Meet Jess Puccinelli.
Q: How has it been transitioning into the role of motherhood?
I got asked this question a day or two after having Lark and my honest answer was, "it feels like home". I've never felt more myself and more connected to my instincts than I do now. I had a lot of concerns pre-pregnancy about how my life would be impacted by a baby. I was determined to have this moment in my life enhance the woman I fought so hard to become rather than suppress her. I have to say I'm thankful to be a mother right now, at this age (33), I know who I am and I like who I am - which has given me the confidence to love and parent Lark without expectation and (most of the time) without fear.
Q: I am inspired by your passion, your positivity, and your heart - how do you keep the smile alive amidst chaos in our world?
Jenny!! Thank you!! My smile is the result of a lot of prayer, laughter, and a genuine love for others. My husband is a riot and we play and laugh constantly. I'm an optimist by nature but I still have to choose to lean into it. My friends would describe me as intentional - I think what they're referring to is how I'm careful to speak life over people, moments, everything...and I guard my heart. I also try to be incredibly honest with myself - if I'm getting bitter or angry I'm committed to unpacking the why and confronting the root of the issue.
Q: What does being a mom mean to you?
Being a mom to me means being present, honest and curious on behalf of my child. I feel I've been given the responsibility to learn who he is and then champion him further into his identity.
Q: What is your hope for sweet baby Larkin?
I hope he never questions his identity. I hope he learns to think and values learning and evolving. I hope he gives more than he takes in this lifetime. I hope he leads more than he follows. But mostly, I hope he lives his life fully alive.
Q: Do you have a specific story, or experience that you want to share that could help/inspire moms to be or current mamas?
From day one my motherhood journey has been about releasing control. I told people I was pregnant early as a way to combat the fear of miscarrying. I decided the people in my life would have to be able to mourn with me and celebrate with me no matter what. Around week 12, I woke up in a pool of blood and ended up in the ER. The entire time I was there it hit me –– I was in control of nothing. I kept saying, "I'm supposed to be in pilates right now". We would later find out I was carrying twins. One of those twins vanished early on and that morning I'd passed the sac. It was a lot to process but it left me forever changed. None of this process of making, having and raising a baby is in my control. I began the practice of constantly releasing expectations and staying as present as possible. It's not always easy, I miss the mark often, but now I can pinpoint when I'm clenching and exhale myself back into the moment.
Q: How have you navigated bringing a baby into the world and shortly after living through a global pandemic of two things – the corona virus and the virus that unfortunately, continues to be racism?
It's been A LOT. But the good news is that because he is my first I don't really know any different. Being in a pandemic forced me to shift how I receive from my village. My hope was to receive help in all the tangible ways (meals, cleaning, babysitting) and instead I had my cup filled through check-ins, a lot of encouragement/affirmation and some really thoughtful gifts. In regards to the civil rights revolution it's been an absolute rollercoaster. I've had days where I have been overtaken with grief, holding Lark and Alex and just crying. Alex and I have been having hard conversations around race since we met 11 years ago - this feels like a moment we've been preparing for - we're pretty fired up over here. We've gone to a few protests, we're learning a lot, we've shared our thoughts/listened but mostly we're lamenting. It's a complicated but exciting time to be an interracial family.
Q: How do you find the balance between championing for change while also taking care of yourself, your needs, and your feelings?
This is where I have the most work to do. The first thing to go when I'm tired or overwhelmed are my needs - it's terrible!! Alex is constantly reminding me to take care of myself. Of course he's right! For now, I try to do one thing a day for me - it may be under eye patches, a workout, a walk alone, time to read or journal, a bath... Something that helped me recently was hearing my friend say her nightly face washing routine is her spa moment of the day. I like that a lot, she managed to turn a 10 minute routine into her own little slice of heaven.
Q: What keeps you grounded?
100% my faith in Jesus. It is my minute by minute reminder to seek humility, to love all people well, to parent with compassion, to be quick to listen and slow to anger, to give generously, to check my heart. I am constantly being refined by my faith and I know it's made me a better wife, sister, friend and now mother.
you can follow along to see what jess is up to on ig @jesspuccinelli.
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