Chantal on discovering her pregnancy at med school, creating an alternative life for her children, and embracing coaching as a mother. From a series of Story of M.O.M. stories collected for our exhibition Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves by Christina Douyon for the Museum of Motherhood.
My name is Chantal Fowles. I'm a mother and a coach.
I have dreamed about being a mother since I was a little girl. My father died when I was a baby so I always aspired to be like my mother. She was an awesome mother who was able to give her three daughters a great life on her own.
After college, I got accepted into medical school. I love children and wanted to become a child psychiatrist. Only two weeks after beginning school, I found out I was pregnant.
The timing was horrible, and upsetting, but I was excited about becoming a mother. I knew very early in my pregnancy that I would never go back to medical school. Being present in my child's life, was and will always be the most important thing to me.
I now have two children. They are the driving force of my life. I want to be the best mother possible, while being successful enough to give them everything they need.
I also coach a high school step team in South Florida. As their coach, I am responsible for making sure the girls are prepared for competitions or showcases. I believe, however, that my job far exceeds mere preparation. I have become their big sister, mentor, advisor, tutor and confidant. I am extremely blessed to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of young ladies.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a mother?
For me, the most rewarding thing about being a mother is watching my children learn and grow. Every first brings pure excitement and joy!
My four year old son Justin just started playing basketball. During his first game, he cried and cried. About two games later, he was able to score a point! For some, one basket isn't something to get excited about, but it was the most exciting experience of that week. I was so proud to see him conquer his fears and actually score.
My daughter, on the other hand, is only 9 months old. Every day is exciting! She is constantly learning new things; sitting up, babbling, crawling, cruising, how to pick up snacks, etc.
Experiencing the many accomplishments in my children's lives, makes me feel like my life has purpose.
This post was collected by the Museum of Motherhood (M.O.M) in New York, partners in our online and touring exhibition Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves. You can add your own I'm a mum and a... photo here.
And if you'd like to host a virtual exhibition tour stop on your website, we'd love to have you - just let us know!