Meet Jami Stigliano | Austin Moms 2022 Contributor

I’m Jami Stigliano. It’s kind of ironic that this blog is intended to be an “About Me” because prior to becoming a mother at 41, I spent my 20s and 30s focusing pretty much exclusively on myself. My goals at the time centered around working my way up as a music executive, as I worked at the famed JIVE Records in a dream job for many years, living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I was living the “typical New York City” lifestyle which consisted of daily SoulCycle, VIP guest lists at Marquee, brunching at Pastis and Balthazar, working late at the office (as a badge of honor) and summers in the Hamptons and Fire Island. The only thing that separated me from most NYC gals at that time was that I had this incredibly sweet/patient/loyal/put up with my BS no matter-what boyfriend (ultimately and thankfully turned-husband). I can’t believe I held on to him through all that my 20s and 30s brought, but I’m so glad I did. It was kinda touch and go there during a few phases, but lucky for this recovering self-centered workaholic, 21 years later – he still chooses me. This is a critical part of the About Me because without him, I wouldn’t be a mother.

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The other unique thing about my life in NYC at the time, which would later reveal to be another critical arc in my life story, was that I had started teaching my own dance classes to other adults – for fun – one night a week in a rec room of a kid’s physical therapy center that I rented hourly for $20. I wanted to take classes where I didn’t feel pressure, intimidation, or judgment – ​​all that I had experienced when taking classes at “real” dance studios in New York City, next to Broadway-or-Beyoncé-backup-bound beauties. They didn’t exist, so I started my own. Quick spoiler – this would later become my now-nationally franchised dance fitness concept DivaDanceand the catalyst for the lifestyle that allowed me to pivot from “all I really care about is myself” to (again – spoiler alert) “all I care about is getting home in time to give my daughter a bath and hear her tell me.” what sound a dinosaur makes before we look at every book she owns before rocking her to sleep.”

In my early 30s, I felt a growing obligation to honor my husband’s goals of having our own children, so I sorta went off birth control, kinda saw fertility specialists, and almost thought we would begin trying to start a family. As you can see by my choice of adjectives, it was a very half-hearted effort and “if it happens, it happens” attitude. Well, it didn’t happen. So back to my own career goals went my focused efforts – tired of helping rappers and pop stars become rich and famous, I decided to transition out of the music business and explore the possibilities of expanding my “hobby business” from very-very-very part-time to extraordinarily, consumingly, full-full-full time. As my spoilers indicate, the gamble paid off. I’ll save that journey and “thankfully I did otherwise I wouldn’t be a mother now” storyline for another blog.

As I was approaching 40, as one does, I declared that I was ready to take the family-starting process more seriously. And finally the answer to every married-person-with-no-kids’ question (“So do you guys want children?”) changed from “maybe someday” to a definitive “Yes.” I assumed this meant that my declaration of the desire for motherhood would :::snaps fingers::: instantly mean pregnancy, and in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “just like that” I would be summoning the next chapter of our lives. That, too, didn’t happen. “Just like that” turned into over 2 years of fertility treatments, multiple rounds of IUIs, and ultimately (and thankfully) a positive stick test.

But it was the very beginning of the pandemic and there was much uncertainty about leaving your house for any reason. I didn’t go in for my confirmation blood test and ultrasound until I was already 9 weeks pregnant (yes, shrieking emoji!) After a light hearted scolding mixed with a genuine congratulations from my fertility doctor, we officially started on our journey… which At that time meant I was alone for all my doctor appointments, I had a virtual gender reveal and shower, and couldn’t attend any in-person birthing or newborn classes. After allllll those years waiting / delaying / deprioritizing, I was met with a COVID-era pregnancy.

But in December of 2020, none of that mattered as I heard the first sounds of my daughter’s cries as they brought her into the world. A sound I will NEVER forget. And :::just like THAT for real this time:::: my life really started. My weekends, once filled with working, sleeping, and partying are now filled with music sing-along classes (highly recommend TuneBugz), swimming lessons(we go to British Swim School), a pretty tight routine and nap schedule (with ALL the snacks in between), and al fresco play-filled meals (we like Toss Pizzeria and Thicket Food Park). I love EVERY minute of it.

Jami Stigliano, founder/CEO of Diva Dance

So, I’m proud to say that this About Me is from a person whose definition of “ME” has finally and honestly expanded to include her beautiful daughter (Evan Olivia), gem of a husband (Joe), rascal of a Yorkshire Terrier (Winston), and our soon to be new (and final) addition – another daughter coming this summer (currently nameless – send help!) – in addition to a growing business and career as a Founder/CEO that I’m so grateful for . This is, of my 43 years, the best time to write an ABOUT ME because I’m more proud of the ME I am now than I ever was before.

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