When we think of pregnancy, we usually think of excitement, nursery decor shopping, picking out baby names, and late-night cravings! But with the recent pandemic, expecting mothers have much more to think about and deal with than ever before. Entrepreneur and pregnant mother, Carmen Watkins, recently sat down with us to talk all about juggling the roles of entrepreneur, wife, and mother all while creating the online safe space, #MaskedMotherhood for other expecting mothers.
My name is Carmen Watkins. I'm a wife, mama times 3, and a stay-at-home mompreneur navigating through life with a bunch of grace.
In 2014, I started a social media campaign called RunYourVision which became a nonprofit 501c3 in 2016. We encourage young girls in grades 7 through 12 to pursue purpose by first pursuing Christ.
In addition to RunYourVision, I am the creator of #EveryGirlsMap, a prayer journal designed to help you make a prayer strategy over every area of your life. I enjoy shipping out journals to young girl and women all across the US. It's been such a life changing experience to see the journals being used to by girls and women who desire to go deeper in prayer and grow in their daily walk with Jesus. Journals are available for purchase at www.carmenwatkins.com, and shipped out weekly.
Along with being an entrepreneur, my greatest role is being a wife and mother. I absolutely love being with my family even if it's just enjoying the simple things like a walk through the neighborhood, binge watching shows with my husband, letting my oldest help me cook my "experimental dinners", supporting my husband's hobby as a youth baseball coach, or running around the kitchen island as we all pretend to be "dinosaurs". (chuckles)
Those are my days and I wouldn't trade them for anything!
Wedding Photo- MyLife Photography
Lifestyle photos- Terri Nash
Today marks the start of week 29. I'm expecting my third child, a son. We are still at a toss-up on his first name, but I'm sure it will come to us once we see his little face! It's a moment I'm so excited about.
It has been an interesting pregnancy; a little more challenging than my first two. I've experienced a few scares such as hemorrhaging in my first trimester and an emergency surgery to correct a wound dehiscence from a prior thyroidectomy. Then with sheltering-in-place due to Covid-19, and civil unrest across the US it has truly taken a lot of adjustments. This is what motivated me to create a space for other women who are pregnant during this season.
Masked Motherhood was created out of a longing for community. We are a small group of expecting moms who are pregnant during Covid-19.
The idea came about as I was reading through the book of Esther, and a particular part of the passage jumped out at me, "...Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14.
I desired to create a safe space for moms who are navigating pregnancy in a time of such uncertainty. Through weekly online gatherings, we share our experiences (challenges and praise reports), grow through prayer and devotion, and we also have healthcare professionals and therapists who join our weekly calls to encourage and prepare us for labor and delivery.
Many of the women are first time mothers, so they've missed the opportunity to join birthing classes, take hospital tours, or even have a baby shower. Having a space like Masked Motherhood gives them a chance to hear from professionals who can offer tips and information, and also allow the moms to release some of their frustrations, fears, and anxieties!
As a group of both first time mothers and moms of multiple children, none of us have experienced pregnancy, labor and delivery in a pandemic. The encouragement and resources has been a breath of fresh air for us all. We also have a lot of fun together, we start our calls with fun icebreakers and give-a-ways. We've even had a chiropractor in the Atlanta area provide complimentary services to some of our mothers.
I never envisioned Masked Motherhood having the impact it has had. I only desired to help a few moms and provide what I felt I was lacking in this season.Our group has become a family. We talk everyday through texts and phone calls. It's really a beautiful season and I'm grateful to God to have this moment.