One of the many COOL things about moving to Tennessee is being close to moms like Jessica Wolstenholm. She lives just down the road from me–as they say in the south. Our towns actually border each other and I’ve been known to run into my friend at her favorite coffee-office spot.
I might consider divulging that info for the right price.
Jessica worked in the music/publishing industry before becoming a stay-at-home mom. While her resume is pretty impressive the job she’s most proud of is being a mom.
But, one thing you may not know about her…
Jessica is a self-proclaimed marshmallow-mom.
As a matter of fact, when it came time to write about grace in The Mean Mom’s Guide, I asked Jessica to write the excerpt for me. Who better to share about grace-filled parenting than the woman who co-created Grace for Moms?
Jessica, tell me a little about your family…and you!
I’m Jessica Wolstenholm and I live just outside Nashville, TN in the small town of Nolensville. My kiddos are Hope (6) and Joshua (3).
I gave it away earlier, but pretend I didn’t…are you a mean mom or a marshmallow mom?
Oh I am without a doubt a marshmallow mom. Though my kids would not say that. I’m a pushover but because of my lack of steadfastness, I often “lose it” with my children when I become frustrated with their behavior that results from my lack of consistency. It’s a vicious cycle really.
What’s the toughest mean mom decision you’ve made recently?
Well, we’ve just been stuck in our house for a week because of an ice storm. . .so there have been many. But the one that comes to mind is when my six year old had a meltdown the other day because she didn’t want to do her snow day homework. After 3 days off from school, playing all day long, she just couldn’t be bothered to sit still and do some work.
I wanted so badly to just say, “forget it” but I knew she needed to press through and learn the responsibility of doing the necessary work. A few minutes and lots of tears later, she finished what she needed to do and went back to playing. It wasn’t that the work was so important. It was more important that she learn the value of pressing through when she has to do something she doesn’t want to.
Since you’re a marshmallow -mom, you’re often soft and sweet. So, what’s the best mean mom wisdom you received?
The best mean mom wisdom I’ve ever received is — we can do hard things. It’s not that I ever thought motherhood would be easy, but I suppose I was naive to just how hard it would be. All.the.time. My tendency is to fold at the first sign of a hard situation, in order to bring about peace. But even though peace is a noble goal it should never be achieved at the expense of a child’s opportunity to learn and grow. I learn this lesson over and over again, daily.
Has being a mom changed the way you look at God?
Most definitely. Seeking to find the balance between my marshmallow tendency and the tough mom I know I need to be at times has given me a deeper understanding of God’s fierce grace. I know his love is so abundant but his truth is equally powerful.
He never abandons his truth for the sake of showing us love. It is because he loves us that he stands firm on what he knows is best for us. My whole mothering journey is a quest to find that balance between grace and truth for myself and my children.
Is there a mom in your life who encourages you? Why?
Yes. My dear friend and mentor, Donna, is a wonderful example of grace and truth. She is always there to allow me to vent or wrestle and she always has a strong word of wisdom to encourage me to keep going. She is a precious gift.
Favorite scripture verse for your mothering journey?
And from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. John 1:16
Jess, I can’t let you leave without asking you a question I love asking moms, “What is the legacy you want to leave your children?”
I want my children to learn to love well. This is the legacy my mother left me and it’s the one I want to leave my children. I may not do this perfectly but I hope they see me daily try to love and encourage others.
I want them to understand that people and relationships are far more important than money or success or fame. If everyone would simply love well those in their sphere of influence (no matter how large or small) I believe together we can change the world.
See why I love her?
Thanks for stopping by, Jessica. Next time, how about we do this in person?
I’ve included LOTS of links below to help you find Jessica online and learn how to love well with just the right amount of grace and truth.
Bio: Jessica Wolstenholm is co-founder of Grace for Moms. After 15 years in the music and publishing industries, Jessica came home to be with her two small children. Although the transition from the corporate world to the playground has been an adjustment, she is learning every day to access the grace available to us through Christ as she navigates the full time job of motherhood. She is the co-author of The Pregnancy Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey to Motherhood and The Baby Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey Through Baby’s First Year. Jessica lives in Nolensville, TN with her husband, Dave and two miracle babies, Hope (6) and Joshua (3).