Jaimes: Motherhood Makes a Woman Out of You

BlogHer Original Post

Jaimes is me, Jaimie, mother of two incredible, smart, creative, hilarious children who, over the past five years, have made a woman out of me. I was named after my grandpa, James, and that’s what my mom and closest friends used to call me. Somewhere along the timeline, people stopped calling me Jaimes. Maybe because after getting married and having kids, I dropped off the social grid and threw myself into motherhood, organic baby food, and Target.

The first few years of parenthood for me were filled with naivety, pure joy, and an eagerness to get everything right. My daughter was amazing, and I wanted to keep her world that way. But, of course, reality gets in the way of our best intentions. Exhaustion gets the best of us. Working choices imply sacrifice of some kind. Our patience wears thin. Our relationships suffer. By the time my second child came along, I was wrecked with anxiety. There were fewer days of bliss and many moments of whining, identity crises, crying spells, nagging, and pulling-my-hair-out boredom. I stayed home, worked part-time, worked full-time, read parenting books, joined playgroups, got therapy. Nothing seemed to work. I could have easily lost myself for good. And many moms do (why else would they start wearing capris with a sweatshirt and Crocs?)

After a few years of fumbling through motherhood, I started asking questions and testing my own boundaries.  What if I stopped trying so hard? What if I went out with my friends more and playdates less? What if I said real curse words instead of fiddlesticks and son of a biscuit? What if I wore some make-up, dressed like I put some thought into it, and actually left the house?

I played around with those questions, and I took my personal life and parenting life in a very different direction. I threw my resume out the window and found work as an assistant in a hair salon, which I quickly learned was filled with creative types, like myself, who continually crave inspiration, whether through fashion, music, or art. That environment me reminded me of the Jaimes days when I lived for music, writing, vintage clothes, and Audrey Hepburn films. Surrounding myself with artistic people, especially creative moms, brought those parts of me to the surface again. And that’s when my life started feeling good again. Like, throw your hat to the wind Mary Tyler Moore style, good.

I say all of this because there is substance behind this site, even when I’m writing about my son’s obsession with ninjas or posting a photo that perfectly highlights Salma Hayek’s breasts. I am not here to gripe about the difficulties of motherhood (that’s what playgroups and forums are for, right?), nor am I here to spout parenting advice. There is more than enough of that out there.  That adage “babies don’t come with an instruction manual” was clearly stated before the age of Amazon. Plus, I still have a lot to learn in the parenting area. So, if I’m not here to advise, gripe, or spill my guts, what is the point of this site?

The point of jaimes is twofold: to share outtakes from my parenting life and, more importantly, to inspire moms through the images, words, and creative works of notable mamas that pretty much kick ass. They are smart, talented, funny, and usually prettier than the PTA moms that harass you about bake sales, but most importantly, they exude individualism. They think and create outside of motherhood, and they look good while doing it.  And yes, some of the images of these moms predate motherhood. So before you utter, sure her abs look great, but what about after she had those two C-sections less than two years apart, keep in mind the point of this site: It’s to celebrate the lives and accomplishments of these women, both before and after children, and inspire us to take our own creative projects off the back burner and fire ‘em up, so to speak.

Motherhood may trump many things in our lives, but it doesn’t have to dilute our essential selves. Let motherhood make a woman out of you. This site has plenty of examples to get you inspired and keep you there.

Happy Mothering!