Happy new week, mamas! I'm so excited to introduce this week's #MamaNextDoor—Briana Beazley. Bri and I met a few months ago during our last in person event celebrating International Women's Day in Chicago. She's a mom to Aiden and founder of Nadia Girl—a modern clothing and lifestyle brand for tween girls. We initially connected over our start-ups, but our interactions quickly became more personal. Bri is the true epitome of an entrepreneur and an empowered woman. She's smart, knowledgable, ambitious, supportive and compassionate. I've learned a lot from her about life, motherhood and business. I hope you'll love getting to know her!
Tell me a bit about yourself before you became a mother, and how did you change after becoming a mother?
Before I became a mother I was working in advertising and was at the office all the time! I had nothing else to focus on but my career. I also put up with a lot more and settled a lot. After I became a mother, the focus, of course, shifted to my daughter, and how to be the best parent I could be. A career was still important to me but it definitely was no longer my first priority. Everything I’ve done since has all been driven from being a mom and wanting to not only provide for her, but show her what being a strong, independent woman looks like. Setting an example for her to go after her dreams and not settle.
What does your absolute dream version of motherhood look like?
I’m not sure I have a dream version. I try to be authentic and real with her and for her to feel she can be her authentic self with me. I’m definitely not perfect and sometimes that means I screw up and that’s ok. But what I’m doing now would probably be close! The ability to work for myself, make my own schedule, be home for her while also pursuing something I love is pretty great.
What societal or cultural messages about motherhood frustrate you and how would you like to see them changed?
I think we’ve made some strides when it comes to the expectations on mothers and the unequal treatment both at home and in the workplace, but there’s still a long way to go. Mothers still take on the largest portion of responsibility when it comes to raising our kids and handling the majority of the housework, all while trying to have a successful and fulfilling career. The expectation still exists that mothers need to choose between their kids and their careers. This is part of what is causing 1 in 4 women to consider scaling back their career or leaving it altogether! For women of color, this is even more of an issue. We need the support of our partners to better share in childcare and housework as well as more support from corporate leaders to support mothers, pay them a fair and equal salary, and provide flexibility. If we had that level of support, we could do anything! Women are amazing!
What do you do well? What’s really works for you? Do you have a secret? Your mom super power?
I can’t wait to hear how my daughter would answer this as she gets older. But I would say that I’m good at being tuned in to how she’s feeling at any given time and then supporting her. I also try to help guide her to find her own answers rather than directly telling her what to do. She’s 12 so that approach seems to help as she’s moving into her teen years. I also throw a mean quarantine dance party!
How do you take care of yourself? How do you deal with mom guilt?
Before the pandemic, I enjoyed a regular massage! Now I try to workout daily and I meditate almost every day which is key to keeping my cool under pressure. I try not to hold onto guilt, but if there’s something I feel I could have done better, talking it out with my daughter always helps. My partner also can help me talk things out so I’m able to let guilt go.
What’s a topic related to motherhood, or life after becoming a mother, that you wish we talked about more?
There is so much when first becoming a mom that no one told me! But now, I’ve found that when we are able to connect with our mom friends, it’s easy to be open and talk about pretty much everything! Challenges with the kids, how to handle it, how we are feeling, life, etc. Having a strong support group of friends who can be real is so important.