Hello Austin Moms! I am Janina Roberts, a busy working mom of two. Born in Louisiana in the early 90s, I was a Southern girl through and through. My grandfather and I would spend time gardening in the backyard and when I say gardening I don’t mean your run of the mill garden. It was teaming with all kinds of vegetables from cabbage to squash to green beans. You name it we had it. I fondly remember spending time with my family at Indian Creek and although we dare not swim in the water it was time well spent building memories together. After my mom got married we moved to Las Vegas then to Abilene, TX all thanks to living the life of a military brat. It is from Abilene where I graduated high school. I high-tailed it out of there and headed from the big city of Austin, TX to attend UT-Austin. It is there where I met my boyfriend (now husband) Allen in 1998.
Needless to say all that time spent together was reflected in my grades that first semester.
After turning things around in school that next semester and over the next 3 years I obtained my Bachelors degree in Psychology. Little did I know finding a job with a degree in Psychology would not be easy to find. After graduate school we bought a home and were married a year later in 2006. However, our happily ever after did not start immediately. Allen was deployed to Iraq for 15 months a mere 5 weeks after we were married. Our newlywed life was put on hold and instead was replaced with lots of phone calls, letters, care packages and the occasional video conference when we were lucky.
As the saying goes, “Trouble doesn’t last always. This too shall pass.”
And it did. Allen returned home to start our life together and within the year we were planning to have a family. However, our path to parenthood was filled with a lot of curves in the road. As a young girl, I always envisioned having children. It was a dream of mine, so to realize this dream may not become a reality was heartbreaking to say the least.
We started trying to conceive in 2009 and were able to get pregnant with the help our fertility specialist, however, that pregnancy ended in miscarriage. In 2011, as we prepared for IVF, we were able to get pregnant on our own and in July 2012, Allen Jr. was born. The next several years we tried without success, only to get pregnant again this time with the help of fertility doctor (on the first try!) and welcomed Aelicia in July 2017. These two are the light of my life. AJ is very intelligent, athletic and loving. He is always kissing, hugging and saying ‘I love you’ to his family. We describe Aelicia as very independent and talkative who loves all things ‘girly’ and ‘sparkly’.
I have always looked forward to writing from my perspective and have been told for years to pursue it. That is where Austin Moms came in with the opportunity to be a contributor. I consider this my dream fulfilled to use my hobby of writing as a platform to inspire, encourage and uplift other women.
Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
If I can at least make an impact in one person’s life I feel that my job has been done. As women and moms it is important that we encourage one another because as we all know there is no one perfect way to be a mom, a woman, a wife, a partner, a daughter and the list goes on and on.
Currently, I am the Assistant Special Education Director for a charter school and a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP). In January 2020, I started a Doctoral program while also working full-time. I love all things related to party planning and will spend months customizing the kid’s birthday parties.
When not working, studying, planning parties and attending football/basketball games (AJ is very active in sport), I am frequently looking at websites pertaining to pop culture (you know; People, Yahoo News, TMZ), watching Life Below Zero or the infamous channel, TLC. I know, some would say why? But, it is the one thing I can do that doesn’t require me to think too deeply.
Through Austin Moms I hope to bring a fresh perspective on all things mom-related, but also as it pertains to social justice, raising a child with dyslexia, balancing this thing we call ‘life’ and all from the lens of an African American family living in downtown Austin, TX. Thank you for welcoming me in your ‘tribe’, your home and your lives by allowing me to share my passion for writing.