If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to be more well-rounded, check out Pasadena based mama of two, Priscilla Vega. After having a successful career at NASA (yes, that NASA), she left to spend more time with her daughter and forged a new freelance career for Solly Baby and Strymon (a guitar effects company). If science, baby gear, and music aren’t diverse enough, she also spends her free time dancing. We love this mama’s love for life and we wish we had half her energy. I think we’re going to go sign up for that cooking class we’ve been putting off since 2013.
On Following Your Passions: Prior to becoming a mama, my work defined me. I measured my personal success based on my career accomplishments. After a long professional career in public relations and public affairs, I found myself writing stories, fielding media requests and media training scientists and engineers for NASA. When we landed the Curiosity rover on Mars, I was 7 months pregnant and determined to master the work/life balance. But, after my daughter was born I couldn’t go back to the old me. I couldn’t imagine working those long hours and keeping the ambition for both career and family so I created a new career for myself working for brands I was passionate about from home.
On Life Lessons: Since leaving the corporate/government world and working closely with entrepreneurial mothers, I feel like I’ve opened Pandora’s box of women who make something out of nothing. It has really opened my eyes to all of the organizations that are created and powered by women. My mother is an entrepreneur but I didn’t really understand the value of building your own foundation and supporting your family with it until recently. Creative and ambitious women inspire me and people that support these women inspire me. I hope to be one of these women, I want my daughter to one day see how hard I worked for her, even if she’s in her 30s when she discovers it. It’ll be all worth it.
On Motherhood: As I sit here and right this summary of myself I have a sleeping baby on my chest in a wrap, I can hear my 4 year old playing in her room and I have a solid to-do list to tackle before closing out my “work day” and you know what, I sort of feel like I’m mastering this whole work/life balance. Tomorrow as I struggle to keep my head on straight while getting the 2 kids and 3 dogs up, fed and ready for the day while trying to load us all in the car for school drop off will be an entirely different story but that’s the beauty of being a mom and juggling it all. Some days you’ve got it all going on and some days you drop all the balls. We just pick ourselves back up again, cheer on our fellow mamas along the way and realize that being a mama defines us, it’s all encompassing and the most rewarding job on the planet (actually, it’s the most rewarding job in the entire universe).
What are 3 things that might surprise us about you?
1. The NASA thing is always a kicker. When I worked for the space agency, I got to do some pretty spectacular things such as stand in the middle of the 70-meter dish that communicates with the Voyager spacecraft and I was also awarded a mini replica of an asteroid for my work on a mission. That asteroid still sits proudly on my desk.
2. I also worked for The Nature Conservancy, which is the largest non-profit environmental organization in the entire world. During my time there I got to spend time on a private and protected island filled with tiny fox known as the Island fox. These 6-pound creatures popped out of bushes and would greet you among arriving on the island. We were there to excavate ancient Chumash Indian artifacts with the LA Times. Talk about a cool work gig.
3. And lastly, the one thing I’m most passionate about is dance. I started dancing at the age of 3 and continued dancing up until the day I found out I was pregnant with my oldest. I was rehearsing for a show when my doctor recommended I quit due to the dangers of being tossed around on stage. Doesn’t necessarily jive well when you’re creating life. But I love dance with every part of my being. Being on stage and performing fuels a happiness within me unlike any other. My dream is to get back into it and perform on stage for my daughter. I think it’ll blow her mind.
Quotes you live by?
“I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Keep up with this amazing mama on Instagram @pvega