Raising A Blended Family with A Smile & Lots of Hugs

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Jess & her Silly Monkeys

My Silly Monkeys is a blog full of humor, inspiration and great giveaways. We recently had the chance to catch up with Jess and chat. It’s no easy task since she is mom to 5 beautiful little bundles of energy. We were glad we were able to get to know her a little better and we know you will enjoy her too!

You have been a single mom, are now running a full house with 5 children, and are with the love of your life, raising a large family. What surprises have you found on this journey?

Life is full of surprises! I have learned to always expect the unexpected. In other words, never think you know everything in life because things change in the blink of an eye. I never expected to be a divorced single mom to 3 little boys or to be where I am today! I think our biggest surprise has been finding out that our last baby was a girl! After myself having 4 boys and a step-son I never imagined I would have a baby girl!

What family “lessons” would you say you are all learning by bringing together you and your fiancé’s families?

You have to keep an open mind and learn to trust your partner. I think every family, no matter the dynamics or size, has their ups and downs. You just have to figure out what works for your family. Our biggest struggles have been figuring out parenting styles and teaching the children to get along. I’m not a huge religious person but in the end I always have to remember that love is what keeps me going and to trust in God.

What has been your biggest challenge and your greatest joy as a mom?

My biggest challenge is finding time for myself. The greatest joy of all is the love I not only feel in my heart, but also the love I give to my children. They are my life and when they come running up saying “I love you, Mommy!” it’s the absolute best feeling in the world!

What is your secret to raising a large family and keeping perspective?

I never dreamed of having such a large family. Growing up I always wanted 3 kids. I never hung out with anyone with a large family, and my family only consists of 3 kids, so this has been a totally new experience for me. Finding time to work with each child individually is very important! I want my kids to grow into successful, respectful adults which means I have to be consistent and respectful of them. I would never say that I am the best mom in the world, in fact some days I feel as though I have failed miserably as a mom. Raising kids is hard, but with much love and respect I can hope that my children will grow into fantastic human beings!

Your blog is quite popular. What excites you the most about your blog?

I am so grateful for all of my readers, the companies I work with, and the friendships I have because of my blog, but the thing that excites me the most is the joy of others. I feed off it and it makes me so happy to make someone else happy.

Any upcoming events that you are looking forward to on your blog?

YES! January brings A Blogtastic Extravaganza! (A.B.E. for short) I have put together a group of about 100 blogs that all will have awesome prize packages to be won! My specific theme is “A New You!” focusing on products to be a happier, healthier you in 2011! I also have my daughters first birthday in March that I will be putting together an awesome event for!

Jess at a glance: 🙂

What is something that is always in your fridge? 2 of our favorite meals are tacos or spaghetti so I’d have to say tortilla shells or Parmesan cheese!

What is your favorite Kolcraft product? About 5 years ago I bought a Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem stroller that we have loved. It’s great for trips to the zoo, park, etc. For cuteness factor I think the WonderBug activity center would have to win!

What is your best “sanity” break to recharge your parenting battery? Being a mom is hard stuff! I hardly ever have a minute truly to myself so when I do get that minute I tend to dive into a good book or bake!

If someone was going to make a movie of your family’s life, what would the title of the movie be? My Wild Life With 4 Boys & A Girl…or just My Silly Monkeys 😉

Thank you for sharing your parenting journey with us! If anyone has questions or comments for Jess, feel free to leave them on our blog!

11 Responses to “Raising A Blended Family with A Smile & Lots of Hugs”

  1. Misty December 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    Wow… such a beautiful family. Blended or not.. a very beautiful family. And apparently 2nd times a charm in finding the man of your dreams. Congrats Jess!

  2. Michelle December 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    So true Misty! We couldn’t agree more!

  3. Candi C. December 27, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    Misty, you are amazing and truly take good care of your family. Best of luck in the future.

  4. Danielle December 27, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    Wow you sound JUST LIKE ME!! It is as if I was interviewed! I am also a mom who was divorced w/3 kids… and now am remarried & have a FULL HOUSE. There are 7 of us. Yours, Mine & Ours and it’s great. Your advise is perfect when you say, expect the unexpected – SO very true!! I will be stopping by your blog when I get a chance, it was nice meeting you 🙂

  5. Brandi December 27, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    Your little girl is going to be sooo spoiled with all those big brothers! 🙂
    Loved reading your interview and I already enjoy your blog (looking forward to A.B.E). Thanks for sharing more about your life!

  6. Tiffany @ Home Grown Families December 28, 2010 at 12:47 am #

    Wow!! What a gorgeous family!! It is hard raising a blended family- add bi-racial and it can get pretty sticky at times 🙂 (I know from experience!)
    I LOVE reading stories like yours! It gives me so much hope for the future!
    Keep having babies- they’re so pretty! 🙂

  7. laura ranck December 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    i relate to this sooo much…..i had a daughter and my husband had a daughter and a son….now we have our own son and i HUGE family. It’s hard sometimes but it’s always worth it and i wouldn’t trade it for anything!

  8. Jess December 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

    Thanks everyone! And thank you Kolcraft & especially Michelle!!

  9. MichelleH December 29, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    Thank you Jess. You inspire us!

  10. janet December 30, 2010 at 11:22 pm #


  11. Jeni January 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    you have a beautiful family, can’t wait to read more about your family