The Mom Next Door Series: Jamie A

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I am so happy and honored to bring you this week's Mom Next Door Interview from one of my favorite Mommas, Jamie A.  You may recognize the name from my recent Thank You Thursday dedicated to her for being my internet guide of happiness and inspiration (which is actually the exact phrase I use to describe her to my family when detailing where I found some gem of information on the web). 

Jamie and I worked from home for the same company for about a year or two (motherhood has erased all existence of time in my mind) and actually only ever met in person once or twice on business trips.  But somehow our love of inspiring blog posts, hashtags, and Joe Manganiello have kept us in each other's lives long past our connection to a common workplace.  Our conversations are limited to facebook messages and email - but somehow in the way only people who have kindred souls do - we consider each other real life friends and mums on the same journey just wearing different shoes (hers very stylish and heeled; mine regrettably neither stylish or heeled and probably chewed in some spots by our pitlab Trixie).

Without further ado, please grab a cup of coffee and get ready to be both humored and inspired to hear more about my dear friend, Jamie A: 


Who are you? My name is Jamie A and I live on the gorgeous New Hampshire coastline. I am truly a city mouse trying her best to be a little country. The ocean view doesn't hurt my “tolerance” for the bugs and wild things that roam around at night. I sleep with a stiletto in one hand, Speaking of shoes, my all but forgotten blog is Agent Stiletto’s Closet  and I SWEAR I will get back to it someday when I have a moment to breathe and expl…. Wait, are we not at a support group?

Who is in your family? I have one son born to me, Cohen. I also have an amazing son, Cale, born to another mother. Cohen is 3.5 years old going on 21 and Cale is a sweet 16 year old who is wise beyond his years. My beloved, and the man who helps me navigate the roads of Mommyville is Joshua. We currently do not have any pets but the promise is that when Cohen enters kindergarten we will get “one girl dog and one boy cat.” I very much miss having furry friends and I can’t wait for Cohen to know the love of a family pet.

Jamie and Cohen
What do you do for work?  I daydream about owning my own bakery, The Flour Garden, with specialty cupcakes and delicious coffee but until that is a reality, I work outside the home educating people on financial risk and the controls they can put into place to mitigate the…hey, is anyone still there?!

What has become (at least for now) you're parenting mantra or guiding principle? Make life fun and full of love! I want Cohen and Cale to know that childhood is magical and while there will be a time to be serious and buckle down, being a kid is the dream that only lasts for a few precious years and it is important to make life an adventure.

Cale and Cohen
Omigosh, Cale looks like an adult!  Is it hard to see one son so big and the other so small each day - the contrast and emotion of it all!?  Oh Tab, it is really hard. Cale is growing up so fast. Well both of them are but seriously, Cale was a tiny little 11 year old when I met him. Now 16 and a man. There are days when I am stricken with the knowledge that my own baby will be a man before I know it. The scent of toddlerhood is growing fainter and I am not sure my heart can stand it. I have seriously considered putting one of Cohen's shirts in a zip lock and trying to keep "the scent" forever. But then that would be creepy right?

What would your pre-mom self be surprised to know about motherhood? I can’t program manage a child. I honestly thought there was a science to parenting and if my business plan was sound, I would rock it. I can hear you laughing from here.

Cohen aka Captain America
What would your pre-mom self be proud to know about you in motherhood? I can birth a child and tend to him and help navigate him through his little life to see greatness and prepare him for the not so great parts.

Which chore is your least favorite? Interesting. I love chores – garbage, laundry (I was dubbed The Laundry Master by my brother-in-law and sister), dishes, scrubbing floors, all of it. I clean when I need clarity of the mind. If I had to choose something, I would say meal planning. I would rather go out to eat every night or hire a personal chef than plan our family meals. The kicker? I went to cooking school. I just do not feel like cooking unless I have to. 

What keeps you up at night? I worry “something will happen.” I try hard not to read those horrible news stories about babies being taken from their loving families. I can.not.fathom life without my sons. It paralyses me.

Josh and Cohen
What big projects, worries, or events have you busy right now? Cohen is having his tonsils out in a few weeks. I made the mistake of Googling “toddler tonsillectomy.” DO NOT DO IT. I am currently nursing my catastrophic thinking self while preparing our family for the adventure of saying goodbye to the tonsils and moving on to nights of good sleep and easier eating.

What do you feel like you are really good at as a mom? I am pretty darn good at keeping our lives on track. See, my program management skills CAN be used as a Mumma!

What do you feel like you wish you were better at being a mom?   I wish I had more patience. I constantly worry – Am I being too harsh? Should I let him watch just one more tv show? Am I trying to rush him while he pees/eats/plays/etc or am I teaching him good time management?

How do you unwind or re-charge? I like to stand on my porch and watch the water. I also love to dance! If it has been a REALLY bad day, a long glorious bath is my go to.

Who are the moms you look up to? You mean other than you, Tab? Seriously, how do you do everything you do, have gorgeously happy children, start companies, and make it look effortless while maintaining your beautiful self? Even my eyebrows are envious of yours. Just sayin!   (Editors Note: Thank you Jamie!  'I am pleased to see my optical illusion is functioning so well'...she says behind the wizard's curtain?! xxox)

Another Mumma I look up to is my friend, Sara. She is my longtime friend from high school and she has two wonderful children, Ethan and Viviane. Sara works outside the home, maintains a company, and all the while her children are some of the most well-adjusted humans I have ever met. I watch her navigate motherhood with a confidence that I envy. She knows just how much to mother and then how much to let them be and make their own mistakes. It is as is she knows the magic formula of “just enough.” Sara had Ethan before I had Cohen and I watched her mother him and told myself when I had a child I wanted to be like her. Now that I have Cohen and can put some of those actions into play, I still strive to be like Sara.

What was the most difficult Mom moment you've had (so far)? Cohen has had 2 surgeries to date and each time he was taken away to the operating room, it is as if someone is tearing away a limb. I felt physical pain as I watched them wheel him away.

What are the small joys of being a Mom that you treasure most right now? Each night before bed we share what our most favorite part of the day has been. It is in that gloaming, while he twirls my hair and tells me about the mysteries of his day, I know that my life has been made. Peace comes from within. I birthed my peace.

What do you miss most from Mom days already gone by? I miss him being so tiny that I would hold him all day. Thankfully he still likes to snuggle but now it is kinda like a bear holding an elephant. No more nook :(


  1. You are an Awesome Jamie :0) What a great reading ..

  2. Such a great story and such a great Mother! Enjoy all the moments! And, thank you for being (my daughter) Tabitha's friend!