If I were to transition before my kids were old enough to remember me fully, I would like for them to still know ME the way that I want to be KNOWN.
You're probably familiar with the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Well, here's both the picture AND the words. I created Celebrate Legacy because I think its important that we tell our OWN stories. If I were to transition before my kids were old enough to remember me fully, I would like for them to still know ME the way that I want to be KNOWN. Their dad can share stories about the woman he's known and loved for the last 10+ years but I lived a whole lot of life before I met him and his perspective is not MY perspective. I encourage you to read the following blog post that I believe is filled with personality and a glimpse of who I am and what's important to ME. With my journal, it is my hope that you, too, can share your experiences in first person form - because NO ONE can tell your story BETTER THAN YOU!
Hi! My name is Joi Renique, and I have FIVE birthdays!
I can explain. I was born, and then re-born, every time I gave birth! Quick math! You guessed it… I am a mother of 4. Brian III (2013), Reina (2014), Legend (2017) and Amora (2018). I know you’re thinking… Well, that’s a lot, and back to back… and aw how cute… “Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl” …
How did I do it?
If I’m completely honest… I’d have to tell you; I am not ok. #sendhelp (just kidding… kind of)
So, back to having so many birthdays. Does this mean I am an Aries, Taurus, Libra and Capricorn? Jesus, no! While the word “rebirth” has many definitions… a revival; a renaissance; a spiritual regeneration (that sounds so profound, lol). My favorite is found on collinsdictionary.com, which states, “a change that leads to a new period of growth and improvement…”
Alright, so boom! I was born in 1988. (Mathletes are going to love this article) #80sbaby #Millennial #30FlirtyandThriving
I was 24 years old when I became a mother. And let me tell you, ANYONE, and I do mean ANYONE, that experienced pregnancy before the age of 21 – my hat goes off to you!!! Because I. Was. Not. Ready. Honestly… Is there really any such thing? For the first 24 years of my life – I was: Confident. Ambitious. Selfish. Spoiled. Forgiving. Spontaneous (in a safe way). Immature. Crazy. Sexy. Cool. (See what I did there? Lol) I can honestly say I was living my best life. Not a care in the world. But I was excited to find out that I was expecting. So, what changed?
On my 2nd birthday (not age 2, but the rebirth, keep up please) – My identity changed. I have a new name. “Mom.” New responsibilities. A living, breathing, freeloader (j/k). New priorities – Financial security, family planning, etc. and unfortunately sleeping was at the bottom of the list.
Like a caterpillar, I went through a complete metamorphosis. In my cocoon, I left my social life, my waistline, and dare I say it – my sanity! A chinese proverb written by Chaung Tzu has blessed us with this quote: “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”
From the chrysalis, I emerged with humility. I learned how to be selfless (not just with my baby, but with my partner). I felt an unexplainable version of love that only a parent can feel in their connection with their child. My body had superpowers. I learned how resilient I was. Nothing was the same.
So, I say to all of the “Not-Yet Moms” or “First-Time-Mothers” – don’t panic! Consider this: What if that change you’re worried about is the one that gives you wings? (Cool caterpillar reference, pats back)
Then comes my 3rd birthday (baby #2) – I’m a pro, right? WRONG.
Did you know that bees also go through the metamorphosis process as well? So, I started off as a worker bee, busy as can bee (insert laughing emoji). Juggling two kids under two is HARDER than it looks. And it looks hard. The change that came during this rebirth, was the skill of multi-tasking and being resourceful. They were opposite sexes so not everything would be a hand-me-down. But I was able to build a routine as well as regain my confidence. And although I had two children born only 17 months apart… you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t the BEES KNEES (I had to do it) – the snap back was real. Don’t ask how, mind your beeswax.
Fun fact: Bees do not fly in a straight line. They proceed in a spiraling and apparently chaotic manner. (Story of my life)
To all of you “One and Dones” – the sibling bond is the most rewarding thing about growing your family – please reconsider. To those of you who have achieved the “perfect pair” – STOP. DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200. Don’t be like Joi.
My 4th birthday. (Crying real tears) This. BOY. Has. Taught. Me. PATIENCE. For some odd reason, all my babies came from the alarm clock section of Heaven. Legend (his name is definitely a character description) wakes up “on one hundred” and then throws his head back screaming in tears every night, when I tell him its time to go to bed at 20 hundred hours.
And speaking of “2’s” the terrible twos are ALMOST OVER, THANK GOD! (crosses fingers) I already told you in the beginning. I am not ok. Every morning, he will call out like Stewie from Family Guy…
Legend: “Mom, Mama, Mommy, Ma…”
We count all the buses on the way to school.
And he sings.
And I am NOT a morning person.
The good news is… He’s the first of three to steal my face. My first two look exactly like their father, but my 3rd born is the male version of me. (I’m probably just as annoying – insert rolling eyes emoji)
He’s a protector. He’s a force to be reckoned with. He keeps me on my toes. There goes that growth and improvement. And I couldn’t end this chapter without another bee reference. Another identity: Queen Bee. I’ve definitely earned my crown.
To all the #BoyMom’s I think you can agree when I quote, “Sometimes you have to embrace the chaos and turn it into the party.” And who doesn’t like partying?
My 5th and FINAL birthday. (Well at least when it comes to being born and giving birth)
Amora. The name, it means Love. Because it’s what the world needs, right? Absolutely. This rebirth inspired self-actualization, which is the full realization of one’s potential and one’s true self. I would be remiss to not mention that my fourth pregnancy was the first time I experienced both perinatal depression and post-partum anxiety (not diagnosed). Conquering those overwhelming emotions and looking into the eyes of my little ones – I can say with a clear mind and full heart – becoming a mother (4 times) has truly changed me into a phenomenal woman.
No, I am not the perfect parent, but I strive to perfect parenting – Insert shameless plug.
Join my Facebook group “Perfect – pur.fekt – Parenting”
According to dictionary.com... The word “perfect” as an adjective is defined “entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings.” As a verb, it is defined “to bring nearer to perfection; improve; make better.”
In the title of this group, I am using the verb “perfect”.
Also follow me on instagram.com/morethanjoi
I look forward to connecting with you all!
Share how becoming a parent has changed you.
Categories: More Than Joi