Since moving to Seattle over a year and a half ago, I have had the priveledge of becoming friends with Jason and Molly Mesnick. If you have been living under a rock and not familiar with this adorable couple then let me fill you in.
Jason was the Bachelor on Season 13 of ‘The Bachelor’ and ended up choosing Molly as his one and only. Fast forward about 4-5 years later and you can find them with their almost 2 year old daughter, Riley, and Jason’s son from a previous marriage, Ty. Jason and Molly have been a great couple to share stories with, ask for advice, and look up to, for when Chris and I are ready for our own kiddos. They balance work, family, and each other like champs, always with a smile on their faces.
Find out what makes this family work and what Molly enjoys most about being a mother and stepmother.
What has been the biggest joy of being a mother?
- Watching Riley & Ty change and grow is amazing! They are these little sponges and it feels like everyday they get smarter and bigger. It’s just so fun watching them go through different phases in life.
What was it like to become a stepmother to Ty when you married Jason? Any advice to those that are stepmothers or will become one?
- It was a LOT more difficult than I had imagined it would be. I was the “new girl” stepping into their lives – their routine. Ty was only 4 at the time – he was just learning how to control his emotions – so I, obviously, had to be the adult and deal with my feelings of jealousy. Sounds easy, but it wasn’t. It took a couple of years for us to finally get to a really great place and our relationship couldn’t be better!
- My advice for anyone coming into a similar situation is to be patient, but never give up! Change is hard, especially on kids, but all they are looking for is fun & love! If you have that to give, then you’ll be just fine!
What has been the biggest challenge of being a mother?
- Not putting yourself first! Before kids, I loved having my own time to do, well… whatever I wanted. Boy does that change quickly once kids come around. My entire day is scheduled around school, sports, homework, bathtime, etc. It’s a really hard job, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!
How do you juggle 2 kids, your work as a morning radio host, social life & love life? Any advice to other working mothers?
- Our kids are, without a doubt, our #1 priority. Their needs and commitments will always come first. That being said, it is really important for parents to take some time for themselves.
- I’m very lucky with my job. I work from around 5am-10am – so I have afternoons free to spend with the kids. Riley does spend half the day in daycare, however. I need a few hours each day to get things done – grocery shopping, working out, other errands. That has become my ” me time”, which is SO important.
What are some must have items to prepare for a baby? Must have items while they are a toddler?
- During pregnancy, a body pillow was the greatest thing that ever happened to me! Your body is changing and there is so much extra weight on you, so having that extra support was amazing! Soon-to-be-mommies… this is a must have!
- Hands down, the best gadget I had for Riley was the Orbit G2 stroller system. It makes carting the baby around SOOOO much easier! It’s a snap & go system, so taking the baby on errands was a breeze, plus I love the sleek silhouette!
- Now that Riley is a toddler, it’s all about convenience for mom! I like items that are grab & go, like our Zoli sippy cups! The top seals, so you don’t have to worry about it spilling in your purse, and the handles make it really easy for your little ones to grab on to them. I’m also obsessed with Mabel’s Labels! Since Riley is in daycare, I love using these to label all of her belongings! You can customize them too!
Having a boy and a toddler girl in the house, what have been some popular or go-to toys for them?
- Ty is all about video games right now! To limit his screen-time, he loves to play board games like Operation (Minon edition) and he got a kids Karaoke machine for Christmas… which has turned out to be entertainment for the whole family!
- When Riley was a bit younger, the Jumperoo was a lifesaver! Not only was it great for her motor skills, but it was a great “babysitter” for me as I tried to get things done around the house or cook dinner! She could sit in that thing for forever!
List 3 things that you know now from being a mother that you didn’t know before.
- It sounds so cliche, but I’ve never known a love like this before. It’s unconditional. Riley is always top of mind for me!
- Motherhood has taught me that the world does not revolve around me. Haha. Like I said above, my priorities have flipped – life is now about the kids and not about my mani/pedis.
What questions should a couple ask themselves before becoming a parent?
- Oh, there are SO many things you don’t think about before having kids. First & foremost, you need to make sure a child can fit into your lifestyle. For those who like to travel, having a child doesn’t always accommodate for that. Babies also = early mornings and little sleep, so the partying lifestyle may not be the most appropriate either.
- Another MAJOR factor in expanding your family is how expensive it can be! Diapers, formula, all of the gadgets needed, and the cost of daycare is daunting! That’s not even taking into consideration all future costs: sports, college, wedding, etc.!
Now that Riley is almost 2 years old, would you like to have more kids?
- Ty & Riley are two peas in a pod. They get along so well and just love each other so much! I would love for Riley to have a sibling closer in age though too. My rule of thumb is that I want to be sure we all fit in one car! That said, maybe 1 more, but I think that’d be it 🙂
What are you most looking forward to with raising kids and watching them grow?
- I’m just so excited to see what type of people Riley & Ty grow up to be. They are both still young enough that they are constantly changing and evolving. They both have such positive, peaceful dispositions, which I hope holds on in their lifetime.
- I grew up in a house with an open door policy. We always had a house full of friends. I want to have a home just like that as they get older and start hanging out with their friends.
Any advice for parents on how to keep their relationship strong while raising kids?
- It’s so easy to get tunnel vision when it comes to kids. They become the priority and you forget that your relationship needs some TLC too! When that happens, it’s important to take a step back, realize your spouse is just as important, then take some time away from the kids to just enjoy each other. That can mean going for lunch during the day, while the kids are at school, or getting a babysitter for a night out for dinner! We can’t always find a babysitter, so on those nights, we make the effort to just sit and talk after the kids go to bed. Put down the cell phone & computer and focus on your partner!
Hope you enjoyed getting the inside scoop of parenting from Molly Mesnick. You can follow Molly on her blog at MollyMesnick.com and on Twitter at @MollyMesnick. Stay tuned for more great Q & A’s with some more fabulous women!