Yum, Yummy, Yuck! Q&A with Amanda Jane Jones

Yum, Yummy, Yuck! Q&A with Amanda Jane Jones

The talented designer behind our latest prints is also a children’s book author and mama of three! Amanda Jane Jones and her husband Cree co-wrote the book Yum Yummy Yuck as their second child began eating sand and all the other things little kids think look appetizing...We asked Amanda about parenthood, staying creative and how she balances the yum and the yuck!

Esembly: What was your favorite food as a kid?
Amanda Jane Jones: Raspberries! and fruity pebbles.
Esembly: What's the most surprising thing one of your kids has eaten?
AJJ: Well, we for sure have a booger eater - I won't name names. Miles loves roasted broccoli, which surprises me and he always requests "trout" after watching Alone (the camping/survival show - not the horror film)
Esembly: What was your inspiration for Yum, Yummy, Yuck?
AJJ: My children and my brothers (when they were little). My brother used to bite lightbulbs! That was originally in the book and our publisher said, "I don't think kids actually eat light bulbs...". My brother is one of a kind I guess! My kids put everything in their mouths. I even caught Jane chewing on a discarded cigarette butt once at the park. Yikes.

Esembly What parenting advice would you give your pre-kid self?
AJJ: Trust your instinct. As a first time parent, I was constantly asking for advice that honestly never quite felt right. As I've matured as a parent, I've learned to listen more to my kids and trust my gut when it comes to their care. I apologize to Jane (my first) all the time, and I tell her thank you for helping me learn how to be a parent. I've never been one before! I also would tell her to relax a bit and try to nap more and exercise. I'm a better parent when I take time to run or workout in the mornings.

Esembly: Now that you've had 3 kids, if you could go back to your pre-kid days—how would you spend a day?
AJJ: I think about this so often! Cree and I laugh at how often we'd say we were so busy....we didn't even know what busy was. ;) It took me 10x longer to finish projects...I guess because I had the time? I've become so much more efficient as a parent! So I guess, I'd tell myself to make sure I schedule some fun in too...take breaks to recharge and it will help you be more productive.

Esembly: How do you find time to be creative? / How do you balance parenthood/being creative?
AJJ: Oh! Good question! Being creative, is so important. I find when I don't make time for it, I start to feel low and not like myself. Being creative and setting aside time to create and make use of that part of your brain is also a part of being a good parent for me. It keeps me in a good mental space. As for how I make time, my husband and I work together at the start of each week and divide up our work time so that we can each accomplish the goals we've set and the deadlines we have. So some weeks look different than others - but we both get a lot of time with our kids, and that's been so wonderful for all of us. We are 100% partners in parenting and I love that. It's a pretty equal split. I also like to plan art projects to do with the kids- one or two a week. We are renovating, so admittedly, those have been far and few between, but hopefully soon we can get back in our rhythm.

Esembly: After your kids go to bed, what's the first thing you do?
AJJ: Oh goodness, well, honestly, I usually pop some popcorn and watch a Netflix show. By 8pm my brain is fried.

Esembly: What's your perspective on environmentalism and parenting?
AJJ: I'm all for it, and it's something that I'm becoming more and more conscious of the longer I parent. We've tried to slowly, bit by bit introduce better habits as a family and I've loved the impact it's had on our waste. We started using Esembly diapers with Wesley for the first time, and I've been amazed (even though we don't use them 100% of the time) by the amount of waste we save. It was also so wonderful to have them on hand when the pandemic hit and diapers were hard to find. I felt to relieved knowing that was something I didn't have to worry about.