Ep. 129 – Building A More Peaceful Home for Our Families with Jeanne-Marie

by | May 24, 2022

Ep. 129 – Building A More Peaceful Home for Our Families with Jeanne-Marie

by | May 24, 2022

The Fresh Start Family Show
The Fresh Start Family Show
Ep. 129 - Building A More Peaceful Home for Our Families with Jeanne-Marie


Wendy has a wonderful guest on the Fresh Start Family Show this week to talk about putting intention and purpose behind building more peace into our homes. 

Jeanne-Marie Paynel, M.Ed, is a Parenting Mentor and Home Consultant helping parents let go of the overwhelm so they can enjoy raising self-sufficient and resilient children with ease.

In this episode, Wendy and Jeanne help to guide families on how to better prepare their homes and themselves for their children to thrive by creating a supportive and serene atmosphere. Jeanne-Marie (also lovingly referred to by kids as Ms. Jenny)  combines her three passions: Montessori, Conscious Parenting, and Positive Discipline to provide practical steps and wisdom for families with children at all stages. 

Tune in to learn about: 

  1. Montessori and Positive Discipline 
  2. The importance of atmosphere, child development and behavior
  3. How to create a calm, stress free home

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Episode Highlights:

  • Jeanne-Marie aka Miss Jenny’s background
  • The importance of the first 6 years
  • Montessori & child development
  • Being a “translator” for children to their parents
  • Finding what makes you calm
  • Focusing on environment for our child (from birth!)
  • Creating a calm & peaceful home environment

Resources Mentioned:


Jeanne-Marie on:




Fresh Start Family 5 Day Summer Challenge

Fresh Start Wellness Collective

Not able to listen or want to read along with us?

Here is the episode transcript!

This episode is brought to you by the Fresh Start Parenting Challenge, which is our free five day mini course designed to empower and support you as a parent, to help you understand the root causes of misbehavior. And the good news is is that it starts soon. You can head to freshstartfamilyonline.com/freechallenge to save your seat now.


Well, Hey there listeners, I’m so happy You are here for a new episode of the Fresh Start Family Show. I am your host, Wendy Snyder, positive parenting educator and family life coach.

And today on the show we have Ms. Jeanne-Marie Paynel or miss Jenny, who is going to talk to us about how to have and build a more peaceful home. And I thought this episode would be great to air. As we all are preparing our hearts center minds for summer. You guys, summer is often a time where I think many of us feel like our home kind of becomes a little chaotic. Many of us are still trying to juggle, maybe work with having kids home all the time, and it can just be, it can just be tough, right? So as we head into summer, I want us all to just put a lot of intention into how are we going to build more peace into our homes?

And I find that anything you put purpose and intention behind. So kind of the same idea as like where I forget what the quote that Tony Robbins says. I’m sure some of you know it by heart, but it’s something to the effect of where energy goes or where focus goes, energy flows, something like that. And so I want us all to be thinking and putting intention and purpose behind how can we build more peace into our home as we prepare for summer? So I think John Murray gives us a lot of really great ideas, both things that we can actually do in our physical spaces and things that we can do in our hearts and our minds as we prepare. And I’m just excited for you to hear this episode.

So remember our Fresh Start Parenting Challenge is a great way to kick off the summer. You guys, and we’re doing that in early June. I want you to make sure you go get registered. You can just hop over to the homepage of the website, freshstartfamilyonline.com to save your seat. But that’s another great way to put your intention and purpose behind building your confidence. So you just feel like you are ready to kick off summer strong with joy, with peace, with confidence, with a full parenting toolkit. So you can see your children’s misbehavior as communication. So you can feel like you are prepared to handle anything that comes your way. Even if it’s, you know, abnormal schedules and kids being together all the time that normally are in school, sibling, bickering, conflict, whatever may be.

You can do this. We can do this together. So I just hope that this episode with miss Jeanne- Marie Paynel blesses you today. And as always, if you have not left us a review head on over to iTunes, and it usually takes three to five minutes, you guys to punch out a quick little review, and it’s the best way to say thank you for these free episodes that we produce for you. I get the kindest messages, DMS emails from you guys, and every single one touches my heart. You are welcome, Terry, and I love creating the show for you. We love recording these episodes. I love meeting incredible people from all over the world that share a common goal, a common heart that we do to help and serve and support families like yours, who are just incredible and want to do parenting different.

Like it is my joy to produce this show for you. And it’s just like the best little virtual hug when you can leave us a review. Like once again, it’s, it’s kind of similar to sending us an email, but when you do it in a review format, it’s just my favorite way to connect with you guys. So thank you in advance for doing that. Make sure you’ve pushed, subscribe or follow while you’re over there to make sure you get these episodes automatically downloaded every single week when we produce them for you guys. But without further ado, enjoy this episode with Ms. Jeanne Paynel, and then also make sure you get registered for the fresher parenting challenge. That gets started really really soon in early June, head on over freshstartfamilyonline.com.

All right. Enjoy the episode.

Well, Hey there, I’m Stella. Welcome to my mom and dad’s podcast. The Fresh Start Family show. We’re so happy you’re here. We’re inspired by the ocean Jesus and rock and roll and believe deeply in the true power of loving kindness together. We hope to inspire you to expand your heart, learn new tools and strengthen your family. Enjoy the show.

Well, hello there families and welcome to a new episode of the Fresh Start Family Show. I’m excited to be here today with Jeanne- Marie Paynel, who is going to be speaking with us about how we can create a calm stress free home. Welcome Jeanne-Marie.

Thanks for having me, Wendy. It’s. It’s wonderful to be here.

Thanks for being here. And you have to say your name for me because it’s so beautiful. When you say it, you do such a, of course, it’s beautiful. So tell me how you actually say your name fully, and I’m going to try my best as we, as we have this episode.

So it is a let’s say a French, a French name. So I do not expect you to, to pronounce it. I’ve I’ve had all sorts of different pronunciation and to be honest, when I was in the classroom to, you know, alleviate all that, I went by Mrs. Jenny, so, oh, perfect. So yes.

Okay, wonderful. Well, I’m going to let you tell us a little bit more about yourself here in a second, but I will let the listeners know a little bit more about you first. So Jeanne Marie is the host of the art of parenting podcast. And she’s the founder of your parenting mentor, where she guides expected parents, caregivers, and parents of young children on how to be out of better prepare their homes and themselves for their children to thrive. During the first years of life, she believes that a supportive and peaceful atmosphere at home will allow every child to grow up as an independent, confident, and capable learner. And she combines her three passions, which are Montessori Conscious Parenting and Positive Discipline.

I love that and tell me, tell the listeners a little bit more about your journey, how you got to where you are today. What makes you passionate about teaching and serving families in this capacity?

Oh, wow. That that’s a long story, but mostly it’s because I truly believe in my heart that children are capable of so much more than we give them credit for. And that if, if we know better, we do better, right. If we understand a little bit more about what is going on in their brain, what their needs are from the very beginning, then we can be those supportive guides that they need. You know, I am a firm believer that that parenting does not need to be as, as hard as we are told it is.

And, and, and, you know, rough it out and, and all of this, like I think that if we have the proper tools, the proper mindset, it can be such an enjoyable journey and, and just understanding children. So just a little backstory. I was actually a graphic designer for 20 some years.

So, you know, I worked in advertising in Paris then here in San Diego and around 40 some years of age, I, I actually lost my mom when she was 40, when I was 40. I’m sorry. And my son was just one and I had an older child and there just something that just wasn’t right. Like, I, I, there was more to life. There was something that I needed to do that was more important than, you know, mailers for different marketing purposes. Like this is, this is kind of wasted on like, I can, I can do better. And really my, you know, thinking back children had always been something that I felt very connected to even, you know, as a teenager, I would volunteer to work at my baby brothers daycare.

Like that was, it was a true passion of mine, right. So I looked into what it would take to get an international diploma from the Montessori association. And I went back to school and I got a master’s in Montessori education at 43 years of age, and my children were eight and four at the time. And I just fell into something that was just meant for me. That was just that huge aha like, okay, this is it. This is, you know, and, and the information was just such a wealth of knowledge, so supportive. And I thought, well, why don’t parents know about this?

Like if they, if they had these tools, if they knew this from the beginning, oh my gosh, the planet would be a better place for everybody. Right. So that’s really, that’s really where it all started. And I am just really devoted and I’m on a mission to give as much information and support to parents for the first six years of life, which is really the foundation of the rest of our life. And, you know, all of the, all the self-help books and everything, when you’re an adult, they always go back to those first six years. So let’s get it right at the beginning that, that foundation and, and, and make it enjoyable for you.

The parent, because, you know, parenting is something that for most of us we choose, and I want it to be a choice that you never looked back on and that you are doing this in a peaceful, calm, serene way. Okay.

Oh, fantastic. And tell me, so how many kids do you have now, or how do you do, did you say two or three?

So I have to, I I’ve had five pregnancies, but I have two living children. They are young adults. I have a 24 year old who lives and goes to school in Scotland. And I have my son that is just up the coast in Santa Barbara here in California. And they’re wonderful humans. And I’m just, I’ve, I’ve so enjoyed this journey with them. And, and, you know, people often say, oh my gosh, how do you do it? And I think that it’s because I have this, this knowledge. And also, I think, I think I have a real connection with, with children. Like I always, I always feel that I’m kind of a translator for parents.

Like, I, I, I can feel, and I can, I can sense what children are really wanting you to understand about them. And so if I can be children’s translators to parents and help them see their children in a different light, I think I’m making everybody’s life a little easier.

Heck yes. So it, you found you started to go back to school to get your master’s in Montessori. When it, tell me if I heard this right. When kids were toddlers, is that right?

So I had an eight year old, so I had a, my daughter was already in elementary school and I, I did have a toddler and that’s actually something that I do regret that I didn’t no more earlier on there. Yeah. Because, you know, I went, I went to school, they were already older. So, you know, it was just, I realized that there were a lot of things that I had done intuitively and, you know, I had read about Montessori when I was, when I was pregnant with my first, but it just, it just, you know, you always think, oh my gosh, if I had known this, so, so now it’s like, I want to impart parents with this. So there is no like, oh, I wish I had known this earlier.

Like, I’m, I’m here for you from birth through six years. You know, there are just so much information that, that we’re not imparted with. I mean, children don’t come with a manual. Right. And, and so, you know, I, I, I hope to be able to impart all of that information to parents.

Yes. And the more, this becomes normalized, right? Like the more podcasts out in the world, like your podcast and my podcast and, and the more parents there are out there that parenting education or Montessori education, or just all of that stuff, relationships with your kids is strengthened, then it will. I know for sure. I know I hold a strong vision for the future to have this be a pre parenting type of thing. Right. Where parents get this type of education maybe, you know, in, in even high school. Wouldn’t that be amazing if we got this type of support before we had kids, right. Because as, as I share in that same thought with you, it’s I found the work of positive parenting and really switched my whole mindset around my very, very beautiful strong-willed little girl when she was three, is when I found the work.

My little boy was one, she was three and he was a baby and she was three. And I just always said to myself, I wish I would’ve known this before because raising him was just so different when I had the full toolkit. And I had that you referred to it as proper tools and proper mindset. It was just a different experience. Now, granted, he was definitely a, you know, a different personality, but I just, I love that. And one day, one day I hold that vision that there will be more support before we get in. We have actually human souls. Right

Definitely, definitely. And I love, you know, when you say high school, because it’s true. I think, you know, for me having volunteered in a daycare when I was, you know, in high school probably did help because I was able to, to see and feel, and understand children’s needs from a very young age. And I was fortunate enough to have siblings when I was already 12 years. My, both my parents remarried and I, and I got a slew of slipping siblings. And I just, you know, I was a little, little mama to them because I just was attracted to that. So I came to parenting with all wordy, that experience.

And I realized that there are so many parents out there that have never held a baby that have never been around younger children. And, and, you know, it’s, they’re different humans. Like we really need to understand them better. Yeah,

Absolutely. Well, Andy, and when we talk about having a supportive and peaceful environment, like a calm stress-free home, it’s it’s, I can’t wait just to soak up your wisdom from this because, you know, I know for sure the listeners of this show and all of the families within my bonfire community, that’s what they want for sure. Right. And the tools that we teach within our foundations course, and we practice, they definitely help. And holy smokes, it is a challenge. Like it is a challenge to stay in that column neutral state, which we know is the best place to teach from. We know it’s what gets us the best results and nurtures the relationships and all of that.

But talk to us about this as you have, Marie, what do you have in the form of encouragement around how can we create a calm stress-free home? What are some tips you have for us?

So first I would start with checking in with yourself, checking in really with what brings you calm. So, because I think we are in such a mode of, you know, when we, when we become caregivers, that we have to prioritize everybody else before us and, and you, and I know that that’s not, that’s not the way to go about it. Like, so it’s really about, you know, what is first of all, going to calm you in, in any type of situation. So you can always go back to that, you know, if it’s closing your eyes and visualizing the beach or, or, you know, having the sensation of being on your surfboard or going and taking a cold shower, whatever that is like, remind yourself that you have the tools to calm yourself.

And then from there, you know, I work a lot. My, my background is Montessori education and positive discipline and Montessori starts at birth. It really starts for me at conception at understanding the environment, the prenatal environment that our child is in understanding how important our mindset, our stress level is during pregnancy understanding the importance of the birth environment. And really, you know, having the experience that you envision that you want to have. I’m very much into empowering families to make their own choices, pregnancy and birthing is not an ailment.

It is the most amazing, powerful thing that you can do. And so I just, I’m always trying to empower women and families to not let themselves be kind of, you know, taken over by the, the medical industry and all of that. So that’s, that’s a topic for a whole other podcast, but I’m, I’m just a real advocate of, of empowering the birthing families to take charge. So that’s, that’s, you know, that’s one thing. So, so all that to say is that the environment that we create for ourselves and our family and our children is going to make a huge difference in, in that stress level and in the, in that calmness.

So when I work with families, I always, you know, we’re, we’re going to look first and foremost at the environment that we are creating for our child and this, like I say, you know, it starts at the time of birth, but then it’s, you know, how is our home going to welcome the child from that very first day? And so we have to remember that this is now their new home, right? They were, they were in utero and now they they’re here. And they have this new home where they’re going to need some very secure and gentle ways to adapt to their time, place and culture on earth.

And, and this is how we create that from the beginning. So for me, what I get a little frustrated with is that I feel that a lot of the families are so concerned about the birth that they forget about the, the life after birth and that they kind of forego that whole preparation of, of ourselves, of, you know, understanding what the child is going to need those first three years. And, and all of that. I I’ve attended some hypnobirthing classes that, you know, I was invited to come speak at. And it’s funny because the families look at you like what?

Like we have to do something else. It’s so it’s so funny. Like, and it’s like, yes, you know,

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So for me that the Montessori environment is going to be really very simple for you and keep things to a minimum. Like you do not need to buy all of the crap, excuse my language. That is that the baby industry, you know, tells you, you need like you have your arms, you have your skin. If you’re breastfeeding, you are producing food. And that is it like that’s, you know, those first few months, that’s really all you need is you need your presence. You need your, your connection and, and that’s all they, they need and want. Now on the physical aspect, a Montessori home is going to have four main areas that we are going to focus on and why we do this is because we’re helping the child have a very simple points of reference at, at, at birth.

They, the, their point of reference is you is your smell is your heartbeat. And, and then we’re going to want to establish those in the home. And those are really broken up in, in the area of sleep of a feeding of the physical care area. And then what I call the movement area. And that’s really, that’s really it. And we keep those to a minimum because for example, let us consider the sleeping area in what we call a Montessori home. You’re going to save a lot of money by not bothering to buy a crib. A crib is a container with bars.

It’s a box that we put our baby in to give us a sense of security to give us this peace of mind, like, okay, my child is safe. They’re not going to get away. They’re they’re in their little area. What I’m suggesting is let’s put a, you know, good quality mattress directly on the floor so that the child has a better visual sense of their environment and will very quickly have this independence of knowing where we rest, where we sleep, when they are tired, they can go and lie down on their own.

They do not need to wait for us to read their cues. And when yes, yes. And, and when they are done, they can get off their bed and, you know, play with a tour or come and get you. They don’t need to, you know, start crying in their crib of, you know, come get me out of this box that I’m in. So that’s, that’s kind of that this idea of the floor bed, and this can, you know, this can be started right away. Or you can, if you’re wanting to co-sleep at the beginning, you know that that’s fine too, but I, I really, really encourage you to have this sleeping area set up from the beginning where even if they are maybe in a Moses basket at the beginning, you’re going to place it there so that they can really look around their environment.

They sense that, oh, this is where this resting, the sleeping, this relaxing happens. So that’s what I mean about a point of reference. You’re, you’re giving them the sense of security of knowing where things happen. And this is the same thing with, with, for example, the physical care where you’re going to change them, giving a little massage and so forth, try to make it the same place. And one of the, the suggestions that I have here is try to make it where you are orienting yourself, where there face to face with them, where you’re looking straight into their eyes. We tend to have a lot of these like changing tables that are kind of up against the wall.

And we’re, we’re, we’re tending to them sideways and that for their just their physical body and their, their, you know, physical development, it would be better if we can really give equal attention to both sides. So try to just, you know, orient yourself or orient the changing table, or, you know, I’ve, I’ve made some changing tables directly on the floor because mom likes to just sit on the floor or, you know, it can be anything that the changing area at the beginning is definitely a place where you need to be comfortable where you’re going to enjoy this time. There’s, there’s a lot, a lot of exchange that is going on when we are caring for the, their physical care, when we’re changing them, when we’re dressing them, we’re, we’re, you know, we’re teaching them about consent.

We’re teaching them about their body scheme, all of this. So make it a place where you’re comfortable, where you’re enjoying it.

I love all that. And I like how this, like teaches intrinsic self control, just looking at like the one, you know, the, the bed on the ground, the mattress on the ground. I know a lot of parents might be listening and panicking going, oh my gosh, I can imagine my toddler never staying in their room, but I can see how this, like you can, you know, I’m sure they grow. They can graduate to a bed as they get older, but I, I just love the idea. Anytime we can teach children this intrinsic self control, this ability to listen to their bodies, to be able to get up if they need to, to lay down when they need to. I just love that. And it’s, it’s really, really beautiful.

And, and, and you know what, it comes down to Wendy. It’s really about trusting our children, trusting that they know what is good for them, right? Like we, we have this tendency to think that we know better, but no, not necessarily like give them the opportunity to, to, to know where, where they are, their needs can be met and how they can meet their own needs. You know, when I go back to that four, but it can be any size. Like it doesn’t have to be a criticized mattress. You can, you can, you know, right away make it a twin size or a queen mattress. And you can lie down with them at the beginning.

If that’s, if that’s something that is full for you, but you’re just setting them up for success from the very start. And then if you start that way, there will not be a need for a transition, because that has always been their bed, right. There will not be this need of, oh, you know, oh, when can I move them out of the crib and into a toddler bed, if you start that way from the beginning, there, there isn’t that neat. So that’s just something to keep in mind for those who are expecting.

Yes. Oh my gosh. And there’s, there’s so much beauty when you set the tone from early on. I know I look back to like my birth and with my daughter, my oldest daughter. So I have a 13 year old and a 10 year old. And it’s amazing how I never re so we had a very traumatic birth with my daughter. We had a doula, everything was like so planned to do, to be this like relaxing, beautiful, calm stress-free birth, and all my goodness memory, it changed so fast. We were an emergency C-section and Torin placenta. And now I look back and I think the system miracle or alive, because it so traumatic, it was an absent birth.

I was unconscious. And I looked back and I’m like, holy smokes. That, and I didn’t realize till about three or four years later till a healer actually put their hand on me and said, oh my gosh, what happened there? And I was like, how did you know that? And I just never knew that that could have affected us so much. And so I think it’s like, if listeners are listening and they’re thinking, oh my gosh, well, I did not start out stress free. It’s there’s always time to heal. There’s always time. But what I think was Jen Maria, is bringing to the table is when you have a choice, really, you know, things will happen, but just be cognizant of like, there are so much we can do to create this, this, you know, stress-free calm.

And I just love that. Another thing I heard you say, Jen, Marie, which is so beautiful as this, you know, folk checking in with yourself. I always give the analogy of like, if you’re on an airplane and God forbid it should go down, we can’t save our children. If we don’t put the oxygen mask on us first. And I know, yeah, I know for me and my clients, this idea of self-regulating this in itself, I mean, we could just end the episode right here because it’s so, like, it is an area where we’re like, we, it really takes a lot of intention and support and, and it’s just so beautiful when you can prioritize this because it can take a lot.

Right? Like it just, it just is so important. It sets the tone. And when we can, when we can get to that space and remember, like, we, if we’re not able to do that, like what, where, what can we do to get the support that we need to, because checking in with ourselves is just so important.

Definitely, definitely. And, you know, I always say parenting was never meant to be done alone. You know, I think we we’re parenting these days and, and in total isolation and, and, you know, even more so because we’re in a global pandemic right now. So we’re, you know, we’re, we’re even more isolated. But even before that, you know, the, the nucleus family now is just, if we’re lucky, it’s two parents. And sometimes it’s just one parent and, and we don’t have our elders around us. And, and, you know, the, the, the, the aunts and the girlfriends and all this coming around and really putting that circle around us, at least, you know, for me, those first three months are so important for, for the mother to be born because when a child is born, you know, so is the mother, so is the father, and we need to nurture them as well.

But going back to you saying, you know, checking in with yourself, I think, you know, for, from a kind of a self care perspective, it’s very important, but also from an, an intuition, I think that when we give ourselves permission to ask ourselves, what do I need right now? What does my child need right now? And really, you know, intentionally mindfully, listen, we know we, we are, you know, we were given the gift of this particular child. Like you, you know, that your birth experience, as, as traumatic as it might’ve been, what is part of who you are today, you’re doing the work that you’re doing today, probably because of that, probably because you had this, you know, a tense relationship with your daughter at first and everything.

So I always feel that we are given the children that we need to, to grow into evolve. And, and in a way it’s like, it’s really important to, to listen to, to our own intuition and to not get bogged down with all this social media and comparison. And it’s like, oh, look at their, or their nursery looks so much nicer and all this it’s like, no check in with you, your own values, your family values, what you want to give to, to your child’s.

Yes. Yeah. On top of that shimmery, I think back to like, it’s just all coming back. I didn’t, I haven’t thought about this a little bit. Cause we, I focus so much on the behavioral stuff, but just I’m get, I’m like starting to feel. I remember this time that we’re talking about so much and the hard thing for our family too was cause it, cause it’s almost like a joke to me when I think about calm stress-free environment for me is like, so we had the traumatic birth and then Stella got colic. So just my, both my kids had colic and, and it was like, what, what the heck is actually happening? Like, it was nothing like we had planned, we went in with all these, these thoughts of it’s going to be this beautiful thing.

And then she just started crying and crying and crying. And before long, it was like, I was changing everything under the sun, thinking like check in with myself, check in with myself. Is it, is it the dairy? Is it the, what is it is it’s just as frantic, You know? And I can just imagine if I would have had your podcast at the time, I can just tell there was so many things he probably could have done to ease my soul, but holy smokes, it was stressful. And then, then my next question that I would love for you to share your beautiful wisdom with us on when it comes to creating a calm stress-free home. Talk to us about how you help clients when they’re, when they have the, the other siblings and the dethrone mint is like in full effect because you know, that’s part of the human, I believe existence is like, Hey, when another little soul comes into the house, there’s going to be moments where, you know, they just are learning how to share the attention or, or processing through what it’s like for mom to have to be nursing and not be able to help them all the time when she was before.

But it was thick in our house. And at the time I didn’t know how to handle it because it was before I had found positive parenting. And I just kept thinking like, oh my gosh, this was when Stella was about, I think she was three when my son was born and she’s my beautiful strong-willed little girl. So, you know, it was intense. Like she was like, I do not like this younger child and he had colleagues. So he cried, you know, all day long, the poor thing for three months. And it was just shocking. And now of course, like I, Yes, I actually have a client in Scotland right now. Funny that you said one of your kids or was that, yeah, that was you that said one of your kids,

Right? Yeah. My daughter,

Sometimes I do like, this is my third podcast today. I’m like, what’s I hear Jen. Right. Okay. So what am I just one of my members the other day I was coaching her. Cause she’s in the exact same situation where it’s like, she’s amazing, but she’s got this colleague a little boy who is three to two and a half months old and he’s just in physical pain and he’s crying all the time and she’s trying to figure it out. And then she has a toddler. And so what are your points of wisdom and guidance when it comes to creating the calm stress-free home with On the like kind of all of that in the mix?

So, so for me, and, and just I’ll, I’ll maybe go back because I wanted to kind of go through the four main areas and we were kind of coverages too, but let me answer your question about just welcoming another sibling. So, so for one, you know, it, it is very important to just honor their emotions and, and really have that compassion. It’s going to be hard for everybody. Right. And it’s really important to just, eh, oh, I, I, you know, I, I can feel, you know, that your, your you’re not super happy.

I mean, I never want to kind of put sentiments into them, but I want to have that compassionate and that empathy. I want to S I want to acknowledge that they’re having a hard time, but the, for me, the most important is in the preparation. So it, again, it’s going to be about that physical preparation. So depending on the age, you know, of your, your older child, I had, my daughter was four when my second was born and I remember actually taking her to the maternity and they were having an older sibling class, which was very cute. They got a certificate to being an older sibling, and it was, it was fascinating because they did talk to them about this thing called jealousy, that you might feel that it’s unfair, but they also gave them responsibilities about making sure that little toys that were, you know, the size of a cherry are put away, because it could be dangerous for your baby brother or sister and all of this.

And I remember how it had just really empowered her. Like she came home and, you know, I was, I was due like in a, in a month or so, but she cleaned up, she was at the time, had all those little Polly pockets. I don’t know if you remember Polly pockets, she put everything away. Like She just, so it’s really about again, you know, what I, what I started saying at the beginning is children are capable of so much more. So let’s include them in just like we would, you know, a partner and they are going to be your partners. And, and, you know, and we can talk about, you know, sometimes I’m going to need to maybe step away and see your baby brother or sister, you know, let’s, let’s make a basket of books that you can sit next to me with, or maybe, you know, have a special activity you can do when I am feeding, include them in, like, how have them help you set up their sleeping area when they are there, have them help you go get a wife, you know, have them help you change them and hold them and, and, and so forth because they, they need to take possession of their sibling.

Like they, they, that’s going to, to grow with them, just like, you know, just like our, our, our maternal and paternal instincts. And we need to help our children develop that muscle of being the older sibling as well.


And then, you know, and for your, you know, for your client, for example, you know, what I would say is, is really trying to get somebody to come in and help you kind of event that the witching hour, where, you know, it’s at the end of the day, you’re exhausted. Baby is still crying. Your toddler’s needing you, you know, maybe have somebody come and hold your baby. When you go out on a walk or go to the park for 30 minutes with your toddler, like we, we need to remember to continue connecting with our other child. And there we need help. We can’t do it by ourselves. So, you know, maybe dad can take over for a while and you go to do bath time with your toddler, like have moments of special time that you’re connecting with your toddlers so that they can vent their emotions.

They can tell you how, you know, the, you should go give the baby back or whatever, like they need to, they need to process too. And we need to make space for them to be able to process

Well, hey, there listeners, I have exciting news for you. The Bonfire support program is opening its doors for public enrollment very soon. And I want you to join the wait list. If you’re interested in learning more, you can do that at freshstartfamilyonline.com/join-bonfire, or just head to the website and click the community tab at the top. This supportive positive parenting and family life coaching program is for busy parents looking for consistent guidance and inspiration on how to redirect their kids’ misbehavior with integrity, teach important life lessons, with connection and discipline, with effectiveness.

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All right. Let’s get back to the episode.


Yeah. So I, the two beautiful things I heard from that is preparation and empowerment. Like those two things and proactivity with an older child who is kind of going to go through all the emotions about a younger baby, those to help so much. And when I think back to that time, you know, I didn’t, I wasn’t practicing those cause I hadn’t learned them yet, but it does like for especially, so whether a kid’s in a power surge stage of life, which we all know the toddler years, like they’re, they’re developing their autonomy, they’re testing, you know, their independence, all those types of things like the empowerment, like you said, it goes so far.

And then if they, if we proactively prepare them, they just feel so much better. But as you were saying, as you were saying those things about finding help, I was kind of giggling again to myself. Cause I’m always like pre like listening for like what the listeners might be saying. But, but, but, and I remember summery at the time because Taryn was calling games. So my little guy and I was, I would go, you know, try to spend the time with my older girl. And even my husband’s mom would come help us, bless her heart. She’s amazing. But I remember like cutting a hole in my robe and thinking and telling them like it, because both my kids had such a hard time with me leaving and then there was colleague too.

And I remember cutting a hole in the robe and saying, okay, try to wear this robe. And then the breast milk that I had pumped put the bottle through there, freak out because I just remember how hard it was to leave when the baby was screaming. But knowing that they are safe, right. They’re safe. And we have to, we have to step away. Like I just, that’s why I connected so much with my member the other day, who was sharing about the colicky baby. Cause it is like the most heart wrenching thing to step away from a child when they’re screaming and, and we have to, right. Like we have to in order to get that quality special time in that break, it’s just, it’s just so complex, you know, and

It is, it is, it is. And I would, you know, I would, I’m, I’m a big advocate for, you know, if you can, at least those first few months, not have anything else on your calendar, but snuggle and cuddle with your children. You know, I know that modern day, unfortunately, you know, and especially here in this country, we don’t have much maternity leave or paternity leave and, and, and it’s really doing a disservice to families because those first, you know, those first two months are really critical for us to, first of all, you know, get, get better, like get over the whole pregnancy and birthing and also just have the time to connect and to, to, to, you know, become the mother of one child and then two children and then three children, like every time it’s a, it’s a moment of adaptation and I think we need to give ourselves the time to do so.

And, and, and it’s sad that, you know, time has become this, this luxury when, when it should be, you know, the, the essential to it.

Yeah. So I love that. Okay, cool. Let’s go tell us the other two, two categories that you were going to go into

The sleeping area. Also, when you are welcoming a newborn, I strongly suggest to share the room as soon as you possibly can. This will alleviate a lot, a lot of the jealousy that our older children are imparted with because it’s like, why do, why am I staying in my room by myself? And baby gets to sleep with mom and dad. And that can be really hard. And I know I, I followed this advice with my second. And when I came home from the hospital, he was two days old, old, and I put him directly in his sister’s room and I put my nursing chair in the room.

So, you know, when I would hear him, I would get up and nurse him in the room, those first few nights, literally the two first nights she woke up, but she was reassured that her baby brother was being well taken care of his needs were being met. And then she never ever woke up again. And she could, he could be screaming, bloody murder. She just slept through the night because

That’s cool.

And, and, and they, you know, and they ended up actually sharing a room until she went to middle school and they have a very, very close bond, you know, up until today. Like they talk more, the two of them talk more than they talk to me. And I think that, that was really part of that is really, you know, here is your brother or your sister. And, and so, you know, if you feel with that idea, I really encourage to, to have them share that sleeping area from the very beginning. And it will alleviate a lot of that, that jealousy that, that can rise up.

Oh, that’s cool. So are you saying you had them both in Sissy’s room or did you have them both in your room? Yes.

No. Both in, in both in the sisters room. Yeah.

Ah, that’s so cool. I love it. Yep.

Yeah. And she was in a big bed and, and, and, and I didn’t know about the floor bed right away. So he was in a little crib next to her and, and she was just so happy to be, you know, have her little baby breath right there with her. Like that was, that was, you know, a gift to her and, and she, you know, had very strong maternal instincts from the beginning. So, so it was delightful. I’m not saying that that’s going to be easy for, for everybody, but it’s really, if we, if we prepare them again, if we prepare them, if we empower them from the beginning, I think it can go quite smoothly.

Ah, that’s so cool. I love

That. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. So to go, to go back to the, just the physical home that I was talking about, so we talked about the sleeping area and then the physical care area. So that’s going to be, you know, when, when, when their babies were caring for them and S and such, but that’s going to evolve as their needs evolve, right? Because, because as time goes, this is going to be a self care area where we’re going to learn to get dressed, where we’re going to incorporate the whole, a toilet learning, toilet independence, all of that. And so, again, this is all about trusting the process and empowering our children to be able to do things for themselves.

And here, you know, for me that the, like the whole physical care area is, you know, very early on our child is going to show us signs, you know, and there’s even, you can take it to, to further with the whole elimination communication. And this is where, where that’s going to be established, but, you know, pretty early on a child is going to give you signs that they are no longer interested in being laid down on their back and, and their dire per being changed. You know, I get parents tell me, oh, but they’re fighting, you know, they’re fighting. They don’t want their get their type or change for me. Here is just communication.

They’re just telling you and letting you know, show me something different. Like this is this isn’t working for me anymore. And that’s usually when you can start, you know, introducing a party, you can start maybe changing them, standing up in the bathroom. So on. So there’s a real kind of adaptation with all of these areas. It’s really about understanding what children are communicating to us, what their needs are right now. And so that’s what that whole physical care area that’s going to evolve with time. And then lastly, the, the, to me, a very, very important area from, from the time they are born is what we call the movement area.

And at the beginning, that’s going to look as like a simple, maybe a little futon or a mat on the floor. Preferably if you can, up against a wall where on that wall, you’re going to put a mirror low to the ground, because then you’re going to be able to give them back information about their body scheme, about their body image and such, and, and children are very attracted to, to their image. They don’t quite know that it’s them yet. Like they haven’t made that, that intellectual, you know, understanding yet, but they’re there, they’re attracted to that image that they see.

And so that, that is just beautiful to observe and they are keep it super simple. Like, you know, I advise for, for natural made material, I don’t, you know, I don’t, you know, tell people to buy any plastic battery operated, noise, making toys. And, and you’ll probably thank me for it because they drive you crazy after two days. So, so, and, and the child, the child, you know, we have to remember that they come from a very subdued environment. They, they were in, in, in very subdued light, all, all of the sounds were muffled when they were in utero.

So let’s help them transition with, with ease, with calm, you know, we don’t want to, to overstimulate them, it’s too much for them. So keep it to a minimal, you know, I’m, I’m very much a minimalist when it comes to organizing the nursery and here it’s going to be, you know, it can be just a simple mobile or a plant that they just look under. And then here, what is very, very important is to respect concentration. Concentration is when you know, brain is, is making connections.

When those billions of neurons that they’re born with are, are making connections. It is when they are focused and concentrated. So even if they’re staring at the wall and you’re thinking like, what are they doing? Something’s going on in that brain? And as much as you can, if they’re not hurting themselves or damaging something, never, ever interrupt a child that is concentrating.

Yes. I love that. And would you even say when they’re frustrated, because frustration can be healthy because it can just show that they’re trying to figure it out.

Yes, definitely. You know, I always show this beautiful video of a child, you know, wanting this toy. That’s kind of on the other side of the mat and, and our instinct would be to grab it for them and gave it to them because we’re, we’re interpreting what they’re needing, but the satisfaction action of them getting them and getting it themselves, and that frustration that they have to go through and, and working it through. And, oh, wait, I’m going to twist this way to no, I’m going to twist that way. And finally getting that toy that is what’s in porn. So as long as they’re not hurting themselves or anything, let them be frustrated.

I mean, I think that that’s where we grow is in our frustration. Right?

Yep. I love it. Okay, awesome. So we’ve done sleep, physical care and movement area. And what is the last one?

It’s the feeding area? So the feeding area at the beginning is, again, a kind of adult centered. I want this to be a very relaxing place for you, a very calming place for you. I, you know, I encourage you to keep it free of distractions so that you can really just take a deep breath and enjoy this moment of connection with your child. Even if at the beginning, you feel like you’re doing it 24 hour seven, this too shall pass. Like, you know, this is, this is part of our connection. This is part of giving them that secure attachment.

So try as much as possible to be in a place, make yourself a nice cozy place where you can sit down breastfeed or bottle feed. But this is a moment when you’re really giving the message to the child. I’m here for you. I’m here for your a hundred percent. So, you know, when you’re, when you’re distracted by your phone or your iPad or the TV, you’re not giving them that connection. So I’m not saying, you know, do that all the time, but as much as possible, be conscious of that, because this is really a very important time of the day that, that we’re with them, but I want it to be comfortable for you. So, so make it really cozy, make sure that you have everything at once, reach that you’ve got, you know, water, snack, whatever you need and, and make that enjoyable for the two of you.

And so, again, just like all the other areas, this is going to evolve where when the child is showing interest in solid foods, you know, work we’re in, they’re able to set up on their own. And so, again, this is all about natural development. I don’t, you know, I don’t use any type of contraptions that are going to put them in a sitting position before they’re ready to be in a seating position. You know, I don’t use any type of extra saucers or anything like that because all of those are containers that they can not get themselves in on their own and they get themselves out on their own.

So I really want to emphasize this idea. Yeah. I really want to emphasize this idea of freedom of movement. This is how they’re going to feel empowered because basically, and you probably know this, but the two kind of psychological legs that we, that we, you know, stand on is first is trust in a world. And trust in the world is, is from the very beginning that we are, they’re responding to their needs. We’re feeding them when they’re hungry, we’re changing them when they need to, we’re letting them sleep or letting them concentrate. So they’re, they’re trusting that they have been born in a safe, secure place, but then trust in ourselves is a very important one.

And that is going to happen if we give them the opportunity to discover what they are capable of. So that’s why for me, the movement area is really a simple mat on the floor because they’re slowly going to be able to roll over and eventually set up and, and, and eventually get up and walk. Right. But all that is going to happen naturally. And, and this is universal all children on the planet go through this and the same stages. And we just, again, need to trust the process.

Oh, I wish I would’ve known about you. Oh my gosh. I’m just thinking all the bumbles. We had like 10 extra sauces, 10 bucks.
Like, my children are so yes. And there’s such like there, they have such a strong desire to lead both my kids. My one is a little bit more kind of mellow than my other one, but I can see how this could have benefited them so much, but you live and learn.

Abundance of information these days is just it’s out there. So instead of getting down families, if you’re listening, like I and saying, oh my gosh, I wish I would have had Sean Murray back then. Don’t worry right now is the perfect time to learn that let’s soak up all of this

Well, that’s a great way to just kind of wrap things up. Jeanne- Marie, we could talk to you all day, but tell us if, if listeners do want to learn more about your services and what you do, where can they find you? I’ll make sure I put everything in the show notes page, but how could they learn more and start to implement more and more of what you teach

So my, my website, yourparentingmentor.com is a good place to start. And then of course, like you mentioned my podcast, the artist parenting, I’ve been interviewing other people and sharing a bit. I will admit I I’ve taken a pause these past few months, but we’ll, we’ll get back to it. But yes, mostly, mostly my website and I to have, you know, depending on whether you are wanting to set up that a Montessori nursery, I do have a little free download or one on positive discipline as well. And I do one-on-one mentoring.

I also have a membership community and the parenting school, which is a digital digital course that I do where I’m also mentoring as you’re joining the course. Ah,

Oh, that’s amazing. You have so many incredible resources. And I know I love hanging out on Instagram and I love seeing all your beautiful posts and updates. So families definitely go check out. Jen Murray’s work. You’re doing incredible things in the world. We appreciate you. Thank you for caring so much about kids and families. Generally, it’s been so much fun chatting with you today.

Well, thank you so much, Wendy. And thank you for the beautiful work you do as well

For links and more info about everything we talked about in today’s episode had to freshstartfamilyonline.com/129.

For more information, go to FreshStartFamilyonline.com. Thanks for listening families have a great day.

Alright, families. That’s a wrap. I hope you love today’s episode. As much as I loved recording it for you. I want you to head over right now and save your seat for the free, Fresh Start parenting challenge that starts on June six. This is your chance you guys to come hang out, live with me, ask me questions, learn with me for free. I can not wait to bless you with education and inspiration and motivation on the positive parenting front. It’s going to be such a good week. Remember I only do this twice a year. So again, this is your opportunity to come hang out free with me to learn with me for free to ask me questions, all the things so head on over freshstartfamily,online.com/freechallenge to save your seat.

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