Blogger Spotlight: Jen of Shares Tips for Raising Nine Kids

Jen Mom of Many
Jen (far right) With Her Nine Kids

I have an online friend, Jen, whom I was not able to meet before she left San Diego.  A mom to nine kids. A single mom. When she informed me that she had left San Diego some time ago and that it was OK if I decided not to interview her for a Blogger Spotlight given that she was not a true San Diegan anymore, I replied, “I can break my rules. It’s my blog!” I am intreagued at the idea of having nine kids to tend to, as more than a couple or few kids would more than enough for me to tackle.  I not only can’t imagine giving birth to and raising so many, but the thought of raising them as a single mom leaves me exhausted just at the thought.  I was curious, so this is Part One of I do not know how many. I want to learn a tip or two (or nine) from Jen, the blogger behind

Will you tell us a little about yourself?

A little bit about myself is a tough task! I have 9 kiddos between the ages of 6 yrs. old and 23 yrs. old. I was a military spouse for 19 yrs and loved the community and support of all that brought with it. I started blogging and podcasting on in 2007. I have 60 shows that can be found for free download in iTunes. I haven’t spoken into a microphone in over 2 years and I really need to get back to it! I miss creating those shows! I was a part of the MommyCast and Friends Family Channel and enjoyed learning about the world of social media through that fabulous experience.

In 2011 I became a single mom and had to leave San Diego for a ready-made support system in Northern California. I have 6 kiddos at home, one of whom was identified as having Asperger’s in the last 2 years. I’ve tried to blog about my journey of leaving “normal” behind and understanding, accepting and helping my child.  Since coming to Northern Ca. I’ve taken what I’ve learned about writing and social media and turned it into a part-time career as an independent content creator and blogger for companies and events.  Talk about good stuff!

How you first got involved in with blogging?

Somewhere around 2006 or 2007 people started asking me about my system and methods for running my full and busy household. Being a military spouse, I was on my own with the kids A LOT and I’d worked out ways of making it all happen. I was being encouraged to write a book and the thought was overwhelming to me. So instead, I began blogging and eventually, podcasting.

What do you find most challenging about blogging and do you have any tips for others who might be interested in doing the same?

I wish I were better about jotting my “BRILLIANT” ideas down, when they come to me. My best posts have always come from being able to sit down when an idea, topic or thought comes to me and being able to write about it in the moment. If I let the moment pass, I often lose the inspiration.

What contributions do want to be known for in the blogging community?

My main focus is to help moms…ALL moms feel confident in their abilities to raise their families and to not allow the ideals of others to hinder their focus. What makes my family happy and peaceful may not be what works for your family and that is A-OK Mama!…YOU know what YOUR family needs. Listen to your strong inner voice and do what you know is right for your family. AND I want to get rid of the phrase, “ I ONLY have” when referring to a number of children. Mamas…there is no ONLY when you’re talking about raising kids. Every mama is equal and should be understood and supported. 

Have you found anything interesting or unexpected about blogging?

How powerful my (all bloggers’) voice is! After so many years of just talking to kiddos, all day, every day, I suddenly was being asked to share and it felt SO good! 

What is your favorite location in San Diego that you consider a real bargain?

Hands down, you can’t beat Balboa Park’s Free Tuesdays! Best deal for super cheap fun with the family! Well…that and the fantastic beaches. Ok, it’s a tie. 

What is an interesting thing about you that people might not know?

That’s a tough question because I pretty much talk about my entire life. If there’s something someone doesn’t know and would like to, go ahead and ask me. 

What is your favorite time and/or money-saving tip?

Meal prep saves time AND money! I meal plan and I use the heck out of my slow cooker. 

Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?

Seriously?!  With over 5 years of posts to choose from, that’s a real toughy! However, I am particularly fond of  “Letting Go of Normal”. This is the post I wrote after my (now) 9-yr-old was indentified on the Autism Spectrum, with Aspergers. It was featured on Mamapedia and was written with a lot of heart. My least favorite post is every single post write half-heartedly. Blech!

PART TWO coming soon ….

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