In Jen Hardy’s interview we discuss:
- Her blended family of 7 kids aged 5-27
- Jen’s health journey and how it affected being a mom
- What led her to write “The Sick Mom’s Guide to Having Fun Again” (affiliate link)
- Her mission with and message to the millions of women with chronic illnesses
- A day in the life of Jen & her family
- How she overcomes the mental hurdle of feeling sick to focus on the positive
- Tips from her Sick Mom’s guide that any mom can use relative to mom guilt, de-stressing, and fun
- What she and other moms with chronic health issues want you to know about their experience
- Her number one tip for moms relative to their health
Carrie’s favorite quotes from the interview:
“If you have been looking this long and this hard and you can’t find it, then you are the one that’s meant to do it.”
“You can have your life back and your diagnosis doesn’t have to mean the end for you.”
“Every one of my college age kids has come home and thanked me for making them do things at home, because they were one of the only people at college who knew how to do it all.”
- Jen’s book: “The Sick Mom’s Guide to Having Fun Again” (affiliate link)
- Brili app – for getting your kids to follow routines and get their chores done!
Jen talks motherhood:
What would you tell an expecting mom about the experience of being a mother?
Don’t listen to the people who say negative things. Focus on the beauty of your baby and trust yourself in their care. You know best, you’ve already known them for 9 months. Spend every minute you can with that baby, the time flies faster than you can imagine. At the same time, take a break if you need one, a happy mommy leads to a happier baby. Smile. Remember that this baby can be a harder transition for the man than for the woman, give him ways to connect with the baby, and keep him engaged. Long baths are your friend.
What is the hardest part about being a mom? Biggest frustrations?
Sometimes you don’t get to be in control. Young babies set their own schedule, and willingness to follow it is good. Try to rest when they do, you need more rest than you realize. Other people’s opinions and interference can be stressful, just remember they are trying to be helpful. Don’t feel bad if you need to set boundaries for your new family. Everyone will be happier in the long run. And older children will push you as they grow and learn to be independent. Remember, they’re not doing it to hurt you, it’s just part of growing up.
What is your favorite part about being a mom? What makes all the hard stuff worth it?
I love watching those beautiful faces at the end of the day, it brings me an amazing sense of joy. Listening to the belly laughs of my children is the most wonderful sound I’ve ever heard. And having my adult children visit and share their lives with me makes my heart fill with the most amazing feeling, there just aren’t words to describe it!
Any other tips to share?
1. Sleep is good, for you and your child. Don’t feel guilty about sleeping.
2. When they’re old enough, have them help out at home, they’ll thank you later.
3. Forgive. Don’t cling to negative things, fill your heart with the goodness that surrounds you. Find joy and teach your child to do it too.
Jen Hardy, The Chronically Positive Mom
Jen Hardy is an avid collector of eclectic diseases, and mystifier of physicians. She is a Mom to 7 children, ages 5-27. She has spent over two decades perfecting the art (OK, who are we kidding, perfecting is too bold a word) improving the way homes are managed when a parent has chronic illness. Her methods have helped her raise 4 children who are in, or graduated from, college leading the lives of their dreams. (Truthfully they are living the lives that their Mom has dreamed for them, & hopefully the ones that they dreamed of too.) She has an amazing step-daughter, who is also in college. At home, there are two amazingly sweet and feisty little ones who she says keep her young and determined to stay as healthy and mobile as she can. Jen accomplished her life-long dream of publishing a book in June, 2017 with "The Sick Mom's Guide to Having Fun Again"; If I can do it, you can too!" and looks forward to it bringing awareness about moms who deal with chronic health issues.