Janssen Bradshaw | Another Mother Her Way
I likely gravitated toward Janssen because of our shared belief in trusting yourself, as she so smartly and succinctly describes it. Like me, she stepped away from a career path including a masters degree to lean into parenting and it ultimately led her to a place that felt more inspired. While she raised her girls she worked on her blog, Everyday Reading, and in more recent years launched London Littles, her whimsical brand of kid's rain gear inspired in part by their former life in London and the children's literature she loved in her work life and at home. Read her lovely take on her interests and business as self-care, babysitters becoming family and how and why it's worth investing in female friendships in this chapter.
Q HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
I feel like one of the biggest surprises about motherhood to me was that I still felt like ME. I'd heard so much talk about how motherhood changed you and I think I thought I'd feel like a completely different person once I became a mom. But I was still the same me! I just now had a sweet little baby as a sidekick.
Q WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
I quit my job as an elementary school librarian to stay home with my daughter. It'd been my dream job and I worked hard to get it, including getting a master's degree. Looking back, quitting was the best choice I could have made. I felt like I got to enjoy every moment of my first baby's life and it gave me the space to spend more time on the projects that eventually turned into my new career.
Q DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
Energetic, enthusiastic, and snuggly. I want to be a mother that my girls can trust and feel safe with - I want them to feel like they can confide in me and that I am on their side!
Q HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD?
I read a lot of books on my own (usually close to 100 per year) and I work on my two businesses - my blog, Everyday Reading, and my line of children's rain boots, London Littles. I love to work and always have, so having that be a part of my identity really helps me feel well-rounded and fulfilled.
Q EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
We have an AMAZING babysitter who feels like a friend to me and an older sister or cool aunt to my girls. I also have several other friends with young children who run their own businesses and connecting with them and having someone who understands what my life looks like and what kinds of things I'm juggling makes a huge difference. And while I don't live near my mom or my two sisters, chatting with them through Marco Polo or texts makes me feel connected and loved.
Q WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
I'm working to make more adult friends. With four children and two busy businesses, plus a naturally introverted personality, it's so easy for me not to prioritize friendship with other women in my regular routine. We've also moved a lot (we've lived in Texas, Utah, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and now Arizona), which means every few years I have to start over with a new set of friends. But when I do put in the time, those relationships give me life.