Meet Janelle, One bad-ass mama!
She's a costume designer and mother to her 4 year old son Noah Marley Williams. From Television to Film, Janelle is reaching new heights after her recent work in the movie "The Perfect Match". She has been the stylish brain behind some of your favorite looks. Today she shares how motherhood makes her feel like a BOSS and some encouraging advice to the mom feeling overwhelmed on her motherhood journey.
Where are you from and currently reside: Born and Currently reside in Los Angeles. Raised in San Diego, CA
How did you get your start in the industry? My original goal in life was to be a family law attorney or Marriage Family Therapist. I have a degree in psychology. When I started going towards it I realized I didn't love it as a career path. While I was in college I was working retail, I knew I loved fashion but the retail side didn't speak to me either. I met a couple stylist/costume designers and started assisting, poured in a LOT of hard work and dedication, fought the good fight and the rest is history
Share your most memorable moment in your career so far... HONESTLY ... Every moment is memorable in its own way and each project comes with its own bundle of blessings, lessons, opportunities, friendships, funny stories, hurdles and growth. But to date, the two projects that stand out the most are: "The Perfect Match" ... It was my first theatrical release and seeing my name on the big screen alongside a lot of people I admire was pretty amazing. I also did a film called "Dueces" (an action film) which will be out in 2017 and that's another one I would put in the books of memorable moments. It was my first action film. So anything that pushes me past my comfort zone is definitely memorable. As an artist I critic my work so violently, so I feel pretty good about a project when I walk away thinking " yeah, I did the hell out of that".
Explain how motherhood makes you feel like a BOSS... Yooooooo, I've been feeling bossy ever since pregnancy. I worked really hard while I was pregnant and pretty much up until I gave birth. I never loathe it, working hard while pregnant made me feel pretty bad ass. Everyday I got off on logging the man hours all while baking a healthy baby boy to perfection. Also, I kicked labors ass. I left the hospital looking for an award of some sorts because I was a BOSS in the delivery room. But like most mothers, it's a daily feeling, I've overcome so much (infidelity, divorce, single parenting) and I did it all with a smile and without loosing my shits. My son remains healthy and happy and thriving - God definitely has his hands on my son and I - so BOSS 365 seems to be the name of the game.
What is your biggest struggle when it comes to balancing career and motherhood? OoooohWee! You know what? One of my mentors told me "balance is a myth, harmony is a must" once I stopped trying to balance a career and motherhood and started focusing on getting these two major parts of my life working in harmony the struggles lessened (notice I said lessened not disappeared) harmony is much more manageable and results driven. Balance is getting things to be 50/50 and It's just not possible. The rhythm and harmony of it all is my goal. It allows me the space to work without guilt and to mother without worrying about things falling apart at work. It's funny because everyday when I come home I sit in my garage for 30 minutes and tie up all "work" loose ends for the night via email or text and physically tell people I'm headed Inside to be with my son and we will talk in the morning after 9am so that way it really let's people on the other end to really evaluate what they are bringing to me "after hours" and if it's really necessary. In the land of "insta access to everyone" I have to draw a hard (or at least a dark grey) line around my mommy/son time. People are not even conscious of their timing or the true importance of a matter until you simply ask them to evaluate it. Harmony at its finest.
Share some words of encouragement to a mother who may be feeling overwhelmed on her journey... BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF!! Laugh at yourself daily. Don't get so consumed in getting it perfect!! And when you are feeling overwhelmed don't let people take that away from you. Don't let folks compare their stories to yours. "Oh girl you only have two kids, think how I feel, I have four" You have every right to feel just as overwhelmed with your one child as someone else does with their 5 children. BUT just try really really hard not live in. Breathe in breathe out and push past it. Let the overwhelming feeling propel you forward. Set small goals, like if I can just get to the 15th of the month I am going to treat myself to a massage. MOMMY TRUTH MOMENT: I had super overwhelming mommy day. I had so much work to do and my son was being super duper needy that day and I wasn't getting any work done but because I was trying I wasn't getting any real parenting done either. So I packed my son in the car, drove to the gym where I knew I could get two hours of child care on a Saturday, checked him in the "kids gym" and sat in the lobby of the gym on my computer and got my work done and then had 30 minutes to spare so I sat in the sauna. You gotta get creative at times and don't apologize for that. Don't apologize for anything!! As long as your making decisions that keep your child safe and happy. If your parenting right, parenting is exhausting and you are going to have days when it just it was it is, overwhelming. You can do it though! God gives every mother a set of tools to be bad ass and a boss, just go with your heart. You are a good mother, you love your child ...the rest will work itself out.