Jade Garcia - The Westies

Jade Garcia

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Jade Garcia is a gorgeous woman who is raising four beautiful children, whilst studying for her bachelor in communication majoring in advertising. She graciously let me hang out with her and experience an afternoon in her life.

With mothers like Jade the future is in good hands. 

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Being a Mum is so hard to describe it feels so abstract sometimes. When they are babies they are so dependent on you and that in itself is special because you are the be all and end all. As they get older they become their own people and it is fascinating to watch. It’s rewarding to see how their personalities and behaviours develop and you think – “Wow, I made that person.” They are always making me laugh, I’m never bored and I’m always learning from them. Every experience that they have, I learn something from, even if it’s bad or stressful things, I am still learning and it helps you grow as a person. It has taken a lot of selflessness and never ending giving. Even when you think you can’t possibly give any more, you dig deep and give more. The role of a mother includes trying to be wise in the decisions that you make and even in difficult times trying to be strong and kind and not take things that your children do personally and just accept that they are going through things too.

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Parenting courses taught me that when your child is expressing themselves in a way that you can’t understand because they are upset or angry that that is ok. They are valid emotions to have and you need to be there for them so that they can safely express themselves. I did the parenting courses because I was struggling with depression and with motherhood because it’s not easy, I thought that I needed to do something about it because I didn’t feel like I was doing the best job I could do and that wasn’t helping my self-esteem. Being a mother was my major role and if I wasn’t doing a good job at that then what was I doing? So that’s why I took the classes. I did a few and they were fantastic.  The parenting courses helped me with my depression because it made me realise that how we are raised and other surrounding influences do shape us. It’s hard being a person, full stop, and sometimes we don’t always have the skills to manage our feelings. By learning about how to help my children manage their feelings I also learnt how to help myself manage my own feelings. When I’m feeling something starting to rise up, some stress or some anger, I can defuse that and look at what’s causing those problems in the first place and try and change it into a positive or at least a learning experience.

Having kids has helped me as a person and as a student.  In general it has taught me compassion, perseverance and patience and that things are always changing, nothing stays the same. People don’t stay the same. You can always undo something that has been done. It might be hard, especially when it comes to things like repairing relationships but if you work at things and you are genuine and sincere you can affect a lot of change.

 

In my role as a mother I try to raise the children to be compassionate, helpful and kind to each other and other people outside of the family.  I suppose in that sense I am raising the people of the future so that is one way I am affecting change and just living my life in a way that is meaningful to me. I think it extends into the greater community because I’m feeling good about myself, I’m happy and I can share my happiness and experiences with other people. I think that is a way of affecting change, being a happy person.

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In order for me to lead a happy life I need to be there for my family firstly and secondly my desire to study is paramount at the moment. I really want to get my degree and it’s the big thing that is driving me at the moment. My happiness depends on working hard and getting good grades and trying to be the best Mum that I can be.  I’m doing a Bachelor of Communications Media Practice majoring in advertising. I have always wanted to study but I have never been brave enough and never had the confidence to give it a go and then I thought “No, you got good grades at school, you can do this. You are just going to have to work hard and be dedicated.”

Three of the four children are at school now and my youngest will be starting school in a couple of years so I really wanted to think seriously about a long term career and a career I can be excited and passionate about. The field of advertising to me is so interesting, it is so interesting to see what drives people to do things especially when it comes to consumerism, what makes people’s minds tick in that way and just basically how advertising communicates a message. It is just fascinating to me, the meanings that images and words can hold.

I actually got my first assignment back today and I got a high distinction. I was nearly crying tears of joy, I am so happy!

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I don’t like to feel stagnate and I feel that when my life is not busy or if I am not doing something, I feel stuck and I don’t what to feel that way because it makes me feel depressed. So I keep busy. Before my degree I did a few make-up courses – one at community college and I did one at TAFE. I really enjoyed them, I love playing with make-up and I love doing make-up for family and friends. The thought of doing brides terrifies me – I think for a lot of people, getting married is a very intense situation and I don’t think I would like to be around that kind of energy. I didn’t have a big wedding myself and I guess I am not into brides for that simple fact. Make-up is fun – when you’re not feeling particularly great you can just put on a bright lipstick and it brightens up your face and makes you feel good about yourself and that’s what I appreciate about it the most. I enjoy it for that fact alone and and it gives you that extra boost of confidence.

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The other thing I do to keep busy is my blog.  It allows me to express myself creatively through writing or just sharing my feelings and thoughts on what has been happening in my life. It is a bit of a mish-mash of things at the moment but it started out as a beauty blog and now that I have become a more careful consumer and mindful about my influence on other people it has become more personal, more reflective. It is just about life in general.  For me in my life, I always wanted a house with a backyard and fruit trees and grass where the kids can play. I always wanted to live in the suburbs and I want my kids to have a strong family and feel that they can play outside and be happy and safe. We now have that nice home in the suburbs, a big back yard, I have a fruit tree. I have everything I wanted.

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Photos: Katrina James

Interview: Katrina James