A Chat With Jessica Seinfeld

Jessica_Seinfeld_03Jessica Seinfeld is a force. The mom of 3 (Sascha, 15; Julian, 13; Shepherd, 8 – and looks like she could be the oldest sister) has 3 cookbooks under her belt (and a 4th coming out Spring 2017), and she just relaunched her nonprofit Baby Buggy as the GOOD+ Foundation to encompass all the amazing work it’s doing to help U.S. families get out of poverty.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s the cliff notes: Jessica launched Baby Buggy shortly after she had her first child and faced a problem all new moms experience: What to do with all the outgrown baby gear cluttering your home. Baby Buggy was her solution and has donated more than 20 million (!!) items to kids in need over the last 15 years. But she didn’t stop there – she partners with programs across the country to educate and help families break out of poverty. The new name, GOOD+ reflects the mission: providing tangible goods plus transformational services for the whole family.

We caught up with Jessica to chat all things working mom. Read on for what the Seinfelds are eating at family dinner (yum!), the #Momfail that cost her money, and what it’s like to co-parent with Jerry.

Take it away, Jessica!

On Balance

I don’t have balance as my goal. I try to give 150% to everything I do and wherever that lands me is good enough. I go to sleep as early as possible, I exercise very early in the morning, meditate every day, stop and take deep breaths when I feel stressed, and I have the greatest support system of family, friends, coworkers, and colleagues I rely on.

Career Highlight

The 15 year anniversary of Baby Buggy is a career highlight, along with the enormous growth and success we have experienced since we started. So much so, that we have had to change our name to the GOOD+ Foundation to acknowledge all the work we are doing in fatherhood, early childhood, and to support new mothers.

Career Lowpoint

When the economy is bad, our families suffer more. So, 2009 was full of very tough moments, but we came through for our families in every way we could.

Go-To Family Dinner

I have been making pasta with anchovies and breadcrumbs probably a little too often, and we have fallen in love with fish tacos, which are so simple and easy. The recipe is in my upcoming book (Spring 2017) but lots of great recipes exist all over the web.

Current Parenting Challenge

Having a teenage daughter presents interesting and new challenges everyday. Mean Girl stuff is very real at her school and made harder by social media. We have had some excruciating moments, but they have taught her about popularity and what it actually means (and doesn’t mean).

Co-Parenting With Jerry

Figuring out how to co-parent well with my often traveling, very busy husband has been our most recent parenting problem to solve. This results in me being the disciplinarian. But our goal as a couple in 2016 has been to balance the disciplinarian role between the two of us.

It’s A Family Affair

Our family feels motivated every day to do more for those who are struggling because we see how many families do not have basic needs met (food, shelter and clothing) or luxuries like diapers, warm coats, beds, strollers, and high chairs. My kids do lemonade stands to raise money for GOOD+, although last summer we got shut down by the police and a cranky neighbor. They also volunteer at the warehouse with their friends, folding and sorting donations. I’m not one of those parents who hammers their kids over the head about how important it is to give back. I try to model the behavior I hope to see in them, and I see a keen awareness in each of them already. The best compliments come from other parents who tell me I have grounded kids.

Key To A Good Relationship

Support and cheerlead your partner’s professional goals and personal interests.

Parenting Advice

Stop judging other parents.

Guilty Pleasure

The Net-A-Porter app, which I will sometimes peruse even before I read the newspaper in the very early morning.

Ahhhhhhh

I do transcendental meditation for 20 minutes every day. There is no better way to recharge.

3 Hours Alone

You’d find me in bed reading. I try to finish two books and one New Yorker a month. This past month I read All The Light We Cannot See and A Little Life – I cried when they both ended because each was utterly brilliant.

Biggest #Momfail

I had to pay my youngest $100 for a years’ worth of cursing in 2015.

3 Steps To Successful Family Dinners

1. Get your kitchen and pantry organized so you can be successful.
2. Try to care less about failing (it’s just food).
3. Try my book The Can’t Cook Book, which is perfect for the inexperienced and overwhelmed. I have turned countless Can’t Cooks into Can Cooks.

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