All Star Mom: Jessie on "How do you like being a mother?"

I am going to be featuring an "All Star Mom each Sunday. The first mom I would like to feature is a friend/past missionary companion of mine from when I served a mission in Spain with my church. She has a little girl name Skye who is absolutely adorable and who is almost 6 months old; she is the owner/founder and artistic director of Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company. She is an office manager of a student housing complex in Provo and juggles everything with such grace. She is a great example to me of a mom who absolutely loves and adores her babe, but that still finds time for herself and the things that make her "Jessie" and that make her the best mom she can be.


How do you like being a mother? Did any of you get this question when you first became a mother? I feel like I get it pretty frequently and I honestly don’t know how to respond to it. And this is why…
I feel like this question is pretty much the same thing as asking, “Do you like being alive?” 
“Uh, well, I sure wouldn’t pick the alternative but there sure are some things that suck in life.” I sure wouldn’t ever want Skye to not be in my life, but there are some things about being a mom that just are no fun and no one will ever like doing. pastedGraphic.pdf
I guess it depends on what your definition of being a mother is that determines how you would respond to this question. If you think being a mother is never getting continuous 8 hours of sleep EVER again, changing the most foul smelling diapers, and having every outfit you own stained by spit up, then no, being a mother is not very fun. If you define being a mother as getting to watch front row a tiny human discover everything for the first time, having a tiny little buddy to do everything with, and being the cheerleader for every big milestone and “first”, then yes, being a mother is awesome.
I have to admit the reason I am probably a little miffed about how to answer the “Do you like being a mother?” question is because I grew up my whole life thinking that being a mother was defined by no sleep, foul diapers, and spit up, as well as sacrificing everything you want to do and your whole personality so you could do everything for young people that don’t appreciate you. Not sure where I inherited such a bad outlook on motherhood since I myself have an awesome mom, but I was terrified of having kids and sure that I would be unhappy as a mother. To make a long story short, I finally began to see  motherhood as a divine and SUPER IMPORTANT role when I served my mission in Spain from June 2009-November 2010. Even began to think that maybe I could enjoy being a mom someday. And so it was with great joy and anticipation that both LJ and I looked forward to becoming parents when we decided to start down that road.
Now I am a mother and some of my fears were legit – it IS a hard balance to care for your child and maintain the things about yourself that make you YOU. Once used to getting lists and lists of things done everyday, I have to settle for only checking off one or MAYBE two things off my To Do list everyday.  I can’t keep the house as nice as I used to. Getting out to go running by myself takes a LOT more coordination than before. But I do still run my dance company, attending dance rehearsals 4 days a week, as well as shopping for costumes, teaching dance to high school students occasionally, meeting with assistants, choreographers, designers, and the theater, and choreographing 2-4 pieces per concert. It’s enough to make a grown woman crazy, but it’s important to me that I maintain this important part of myself. Yes, it takes time away from my baby and I, but I am a better mom because I get to continue dancing and creating. Because I’m still fulfilling those important parts of myself, I am happier, more fulfilled, and feel good about myself.
I guess the answer I want to give to the “Do you like being a mother” question is this:
I love Skye. I love spending time with her and watching her grow and develop. I am most happy when LJ and I are both playing with her, relaxing on the weekends, not worrying about LJ’s homework, a disaster at work, or that I can’t find an affordable costume for this one particular dance. I love her so much. But I also hate spit up. And poopy diapers. And I can’t stand that leaving the house to do something as easy as grocery shopping has become a feat comparable to Everest. But I work hard balancing those things with the positive creative outlets in my life so that I don’t become consumed with spit up and diapers and all of a sudden become defined by those things. Becoming a mother didn’t change my personality, it didn’t even change who I am. I’m just me, Same old me. So while a lot of things and tasks in my life have changed since having a baby, I am still Jessie. I just have this beautiful little girl in my life now that gets all my love. And thanks to the support of my wonderful husband and my awesome company assistants, I get to “fill my well” every day with the things that help me feel like me so I can keep giving and giving to my daughter.

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