1. Can you describe your parenting philosophy?
Is survival a strategy? Parenting 3 kids under 6 can be pretty hectic, but if they go to bed fed, clean and feeling loved, I feel like we won the day.
2. If you could relay a message to all parents on Pink & Blue in regards to parenting, what would it be?Be gentle with yourself and with each other. As a parent, it is so easy to focus on our failures (full disclosure: yesterday I forgot my son’s show-and-share at the door and lost the raffle tickets for my daughter’s pre-school fundraiser). At the end of the day, TRY to think of something you got right and take a moment to congratulate yourself. This also goes for others: a compliment, words of encouragement or an understanding smile can help another parent get through their day. Today, as I was racing with all 3 of my kids to get my oldest to school before the bell rang, someone I didn’t know actually stopped to cheer me on. It was definitely the highlight of my disastrous morning.
3. Has motherhood affected your view on your own personal style? Whether it be your clothes, beauty routine or even self esteem.I’ve been rocking the disheveled mom hair style since 1993, so I can’t claim that I ever looked put-together, even when I had all the time in the world for a beauty routine. I LOVE that sweats, plaid shirts and ripped jeans are now in style (I guess I’ve been a trend setter for years without knowing it – right?). I will say that having kids has been good for my self-esteem. With so many other things to obsess over in day-to-day life, worrying about what others think about how I look doesn’t come into play as much as it used to.
4. How has becoming a parent affected your view on life itself and on your own life?It has made me want to be a better person…cliche I know, but our kids are watching us ALL. THE. TIME. If we want them to grow up to be good people, we should work on being the best people we know how to be.
6. Who do you turn to for parenting advice?My mother. She’s the smartest woman I know and hands-down the best grandmother in the world (ask my friends, they’ll back me up on this one). Alyson Schaffer’s advice really resonates with me – I would love to attend one of her parenting sessions.
7. How did motherhood change your lifestyle?I’m much more efficient than I used to be. Before kids, I could spend an entire day doing NOTHING. Now, give me a free hour, I will check 12 things off my to-do list. Truth be told, I would pay $1000 for 24-hours of doing absolutely nothing.
8. What have you learned from your kids? What do you hope they learn from you?
I’ve learned (and continue to learn) to think about an answer before giving it. Consistency and conviction are so important when fielding a barrage of questions. I never know which of my answers is going to stick with them for weeks, if not months, and help them shape their view of the world. I hope they learn from me that the world is generally a good place, but it’s our job to make it better.
Janis also has a wonderful charitable initiative called Ripple Clothes for Kids. Check out her Mom in Business interview here.