If you've ever had the urge to just up and go and leave it all behind for a simple life outside of the city, you're really gonna love Jade Winter Chessman (@jadewinterdays
). Mama of two, owner of Jubilee Farm (@jubileefarmdenton
), and winner of most mellow Instagram feed ever (in our book, but we think you'll also agree), Jade will quickly feel like the greatest friend you've never even met.
Pam first met Jade in Texas and hit it off over dinner after being introduced by a mutual friend—Pam calls herself the "LA Jade" and Jade, in return, is the "Texas Pam". Honestly, can't get any cuter. We chatted with Jade about raising kiddos with a sense of humor and some insanely solid parenting advice that I personally plan to cling to in my household. Read her interview below:
Sheltered Co. : What did you want to be when you grew up?
Jade : Believe it or not, a comedian since the third grade. In the third grade I most looked up to Billy Crystal and Robin Williams but then as I grew older, I was determined to be an SNL cast member. My poor children are now my permanent audience and for now they laugh but I am fully prepared for their future eye rolls though I hope to help them have a sense of humor too.
Sheltered Co. : Do you have a favorite junk food?
Jade : Fried...anything? I am married to a farmer and we have a lot of delicious fresh veggies around here so I really like to see how to turn those goodies from the garden into something that needs dipped in ranch. I love using a little bubbly water or beer and flour + salt to make a light batter and coat/fry green beans, zucchini flowers, peppers, squash, onions. I am a sucker for anything crunchy and salty that pairs well with beer.
Sheltered Co. : Were there any "I would never!"s before having kiddos that you totally have given into now as a parent?
Jade : The number of "I would never"s feels unending. I have eaten every confidant word spoken as a well rested, twenty something, clock in/clock out nanny. My kids both sleep in my bed and I equal parts love and loathe it. Now that my five year old is...five, it's like having an actual kangaroo in the bed all night and I end up playing musical beds to get mere chunks of sleep. Never did I ever think I would let them eat much sugar either but in the last couple of years I have taken to baking as a creative outlet and stress reliever. I can't expect them to watch me make cakes and cookies and pies and never get a bite! I try to keep portions small and not let sweets be an everyday thing but also - I believe firmly in the healing power of a warm cookie being placed in a child's hands to bring them joy and comfort and memories in the making.
Sheltered Co. : Is there any part of your routine that you consider sacred or unmissable when it comes to your self care?
Jade : Oh, what is self care? Kidding, kind of. That pandemic life has really limited the luxury for self care but my husband has been very supportive of me getting alone time where we can manage it. I am refueled by just a few hours of quiet to journal, write, stare into space and have no one asking for things, etc. I also am not sure if this falls into the self-care category but a glass of wine and a really interesting show by myself after everyone has gone to bed may leave me more physically tired the next day but I really enjoy the time to just decompress and think only of myself while everyone is quiet and still.
Sheltered Co. : What was the least helpful parenting advice you ever received and what advice do you wish someone would have given you before having children?
Jade : The least helpful parenting advice I think I ever heard was "if they cry, go to them." Hear me out. I am a firm believer in lavishing my children with love and affection, holding them when they are hurt, being a safe place for them to fall apart in, teaching empathy and care through my response to them when they hurt. Still, I allowed myself to be really riding the push and pull of an emotional roller coaster with my first child and see him as being less content and less independent because of it. All night, if he cried, I went to him and he still can't sleep well and certainly not alone. With my second, I had no choice but to let him cry sometimes as I was caring for his then toddler older brother. I also took a rule from another friend to wait just ten minutes before going to (my second child's) crib at night once he was no longer a newborn, just to see if he would take to settling on his own. Not only did this make him a better sleeper but he truly seems more content and more able to calm himself down when he is feeling upset. I wish this didn't feel like a controversial thing to say but this is my little experience with my little family and I really think it's also some to do with personality as well. I also grew up in a home with zero boundaries and it left me feeling very insecure as a child so I try to keep that in mind for my children, allowing them firm boundaries to push against and feel safe/loved.
Advice I wish someone had given me before I had children would be to work really hard at identifying my needs and then communicating them. People showed up to my home to help me but it felt awkward or selfish to have to spell out what I needed. I ended up putting others first just after having a baby and feeling very depleted for a long time. I even suffered with post partum anxiety after my second and was not verbalizing clearly to the people around me that I was struggling psychologically in what I now see was a pretty severe way. I want new mothers to feel the confidence to tell their partners/family/doctors/midwives the honest truth about what they need and then be clear and essentially demanding that they get it. This felt selfish to me at the time but it is anything but. We can't be expected to give everything to our child and have our cup be completely run dry. It takes energy to identify and communicate needs but I really think it's critical and especially in those early weeks/months of being a mama.
Sheltered Co. : What's something (anything!) you'd like to share about your personal experience with motherhood?
Jade : Contrary to whatever I put out there on instagram, ha! Being a mom doesn't all come naturally to me. There are elements that feel completely backward to my instinct and many days I want to run for the hills because kids are driving me crazy! I think Motherhood has to honor our natural bend and personality and we can't try to force ourselves to fit the mold we see and even appreciate or admire in others. I am always growing and learning and changing and so my style of motherhood is also. I think it's important to remember we will never have "arrived," we grow with them and it's okay that Motherhood be a fluid and evolving thing for us as women.
Endless thanks to you, Jade!! Be sure to give her a follow on social
and peep our Sweet Melon
weighted blanket (featured in Jade's room) right here.