FIVE X FIVE: Jewel Gould
The Tot FIVE x FIVE invites inspiring mamas to answer five questions on motherhood and curate their favorite kids’ products they can’t live without. Here we talk to taste maker and Founder of What About Mommys blog, Jewel Gould
What we like most about Jewel Gould, the woman behind the website, What About Mommys aka WAM, is her ability to acknowledge that it’s okay to want more than motherhood. Through her refreshingly honest blog, Jewel provides the kind of advice that makes you feel like she’s the insanely fashionable, frank, funny and wise big sister you’ve always wanted. As a proud wife and mother of three, she is Working Mom Goals all over and we cannot get enough of her. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for wellness, work, beauty, fashion, relationship or parenting advice, Jewel is the many-hats-wearing gal of your dreams.
JEWEL ON MOTHERHOOD
- When you first entered motherhood, what sort of things did you do to help your mind, body and soul adjust to such a big change? “When I first entered motherhood I had to truly shift my routines, norms and a few habits as well. I quickly realized it was not just about me. I was rather young and already married with this sweet bundle to account for. I had to implement ways to get more sleep, make healthier food choices, be open to receiving help, and find ways to exercise as well. Even though this precious angel was my entire world, I also realized that if I am not in a happy and healthy state, I wouldn’t be able to effectively take care of her. So I had to ensure that I was taking care of myself as well.
- As someone who has experienced quite a bit of tragedy – losing your mom, dad, grandmother, sister-in-law – what strategies do you use to cope and how do you talk to your children about death? “I have truly experienced my share of tragedy and loss. It’s been quite a process. I definitely incorporate prayer, I started implementing boxing and mma style workouts, and I strive to just be who I was created to be. Life is precious and unpredictable. I believe that there is purpose in your pain. And my goal is to simply exhaust all of my gifts, be a light, and encourage others who might be going through painful processes as well. Regarding speaking to my kids about death, that was a topic that they got introduced to at quite a tender age. We use the word ‘passed’ in my home when we refer to death. Because they were so young when I lost my mom and I just think ‘passed’ sounded more soothing. I tell them that death is a part of life. I explain to them that it’s ok to feel sad about it. But we also have to make each moment count and live our lives to the fullest. Heaven usually comes into the conversation as well.”
- Are there any family traditions that are important to you? What about words of wisdom you try to live by? “We love family traditions! We are from Trinidad originally so Christmas is just a really big deal. The entire season is really active. On Christmas Eve my hubby and I stay up cooking, cleaning and wrapping presents of course. And we put out the milk (which has to be dairy-free) and vegan cookies for Santa! The kids wake up extremely early and open presents. And then we sing a cultural style of music called parang and call every single one of our family members! It’s truly a magical experience. But things like fireworks on the 4th, black eyed peas and rice on New Years, and Easter egg projects and church on Easter are also some others that we carry out. Some words of wisdom that I strive to pattern my life by are: There is purpose in your pain. Remain humble. Laugh as much as you breathe.”
- When it comes to being a working parent, what are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned about yourself? “I think I truly evolved when I first became a working parent. When I had my daughter I worked at an insurance agency from 9-5. I loved my job but I was extremely consumed. By the time I came home I had a small amount of time to spend with her. And to be honest I was exhausted. Now I work from home and even though it’s just as demanding, I’ve learned that you have to maintain balance. By nature I’m someone who stays active. But you have to structure set times where you work and then other times where you take care of those precious bundles, and also a lot time for yourself. So balance is very important to me. Because I tend to get easily consumed. Above all, spending that quality time with my blessings is most important.”
- Even though we know you work incredibly hard, you also love to travel and play with your family! Where are your favorite places to go together? “Omg this one is my favorite question! Where should I begin?! Our favorite place ever is Disney! We always say it’s our second home. This was also a special place for me growing up as a child. And ever since I introduced my kids to it, let’s just say it’s like taking them to the park or the movies! Everything is Disney!
JEWEL’S PLAYTIME PICKS
- Twee frosted donut side walk chalk: “I love these because I love encouraging my kids to express themselves through the form of art and chalk is a great way for them to do so. And of course this chalk is non-toxic, eco-friendly and biodegradable. And there’s glitter in them too.”
- Ekobo Animo Sand Bucket: “My family and I love the beach. I always like to ensure that they have their beach gear and tools for the best experience. This bucket is simply beautiful. It is innovative, recyclable and free of BPA, phthalates and latex. It’s chic and very cute.”
- Diggin dodge tag: “I mean what kid doesn’t love dodge ball and tag?! And to have a toy that incorporates the two was a genius idea! I love ensuring that my kids partake in outdoor activities and they truly enjoy that time as well. This is a fun and creative game for them to enjoy on their outdoor days.”
- Moulin Roty Explorer’s Case: We love going on nature walks and visiting wildlife centers. My kids would always pack bags with all the tools they need to make the experience more rewarding. But since we discovered this Explorer case, it includes everything that your child would possibly need to explore! A Pocket compass, water bottle, binoculars, a travel book and treasure box! It’s compact and simply amazing!
- Sunnylife Gimme 5 Catch Game: This is a new take on the classic game that we grew up playing. Players get to play catch with a suction cup ball. It’s excellent for gross motor skill development and it encourages hand-eye coordination. It’s another one of our must-haves for outdoor activities.