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Having it All: What That Means to These Moms

Janice Lewis Moody

Runner Up:

As I place my daughter in her high chair for breakfast, I see a business call coming in on my cell phone and rush to answer it. Phone on my ear, I pour her cereal and appreciate that she’s a happy, patient toddler this morning. While still on the call, I hand the feeding duties over to my hubby and head upstairs to my home office.

As I dive into discussion with a client, I take a quick glance at my agenda for the day: launch a marketing campaign, do the laundry, pitch a news story, pay bills online, respond to pressing e-mails, and pick up a few groceries—all before heading to the cancer center to volunteer at a Look Good Feel Better class for newly diagnosed women.

Some days it’s still hard to believe this is me. Being a momtrepreneur, juggling both motherhood and business, was never my intention. I never even wanted it all. In fact, two years ago I was a perfectly happy, childless 30-year-old woman with a budding career.

That was until the week that changed my life forever. Just days after receiving the surprising news that I was pregnant, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. All of a sudden, I was forced to make several life-changing decisions. And unexpectedly, that was when I discovered that I wanted it all.

I would go on to fight for my life and the life of my unborn child. My treatment plan entailed a mastectomy and chemotherapy, all while pregnant. Early in my battle, as I recovered from surgery, I was terminated from my job. Having always placed so much emphasis on my career, I struggled with this loss more than the loss of my breasts and hair. To help combat the sorrow, I used my time between medical appointments to volunteer, do freelance work, and prepare the baby’s nursery for her arrival.

After seven rounds of grueling chemo, I went into early labor and delivered a beautiful baby girl. Born premature but perfectly healthy, Serenity arrived to let me know that we had won our fight. A month later, scans declared me cancer-free.

Somewhere along my journey with breast cancer and on the road to motherhood, I connected with my innermost thoughts and desires. Determined to find a happy balance between motherhood, my health, and a fulfilling career, I launched my own business and became a work-at-home mom.

It’s not always easy. Sometimes clients are more difficult than my toddler. Sometimes playtime with my daughter steals all the hours of my day and I must work into the wee hours of the night. Still, I wouldn’t change a thing.

At the end of the day, I’m doing what I love. I have my health, a wonderful partner, a supportive family, and most of all, I have my Serenity. That is truly having it all.

Roxanne Martinez lives in Fort Worth TX and is the mom of Serenity, 23 months