Of course, we always love to find and feature beautiful, honest, real, hot mammas from all around the world here at Realmomster, but there is something so incredibly inspiring and motivating when hearing mothers redefine what it means to be women in the workplace. Today’s society makes for these moms who want and strive to have it all be Realmomsters, and the struggle of the modern mom is real. This morning we are having coffee with Melbourne-based clothing designer and mom of two, Jerri Jones. At just 30 years old, Jerri is running her successful clothing brand that wears her name, alongside with raising two beautiful kids (daughter Bobby, 4 and son Remy, 19 months).
So of course we were curious to find out how a young mom can have it all- from family to a career, from playdates in the park to coffee dates with the husband, how can we, modern women, manage to find that balance between work and life, and how can we be fulfilled without feeling that we’re missing out on something?
We love Jerri’s approach and ambition to doing it all, and she’s proof that it’s definitely possible to have it all. Perhaps not all at the same time with the same intensity but she is for sure living the dream. Find out more about her in the interview below:
So you’re a mom of two, a girl and a baby boy. How do you handle your beauty and style routine in the morning while having to take care of them?
Honestly – there isn’t much beauty routine now! Ha. If I’m with the kids by myself I usually make them a healthy breakfast and then quickly shower and do the basics, so I don’t look and feel like an ogre; some tinted moisturiser, concealer, mascara, eyebrow fluff, a little eyeshadow and a touch of highlighter. If the hubby is home, that buys me more time and I can actually do the GHD over my hair!
Your top 3 wardrobe essentials?
Jeans, plain tees and a leather jacket.
What’s the first thing that goes through your mind when you wake up? And the last before you go to sleep?
In the morning, my mind is always set around my first coffee, and at night it’s usually calculating roughly how many hours sleep I’ll have until I will be up! (sleep is one of my favorite and most missed things about motherhood!)
What is the most exciting thing about being a mom of two? What about the hardest/ scariest?
The most exciting is that we have created our own little unique world. We have everything we need when we have each other and everything else is just the icing on the top!
The hardest is the juggle, being a mum, trying to work, being a wife, being a daughter/sister/friend etc.. constantly feeling like I am out of balance in all of these areas.
The scariest is knowing you are shaping little human beings for the rest of their lives – wondering if you are doing a good job at raising a well-rounded, loving, caring little person!
How do you wind off – or do you, at all? Here I mean anything you get to do while spending some me-time, from yoga, to cinema dates or just chilling with a good book… Anything that relaxes you and charges your batteries after a full day. Do you ever get to take a break?
Honestly, I rarely get any time to myself to be purely focussed on ‘me” time. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband and helpful family, but whenever we have help – it’s usually to go to a wedding/event or me running out to do groceries or errands. It’s not often it’s for a date night, or myself. Hopefully we can try and change that in the future. At the moment, my time is when the kids and hubby are in bed, and I stay up late, even though I’m so tired – to watch an episode of something on Netflix. I enjoy moments of not having to think and just watching something to have a moment to relax and unwind from the day.
You are the founder and Creative Director of Jerri Jones the label. Can you tell us how this business started, and what inspired you to do it? Did you always have a passion for fashion? To whom is it addressed?
My inspiration for my label started with a frustration at the lack of good quality investment pieces available. I loved leather jackets – great quality, classic designer pieces – but didn’t have the funds to support investing in one. I was tired of seeing everyone wearing the same trend based, high street brands (accessible price points so everyone I knew was wearing the same pieces). I wanted to create premium quality leather pieces, in classic designs crafted in small runs so it was special when you make that investment purchase.
I had always worked in retail whilst I was studying Business and communications at University. I have always loved fashion, but I’m more about style rather than fashion, trends and seasons. My style and taste is all about simplicity and everyday luxury and my label is reflective of that and targeted at women that value and appreciate the same things.
What do you think your secret to your success was/ is? Do you feel accomplished yet?
I am very much so a work in progress! Having my daughter at the same time as launching my business feels like it never really got off the ground, I don’t have the time to dedicate to the business full time. At the moment, being mum to my two little babes is my priority, first and foremost (and always will be). My husband plays professional football in Australia, so our schedule is really based around that and supporting him and raising our little ones right now. Once the kids are school aged, hopefully there will be a little more flexibility for working hours.
Right now I’m just doing my best, which more often than not doesn’t feel good enough – but that’s the battle we all have right?
Do your kids inspire you for this business?
I want to be a present at home mum, I was blessed to have my mum around while I was young and at school and that’s important for me to have as a priority for my kids also. In saying that, I also want to be a positive work role model for them, to show them I’m working to achieve my goals and contribute to our family life.
The kids have inspired the MINI extension of the JJ collection. Being that my personal style is simple and favours black white and grey – often the selection of kid’s clothes in the market does not compliment my taste! Doing the mini ‘Melbourne’ sweats has been fun and I love that they are just like what we wear, no children’s motifs or cartoon characters. I did the pink option for my daughter, she is right into Pink – this way we are both happy!
Your favourite holiday destination with kids? And without kids?
I’m not much of a resort traveller, so my favorite would destination would have to be Paris (we went on a work trip and to Turkey when our daughter was 1.5 – was definitely challenging with a child!) With kids, as we are so restricted by the Football season we have only travelled to Bali, which was great with the kiddies – highly recommend for a laid back, affordable holiday.
Biggest challenge in juggling work and family life?
The ‘juggle’ itself – and the guilt and feeling spread thin across all aspects of life. I constantly feel like I’m not getting work done, and then having little bodies climb over me when I’m on my laptop and knowing they don’t want me working when they are around! The pressure we put on ourselves of wanting it all, but actually realising it’s not possible to have it all at the same time.
How do you feel you have you changed since becoming a mom? How do you feel your relationship has changed?
My priorities have changed. I have such little time than I did pre-kids – which I feel affects your social life and friendships (when your friends don’t have kids, or even if they do – it’s not the same anymore when you are the whole world to these little people that need everything from you).
My marriage is stronger, creating a family with someone is just so special – but again the time for each other is hard! It’s like you mourn for your relationship before kids, where you only had to think about each other. Dates, movies etc.. all of that is so rare and such an effort now. Something you have to work at, book in and schedule, but so special when I’m out with my hubby, just the two of us!
How do you think starting a family has influenced your professional life, if in any way?
I think that it’s really hard for women to manage a career and be the heart of the family. There is a lot of pressure on women in this modern age to work and keep the family and household running simultaneously. I was 26 when I had my daughter and hadn’t achieved professionally what I would have liked to, but I wanted to have children young and that is how we planned it. I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my family life for my career, but I feel like these days that is a decision women are sometimes needing to consider.
How do you divide tasks and kids activities between you and you husband and what do you think is the right balance between a Mom and a Dad?
My husband being a professional athlete, means that his schedule is regimented – his preparation, training etc is all really crucial for him. There is no calling in sick, so I need to have flexibility for both of us.
We are lucky that my husband’s job is not a typical 9-5, whilst he leaves for training early, some days he will be home early afternoon. He has a day off during the week, but then we have his games on the weekend, that we love attending as a family. Whenever he is at home he is really hands on with the kids, he is an amazing dad.
Is there anything you miss about life before babies?
Spontaneity to be able to do something on a whim, see a movie, go for a meal out! Especially going out to cafes – we love going out for brekkie and unfortunately, we don’t have ‘cafe kids’ – they don’t sit still and Remy is a screamer – so eating out with my kids gives me anxiety!
Your favourite activities with the kids on a Sunday?
We are usually at the MCG for Footy watching their dad play! If not, we love a good takeaway coffee and a park play to amuse and tire the kiddies out.
What does a normal day in your life look like? Your morning routine, nap time, lunch, dinner, bed time… It is exhausting even with one kid (in my case), can’t even imagine with two… But I would love to hear all about it!
If I’m lucky I wake up just before 7 to the kids (if I’m not lucky, Remy may have woken me during the night! He hasn’t been a great sleeper) straight away it’s coffee and breakfast. I usually check emails over my coffee and pack orders. Getting dressed and ready (why is it so hard to get kids dressed and out the door?!) and then usually we go and run errands and do a park play to get the energy out! Remy naps around lunch time so back home for a sleep. Bobbi doesn’t really nap anymore so she’ll have quiet time playing or watch a movie and I will try and get back on emails / work / house hold activities that need doing. I like to spend this period working on the Jerri.Jones business, we have just recently launched the platform curating some of my favourite pieces and playing home to some recent collaborations I have been working on including Nikki Cruz and my recent collaboration with Maison Saine. When Remy is up it’s all systems go again! Getting organised for dinner and then the bath / bed time routine starts around 5.30pm. Nathan and I eat dinner when the kids are in bed, he does the washing up (yes!) maybe watch a show or do a little work and then to sleep about 11pm, before doing it all over again! If it’s a school day for Bobbi (twice a week – it’s a bit more rushed with drop off at 8.45 and pickup at 3.15)
And now… tell us, what is life like behind-the-scenes of those picture-perfect Instagram snaps? It all looks so calm and stylish, but I am sure that behind the lense, there’s much more. 🙂
We look forward to knowing the naked truth.
Oh honestly life is pretty chaotic, busy and constantly challenging with two very active and strong willed kiddies. Trying to fit in playing with the kids and getting outside, working on all creative elements for my label, Football and being a supportive wife, renovating our home (we just moved into our beautiful new home after living in an old, tiny rental house, with tiles coming off the bathroom walls!) We moved in two days ago and it feels amazing, after living away for almost 2 years in less than comfortable surroundings – we now have a beautiful family home! I am feeling very blessed and grateful as I type this in my beautiful new kitchen whilst the kids are watching TV (whatever works right!)