far too early, even before their bodies have fully recovered from the trauma of having a child. Because they do not have financial support to stay at home and many families rely on two incomes nowadays, we are sending our children to daycares too early and mothers feel guilty and that adds onto our stress and lack of sleep.
How can mothers show up for each other?
I believe by reaching out and connecting with mothers who have children who are around the same age is helpful because you can give each other advice, take each other’s kids because all the kids can play together, and even providing solidarity are some ways mothers can show up for each other. Knowing that you are not alone in the sleepless nights, the guilt, the bad days, the good days, and having someone in your corner really helps you not feel so alone.
How do you want to remember this period in your life?
I want to remember this time in my life as one in which I learned to grow as a person, mother, and wife by using my voice to create change and learning how to advocate for myself and others.