xoNecole's Moms Who Inspire series highlights modern day moms mastering all the tasks on their plate, from day to day responsibilities to ensuring their children are kind, educated and well-rounded human beings. Each mother describes their inspiration, what motherhood means to them, and how they maintain their sense of selves while being the superwoman we all know and love.
"When you see me, you see the representation of my mom," Joi exclaims.
Millennial mom Joi Adams was raised by her parents with wisdom and a Godly foundation, and believes the humility she learned in her upbringing provided her with the tools to guide her son CJ, 7. She graduated from HBCU Central State University in Ohio and The Art Institute of San Francisco. Joi later worked for PMM Agency, observing and learning directly from powerhouse CEO Kimberly Blackwell.
Today, Joi is a senior event strategic marketing manager and consultant, supporting a variety of clients - from Fortune 500 companies to the federal government. She is also a writer and the co-founder of The Bougie Brunch Group (TheBBGroup), a safe fellowship space for women of color to network. The Bougie Brunch offers women of color the opportunity to also connect with major brands and companies interested in reaching this booming demographic.
"Everything I've learned has been a stepping stone to my next level," Joi says, reflecting on her career. "The way I look at it is, I didn't choose my career, it chose me. I believe your God-given purpose always finds you; you just have to be open and let God direct your path."
Joi shares below how she balances being a writer and strategic marketing consultant... all while raising her son with a Christian background in the midst of America's current volatile climate:
On having her faith tested throughout her career:
"We are all tested in life; it's how we manage to deal with it and learn a positive lesson that counts. I once pitched an idea to my client which they loved, and I ended up planning and spearheading a major conference that has now run successfully for three years. From this, I learned that I truly have a choice in my destiny, and that the hardest part is getting over fear and walking in faith. It's also important to fight and never quit. I have always kept my eyes on the prize. I block out the unwanted noise and any distractions that try and hinder me. Life always throws hardships and obstacles, but through my faith, I'm able to push through."
"I block out the unwanted noise and any distractions that try and hinder me."
On keeping her faith and raising CJ in Christian faith in America's current climate:
"I manage to keep the faith by consistently being in the word, and feeding my spirit with God's teachings. I love to fill our household with teachings from Bishop T. D. Jakes, Pastor John Gray and Pastor Mike Todd. When you keep the word in your heart, no matter what is going on around you, it never departs from you. In this toxic climate, I have to often shield my son and pray over him so that he isn't influenced with corrupt manners. The word says, 'In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.' My husband and I believe that is true and always instill that wisdom to guide our son on the right path."
On initially not knowing whether or not she wanted to be a mother:
"I honestly wasn't sure if I wanted to be a mom. My drive for success often clouded my mind. I didn't know if I wanted to add a child to the equation. Internally, it was a battle between being the overachiever and playing it safe. When my husband and I found out that we were pregnant with our son Charmone, Jr. (CJ), I had so many emotions, but honestly, I was mostly upset. I didn't want to believe it. I was so selfish. I cried for an hour straight. I thought I had ruined my entire life. In my mind, my husband and I had everything figured out. We almost became obsessed with 'our plan' versus God's Plan. God knew I would have kept waiting or pushed it off altogether."
"I didn't want to believe it... I cried for an hour straight. I thought I had ruined my entire life."
On the unexpected life lesson CJ is teaching her:
"God knew that I needed CJ - he was the missing link. He was the humbling factor. He is our cool kid that lights our world up. When all my emotional walls of insecurity came down, everything started to fall into place. Now, I can't imagine life without CJ. He's shown me that it's okay to not be the overachiever all the time, and that everything doesn't have to be perfect. I tend to try to perfect everything, but having my son has allowed me to be okay with letting down my hair and not always having things in order."
On the unexpected pleasure… and pain of Legos:
"I am a firm believer that when you plant good seeds in your child, they will grow into something amazing. My son wants to be a robotics engineer. So, to foster his dream, we put him in a Lego robotics class (although I despise Legos because they torture my feet)! Instilling in him that he can build whatever his heart desires is so rewarding and fulfilling. It not only builds self-confidence, it also allows him to work towards a goal."
"I am a firm believer that when you plant good seeds in your child, they will grow into something amazing."
On practicing self-care with and without her family:
"Every Saturday, my husband lets me have a lazy day. I get to sleep in and not have to worry about anything. It's my 'me' time, my time to regroup and align myself. It gives me an opportunity to pray and rejuvenate. I also love to spend quality time with my husband. We don't have to go anywhere fancy, I just love his company. When you have a child, I often tell new moms, 'Don't forget about your significant other.' You have to find that beautiful balance."
On the secret (but important) project that people don't know she's working on:
"I actually enjoy writing. I am finishing up my first book called "Confessions of a Rock-Mom: the One with the Messy Hair and Smudged Lipstick." It will be released later this year. Writing is therapeutic to me. I am able to release everything that I feel inside. I get to be unapologetically authentic and vulnerable when I write. Sometimes we think as mothers we have to lose our entire identities to become 'mom.' Well, that's false. If you stay true to yourself, having a child adds another layer of awesomeness to your passions."
"If you stay true to yourself, having a child adds another layer of awesomeness to your passions."
On the mothers inspiring her to become a better mother:
"There is a quote that says, 'Life doesn't come with a manual. It comes with a Mother.' I have so many phenomenal women around me who are Rock-Moms. From my loving mother and mother-in-law, to amazing sisters and close friends, I have learned bits and pieces from them all. Each has given me sound advice without saying a word. I believe it takes a village to raise a child."
For more of Joi, check her out on Instagram.