I’m Melissa Acosta, latchkey kid, raised on MTV and after-school specials. That was me growing up in Waco, Texas in the 1980s-90s. Raised by a single mama who at one time worked three jobs and really had no emotional support as a parent, she taught me a lot – how to be and how not to be in life, yet the real learning came for me after I became a mama myself. Because becoming a mama shifts your perspective on the most important things in life.
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Unfortunately, my mama never got to meet the wonderful man I would marry or see her two beautiful, energetic, and talented grandsons. She passed away when I was 29, but in all honesty, I “lost” her years before due to compounding health issues that inhibited her from enjoying life to the fullest. It is in memory and honor of my mama that I am committed to prioritizing myself for myself, but also for my family. While we don’t need permission to prioritize ourselves, it can certainly feel like it. Motherhood is no joke, and many of us are raising children without the direct support of the family. Reflecting on the stark contrast between my experience as a new-ish mama and my mama’s story, led to the launch of mama wears pants last year. Within this online wellness community and social network for busy mamas, we focus content on three overarching themes – family, wellness, and community. I would have given anything to see my mama’s light shine bright, so I’ve made part of my mission in life to support mamas in believing in themselves. As heartbreaking as it may sound, my mama had a limit on the love she had for herself. And as a result, there was a limit on the love I received.
Reflecting on my life and my decisions over the years has been quite a journey. It’s not a journey I necessarily wanted to take, but at some point, it just seemed right. Coming to terms with the good, the bad, and the ugly; the bad decisions, dysfunctional relationships, unhealthy behaviors and all. the. things. that have made me stronger, bolder, and more courageous, has all been worth it. It wasn’t immediate, but becoming a mother helped me become a better person. I’m not sure what my journey would have looked like if I didn’t have my three Acosta boys in my life, but I can only hope I would have found my way nonetheless.
Wherever you are in your journey as a mama, I see you and believe in you. I really really want you to believe in yourself. Because I know that can seem damn near impossible when you’re wearing all the hats and juggling all the balls. I invite you to sit, reflect, and if you’re really feelin’ it – dance.
Connect with Melissa @mamawearspants and @melissaacosta.atx