Glimpses of Motherhood is a series that offers a small peek into the lives of moms from all different places and walks of life. The women give us a look at what life is like for them while also serving up recommendations and getting a little vulnerable. My hope is that these posts make you feel connected and understood, while also seeing the ways other women live their lives differently than yours.
If there’s one thing I love, it’s a momma who keeps it real. While gorgeous, neutral-clothed cherubs nestled in picture-perfect homes with nary a mess in sight are pretty to look at and all, I prefer a girl who shares her struggles just as much as she shares her highlight reel. Enter Justine De Jesus from It’s Always Sunny in June. This mother to brothers blogs about everything from travel hacks to things that have saved her sanity when she felt it slipping away. Her Instagram stories are hilariously real—you have to check out her NSYNC-ing highlight reel–and she’s a military wife whose family is about to make a major move.
I needed to get to know her a little better…
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Justine. I’m a lifestyle blogger over at It’s Always Sunny in June. I blog about our crazy life, travels, life hacks that I learned along the way, and I share some stuff that I love. I have three boys (10 months, 2 years, and 6 years old). I’m married to a soldier.
We’ve lived um, all over the place! I was born and raised in Chicago, IL then moved to Las Vegas, NV for college. I met my husband while going to school and after we got married we moved to Arizona, then North Carolina, then Kentucky, and now we live in the Washington DC Area, but that will change soon—we’re moving to Vietnam this summer—but Vegas is still “home.”
I used to work as a teacher, but we made the decision for me to stay home since child care cost more than I was getting paid. So while I stayed home, I got my M. Ed. In Curriculum and Instruction, popped out another kid, and started a blog!
What does a typical day look like for you?
On a weekday? My husband gets the oldest ready for school and takes him to the bus stop and goes to work while I sleep in a little bit with the youngest kids. Then we eat breakfast, run errands, come home, nap, get my oldest from the bus stop, have a snack, and go to the gym (or go to whatever extracurricular activity is planned). Then we come home, eat, hang out, and get the kids ready for bed.
After the kids go down, we clean up, get stuff ready for tomorrow, and then I catch up on social media stuff while my husband does work. We make sure to hang out and watch a few episodes of something before going to bed. I’m a night owl, so I’m the most productive at night. I’m up until 1 or 2 am writing, editing, or cleaning. I normally clean during the week so we have the weekend to do stuff.
On a weekend? We wake up, eat breakfast, hit the gym, then go on an adventure. We like to try out different places to eat, check out a museum, hang with friends, and just get out of the house. For now, we’re jammed into a little apartment. We’ve been getting noise complaints from the neighbors downstairs. LOL! So we like to be out as much as possible. The weekend is when we get our grocery shopping done, our food prepped for a few days, and do some picking up around the house.
Tell us three things not many people know about you.
- I used to do beauty pageants when I was little. My mom signed me up so I could develop my confidence and be more graceful.
- I can twerk. HAHAHAHA! I can’t believe I just wrote that. Whatever.
- I love love love to box. It’s a really big stress reliever and it makes me feel good. Whenever I’m hitting the heavy bag or working with the focus pads, that’s when I feel the most beautiful, the most unstoppable, and the most badass. I mean, yeah, getting dolled up and listening to my husband dish out compliments makes me feel beautiful too, but seeing my strength is a big ego booster.
What are you afraid of?
LOL I’m afraid of a lot of things – ghosts, heights, disease, spiders, death. Failure, mostly. As a mother and wife, I’m afraid of not providing for my family. I’m really scared that my kids are going to grow up to resent me. OR! My worst fear is that I’m in a situation where something happens to my family and I COULD’VE stopped it or prevented it.
What’s the most surprising thing about motherhood for you?
Um, ALL OF IT. When I was younger, I had this amazing vision in my head of the type of parent I was going to be. Then I had kids and all that went out the window. But I think the most surprising thing is how much moms need their kids. My boys teach me something every day. They keep me in check. Sometimes, after a really long and rough day, their little snuggles make it all better.
What’s your parenting style like?
I think it’s a mix. I’m pretty impulsive, I’m okay if plans aren’t set in stone, and my husband’s job throws MANY WRENCHES and hurdles in whatever plans we have so all our personalities are pretty easy going and we just go with the flow. But I’m also pretty firm, my kids know the rules (like don’t hit your brother in the face, don’t jump off the couch, clean up your pee if you get some on the toilet, wash your hands, etc).
I’m REALLY TRYING to raise kind kids that turn into thoughtful and empathetic adults but it’s SO HARD!
Do you have any words of wisdom for other moms?
I know its hard, but don’t compare yourself to other moms… especially on social media. You are enough for your kids. It’s okay that your kid has cereal for dinner or if you need to keep them on a schedule. You need to do what works for you. If you ever think like “oh, Jenny-from-Instagram is such a good mom, with a bangin’ body, and so put together… I need to be like Jenny-from-Instagram” – DON’T. That’s why you are raising your kids. You are their parent, they are happy with you, they are not happy with Jenny-from-Instagram because they don’t know Jenny-from-Instagram.
What do you do to unwind?
IT DEPENDS! If I’m having just a really crappy day, I like to have a beer or some tea and sit on my couch and scroll on my phone or watch something with my husband. Sometimes I read or do yoga. Other times I really love having dance parties in my car with the kids!
What does balance mean for you?
For me, balance means keeping everyone in the family happy. If my husband is stressed out about finances, I paint my nails at home and we make dinner as a family instead of going out to eat. If I want to take a trip somewhere, we visit some kid-friendly attractions while on vacation. If my husband wants to buy shoes, he better be buying me something nice too!
If you’d like to continue the conversation with Justine, please feel free to ask her questions in the comments. I also encourage you to check out her out on Instagram.
If you or someone you know would be a great fit for the Glimpses of Motherhood series, please let me know! You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on social media. I’m really looking forward to continuing this series and getting to know moms from different walks of life!
Looking for more on parenting good humans? Try these:
- Spread the Love with This Random Acts of Kindness Download
- Like a Mother | Raising Kind Humans
- Like a Mother | Teaching Kids to Be Giving