It’s Monday again and we've decided to kick off the week by spotlighting one of the most awesome moms we know here in LA, Jessica Hendra! In addition to making Kurt Fuller the happiest man on earth, Jessica is an acclaimed author, avid runner and devoted mother. We love her kids, so we know she did something right! See what Jessica has to say about parenting in this week’s mom spotlight interview for The Baby Box Co.
Jessica with Kurt and first daughter Julia in 1998.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, when did you start your family, etc…?
I was born in New York and I grew up in the city. I now live in Los Angeles. I am now 46 and my daughters are 12 and 15. My husband is an actor and I write books.
What were your new mom must-haves?
The most important thing for me was a baby jogger. I am a runner and it was critical for me to start running and exercising as soon as possible to improve my body image and my mood. From the time my kids were infants I would bundle them up and go for a few miles run every morning. My girls loved our outings and the exercise made me a happier and calmer mom. When I had two kids I got a double jogger and an even better upper body workout! Also they enjoyed the sights and sounds of the outdoors. Both my girls are now runners themselves.
What was the best part about being a new mom, for you?
There is really nothing like the bond a mother has with her child. I knew I would love my kids but I had no idea how close I would feel to them and how I would find them endlessly interesting. I loved holding my daughters and cuddling with them when they were babies. There is nothing quite like the feeling of holding a baby in your arms.
What was the hardest part about being a new mom?
The hardest part about being a new mom is the isolation. It is really critical to get out and be with other people- other new parents or friends. Babies are wonderful but being alone as a new mother is very hard. Also I found it challenging to adjust to the fact that I could not just go out on a whim anymore. Even going to the store requires planning. That is a difficult adjustment.
What was your most trusted resource?
For me it was the Old Faithful “What to Expect When You Are Expecting” but there was less information online twelve years ago than there is now. Also friends and other new parents were good resources
Are there any key pieces of advice you would pass on to new moms?
Do not isolate yourself. Get out and see people, join a baby class or go to the park. Try to remember that the difficult stages that babies go through will pass—no one goes to college with colic. A lot of parenting is instinct so filter all the advice that will be thrown at you through your gut. Do not take medical advice from the internet! Be patient even when it seems impossible. Your child will model you so try to be the person you would like them to mature into.
Jessica with her girls in 2005.