MOM Series: Mommy's Break Shares Support, Resources0
Imani Watson is a Kalamazoo Central High School graduate who is a social worker, life coach, mother, and founder of Mommy’s Break. Her motherhood story begins back before her senior year at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) when she discovered that she was pregnant with her son, Aiden.
“Since I had him, it has been a learning experience. My life goals and ideas have changed,” she shared.
Having majored in criminal justice and minored in juvenile justice while at GVSU, Watson originally wanted to become a probation officer and work with teens. Once Aiden was born, she was motivated to create Mommy’s Break, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting other moms based on her experiences.
“When he was born, I had an emergency C-section,” Watson revealed. “I was bedridden with sickness during the pregnancy and experienced a bout of depression after. I had a whole support system and could not imagine how those without one could handle it.”
Through Mommy’s Break, Watson has been able to provide similar comfort and strength to others. In addition to sharing advice and acting as a network for mothers, the nonprofit also organizes giveaways of essential baby items.
“My go-to advice for parents is to not beat themselves up,” Watson explained, “Everyone’s parenthood journey is unique. We all make mistakes and that is okay.”
“When we moved to Kalamazoo, I went to Hillside Middle School and was having a lot of issues,” she recalled. “To help myself adjust, I began pen paling and writing in a journal.”
Watson decided to respond to these journals from her youth and publish the conversation in her book, Imani Means Faith.
“The main thing that stuck out when answering these old entries was how I felt so alone as a young girl and just wished I had someone there for me,” she shared. “Ironically, I think that drove my passion to help others.”
Now living in Atlanta, Watson earned a master’s degree in sociology from Clark Atlanta University and is thriving professionally, personally, and parentally. She hopes that her journey will eventually inspire her son to live his life without fear.
“Most of the things we are supposed to do in this life lie on the other side of our fears,” she explained. “We can get so lost in society and the world around us that we lose ourselves.”