Name: Jaime Russo Location: Atlanta, GA Occupation: Clean Beauty Advocate with Beautycounter. working to get safe products into the hands of everyone!
Children (Names, Age) Ari, 6 and Liam, 4
What brings you joy as a parent? It brings me so much joy to see my kids love learning! As a former teacher, I love that they are inquisitive about the world around them and constantly want to learn more. Seeing them excited to go to school each day makes my heart so happy!
What are some of your challenges as a parent?
My biggest parenting challenges are around when to let go. Before kids I was an extremely organized, type A person and thrived on routine. After kids I had to learn to go with the flow and be comfortable with organized chaos - both in our physical space and in our routines! Gaining flexibility has been hard for me but is so important in parenting. My boys are also extremely energetic and their energy levels sometimes make me feel crazy but I've had to let go and help them channel it positively. And of course lack of sleep and lack of alone time is a constant challenge!
What is the best advice you received or lessons learned as a parent?
Probably that everything is just a phase and no matter how hard a stage is you will always be moving on to something new and different soon. I'm sure there are more but that one stands out right now!
How do you practice self care?
Exercise, alone time (watching trashy TV, reading, journaling, taking a bath or just sitting by myself), time with just my husband and a safe, high-quality skincare routine. Face masks are everything!
How do you make time for your relationship with your partner?
We are constantly working on this and trying to come up with different strategies. We try to have at least one date night a month and have even picked nights where we stay home with no phone or TV and sit together with a glass of wine after the kids go to bed. We also try to take at least one mini vacation a year without kids. Time is a constant struggle but we always feel good about the fact that we want to spend time with only each other even if it doesn't happen enough!
Are your parenting styles different than your partners? How do you manage parenting with your partner?
For the most part we have similar parenting styles and overall we have the same values and want similar things for our kids, which helps when we disagree. I feel that it is extremely important for kids to learn good strategies on dealing with conflict so we don't hide when we disagree (we won't fight outwardly in front of them thought) but make sure that hear us apologize to each other and say we still love each other. Healthy relationships take work and I want my boys to know that it is more important to work through conflict than to have none at all!
How do you spend quality time with your children?
We love to take family vacations and road trips! On the daily we read together every night, eat dinner together and talk about our days (each of us needs to share a "rose" and "thorn" from our day!). My boys also love to play games and do puzzles, which I'm much better at than playing baseball or soccer with them like my husband!
What parenting tools work for you and your family?
We use behavior charts whenever our routines are starting to difficult for any reason. We have a color system we use for listening (everyone starts on green during the day and you move to yellow than red if you're having difficulty listening and can move all the way up to blue for excellent listening). We have bedtime routine charts for my little one as well!
Favorite parenting books or resources?
Positive Disciplne A-Z: 1001 Solutions to Everyday Parenting Problems is my go to resource - thanks Fallyn!!!!
What do you wish for your children?
So many things! I want them to have good hearts and more than anything to be compassionate to others. I wish the whole world for them and want them to be happy but also want them to know how to cope with adversity. Ultimately, I want them to have a life full of love and laughter!