mother’s day special: the jungalow’s justina blakeney

The blogger opens up on why she loves motherhood.

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For Justina Blakeney, a career in the arts was never out of the question. Encouraged by her mother, who fostered her creativity from a young age, Justina’s blog The Jungalow was born out of a need to give back by making the world a more beautiful place. And as a blogger, author, designer and entrepreneur with an entirely unique outlook on life, it’s fair to say that Justina has contributed a great deal. Her life has changed with each and every accomplishment, but there is one title that has changed her life more than any other – mom. Here, Justina discusses her own mom and her daughter Ida Sky in between running one of the most successful design blogs on the web and promoting her book The New Bohemians.

What has been your experience with motherhood?

I’ve always wanted to be mom, and it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be a mom, but the schedule of it all was such an adjustment. I got pregnant when my career was about to take off, and it was scary because the timing was so strange. I had been working for ten years to build up my career, and I wasn’t sure how my life was going to change when I become pregnant. Really quite immediately after having Ida though, I realized that I created this person who feeds my creativity more than anything or anyone else. There are things that are really tough about being a mom, but the way that my daughter has impacted my life and my work is amazing.

What is the most rewarding aspect?

There are so many things that are rewarding about being a mom, but experiencing Ida’s wit and savviness and seeing her grow is so special. Also, it’s pretty incredible to see someone that you created with someone you love. Ida is the best of my husband Jason and me. I see little bits of us in her and even little bits of my mom. All of the people I love are bundled up in one person.

What is the most challenging aspect?

I think the most difficult aspect about being a mom is feeling guilty about not being able to spend as much time with her as I’d like. It’s very hard to leave her behind. I’m extremely passionate about being a mom, and I’m also extremely passionate about my work. Finding a balance is challenging.

What’s your favorite part of the day?

My favorite part of the day is doing bath time with Ida. That’s a really fun part of the day for us. We’ll also have impromptu dance parties with her, even just for three minutes out of the day. She’s a hilarious dancer, and I could watch her dance forever.

What advice did you receive from your own mom?

I was extraordinarily fortunate to have been born to my mom. She forged her own path, and everything that she does is about making the world a better place. My mom leads more by example, and she’s shown me to love infinitely and to be infinitely patient with children. The overall lesson she imparted on me was to treat every instance, every hurdle and every difficulty with love. By doing so, you’ll come out at the other side with more clarity and even more love.

What advice can you give to other parents?

I would suggest being open with your kids. My husband and I have been super communicative with Ida from a young age. We explain to her well before things are going to happen and why they’re going to happen so she’ll know ahead of time. Especially with my crazy schedule, keeping her involved in the work has been a critical tool.