Why Breegan Jane Is Empowering Other Women Through Courage and Brutal Honesty
Photos: Katee Grace
Divorce is never easy to talk about, especially when children are involved. Unfortunately, it's still considered a taboo topic by some, so it's no surprise that many newly-divorced parents are unsure about how to approach their new reality. After interior designer Breegan Jane and her now-ex-husband made the decision to end their marriage, she wanted to help other busy moms navigate their way through life's struggles (yes, including divorce) — and that's how her radio show, Mom Life, Yo, was born.
The mother of two and Fashion Mamas LA member joined forces with her friend, T. Lopez, to create a show that would empower women who — like her — refused to allow experiences like divorce define them. Between raising her two sons, designing celebrity homes and award-winning restaurants, and co-hosting the weekly radio show, Jane reveals to us how she's managing to "do it all." Read on below to find out how she's using brutal honesty about her own life to help others, her secret to succeeding at wearing many hats, and more.
— Additional reporting by Ashley Tibbits
How did "Mom Life, Yo" begin?
A friend and I found ourselves in the same position: Both becoming mothers at the same time, for the first time, having brutally honest conversations about the not-so-pretty realities of pregnancy and motherhood. We connected over all the stuff no one else seemed to be talking about openly. After realizing we both had backgrounds in media and entertainment, we decided to use our platforms to be a collective voice for moms.
We created Mom Life Yo for the moms who don’t always have time to sit down and read a blog or catch a show at a scheduled time each week. We talk with authenticity about our experiences in order to empower other women. It’s been a joy to be a part of so many moms’ lives each week through the internet radio waves.
You're so candid about the struggles of divorce. What's one thing such struggle you felt most unprepared for?
When you make the decision to get divorced, you prepare for the changes with the kids, geography and financial matters. What I was absolutely not prepared for was what felt like the proverbial scarlet letter of divorce and how it would negatively impact my female relationships.
Even in 2018 there is still a stigma on the single mom — one I refuse to take on, but that I felt and recognized soon after separating from my husband. All of a sudden there was this idea that I was somehow less than, that I was struggling in some way, or that I was a victim. I even found myself being disregarded in conversations.
Perhaps one of the biggest shockers was that other women’s husbands found me threatening to their own relationships. They thought I would be a bad influence on their wives because of an assumption that I would take my newfound singledom and party all the time. My closest friends will tell you that life for me has been precisely the opposite.
My experiences with divorce and challenges with being a single parent have made me into the most supportive friend. I am the friend who champions marriage and encourages my friends to make it work even more so now. Still, it’s been unfortunate to see how rude some women have chosen to be with me because of my new marital status.
You have two gorgeous boys. In what ways do they teach you how to navigate post-divorce life (in other words, what have you done differently because you're a mom that you wouldn't have understood before)?
Having kids throughout the divorce process has forced me to not get caught up in the little stressors in life. I’m often grateful for the four eyes watching me in my most difficult moments, because it’s a constant reminder of how large a role our emotions, both positive and negative, play in our lives. Because I know they are watching, I now notice when I get really angry about something and how that emotion or reaction affects them. If it isn’t beneficial, it makes me reconsider my own actions.
My sons’ need for normalcy is more important than their parents’ issues. In short, they have taught me to recognize the things worth expending energy on, and that has resulted in a more positive environment for all of us.
You're a woman of many hats: interior designer, host, single mom, blogger, entrepreneur. How do you balance it all?
I balance it all by mastering the art of delegation. I have amazing teams and strong support. Like most moms, I have moments when I feel like I’m not doing enough. I counter those feelings by realizing that wisdom sometimes means supporting yourself with strong people who can help you reach new heights in your career. Mom Life Yo is a perfect example of that. I’m fortunate to have a partner in T. Lopez who is as passionate about our mission as I am. I’ve worked hard to compile a team that I trust and allow me to run on all cylinders at once. It also probably helps that I naturally don’t sleep much!
What rituals (wellness or otherwise) keep you sane?
Anything that involves a positive release of energy. My kids and I dance a lot. We are a musical household, so chances are there will always be whirling and two-stepping going on. But it is especially important in moments when we need to physically express ourselves and let loose. It’s fun to let go of all inhibitions and dance like no one is watching!
Fill in this blank: I always want my boys to think of me as ________.
Inspiring. I want to be a mother who leads by example. My hope is that my boys look at me as a woman of strength. It is important to me that they be able to recognize a woman as a leader without being intimidated by it.
What advice do you have for other mamas feeling overwhelmed with single motherhood/divorce/co-parenting? What are your most helpful tools for getting through the rough parts?
I’m a huge advocate of honesty and seeking professional support. Therapy, self-discovery, and meditative practices have been essential for me when faced with challenges throughout this divorce process. Through these means I found an incredible amount of strength.