“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women, who have her back.”
The morning after our diagnosis was a normal day. I still had to go to work a. I still had to be a mom. I still had move forward with the hand we’d been dealt. The truth is I hadn’t been told anything I didn’t already know and I had no time to feel down or defeated. Caleb was Caleb, his diagnosis didn’t change anything! In fact when I reached out to my friend who put us on the path of the Early Steps program, she said “Congratulations!” What I’d learn right away was that a diagnosis was a win. It was a win for our family and for Caleb. A diagnosis guaranteed additional services and therapy and early intervention and all of this was GREAT news!!
As I went to check my email and start making calls to set up appointments for Caleb, I noticed I had a message and the title was “MOM of the Month feature”. Lord is that you playing with me??? Mom of the month?? Here I am struggling to keep it together, struggling to be strong, anxious about next steps and I get this email. As I open the email I read:
“Our company ‘Amazing She Is’ would love to feature you on our app and social media platform as MOM of the Month. Our App is currently available in the Apple Store and Google Play. We created this app as a platform for women and mothers to receive empowering words to hopefully realize their strength and that they are not alone in their struggles.”
I was familiar with the app, I had it on my phone. The young women who created it and I went to High School together and often the positive affirmation alerts from the app kept me going. On a day like that day, I would’ve pulled up the app to get some encouragement so the irony that they got to me first was surreal. It was also ironic that they’d ask me to do this interview to speak about how “Amazing” I am when I wasn’t feeling so amazing. However, once I read the entire email a few times, I replied that I would do it.
I was sent a questionnaire with 14 or 15 questions and they wanted me to answer 7. I remember initially skipping the question that asked why you’re amazing…LOL I just couldn’t wrap my brain around that one. Even on a good day I wouldn’t consider myself amazing, I’m just being the best mother I know how and along the way I hope to help other mothers and families. That was the main reason I was honored to be asked to do this interview. Amazing she is was just that, it’s a community of women and mothers trying to help each other navigate through the hardest roles of our lives. There is no motherhood book with a chapter for Autism moms so we should all be helping each other out. If only it were that easy right?! Well Amazing She Is definitely makes it easier.
Anyway, I continued through the questionnaire and answered the 7 that felt good in my heart. Once I was done I realized that I felt so much better about the recent events. I realized that I truly have nothing to worry about or doubt. I realized that we would be ok. Once again the ladies of AMAZING SHE IS had left me feeling empowered. This blog post is a Thank You to them and it is my hope that we can continue to support each other and others in the Mom Tribe together. xo
Full interview below:
1. What is one thing you do to self-reflect or motivate yourself when you feel you are not at your best? I write. Before I started my blog A Mama Bear and her Cub it started as journal entries when I had the time to just emotionally vomit in a notepad but when I didn’t have that time and I just needed to release I would write affirmations and gratitude entries. I’d write those anywhere in a notepad, on a sticky pad, on the note app in my phone. The ones in the note pad and sticky notes would get torn off and put in a mason jar. On those days when I just couldn’t find the words I’d pull from the jar and just read an affirmation or something I was grateful for and it would bring me back.
2. What is your biggest fear for your child(ren)? Oh Gosh in today’s society there are so many but mainly that he is a black boy in America….who now has autism and all of that is nothing I can change, nor would I but in today’s world not everyone is going to value him the way that I do. No matter how smart and kind and amazing I raise him to be. That’s scary to me.
3. If you could write down one message now for your child to read when they are 40 what would it be? Dearest son, We had it harder than some but better than most and we nailed it! I’d do it all over again with you in a heartbeat. Love you endlessly, Mama
4. What do you do for a living (and describe a typical work day)? I am a coach/mentor to new employees for an Insurance company. I work in the Group Benefits division and I work remotely from my home in Tampa. I’ve been with my company for 11 years and I love what I do. Helping people to become successful in their new roles brings me joy. I work from 7:30a to 4p on off-season but I do have busy times of the year when I may work 10 hour days for months. My day consists of lots of 1 on 1 and conference calls, also a lot of data tracking to better improve Best Practices and quality reviewing the work of my learners.
5. What a word of advice you would give to new mothers? I’d tell them 3 things: 1. Motherhood is hard. It’s the hardest thing you will ever do and some days it sucks…and its ok to say that. It’s ok to say it to yourself or a friend or your spouse. It doesn’t make you a bad mother or a bad woman. It makes you human and honest. 2. its ok to ask for help or just to let others help you even if you don’t ask. It takes more than a village. If someone tells you they did it all alone, good for them. That’s nothing to be envious of. 3. Forgive yourself. The babies love unconditionally and if you mess something up, guess what? They don’t know any different anyway because you’re the only mom they have. They’re doing all this for the first time too.
6. What do you identify as the number one reason you are an amazing woman and mother? MY VILLAGE!!! My parents, my grandmothers, my extended family, my friends. Everyone who has said “Good job!” “Good luck!” “you’re doing great!” I’m absorb all of that energy like a sponge and it fuels me to keep going.
7. What are you looking forward to teaching your little one? I look forward to teaching Caleb how to celebrate being different because different is not less. Different is special and unique and not everyone is going to understand or accept that and that’s ok. It’s not his job to teach them, he just has to forgive them and move on even if it makes him sad. I look forward to teaching him that anything and everything is possible and that he is special but his best is the only thing I will ever expect, he doesn’t have to be perfect and he may fail but he has to give it his best shot. Finally I will teach Caleb to be kind even if it’s not returned because the energy you give is the energy you get.
Yaasmin & Samiyrah of Amazing She Is. Please be sure to download the app, get empowered, read up on other Moms of the Month, learn the products that are hot and what’s not and check out my favorite part the Mommy Magazine!