Rewriting Your Story: Jaree Williams

In our candid “Rewriting Your Story” series, we sit down with Jaree Williams, a resilient first-time mother who faced profound challenges on her journey to self-discovery and wellness. Jaree’s story is one of transformation, marked by her courageous battle with postpartum depression (PPD) and her eventual triumph over adversity. Struggling to navigate the demands of motherhood while maintaining her own well-being, Jaree found herself trapped in a cycle of survival mode, grappling with the weight of societal expectations and personal doubts. However, a pivotal moment of realization sparked a profound shift within her—a moment where she resolved to reclaim her identity and prioritize her own needs without guilt or compromise. Through her own journey of self-healing and growth, Jaree discovered a newfound purpose: to empower and inspire fellow mothers to prioritize self-care and embrace their worth. In our conversation with Jaree, she shares her insights, struggles, and triumphs, offering a beacon of hope for mothers everywhere who dare to embark on the journey of rewriting their own stories.

What initially inspired you to embark on the journey of rewriting your story?

it all started with my first son during postpartum. I was in a new job role as a grade level chair I was a new mom just newly married. We’re having him and been married a year and I just felt like I was drowning I was very unhappy, I wasn’t enjoying life. I was in survival mode. I was just going through the day to day, you know, waking up, going to work, coming home with family. And it wasn’t exciting for me and I’ve just felt like my season of being in education has passed and it was time for me to do more. And I knew that there wasn’t enough talk about postpartum. And it inspired me to start sharing my story and figuring out how can I help other new moms prepare for this journey without feeling like they don’t have anyone.

Could you elaborate on the specific challenges you faced as a first-time mom dealing with postpartum depression?

I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t even know that I had postpartum depression until I overcame it. You know, I just, I didn’t feel like myself. I was drowning, like I felt like, you know, I don’t know who I am, I don’t like my job, I’m not spending enough time with my son, I don’t see my husband.

And it was just so many changes and factors. And I think the most challenging thing is reprioritizing what matters to you. Because before kids, you’re like, oh, you know, I can, I have more free time to do things that I enjoy, but becoming a mom makes you really look to see what am I prioritizing?

Because I used to work hours at a time and think that was okay until I had a son and I’m like wow I only see my son for two hours a day. I’m only coming home to go to sleep and waking back up to go back out. So those were some challenges basically like really trying to reevaluate what was important to me.

i really wanted to show up for myself because I wasn’t taking time for myself. I was making sure that the baby was good, making sure my husband was good, but it wasn’t until a light bulb went off one day and he was like, you can do that too. You can take care of yourself because he used to work out, make time for himself, walk off. And I’m like, how can you do that in a can? And he’s like, you can.

And so it took me to communicate and that’s where that shift in marriage happens too is like you have to be vulnerable enough to talk about what you need. And that’s what really made me like think I don’t have to be strong anymore. I can be vulnerable. I can ask for help and it doesn’t make me weak. I recognized that I needed to prioritize my own wellness and make a change in my life when I woke up every single day hating life. I was not happy. Don’t know what it is, but I don’t like waking up. I don’t want to do asleep. I want to be left alone. 

How did you recognize that you needed to prioritize your own wellness and make a change in your life?

It was a shift when I had a conversation with my husband where I was like, okay, what can I do to make sure I’m pouring into myself? And at the time I used to have to be, leave the house around 5:45 6. So I used to start waking up at like 4:30. I would read, I would pray. I would read my book. I saw, I used to read my Bible. I used to read a book I enjoyed, do some yoga and really center myself in the beginning of the day so I could pour into myself because the rest of the day I’m pouring out to everyone else from my son to the people I used to work with, to the students.I just didn’t know until I started creating my business as well which gave me another outlet of pouring into myself because I felt like that was a way of healing sharing my story making sure that other moms know how to take care of themselves and when I did that it made me show up different and I became more happy I was in a space of like okay I know what Jaree needs and now that I can take care of myself I can do the same for other people around me and create boundaries around making time for myself because it’s no point of taking care of yourself and not holding those boundaries because if you don’t hold the boundaries no one else will. So that’s something I really had to learn.

What were some of the first steps you took towards self-care and personal growth?

Some of the first steps I took towards self care and personal growth was reading more books about self development. So I had to really, I started reading Atomic Habits, Feeding the Soul by Tabitha Brown, just all kind of person development books that allowed me to start creating better habits, shifting my mindset, making sure that I know that just because that chapter of my life was over doesn’t mean my life was over. It was a fresh start. I had to create a new foundation and know that I am more than an educator, I am more than a mom, I am more than a wife, I’m Jaree first and Jaree can do things that fills her up.

Can you describe a pivotal moment or turning point in your journey of transformation?

I think the most pivotal point was when I was just had enough. I was burned out. Like when I say I was burned out, I did not want to get up. Like it took me some mornings. I also told my husband, like, I don’t want to move. I don’t want to get up. But I knew there were so many people depending on me. And I was just like, okay. Like my husband was like, yeah, we have to make a change. Like I want you to be happy. I don’t want you to feel like you’re miserable. And when I opened up to my husband, he allowed me.

To really know that I wasn’t alone, even though you feel like you’re alone, but it’s like sometimes it’s because we’re keeping things to yourself. And talking to my husband really gave me the confidence to make that transformation, really make sure that I am showing up as my best self, where I started making, so I call this the Williams Wellness Method, where all the things that I think are my wellness, my kids, my marriage, my home, and my business, I have columns for each one of those things for tasks.

Every day I do these tasks that allow me to show up not just for me but for my sons, for my husband, for my business, for my home. Like these are the things that I prioritize on a regular basis whether it’s walking, reading, journaling, reading my scripture, making sure that my kids do reading and story activities and learning. There’s so many different aspects but that was that transformation that I needed to really start showing up not just for me but for everyone around me.

a better mindset, in a better, just better energy. Because as a mom, as a wife, I know I’m, my energy impacts the home. I’m the foundation of the homes energy. Like if I’m in a bad mood, the ones, everyone around me are gonna be like, ugh. Like she’s in a bad mood and it’s kinda gonna run off on them versus if I’m in a good mood, so can my family be.

How did you navigate the process of rediscovering yourself while balancing the responsibilities of motherhood?

I had to set those boundaries in place and hold myself accountable. And now I’m like, okay, Jere, if you don’t show up for yourself, if you’re not taking care of your wellness areas, then you’re not going to be okay. And once I got into a routine where I was like, okay, I feel a difference. I feel great. I want to show up. That’s when I truly started making sure that I show up, even as a mom, like even with my son, like sometimes, for example, I’m not able to walk alone or do my exercise alone because my husband’s at work. But what I do is incorporate my son.

Well now my sons and it shows them too that you know take care of yourself and it really shows me that I’m a mirror.

The things that I do to prioritize myself reflects on my sons. So if I’m working out, my kids are gonna like working out. If I’m eating healthy, if I’m taking time to read books that entertain me or teaches me something new, my kids are gonna do the same. So that’s really how I balance out the responsibilities. Sometimes I do it alone, sometimes I do it with them. But at the end of the day, I’m gonna hold myself accountable and have that discipline.

What role did self-compassion play in your journey, especially during difficult moments?

I had to give myself a lot of grace during this journey, especially during the difficult moments. I had to pour into myself and let myself know that it’s okay to feel like that. It’s okay to sit in your feelings. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to express yourself. You know, you don’t have to carry that weight on your own and that’s why you have to create your own village. When I created my own village, it was life changing. I had people who are rooting for me, who are going to give me that space to take time for myself. Even my in-laws, like they’ve made sure that, okay.

I see Jaree has work to do, let me get the boys. You know, those little things make a difference. And that’s where that self-compassion comes from. You have to be vulnerable enough with yourself to know that you can do those things.

Were there any particular resources or support systems that were instrumental in helping you along the way?

I’d say the best resources I had during this time was my support system. They gave me so much grace. They gave me the love that I needed. They didn’t even know I had at the time. I wasn’t actually alone. Even mentally I felt alone, but I wasn’t alone. I wish I would have known more about support groups and postpartum support international at the time so that I could be around others who didn’t understand what I was going through.

Now I’m able to tell other moms about it, so that’s the great part about it. What you don’t know you can share with others in the future.

How has rewriting your story impacted your relationships, both with yourself and with others?

It created more confidence in me. It created compassion for me and just a heart of forgiveness because I know what it feels like to be in a state of mind where it’s like you wanna give up. You wanna be able to just remove yourself. But what I decided to do is now I give so much, everybody grace, because you don’t know what people are going through, you don’t know what’s going on in their home, but just be kind, you know? It really made me more aware of how to be kind in a way of like giving people grace without like, ah, I’m gonna assume the best, that’s how it is

In your opinion, what are some common misconceptions about self-care for mothers, and how would you address them?

It’s about people that say moms don’t need breaks or you don’t get a break as a mom when in actuality you deserve a break. You need to take breaks because if you don’t take a break..You’re gonna go into burnout and when you’re burned out, you’re in survival mode, you’re unhappy, you’re not showing up for yourself or others around you. You’re frustrated, you’re snapping on everyone. So one thing I tell people is start small. If you’re not, if you’re a mom, you’re like, I don’t have time to do X, Y, Z. Start with five minutes. Build on once you create that habit because you deserve a break. Ask for help. If you don’t have a village, you can create your own village. There’s a such thing. There’s people out here who want to help.

What advice do you have for women who may feel overwhelmed or stuck in their own journey of self-discovery and personal growth?

I would say give yourself grace and find out what do you enjoy doing and who is the woman that you want to be in the future?

Write a list of what she does, what she does, how does she take care of herself, how does she show up for her family, how does she show up for her career, whatever she wants to do. Make a list and work backwards. And that’s what’s going to give you your foundation to start going forward.

Looking back on your journey, what are you most proud of achieving or overcoming?

I want to say I’m most proud of achieving is starting over. Being vulnerable enough to open up to my husband and tell him I wasn’t happy. Because now I’m much happier. I’m in a space in life where I’m just like, wow, you keep doing things that amaze me every day. Like you are taking risks. You are showing up doing those things. And I’d like to thank my children for that because I would have never known my…

I would say my bandwidth until I had kids because they motivate me to do the things that I’ve always wanted to do. Like I just recently wrote a book. It’s going to be released in July but that’s one of those things like I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t have my kids. And my kids, I guess my kids would be what I’m proudest about because this family that I created is motivating me to do things that I never would have imagined. I had dreams of it but I didn’t make it into action until I had them.

How do you envision your story continuing to unfold in the future?

Make an impact. Being the voice for moms and postpartum and giving them hope to prioritize themselves and reclaim their identity. And growing out worthy4ever to inspire other moms.

Finally, what message or lesson would you like to impart to others who are striving to rewrite their own stories and reclaim their sense of self-worth and fulfillment?

I say start small. When you rewrite your story, start small, and then just know that it’s gonna work out. You just have to be willing to take risk and set boundaries because you were not put on earth to just survive the day to day but to enjoy life and make an impact to others.

You learn more about Jeree’s work here.



Podcast: Navigating Postpartum Podcast 
Website: Worthy4ever.com

by Harness Editor

Harness believes that freedom of expression equals female empowerment. The truth? We’re a badass authentic community of fierce women, and we exist to help your voice be heard. Harness is here to be your safe haven. A place to shed the competition, the insecurities. This is a place to rise by lifting others. This is who we are.


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