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Let me introduce myself, I’m a mother and...

Posted on May 07 2021

Let me introduce myself, I’m a mother and...
Each May, Mothers' Day comes along and reminds us to show some extra special love to the person(s) who we call mom. As children, we met our mamas at a point in their lives when they were taking on a heavy title that included many late nights, early mornings, some spilled milk, and a whole lot of love. Before taking on this important title, they had their own individual identities.
 
We interviewed three mamas, Abigail, Yuri, and Tori to learn more about who they are in addition to motherhood and how they have created space to preserve those identities and balance them with motherhood. Each mama brings a unique perspective to the conversation and shares how they do it.
 
Tori Faith
She/Her/Hers
 
 
Hello Badass Mommas! My name is Tori Faith! I'm a body-positive curve model that is in love with the art of creation! I am 25, an entrepreneur, and a new mom to a beautiful baby boy. I currently live in Mississippi, travel anytime I get the chance. I’ve been lucky to have worked in New Orleans, Atlanta, and New York City and am represented by both Lucid Models and NYMMG. I am a professional face & body painter, creative MUA, and an all-around artist. Daily, I strive to make the world bright and bolder in everything I do. I believe in making dreams a reality and I refuse to give up. When I think of a new idea, a spark lights inside of me. I cannot wait to bring it to life and make the world a brighter, more wondrous place. Overall, my advocacy lies in self-love, embracing and appreciating individuality. I want to show women there is true strength in being a mother and to always stay proud of your story and forever own that mom bod! 
 
"Believe in your wings and make them real."- Tori Faith
 
In addition to being a badass mama, what other identities contribute to Tori?
 
Ever since childhood, I have expressed my artistic soul through different routes of creation, more specifically with photography, painting, and modeling. In my adult life, this has manifested through several avenues: my face & body art business (Tori Faith Creations) and my modeling career. I am a curve model and have always been a strong advocate for body positivity. Juggling these passionate pursuits of mine along with modeling, which requires working around-the-clock hours and frequent travel, has been difficult to transition to when going into motherhood. Being a mother and a full-time entrepreneur would put a strain on anyone's life, but my backbone is the support of my fiancé Jacob. With the right mindset, a network of encouragement, and a vision; you can make anything happen. You are a supermom, you can come home, hang up your cape and bask in the masterpiece that you have built.
 
 
 How have these identities impacted motherhood for you and how has motherhood impacted each of these identities in return?
 
Identity is fluid. In each person's life, we build our own identity like a house. There is always the option to add, remove, and renovate rooms. Motherhood, however, is not fluid. We can't add a baby's room to the house when they have their own house to build. This realization often shatters our own foundations. It leads to the destruction and rebuilding of our identities before motherhood. I have reanalyzed my goals, surroundings, support network, and, most importantly, priorities. Each choice I make is weighed on a balance scale. My job is living the dream for me but I can't help wondering if each shoot is worth the time spent away. What if I take a job for a shoot and miss his first steps? Creating is the lens through which I see life. The essence of my being is to capture moments so I never lose them. Helping my child create is a perfect fit for who I am. Capturing each moment in his life is the ultimate reward. From the pictures I take to the crafts he'll make his mommy one day, the joy I receive from my child is greater than every painting, shoot, or catwalk combined.
 
How have you been creating space for each of these identities through the pandemic and how do you see yourself balancing them looking ahead to new post-pandemic norms?
 
 In early 2020, my life as with others was put on hold with the pandemic. Modeling was already difficult at the time. Finding a shoot while gearing up to be a mother was difficult in itself before my child was born. In addition to being sick from pregnancy, casting calls were scarce and the lockdowns were treacherous. Online casting calls and virtual photo shoots were the new future. Social media became my creative outlet. I did it for fun and for myself by making a Patreon and loading my Instagram. Our priorities are constantly changing and, especially in motherhood, we often forget to put ourselves first. Not being allowed around others had also given me much more time by myself, to myself, and eventually for myself. Becoming a stay-at-home mom for months has allowed me to cherish every moment with my child. One of my favorite moments was seeing his first smile that, in another world, I would have missed completely from moving too fast. Now I can't help but consider if I'll miss out on any of those special moments. Balancing the dedication to creating them through my career and with family is a never-ending battle.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom or motivation to share with other mamas who are navigating balancing motherhood, a pandemic, and the other elements of their busy lives?
 
As any badass momma knows, you can’t forget yourself while being a mom. Investing at least a little bit of love into yourself each day helps you return that love to your family exponentially more. Wading through the swamp of self-love and acceptance daily might be tough, but breaking through that fog helps my family and I get through the struggle of being the parents of a beautiful baby and being separated due to my career. 
 
Being a mother is simultaneously the most stressful and the most beautiful accomplishment of our lives. We all mess up and we all learn from our mistakes and let them go. We are mamas who work through those dirty diapers so we can get to those precious smiles. For moms, each moment is work whether that be for our children, our careers, or just for us. There’s never enough time in the day. Finding peace and balancing the time we allocate to everything in our lives is the journey each of us must take. There are always those willing to give us guidance or carry us on days we can't manage to move forward. Don't ever think you have to make the journey alone.
 
 
 
Abby Jones
She/her/hers
 
 
My name is Abby. My story is a tough one, when I say I’ve been through hell and back and back again, it’s no joke...I’m a survivor of domestic violence. I am proud to say I’m now an advocate and a support for others that are in the horrific situations that I was once in. 
 
Not only am I a survivor, I’m also a mother, chair tease, burlesque dance instructor, and former pro dancer/performer. 
 
I take pride in Empowering and lifting up others by shining a light on my physical and mental flaws on social media to bring awareness and normalize these things. I use my dance choreography to change how my students view their bodies and show how sexy and gorgeous they truly are. 
Lingerie is beauty, love, sex, elegance, art...the list could go on. 
 
In addition to being a badass mama, what other identities contribute to Abby?
 
I’m a professional dancer, model, and lingerie advocate. I love feeling sexy! 
I also love adventure and freedom. Freedom is an extremely important word for me due to being a domestic violence survivor and advocate. Helping others and standing up for what’s right is a huge passion of mine and gives me a huge sense of importance. 
 
 How have these identities impacted motherhood for you and how has motherhood impacted each of these identities in return?
 
 
These identities and passions of mine have impacted motherhood in a very positive way. I’ve learned that the happier I am, the happier my children are. The better I take care of myself and my “life calling” the better I am at taking care of my children. 
 
Motherhood, well being a single mother, has definitely impacted pursuing my passions and dreams. It’s honestly very tough sometimes. Especially when I don’t have a babysitter, but being a mother doesn’t stop me from being me and being the sexy goddess I am.
 
How have you been honoring each of these identities through the pandemic and how do you see yourself balancing them looking ahead to new post-pandemic norms?
 
 I’ve been lucky enough to continue wearing lingerie/feeling fabulous while at home, modeling and teaching dance throughout the pandemic, safely of course. 
 
I look forward to working with bigger companies and to perform in the near future that’ll hopefully open up in full when it’s safe. 
 
Do you have any words of wisdom or motivation to share with other mamas who are navigating balancing motherhood, a pandemic and the other elements of their busy lives?
 
My advice to other mothers is to take time for yourself!!! Yes, you’ll feel guilty (mom guilt), BUT nothing beats feeling like yourself again. 
 
Yes, you’re a mom which is VERY important, but you’re a woman, a goddess! You’re allowed to be a mother and feel passion, sexy, beautiful, and fierce. Don’t let the fear of what others think scare you into the submission of being ordinary because you are everything but, and can be an amazing mother at the same time! 
 
Yuri Sinata
She/her/hers
 
Hi — I’m Yuri Sinata. I’m Indonesian-Chinese, born and raised in Surabaya, Indonesia. I’m a single mother to Kai, salon owner of @palettesalonstudios, and a makeup and hair artist. I came to the US in 2007 at the age of 24 with no plan, no money, very little English, and no identity.
 
Through the years, I overcame a variety of obstacles: graduating Paul Mitchell, opening up a brand new business, experiencing postpartum depression, and healing through a divorce.
 
Looking back and seeing how far I've come, I'm doing it. I'm living in my dream. I get to do what I love every day with my @palettesalonstudios family — working with the most talented and beautiful of people, making people feel and look beautiful. Then, I get to come home and cook for my little man. I’m far from finished and still chasing my bigger dreams.
 
In addition to being a badass mama, what other identities contribute to Yuri? 
I’m a hair and makeup artist and a salon owner. I would say I’m a lover. I love hard and am passionate about many things. I love food—making and sharing food. I love to dance, travel, and experience new things.
 
 How have these identities impacted motherhood for you and how has motherhood impacted each of these identities in return?
 
I don’t let these different facets of my identity impact each other. I still do what I love, but just alter them in order to put my role as a mom first. For example, I still travel, just not alone or for a long time. I still work full-time and manage to still go out dancing with my friends, just not as often.
 
How have you been creating space for each of these identities through the pandemic and how do you see yourself balancing them looking ahead to new post-pandemic norms?
 
I think throughout the pandemic, I learned to be in the moment and to be present. I think if you can find and master these two, you will find that balance. Being a mother shouldn’t mean giving up on your life. Being able to be 100% with whatever you’re doing makes you appreciate every moment given, and you don’t feel like you're constantly short of time.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom or motivation to share with other mamas who are navigating balancing motherhood, a pandemic, and the other elements of their busy lives?
 
Live in the moment, set your priorities, and manage your day. It can be very overwhelming sometimes, but be in control of your situation rather than letting it control you. Whatever you’re going through, it’s all temporary! You’re doing the best you can.

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