The news anchor and mom of three talks about work-life balance, family dance parties, and why she wants to be the mom in grass-stained jeans.
Sheinelle Jones, the NBC News Today, Weekend Edition news anchor and mom of three (Kayin, 6, and twins Uche and Clara Josephine, 3), doesn't let an early call-time get in the way of family fun.
P: You need to be at the anchor desk by 7 a.m. on weekends. What is your morning routine?
SJ: I leave the house at 4:30 a.m. If we're cleared of breaking news at work, I come home in time to take the twins to yoga class and Kayin to soccer lessons. Even though I work on the weekend, it's still this sane time where everyone can kind of slow down and hang out as a family. There's no packing lunches or running off to school. It's our playtime.
P: What's your favorite activity to do with your kids?
SJ: Dance parties to Bruno Mars or the Pokémon theme song. We'll plug the phone into the TV so that the video plays on YouTube, and we just dance and have fun. The kids use a hairbrush as the microphone or miniature golf clubs as their guitar, and they just rock out. It's quite the good time. I don't go to the club, but I think our dance parties are probably more fun than at some clubs.
P: Biggest job perk?
SJ: I get to pick the brains of some of the most talented people. I try to incorporate tidbits from every interview into my daily life. We did a segment with a nutritionist about making quick meals on Sundays for the week. I never thought my kids would eat avocado or sautéed kale, but now they love it. I'm also on Today's parenting team, and we blog about things we're going through, from lunches to potty training. It's been really helpful getting advice from people all around the country. I think it makes me a better reporter because I can relate to viewers who are in a similar situation. We're all here to help each other.
P: What have you let go since having kids?
SJ: Cooking dinner every night. If it's 6 p.m. and the kids are hungry, then we'll order pizza and we'll have some carrot sticks on the side. Also, nothing is going to happen if I wake up the next morning and the laundry hasn't been folded. I don't want to be the mom that spends so much time trying to wash the grass stains out of their jeans that I'm not actually in the grass playing with them.
Jones recently posted the above photo to her Instagram account, with the caption, "Love this :-)" (We do, too!)
P: What's your best parenting advice?
Make sure the first thing you say when your kid comes into the room is something positive and loving. It doesn't cost anything and it doesn't add anything to your day as far as your schedule is concerned. If you are positive every time you see them, just think about the cumulative effect that could have on your child.
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Marissa Laliberte is a freelancer for Parents who loves running, baking, and drinking coffee. Follow her on Twitter: @mjlaliberte.