· By Tanisia Moore
Why I Started Mom Tings
To be completely honest, this wasn't the plan.
I had no intention—let alone any business—to start another venture, another apparel brand at that. Little did I know that I was slowly becoming a rising voice in motherhood and unintentionally building a brand.
My first miscarriage took my breath away. My second one gutted me. And the third one broke me. I was shattered. So, the last thing on my mind was owning a business that centered itself around moms. But here we are.
While in law school there was always talk of the bar. The bar this. The bar that. If you don’t pass, you won’t be a lawyer. But they forgot to tell us that even if you pass the bar, you still may not find a job in the middle of a recession. When I graduated from law school in 2010, the job market was still rebounding from the 2008 recession. Not only that, but I had also moved to Birmingham to be with my then-boyfriend and now husband, and I didn’t have connections.
I finally struck gold when I landed a contracts negotiator position at a defense contracting company in 2011. Initially, the one and half hour commute back and forth to work didn't bother me. After all, I had—and still do— six-figure student loan debt that needed to be paid.
At one point, my husband even tried to encourage me to start my own law firm. The least I could do was make my time spent in law school and taking the bar worth my while. And it would also be something for me. Even with his support, I was still afraid to make such a giant leap. But I could take one small step for me. I began to write my first novel. I always loved writing and it was a lot less scary than starting a law firm.
Then in March 2014, I got pregnant. But the excitement was short-lived when I started to miscarry after my first OB appointment. On the way to my doctor's appointment to confirm the miscarriage, my then boss text me to ask if I would be working remotely. At that moment, I realized I didn’t matter to this company. I was only valuable if my motherhood, my personal life, or my own ambitions, didn’t affect the job I was being paid to do.
But knowing this, I still didn't leap into entrepreneurship. And the step I took earlier to write my novel, got put to the side. Instead, I got another position at another company, pouring into another CEO’s dreams rather than my own. While I enjoyed working with my new colleagues, there was still this itch to get out there on my own. But my nerves held me back. And then in November 2014, after my second miscarriage, I was finally pregnant with my oldest daughter, Sydney.
Everything was going well with my pregnancy until June 2015. A few days after my baby shower, I was rushed to the hospital. I was promptly admitted to labor and delivery because my blood pressure was at stroke levels. Who knew that the cost of bringing a new life into the world would almost cost me mine...
I had developed Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelets (HELLP) syndrome, a severe form of preeclampsia. The only cure was for me to deliver my sweet girl. So at 33 weeks, we did just that. I welcomed Sydney into the world—both of our lives spared. Sydney spent twenty-three days in the NICU. I took that time to rest, heal, and grieve. Because the fantasy of motherhood I imagined was forcefully ripped away as my husband carried me into the hospital. This wasn’t my plan and felt unfair. After all I went through, I wanted a baby minus the near-death experience.
When she finally came home, the thought of placing Sydney in daycare someday made me ill. Literally. Maybe it was a first-time mom thing. Or maybe it was being a preemie mom. Whatever it was, I wasn’t ready to leave my baby. So, I told my husband that I wanted to quit my job and stay home full-time with her. Surprisingly, he was on board with the decision, and I resigned.
I went all-in as a stay-at-home mom for the first few months. Even though I enjoyed being home with my baby, I felt lonely. So, I started to take baby steps toward starting my own law firm. During that time, I suffered my third miscarriage the day after Mother's Day 2016. This loss hit me hard and had me thinking about my life. It was during my grief, that I made the decision to run into entrepreneurship and pick up my novel again. But I had to move quickly because a few months later I was pregnant with my second daughter.
I knew I needed to do the things I had set out to accomplish. My main goal was to show my daughters that they could be amazing moms (if they want that) and be bosses! So, I formally incorporated my law firm and finished the novel before Savannah was born on Mother's Day 2017. The following year I met my law partner, released my book, and gave a TEDx talk about being a mom and an entrepreneur.
Even though I was doing all of these things, something on the inside was missing. Somewhere along the way, I had lost myself in the day-to-day of motherhood and building my business. I wasn't happy, and I felt as if I was drowning. But before I could snap, I got myself in therapy to help navigate the waters of life. But it wasn't until I adopted my son in 2019 that I started to look for things outside of my kids that would bring me joy. The breaking point for me was when a family member told me that I had to sacrifice the things I loved to raise my family. Something about that statement didn't resonate with me. Do you mean to tell me I have to share my body, food, and money with these tiny humans, and I get nothing out of the deal? Do I have to wait until they're eighteen before I can live life? Who signed up for that? I absolutely did not. I remember my therapist telling me that my kids were not my final destination. I still had a purpose in this life, and I owed it myself to live it out.
No more waiting to write the book, to start the business, and no more living for others. That meant I started my acting classes. I wrote six books since 2019—picture books and novels—and got a literary agent at one of the top agencies. And I started MomTings. Because I know other moms, like me, need to know that there is more to life, and it doesn't stop because we have kids. Our dreams didn't die when we had our children, but they have become realized.
Here I am, creating a community for multi-passionate women. Who might be afraid to live their dreams out loud but know their life's assignment is tied to something more significant than themselves.
These women realized what I did and that being a mom was part of my life's calling, but that didn't stop the other things God had for me.
Listen, Friend, MomTings isn't just another cute lifestyle brand for moms. It's a mindset. A MOMvent. This is for the Mama who knows that her purpose didn't die when she gave birth. She knows that part of her assignment is to be an example for the tiny humans given to her. And knows, most importantly, that motherhood is not her final destination.
The little ones in our lives demand so much of us and oftentimes we can get into “pour” mode and forget that we need to be “filled”. This MOMvent is about dreams but it’s also about rest. Whatever that looks like to you. If your car was almost on E, you would realize that the tank needs to be refilled, you wouldn’t keep riding and riding because you know that eventually the car is going to break down. It’s the same for you, you need rest, you need to refuel because if not…you will break down.
I hope that along this journey on MomTings you pick up little nuggets that help refuel you and remind you to rest. You need it, you deserve it.
You are a PURPOSE, DRIVEN Mama! You are living a legacy. Showing your babies the world while creating a better world for them to live in. You are whipping up dinner while burning the midnight oil.
MomTings is YOU, friend! I started this for us. Because I needed a gentle reminder of my purpose. I needed to recall that I don't have to kill my dreams to have a fulfilling life. I needed to remember to put my oxygen mask on first before I could serve anyone else.
If that's you, let's do this thing together!
Original appears in ShoutOut Atlanta.