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This Podcast Host Has Advice For Setting Realistic Work-Life Boundaries

Mia Jaye knows that building an empire is a full-time job that doesn't stop for snack time and self-care Sundays.

Mother/Hustler

In xoNecole's series Mother/Hustler, we sit down with influential mom bosses who open up about the ups and downs of motherhood, as well as how they kill it in their respective industries, all while keeping their sanity and being intentional about self-care.

Real hustlers know that building an empire isn't a day job, issa lifestyle—one that doesn't stop for snack time and self-care Sundays. But Atlanta-based Mother/Hustler Mia Jaye has the secret to balancing your work and home life at the same damn time.

As a stay-at-home mom turned serial entrepreneur and longtime partner of recording artist Young Dolph, this mother-of-two knows that being a mommy mogul is a full-time job and according to Mia, your first duty as boss is to set effective boundaries.

In an exclusive interview with xoNecole she explained, "I think that there should be boundaries defined within your personal and professional life where the two overlap. If they overlap, then you can blend the two. For example, my romantic relationship has a very thin space that overlaps with my professional life. My partner and I safeguard the privacy of our relationship––there are only some parts that I may want to share that are acceptable. Setting boundaries has proven to be very healthy for us."

Mia explained that while having a partner who is also a hustler can be beneficial to her as an entrepreneur, these circumstances present their own set of challenges. "Sometimes I give my business less attention than I should. This happens because my partner is extremely busy in his career as a recording artist and I don't want my children to experience both parents being too busy in their careers than at home."

We sat down with Mia to talk finances, productivity, and self-care. Here's what we learned:

xoNecole: How do you handle moments when you feel overwhelmed? 

Mia Jaye: I use CBD (laughs). Just kidding, but I try to make myself laugh or smile by saying or doing silly stuff like that, which is my attempt to try to make light of the source of my anxiety. Honestly, I only use cannabis during a high anxiety moment where I completely unplug for a moment and get into solitude to meditate, think and de-stress. I also take a moment to step away and get precious alone time with myself. I also take steam showers, listen to something uplifting and positive to my ears, and just focus on eliminating that overwhelming feeling.

What’s the hardest part of your day? 

MJ: Waking up and getting started! I am not a morning person. I've found that waking 5:45am is the most appropriate time for me to get up, allowing me time to get everything for everyone in my family (most importantly, myself) accomplished. If not, I'm on the struggle bus every single morning and the person who suffers most is me.

How (and how often) do you practice self-care?

MJ: Self-care is super important to me and I've learned ways to reduce stress and anxiety and feel empowered from my therapist and life coach. Self-care has become a part of my daily routine.

When do you feel most productive? 

MJ: I feel most productive a few times throughout the day. I feel most productive when my children are at school, when they are occupied with anyone other than me and when they are asleep which typically falls anytime between midnight to 3am!

What is your favorite way to spend “me time”? 

MJ: Alone with aromatherapy, a steam shower, or bath time with candles. During quarantine, driving alone in the car and going to the grocery store has been lit (laughs).

What is your advice for dealing with mom guilt? 

MJ: I think guilt for any person is a huge burden and plays a major part in causing stress, creating a major imbalance within the body. So, I would advise a mom or anyone else to forgive yourself often so that you will not be weighed down with stress. Accept that we are all learning, growing, and a work in progress so mistakes will happen, and being imperfect is perfectly OK!

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur? 

MJ: That you have to be flexible and resilient, quick to adjust to change and be able to delegate tasks in order to get more things accomplished.

What is the most important lesson you want your kid(s) to learn from you?

MJ: I want my kids to learn that possessing honorable character, humility, and taking pride in who they are and what they stand for are the greatest lessons they can learn––it is the essence of their being and being a good, solid human being is of prime importance.

Why was it important to you to be an entrepreneur even though some people may think that a 9-5 offers more stability?

MJ: I chose entrepreneurship because it fit my lifestyle better than being on someone else's time. Prior to launching my podcast, I traded my commercial real estate job in to become a stay-at-home mom. Since I have always been very ambitious––I sought out my first job when I was 12 at a hair salon––I knew that once I became a stay-home-mom I would find something of my own to create.

How has being a mother helped you become a better entrepreneur (or vice versa)? 

MJ: Being a mother helps me because I am a more effective communicator. Understanding a "barely-talking" child is an art form and I have mastered it quite well. Entrepreneurship has helped me better delegate tasks, better quantify time (I use timers for everything), and I have become more virtuous and patient. Lastly, it has allowed me to have resilience when faced with circumstances that are outside my control, I adjust quickly and can remain calm in the process.

What advice do you have for moms who are looking to start their business but haven’t taken a step out on faith yet? 

MJ: Get started. Take the smallest step forward. Celebrate your win for moving forward. Repeat those steps, and no matter how tired you get along the way, never stop and lose momentum. You will look up and those little steps will have transformed into giant steps from where you started.

What tips do you have for financial planning, both professionally and for your family? 

MJ: I graduated with a B.S. in Finance with a concentration in Real Estate so it is extremely important to consult with a financial planner that you have interviewed, you have gained trust with and set goals with them. Begin investing in mutual funds, bonds, and other securities that you both decide on, invest in the purchase of a home and investment property and balance out your checkbook like your grandma used to, literally because these banks are making plenty of "mistakes" (laughs).

For more Mia, follow her on Instagram!

Featured image by Instagram/@iammiajaye.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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