RRP: You’re a mom and business owner. What are three things that have helped you with this process to remain present as a mom?
DJ: Prioritizing my time! It is a difficult task to manage time as a parent and a business owner. I have learned to take full advantage of every hour I have each day. I work diligently to use my time wisely throughout the day in an attempt to avoid wasting time. It helps me ensure that I can spend adequate amounts of time with my family, while not neglecting the needs of my business.
RRP: Understandably, every parent will parent differently. Do you find yourself rearing similar to the way your mom parented you? If not, why did you decide to take a different approach?
DJ: I parent slightly differently than my mom. I have a more hands-on, up close and personal approach to rearing my children. I prefer communicating with my kids and ensuring that they fully understand the difference between right and wrong. I find that having conversations while providing cause and effect examples works well. It helps ensure that they are as well behaved as possible.
RRP: Every mom is deserving of “me time” because even “supermoms” need a break. What do you do when you need that downtime?
DJ: When I need downtime, nothing is more fitting for me to relieve stress than a spa day. I enjoy going to the spa for massages while my children are hanging out with their friends or maybe while attending a practice for one of their extracurricular activities. I also wake up each morning a few minutes earlier than my children to meditate/pray and prepare for the day.
RRP: Being a mom is one of your proudest accomplishments and you enjoy pouring into your child. What does being a mom mean to you?
DJ: As a mom, I feel like I have a gift and a task of ensuring that I sow positive seeds into my children. My primary goal is to raise children who aspire to love themselves and others, to make positive impacts in the lives of others, and to ultimately do what makes them happy.
RRP: Becoming a mother doesn’t come with a user’s manual. Some things are trial and error. What do you wish you knew when you first became a mom that you know now?
DJ: I wish I knew just that—there is no user’s manual. Becoming a mother at a young age taught me to give myself grace and understanding. I won’t always get it right. And that will be okay. As long as I love and nurture my children, they will give me grace as well. I now know that it’s okay to be imperfect while striving to be the best mom I can be.
RRP: Having a 15-year-old and a seven-year-old, what is one tip you could provide for parenting a teenager and a younger child?
DJ: My tip for parenting a teen is to consider all the things they may face daily involving peer pressure, bullying, and all other aspects they are trying to figure out as a teen. I often think back to when I was 15. I wish my mom would have done or thought of things I felt I needed to be understood as a teen. Keeping healthy lines of communication open and promoting trust have been necessary for my relationship with my teen. For my younger child, I find it crucial to let a kid be a kid. I allow my seven-year-old to express her wants and interests to me, and I listen to her. I cater to her interests. She loves all things art (drawing, painting, coloring, fashion, etc.). She is immersed in art-related activities, and she even has an “Art Corner” in her room at home. Catering to her interests helps to navigate parenting well with her.
RRP: How does it make you feel, as a mom, knowing that you will impact your children’s lives and shape them into adults while preparing them for the real world?
DJ: It is an honor to have the opportunity to be influential in my childrens’ lives. I strive to exemplify greatness, respect, honor, and integrity in all my actions because I know that my children are watching. I pray that my light shines on them and encourages them to become the best individuals they can be in life.
Dana Johnson is the owner of WeCare Therapy Services. She grew up in Bassfield, MS and lives in Prattville, AL. She has two children: DaNyla (15) and Aubree (7).