It isn’t often that I am not inspired by the drive of this woman or informed by her knowledge. Her confidence and faith are golden. Today, Jasmine openly talks balancing it all, fighting for her identity, and personal revelations discovered in Motherhood. Jasmine, thank you for allowing us a glimpse into your life in words.
How many children do you have? I have 3 amazing kids.
How old are your children? 18, 16, and 8.
Are you a mom of girls, boys, or both? Both.
How did you / do you balance it all?
Everyone thinks I balance it all. Truth is, I never feel balanced. I always feel wobbly. A confident wobble.
My to-do list is never done – but always growing. I don’t know when I had this expectation placed on my shoulders to balance it all. Actually, I do remember; it was when I became a girlfriend, mother, career woman, homeowner – every major milestone.
I think the truth is, we try to become what we see on TV, mixed with Disney, and sprinkled with hope. We want to be the best in all we do. Maybe it has to do with seeing relationships fail all around, or people just sustaining instead of thriving, or wanting more than we had. We always seem to want something different than [what] we experienced.
Today, in 2020, I’m more forgiving of myself and my lack of balance. Every week I set goals for myself, and I’ve had to learn my expectations are always way too high. So, I’m getting more real with what I can and can’t accomplish with my time. I care more about progress than balance; Am I progressing in my home, in my marriage, on my job, in my business, in my spiritual life? If I can see progress, that’s what counts.
Did you ever feel like you lost your identity at any point in your journey? What was that like and how did you regain focus and a sense of purpose?
Identity is such an interesting concept. I’m Puerto Rican and grew up in a multicultural extended family, where women only dominated domestically. I never lost my identity, I spent a lot of time fighting for it.
When I was growing up, I always said I didn’t want to be defined by one thing. I wanted to be free to do many. Can I cook? YES! Can I raise great kids? YES. Can I keep a home? YES. There was always more to me though. I’ve fought for the more in me and continue to. Just because I can cook doesn’t mean I should have to. Just because I am a woman doesn’t mean I should do all the cleaning. Just because I used to try to do everything, doesn’t mean I need to continue to.
When I unraveled the cultural expectations from off of me, that’s when my identity thrived. I became more of me and less of what everyone was expecting. In that progress, my kids have become entrepreneurs. One of them is a chef who now cooks for me. If I hadn’t fought the norms, I’d be miserable and missing out on fulfilling my purpose: Moving and shaking for good and for God.
What are some of the things that parenting has revealed to you about yourself?
The biggest “aha!” moment I had in parenting is when I could see my limitations or unresolved issues in my kid.
Our kids are us in younger form. Yes, they are 50% DNA from mom and dad, but it’s really like 33% mom, 33% dad, 33% kid. If you holler raising them, they typically holler. If you roll your neck when mad, they roll their neck when mad. If your husband’s nose flares when upset, you can see it in them. There is a direct percentage of you that they take on. Good, bad, or ugly.
The insecurities are what I learned about myself that I had passed down. But the good thing is, since it was revealed to me, there was room to address it. So I work hard at supporting my kids to work through insecurities they got from me.
How do you instill biblical truths in your kids?
Kids hate hypocrites. The best way to instill biblical truths in your child is to live the biblical truths out in real life.
You’ve got to do more than go to church and send them to Sunday School. They’re looking for your full participation too. Kids know a fake from a mile away and will call you out publicly or privately.
When they see committed parents, they’ll be committed too. Strong roots are hard to uproot, but it starts with you.
I am all the more grateful for the women (like Jasmine) who have chosen to join me on this journey of transparency and support – ESPECIALLY in addition to the life adjustments and loads we are all experiencing in the midst of COVID-19! I can’t thank you enough.
Connection and support are vital to our growth and survival as humans and as Women. I have met many Mothers (myself included at one point) who are going through the trenches and carrying loads solo. This has often led to depression, loneliness, isolation, and such guilt and shame in “not measuring up”.
My prayer is that the women who lay eyes on “Our Life in Words”, will be encouraged, enlightened, and all the more hopeful.
For the Moms,
This series is for the Moms! In honor of Mothers, this May will be chock-full of real stories of Motherhood from Moms of all ages, in all stages. Join me as I feature different Moms (on a weekly basis) who will so graciously be sharing their life in words.
If you missed the previous feature, catch it here! Stay tuned for more stories of triumph, valleys, faith.
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