Janelle J. Gilbert: My, She’s Fly!

February, 2010 My, She’s Fly!

Name: Janelle J. Gilbert
Age: 31
Execu-gig: Accounting Specialist at her local state university, 
and Adjunct Instructor at two local institutions
Mama-gig: Married for four years to Duane Gilbert, and mother of 
3.5 years to Daxtyn!
Janelle’s Flash/Forward: I would have secured a position that grants me “mommy-hours” of 9am to 2pm. That way I can see our son off to school and pick him up when the bell rings. I could then spend my afternoons really having quality time with our son…doing his favorite activities and such. Is that asking too much?
No, Janelle, it’s not. Women are doing that as we read this, and with a sturdy family structure, and a firm grasp on your goals, you are well on your way.
What is your “day” job, and is it your passion?

By day, I am an Accounting Specialist within the Controller’s Office, and no, this position is not my passion, which is why I have an outlet of sorts to make me slightly happy about working outside of the home. I am a part-time Adjunct Instructor at two different institutions in Tallahassee. I have a very high “like” for teaching, so doing it gives me something to look forward to when I cannot be home with my family. My true passion is Event Planning, but I have come to the realization that fear stands in my way of doing what I love.

What are some of the challenges you and Duane face as young working parents?

Not enough time in the day; sudden bouts of fatigue, which can last for days; wanting the best for our son and often wondering if we are currently providing that; spending quality time with our son and with each other…just to name a few.

Are your schedules hectic? If so, how do you find time to be together—as a couple and as a family—in spite of that?

I wouldn’t call it hectic, but there are days when a few more hours would come in handy. By the time we get home, cook, eat, bathe, play/work with Daxtyn, and maybe watch a favorite TV show, the evening has turned to night and it’s usually past a decent hour for bed and all we have to look forward to is doing it all again the next day (less than 8 hours away).

What are some of the misconceptions you think people have about young black mothers in particular?

One that I have personally come in contact with on a few occasions is that some folks think all you care about is appearance. I do care about our appearance, but that is not all I care about. Making sure our son looks nice is often misconceived as having our priorities out of line.

Is being a wife/mother different from what you expected? If so, how?

Being a wife, no. Being a mother, no. But being both at the same time, heck yea!!! It’s more difficult to do both because I know I have to spread one me to two people. It’s not easy playing dominos with our son AND helping to pack my husband’s luggage for a weekend trip. Having to be split in thirds scares me, which is one reason having another baby is not on our to-do list.

Do you consider yourself successful?

Yes, I do. Success comes in many forms and for me, my success is being a GREAT wife and mother who can handle home life and work life while still having somewhat of a decent social life (LOL!)

The Execumama credo is to define, design, and live your fullest version of woman. Do you feel you are doing that?

I am not living my fullest version, but I’m close. I have a vibrant, healthy, happy son and a gorgeous, wonderful husband. Living my fullest version of woman would consist of having more time with my son and husband while doing my dream job as an Event Coordinator (or possibly owning my own business).

What would it take for you to transition from what you do, to what you WANT to do?

If opening my own business – losing my fear of failure! If changing careers/jobs, an opportunity to work for an established Event Planner. Either would need to be prefaced with a swift kick in the rear to get my ass motivated and going!

Janelle Gilbert’s photos courtesy of Terri Smith Photography