Parenting tips from the growing Juggle team!

parenting advice from Team Juggle

Juggle founders, left to right: Ashlee Giannetti, Emily Music, Amber Nolan and Annie Arthur.

Being a parent is one of the great equalizers in life.  We could all relate to Beyoncé when her precocious daughter gave her the “let’s calm down” motion during the Grammy’s, as it spawned thousands of gifs and tweets.  The shared experience of raising children connects us to one another and it’s in this spirit that we’ve decided to provide some unsolicited parenting advice.  Sometimes we nail it, sometimes we fail, but we’re all in this together!

Chad Snow is the newest full-time member of the Juggle team, serving as Juggle’s Director of Technology.  Chad received his B.A. in Chinese, Political Science and International Studies from THE Ohio State University and his MBA from Wright State University.  A former analyst with the FBI and app developer at Nationwide, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his job.  Most importantly, Chad is a parent and understands the needs of our users.  We love having him on our team and his parenting advice:

Be a kid!

Between the news, relationships and work, we often let our adult stressors get the best of us. We may wear our frustrations on our sleeve, but deep-down, the last thing we want is our children to absorb our tension, which often ends up happening as we carry the burden of the day into our nights. 

My favorite thing to do with my boys is to be a kid too. We have dance parties on the bed to Michael Jackson classics. I kneel to the ground and pretend my carpet is the open highway as I race Hot Wheels through the city with each hand. We play games of tag, as I breathlessly chase after them on the playground. I pretend I’m catching the game winning touchdown from my superstar quarterback and we celebrate in front of our imaginary revelers. I improvise ridiculous stories before bed, unnecessarily keeping them up later than I should in hopes of a laugh.

Time flies whether you’re having fun or not. Make your happiness contagious and watch your own creativity flourish as you think more like a child.

Greg Pugh has been with Juggle from almost the start, having been the first person we ever pitched our idea to while he was Senior VP of Venture Acceleration and Customer Acquisition at Rev 1 Ventures. He appreciated the passion we had for our idea and thought we just may be the team to make it work.  He watched and guided us for two years, then joined our team as a business consultant before finally coming aboard full-time as our Chief Operations Officer.  He’s a hands-on dad to three kids and has this advice for parents:

Make time for breakfast.  I find breakfast to be the best time for family conversations.  My kids are much more likely to share at the end of the day if they told me what is planned for that day at breakfast.

I learned what I believe to be the most helpful parenting advice from my dad, as he was describing his own mom.  He told me that he was 8-years-old, ironing his own shirts in the basement laundry room before school while his mom was in bed. Well, his mom, my Yia Yia, raised four amazing children, my dad is the best human I know, so she had to be on to something.  What it came down to for me was never doing anything for my daughter that I knew she could do for herself.  You could call it a lazier parenting style, and that’s fine, it is.  I always would say to her, “you know, I did my homework, this is all you.”  I believe that it motivated her to become a conscientious self-starter.  Of course, I was there to assist when she needed it, but she knew that the bulk of the work would always be hers, and she took pride in that.  I got out of having to re-learn geometry and maybe some ironing, and she learned how to keep up on her own in this sink or swim world. It was a win-win.
Emily Music, Founder

 

 

Laugh and create memories! Have dance parties during breakfast and let them stay up late on a school night! But always follow through on discipline. These kiddos are smarter than we think and are always testing their boundaries.  

Amber Nolan, Founder

Angela Lakin has joined Juggle as our Charlotte market manager.  She has a B.A. in Marketing from Western Michigan University and works as a full-time medical sales rep, so Juggle is her side hustle, and she’s killing it!  Juggling her career with two littles gives her lots of parenting perspective:

With a 2 & 4 year old, patience is important. Remember to breath and speak to them calmly. Sometimes I need to walk away for a moment to remind myself that they are so young and don’t always understand what I am asking of them. Routine is key for young kids! Don’t compare yourself to other Mom’s or families. Encourage your children, be silly with them and enjoy this crazy time in your life! (I need to take some of my own advice)! 

I will say that without a doubt, I’m a better parent when I take time for myself. I have learned that making kid free time a priority creates a much happier home for our family! (Obviously Juggle makes is super easy to do!) Mandy Hauer, Cincinnati Market Manager, OG Mom BOSS

I read an article once that talked about the most important nine minutes of your kids day:  the three minutes when they wake up, the three minutes when they come home from school and the three minutes before they go to bed.

I’m pretty open and honest about the opportunities I have as a parent. I’m not that patient, I yell too much, and often I just don’t feel like playing sports. But I always think if I can keep these 9 minutes filled with positivity and love, then I’m doing a pretty decent job.

The first three minutes of every day are always the easiest because they haven’t done anything to annoy me yet. So every morning I quietly and slowly wake up my kids. I usually give them a back rub and  snuggles and in a singsongy voice I tell them it’s time to get up. Like Mary flipping Poppins.

The three minutes when they get home from school are definitely the hardest. They have a lot of emotion right when they get in the car and they usually want to fight with each other so I give them a couple of minutes to get whatever it is out and then I say, “I’m so excited to see you! I am so excited to take you home.” It can turn their moods around (sometimes not) and I ask them what the best part of their day has been so far.

At night we always read before bed. We always take turns (no matter how old they get I will always read to them) and I spend a few minutes after lights out just chatting. It’s actually the time when they chat the most so I make sure to capitalize on it.

So that’s it. I always remind myself that if I yell for them to hurry up,  or if I tune out during their story about what happened during some game at recess, or I slip an expletive while I’m cooking dinner… I’m not completely failing. Because for those nine minutes every day… I am killing it.  

Annie Arthur, Founder

I’ve learned a lot over the years but being a mom of 2 under two has taught me more than I ever thought… man. is. it. HARD.  But I have two happy, healthy boys who think I hung the moon – what could be better than that!?  I remind myself every single day to make it count.  Time with these little people of ours is short and fleeting… live in the now, friends, because there is always going to be something else “to do”.  Laugh, sing, dance, be silly, run, jump and play with your kiddos – be present for those memories!  Oh and ask for help along the way too, you will be happy you did!

Lauren Watercutter, Charleston Market Manager

 

Have fun and enjoy the highs and the lows!  I try to cherish every moment with my kids but as parents we know that sometimes those moments can get a little hairy and everything can change in a second (especially with 3!). I try not to sweat the small things!  I also remind my children to treat everyone the way they want to be treated and to treat everyone with kindness.  I think this is one of the most important messages we could ever instill in our children. 

Ashlee Giannetti, Founder

Courtney Reed is our newest market manager, heading up Juggle Lexington!  She is our southern belle: born in New Orleans and raised in Charlotte and Birmingham.  Courtney’s background is in arts education, having earned her M.A. in secondary education from University of Alabama before embarking on her career in New York City, starting out as an NBC page and working as an executive assistant to Katie Couric!  She continues to work in theater and as an arts and education advocate, and is super excited to connect with parents through Juggle in Lexington, where she moved five years ago with her husband and two little girls.  She has this little nugget of wisdom to share:

I recently heard this familiar gem on a podcast, encouraging juggling moms to  breathe and choose our battles: “when the mess is gone, so goes the magic.” All wisdom is easier heard, read, and repeated. The work lives in the practice, and the practice can suck the joy out of me. But, when the mess is gone, and my tiny humans are grown, so are their magic wands. So, on this November day, when stores and homes are already decorated for December, I choose to see my home as a magical mess (still covered in Halloween decorations).

Morgan Reitz is our Louisville market manager and brings a creative energy to the Juggle team!  Born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky, she earned her B.A. in studio art from Transylvania University and began a career in retail brand management in New York City, working for companies such as Restoration Hardware and Ralph Lauren.  She made her way back to her home state and is busy raising two daughters and is thrilled to be connecting with other parents and sharing the game changer that Juggle is!  She has some great advice, too:

Play with your kids, enjoy them every. day. Even when it’s hard and you’re tired. They’ll never remember the piles of laundry and the full dishwasher that needs to be unloaded, they’ll remember YOU being there with them doing the exact things they wanted to be doing…with you.

Juggle is so lucky to have Katie Kura as a part-time Marketing Analyst.  She brings the young, creative energy we need to reach our target customers, and the experience and knowledge that comes with having graduated from University of South Carolina with dual degrees in Marketing and Management.  She joined us in June, right after graduation.  After adopting a kitten and working as a nanny, she has some great advice to share:

Having just graduated college in May, my parenting experience revolves around my pets and the kids I nanny for. My advice for both parents and kids is to enjoy the small things in life. There’s nothing wrong with starting small, such as adopting a kitten like I recently did, and living life slowly. Enjoy the little things in life because it goes by so fast! Cherish the time you get to spend with your little ones, whether it be something small like changing a diaper or doing homework, or something big like watching them score their first goal in a soccer game. One day you’ll blink and everyone will be grown up. Watching the four kids I nanny for grow up over the past four years has been such a moving experience, and I cannot wait to enjoy that experience on my own.

Katie Kura, Marketing Analyst

Juggle founders and Juggle puppy, Moose. *No animals were harmed in the making of this photograph.

Hopefully, with a little help from your trusty Juggle team, you can get through this busy, blustery holiday season armed with some advice and as always, our roster of awesome sitters!!