Moments with Moms: Jamie Stum

Sharing motherhood through our Moments with Moms blog series has been a part of Mommy Mailbox since the beginning. As we celebrate our first year in business, we felt it was only fitting that we take a turn in the hot seat! Today, we turned the questions around and interviewed each other about the way we parent. Turns out that although we run a business together, we’re all raising our kids a bit differently! Read about how each of us are doing motherhood, and grab our December box here to get all our favorites this holiday season.

jamie stum
mompreneur
inspiring mothers
mompreneur

What do you do for Mommy Mailbox and what has been a favorite project thus far?

I handle the marketing and public relations aspect of the business. I also get to work with our amazing vendors, partners and our monthly curators. That means I get a first look at everyone’s favorite products! I think I have the best job out there and I love “going to work” every day.

 

Favorite memory from Mommy Mailbox’s first year in business?

Like any entrepreneurs, we started small but we were dreaming big from the beginning. The first month we sent out boxes, we packed them in Sarah’s living room. It was Thanksgiving weekend and it took us hours to get everything just perfect. By the time our packing crew was leaving, it was the early morning hours and unbeknownst to us, a pack of javelinas had made its way through Sarah’s neighborhood. If you don’t know what a javelina is, just picture Pumbaa from the Lion King standing in front of my car! They have super poor eyesight and can be really mean to humans. We were standing on Sarah’s porch beeping my car keys, whistling and waking up all the neighbors trying to get them to move. Finally we turned on the emergency flashers to scare them and made a run for the car door.

On that note, a second favorite memory is the day we signed with our fulfillment center and didn’t have to do that anymore ☺

 

Describe your parenting style in three words:

Loving, intentional, evolving

 

What has surprised you most about motherhood?

I had heard that there is monotony involved in being home with kids but I didn’t realize how much of my day is spent keeping the family at status quo. Keep the family healthy, the bills paid and the laundry baskets at a manageable level, then a few days later, it begins again. Often times, it seems like most my day is spent simply keeping the family on track from the span of breakfast until bedtime with little that lasts beyond. I’m the kind of person who loves checking things off my to-do list so this has been a big adjustment for me. It’s definitely made me realize that what does last beyond this week’s laundry cycle are the relationships I’m building with my children in the interim. I’m trying to not worry about the other stuff as much. It’s a challenge!

 

Two little kids and a business mean your days as busy. What helps you stay focused?

Few things that make me feel calmer than a clean house. There is an indescribable feeling of peace that descends on the house when you end the day with things picked up. After living in small spaces for many years in Southern California, I also find it restful to have a house not very full of stuff.

Also I think mothers don’t really take the time to feed themselves properly because we’re all so busy. I’ve found a good meal helps me be much more patient, positive and steels my endurance until my husband gets home ;)

 

You have a boy and a girl. How has mothering them been different?

I’ve heard that boys are harder as toddlers and girls are harder later. Thus far, that feels true. I’m also surprised at how different their interests are, even at a young age. If we go to a toy store, I don’t have to say a word and they will each just run to what they love best – dolls for her and monster trucks for him. Because of that, I’m always on the lookout for activities they both will enjoy. I also really try to encourage them to have friends of the other gender so they learn to play with a variety of personalities and interests at a young age.

 

What do you hope your children remember about this phase of their lives?

I hope my children look back on their childhood and remember a feeling of stability. Of course I hope they appreciate the adventures, the fun times, the family vacations and special toys for Christmas. But I also hope they remember the quiet days spent in the backyard, making cookies in the kitchen, going for runs in the double jogger and all the other every day things that make up family life. My hope is that the vein running through those memories is one of stability. That they had a safe harbor from which both to set out into the world and to come home to.

 

How has life changed for you since leaving the traditional 9-5 workplace?

Sometimes suburbia can feel a little confining and I do miss the days at the office from time to time, working on a cool project or flying off to an interesting meeting. However, I have embraced the fact that motherhood comes in phases and no phase lasts forever.

Now that I work at home, life is a bit smaller in some ways. I keep my children’s lives small intentionally. Because they are still so young, I’ve found my kids can be easily overwhelmed by too much commotion, too much time on the go or too many crowds, people, excitement, etc. All of us in our family have always thrived on routine.

I try to pick a few places for regular outings that will be meaningful to them and help them learn, then visit those regularly. It’s amazing to see how their memories develop when we visit the same museum or park multiple times and each time they find something new to enjoy about it. It really seems like they appreciate and anticipate the regular stuff, and it makes the special stuff all the more special because it’s unusual.

 

How is your childhood the same or different than the one you’re creating for your family?

I feel like I had an idyllic childhood. When we were kids, we rarely watched TV beyond The Cosby Show. I can’t say I’m that good with my own kids, but I do try as hard as I can to unlock their imaginations and keep them away from endless scrolling on the iPad. I hate to see them wasting their childhood years staring at a screen. Of course, I think I’m doing great at that, then we go on a road trip and all my resolve breaks down ;)