Ever wonder what the Jonas Brothers’ mom must be thinking these days as her boys deal with megastardom?
Turns out she’s thinking about some of the same things we “regular” moms are – how to keep the clan close, which battles to wage with the kids and which to forget and so on.
Denise Jonas is set to speak at an iMom event at a Brooklyn school on Friday, Oct. 23. The nonprofit organization iMom provides support for moms in school and online. The organization has monthly events called iMom Morning, at 350 public schools across the nation.
Here’s some of her advice, some personal principles she’s acquired on her own:
1. Put in the rug time. “I called our family’s spontaneous father-and-sons games “rug time” or “rearranging the living room without license.” But without a word, the boys and their dad called it love. I learned that no carpet or piece of furniture is worth more than bonding that happens in the rug time.”
2. Cook when you can. “Life on the road wreaks havoc on kitchen togetherness but I love to cook and I’ve learned to do it as much as I can. Something’s very comforting about eating food mom cooks.”
3. Never mind the hair. “Moms also know this lesson as ‘choose your battles.’ As issues come up, I’ve learned to weigh each for its big-picture significance and adjust my response. Some things, like a teenager’s hair, I let go.”
4. Buy the drums. “Your daughter wants to play softball? Find a team. Your son wants to sing? Encourage it. Someone’s good at drawing? Quick: paper and colors. At times you have to study your kids. Other times their gifts hit you full force. Whatever the case, give them a chance — then stand back and give them room.”
5. Celebrate the wrinkle cream. “In a store once, I saw a wrinkle cream and mentioned it to the boys that I like it. Next Mother’s Day, I’m unwrapping the wrinkle cream and felt like crying! But the sweet thing is, my sons had heard me and wanted to please me.”
6. Trust the detours. First the news of Nick’s diabetes brought shock. Then we responded as a family. We learned about diabetes, followed the guidelines and stayed the course — and our eyes opened to others with health issues. Bad news has been a back door blessing.”
7. Stay grateful. “With privilege comes responsibility and we’re grateful for all of it. Yes, everything. Our flight is held up? We’re grateful to be going. Our hotel reservation is one room short? We’ll sleep on the floor. Life isn’t perfect, but in every circumstance, our job is to manage our response.”
8. Sit close, hug often. “Our family speaks the language of hugs and we speak it liberally. I’ve learned that when words aren’t enough, holding my child says volumes. Kids outgrow laps but never hugs.”
9. Set internal pillars. “The world presses in with schedules, expectations and exhaustion. How my children withstand that has everything to do with what’s inside them. We don’t just assume our kids will pick up good inner structures such as honor, self-respect, honesty and kindness. We talk about these things and praise our kids when those qualities show.”
10. Be the mom. “My kids don’t need me to be a buddy, a sidekick or a maid: They need me to be a mom. Kids need a mom to set limits, set the example and set out what they can be and do. Anyone can be a friend. Only the mom can be the mom. That’s the highest calling — a a big reason I’m big on iMom.”