Jan Bracamonte is the founder and owner of J. Lauren PR & Marketing, a leading West Coast public relations firm that specializes in luxury and lifestyle brands.
Mom to: Oliver, 7; Jack, 5
Favorite ways to spend family time: My family and I love to travel. Exploring new cities, states and countries has created a strong bond between us that I never would have imagined. Our travel experiences have helped develop independence, self-confidence and curiosity in both kids, and it’s wonderful to see them experience something for the first time.
Your most rewarding motherhood moment: Seeing my kids mimic me in order to comfort or show affection toward one another is the most rewarding thing.
Biggest challenge as a mom: Finding balance. I’m a person who wants to do it all. I have to remind myself to slow down, focus on whatever the priority is and be flexible if what I want to do does not jive with what’s best for my kids.
A mother who inspires you and why: My mom, Lynn, is my ultimate inspiration as a mother. In particular, what she instilled in me is the importance of having fun and finding the positive in a negative situation. Don’t want to eat? Let’s do a taste test and vote on our favorite food. Having a meltdown over a lost toy? Let’s make a treasure map and go on an expedition. At the end of the day, kids just want to be heard, understood and valued, especially in stressful situations. I feel lucky to pass this down to my kids.
Best piece of advice for a new mom: Ditch the mom guilt. As a small-business owner, I was in the early stages of building my company when I had my children. That meant trying to balance mom duties while managing a hectic work schedule, attending client events and traveling. I found it difficult to enjoy the moments away from my kids because I felt guilty for not being with them. It took me a while to realize I instead needed to focus on quality time, which meant putting away my phone when I’m with them, having dedicated play time where they pick what we do and giving each of them special one-on-one time.
Your biggest hope for your children: Happiness. No matter what they do, where they go or how they choose to live their lives, all I want for them is to be truly happy, content and confident in who they are.
How are you celebrating Mother’s Day? My husband, Anthony, always helps make the day extra special with little surprises. The No. 1 gift I ask for every year – sleep. After sleeping in, the boys will make (and clean up!) brunch at home, we’ll spend some family time together, watch a movie and then order takeout for dinner. It’s always low-key, and I don’t have to lift a finger.