Marcia Dawes on motherhood and motorsports
She has raced competitively in her career and is now a key administrator in the local motorsports fraternity, but for this champion, her greatest reward has been, simply, becoming a mom. "I actually enjoy being a mother I think I have a really good relationship with my daughter; it's very balanced. It's something that I've always looked forward to, strangely enough," Marcia Dawes told Automotives.
She used the word 'strange' to describe what seems to be the normal perceptions of tomboys like herself.
"Persons think that because somebody is a tomboy, you wouldn't think that they would want to have a family, but for me, it's one of the greatest things, and I'm actually looking forward to her teenage years.
"I know many parents don't look forward to that, but I do," she said. Dawes was born in Westmoreland but later moved to Kingston.
Since childhood, she has had a knack for entering male-dominated spaces and making them her own. "When I went to high school, I did building construction, so I have always been drawn to that kind of field. I was one girl with 22 boys in the class," she said.
Of the mental borders often placed by society in what is considered to be a male or a female space she said, "I didn't realise it was a border. For me, it was naturally what I was drawn to, and I have always been accepted and fit in."
When she started working as an adult, things started to change. "I never had a challenge until going into the working world. I was in a department where I was the only female, and the supervisor was male. Among my co-workers, it was fine, but with the supervisors, I felt resistance, and they would question my work. However, I'm the type of person that, if I know what I'm doing is correct, I don't let it get to me." Now a project manager at the National Works Agency, Dawes said she enjoys all forms of motorsports except drag racing.
"Currently, I'm one of the organisers for Rally Jamaica, which is our biggest year-end motorsport event. I am actually the vice president for competitions for Drivers' Rallysport Club of Jamaica, which is the body that organises rallies locally," she said.
She is also the project manager of the Back To Basics Motorcycle Safety Mission and the FIA Women in Motorsports Commission National coordinator, where she coordinates drivers' and officials' training programmes for the growth and development of the sport. To make it all work while being 11-year-old Arianna Lamey's mother, Dawes explained: "I've got used to it.
I'm a planner now. Especially like this year, when she had GSAT and I'm organising races, I have to schedule and work around it. I've always had a good enough team to work with at work and at events so I can balance dealing with mommy duties and everything else."
For Dawes, her parenting style is greatly influenced by that of her own mother's.
"There are kids who can't talk to their parents. I didn't have that really. I grew up with a single mother and my sister who has a different personality than I do," she explained. "What I loved growing up is that my mother didn't treat me like my sister, and vice versa. She dealt with us as individuals. So, when I became a mother, I tried to learn my child's personality. I don't deal with her based on what somebody else does with their children." Arianna loves dancing, but simultaneously, because of her 'cool mom', she also has a love for motorsports. Dawes told Automotives, "People will say you're not supposed to be your child's friend, but I can say I am my child's friend. At the same time, she understands that I'm her mother, and there's certain respect to have, so I really enjoy the experience." She said the bright pre-teen fears her returning to the wheels and racing competitively because of the possibility of getting hurt. "I think that's natural, though, for your child to feel that way," she said.
Finding a balance
Although being a mother is something she enjoys, Dawes also shared a belief in finding time for herself, something she would encourage of all mothers. "I think it's very important to do something you like to do because you have to have balance.
"You're juggling your career and being a mother, but you also have to have time for yourself because you're still a person, you're still an individual.
"So, you have to fulfil your dreams and your desires."
"Just having something to enjoy. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as you enjoy it and you're good at it.
"It could be a de-stresser, I think it is important that mothers find it, whatever it is, and do it," Dawes said.