A 5-Part Series on Birth, Transitioning to Mamahood + the #MamaJuggleStruggle to Define the Next Chapter
Using the takeaways from the inspirational + pivotal weekend of Oprah’s live event leading into the homebirth of my daughter, Jaylin Jackson, I reflect back on the journey that led to molding my own Mama Mindset as Mama J. Love ♥
It was mid-November 2014…
Friday, November 14th to be exact. When I hit the pause button on my then self-employment / entrepreneur journey (a definite privilege that I don’t take lightly thanks to CA Paid Family Leave) just about a week shy of Thanksgiving and on the brink of winter. Like the shifting season and chapter of my life, I had invited my then biz tribe–Team Justice–to turn inward as I was doing the same in preparation for my desired home birth of Baby Z (what we then called our daughter who’s gender–perceived status of M/F–was unknown at the time). In doing so, I allowed myself to DREAM about the next chapter of my ideal life as a mama…
What will 2015 hold? How do I want to feel?
Is this different than what I wanted to feel a year ago?
How can I help others do the same and live authentically?
Re-reading these questions now almost 18 months later, I can take myself right back to how I was feeling with so much unknown when I asked myself these questions. Yet, what I knew for sure then and can see so clearly now is that on the weekend before our daughter was born, the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself (or in my Oprah-lovin’ opinion): a serendipitous gift–free attendance (shout out to the awesome mamas that gifted the tickets) to Oprah’s Live the Life You Want Weekend in San Jose, CA.
This set the stage for what has been an incredible and transformative time of magic, unmeasurable learning and growth, bliss, making loads of decisions or what I prefer as intentional choices, piles of dishes, trying out services and systems to add ease, and endless love. Love infused choices that have led to powerful intentions.
In our 20s, we called it “Stepping Up to the Plate.” A way to own and take responsibility for breaking free from own intergenerational baggage (or at least try our darnest) as we healed childhood and past relationship wounds prior to starting a family. Now, a 30 something (I’ll be 34 next month) and…
Where are we now?
A dozen years deep. Reflecting on choices we made a decade ago to move to the Bay Area and reside in Berkeley, CA. Those choices infused with what then felt like colorless love and intentions that led to the greatest gift from our love, our daughter, Jaylin Jackson Roth. Our intentional path towards queer mamahood is giving us an opportunity to change the narrative. We are a transracial queer family. Far from the norm.
It’s simply to say that love is all it takes to create a human and expand your family. When I stop to think about the conception journey of those in our LGBTQ community, the love and intention enacted is mindblowing. There are countless paths to parenthood. Countless. Each of our journeys’ is unique can be unconventional, a struggle, or exactly how you planned. The point is this…
During the process, I believe we learn to be the mama of our own soul. Figuring out who we are, discovering our why, and speaking our truth as we birth…
Children. Our dreams. Our biz.
Major life transitions that led us to our core. Our heart. At the core, love is love.
Love is Love: My Core Message
It’s my core message. I claimed it here on my personal Instagram account when I paused from listening to a biz webinar back in the spring of 2014 while entering data in a job that rarely pushed me and overtime had me feeling pretty small as a young professional. In learning, supporting, and doing the work, I struggled with and against the oppression felt and experienced as a junior staff member and graduate student. All while observing the culture of how growing a family would or could be supported. Juxtapose this reality with the fact that the job was also a “stable” gig (a 9 to 5 with a bi-monthly payday) that provided space for this lovely transformation to unfold. In so many ways it was a dream scenario: a flexible schedule with an easy commute to a local small liberal arts college. What I knew in my heart then (and later came to be true) is that my job would end later that summer just like I was cautioned that it might when it began.
While I chronicled the beginning of this self-employed journey (see my 2014 #Vlogtober YouTube playlist) during my third trimester, the opportunity to step fully into my divine power begin the night my wife, Baby Z, and I chose love.
Love for self. Love for Stephanie. Love for our unknown child. Love for our life. Love for our community. Love for the intentional journey we set into motion when we began our commitment to one another now 12 years ago. This commitment of same-sex interracial love included a vision of changing the narrative and shifting the paradigm as we entered motherhood. Now dubbed: Intentional Justice in the House, which at its core still involves stepping up to the plate.
So when the urge to nest was strong. We threw all reason aside the week before Baby Z’s due date, and drove 90 minutes away from my birth sanctuary to envision our future life and explore how to live the life we wanted each day with the one and only, Oprah. At this point, our fate was sealed. We were expecting a baby. The gender unknown. By choice. Home prepped for birth. By choice.
5ish hours prior to my water breaking!
All this is to say, little did we know (hmm…hello that’s how the universe works!! *wink, wink*) that in about 72 hours after this incredibly inspirational weekend that Stephanie (my wife + mommy + fellow adventure-seeker) and I would start our next chapter and meet our FIERCE, enchanting, sensitive, lover, and light of a soul scorpio–Jaylin Jackson Roth.
Coming next Sun, 5/8 (Mother’s Day)…
Part 2: The 3 Night + 3 Day Journey to Meeting Our Daughter
Wanna Pause & Envision the Life YOU Want?
Check out the
from Oprah’s 2014 Live the Life You Want Tour: