I am Jessie, a married work-at-home Mama to four of our own kids, plus take care of our niece and nephew as well. I help my husband run his dock business while running my own business as an online health and fitness coach.
How would you describe yourself as a parent?
Involved. I wouldn’t say in a “helicopter mom” sort of way, but I am very detail oriented for one and just very in tune to feelings, so I know when something is up with them or off. Plus, being home with them all the time and making my own work hours I don’t have to sacrifice time with them for work. I make it to every sporting event, class party, field trip, etc. Therefore, I am the “Pinterest mom” part of the time, when it calls for it. I am also the mom losing her mind when just one more crumb hits the floor. I’m not perfect, but I love my kids and I try. I also know that I need time to myself to be a better mom.
When did you realize you were ready to start a family and be all grown up?
My husband and I got married in March 2010 and a couple months later decided we would set aside all forms of birth control and just let it happen. It took 10 months and we haven’t slowed down since because we wanted our children to be close in age. Mission accomplished! Since we had already been together for a few years and were taking care of his sisters two children frequently we already had experience parenting together, so there was never a doubt that we wanted several children.
What’s the one thing you said you’d never do as a mom, but ended up doing?
So cliche, but literally the only thing I said I would never do is say, “because I said so.” Then I had kids and they all get to the “why” phase and I swear I answer it as many times as I can until there is just no explanation left, but eventually that old line that my own mom used to say surfaces. I try to avoid it and use other lines such as, “go ask your dad!” or “there is nothing else I can tell you, so please stop asking me!”
What amazes you most about being a mom?
It never ceases to amaze me that I created life. Sure, my husband helped a little (haha!), but I carried them and pushed them out into this world and it seriously astonishes me on the daily. Second to that would be watching my kids learn things, especially when they figure it out on their own. It’s like I can just see their world expand as their eyes widen and can tell something just clicked.
What’s your ‘escape’ from being a mom, what keeps you sane?
Running and working out are my escapes from Mom Life, but even part of the time my kids join me, which is fine because I love setting a good example for them when it comes to health and fitness. If I need that solo outdoor run though I make sure I get up while they’re still sleeping to have my alone time. Otherwise I make some really good attempts at finding a sitter for the whole crew so my husband and I can go out once in a while for dinner and drinks!
Which human values do you consider most important to teach our kids?
Just being nice. Be the one that stands up for the kid that is getting picked on, go sit with the lonely kid at lunch, do not EVER bully someone. And also to stand up for themselves, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
What are you struggling with while raising your kid(s)?
Keeping up with the laundry, hah! But seriously I’d have to say carving out individual time with each of them. We wanted four from the beginning, we basically have six though. My husband and I each try to make sure they all get attention on their own and since it’s a large household and some of them are in sports or other activities it is quite busy, so there ends up being some guilt that some have to sacrifice for the others at times.
Growing up, who inspired you the most? And why?
I can’t say that I have anyone I particularly looked up to during my childhood years, but later until recently my stepmom, Jennifer, has been a real inspiration to me after deciding to go to university for nursing in her 40’s and graduating at the top of her class and then just completed her certification to be a yoga instructor simply because she likes it and is so passionate about it. I spent a lot of time in my preteen/teenage years being angry with dad for my parents divorce, but I wish I hadn’t and would have gotten to know my stepmom sooner because she is just an all around awesome person and grandma to my babies! She is a fantastic cook, gardener, chicken lady, and is musically gifted! Plus she gave me my sister and best friend, Chelsea!
What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned so far in life?
It’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to make mistakes. And it’s okay to show everyone else that I’m not perfect and make mistakes.
If you could give your great grand children some advice, what would it be?
The world seems to be going down hill and it’s frustrating knowing that us humans are the cause of it, it is changing so rapidly that I am not even going to pretend to be able to imagine what it will look like by then, but I would tell them to “be kind and work hard.” Those seem to be the two things that get people the farthest.