11 Questions with… Jacki Yovanoff
25 Mar 2019
Welcome to “11 Questions with…”. This edition’s guest is Jacki Yovanoff.
11 Questions with… Jacki Yovanoff
1. Elevator pitch… tell us about yourself.
I’m a sex and relationship coach, sexuality educator, freelance writer, parent, partner, advocate for causes I believe in.
2. Your partner… tell us about him.
I live with my nesting partner (a term we use because we live together). He’s an amazing person to travel through life with. He has another partner, as do I. When our casual relationship began to turn more serious, we talked about what we wanted our relationship to look like. We both felt nonmonogamy/polyamory was for us, and we’ve lived our lives that way since the inception of our relationship.
3. Your kids… tell us about them.
My nesting partner and I each brought two kids from our previous marriages into our household. We have a wonderful, blended home with four kids. They’re all amazing, bright, caring, and kind human beings. Both the older kids take part in their schools’ GSAs (gay-straight alliance) and it’s heartwarming to see them carrying the mindset of advocacy with them into their daily lives.
4. Do you have any pets? Tell us about them.
We have four cats, Smaug, Mist, Arwen, and Inigo Meowtoya. Our sweet Gandalf passed away last spring. They all have their own unique personalities and keep our house warm and fuzzy. Between my partner, our four kids, his mom, and these four cats, we have a very full house – even fuller than those tv Tanners (which happens to be my nesting partner’s last name, too).
5. What have been your biggest challenges as a parent?
Navigating the role of stepparent has been an interesting journey. Successfully juggling all aspects of parenting, including discipline, without turning into “the evil stepmother” is like walking a tightrope without a net.
6. If you could pick any career in the world for yourself, what would it be, and why?
Other than lounging poolside and soaking up sun while being independently wealthy? I love teaching and facilitating conversations around sexuality and gender, whether it’s with kids or adults, it’s all fascinating and rewarding. I would love to do more of that.
7. Growing up, who inspired you the most?
My mom. Hands down. She taught me kindness and perseverance, as well as taking life as it comes. The best gift she gave me was being able to watch how she lived her life, and loved her family.
8. How do you balance work life and family life?
It’s hard not to be somewhere and feel as if you shouldn’t also be somewhere else. As much as I want to be there for my kids all the time, I also want to show them it’s important to have their own lives and sense of self. I try to take guilt out of the equation, or at least lessen it, by realizing that I’m modeling for them the kind of life I hope they can lead. Balance, to me, has a lot to do with mindset, rather than where we are physically.
9. What advice would your “current self” give to your “just about to have my first child” self?
Remember to focus on your relationship with your partner, too. It’s easy to lose yourself in the “mom” persona. Remember you are still your own person. You’re more than “someone’s mom”. You can still be a sexual being and a parent. Those two things are not mutually exclusive.
10. Has there been a piece of advice you were given about parenting that really stuck with you?
Best advice is to not listen to advice. There’s going to be a lot thrown at you as a parent. Take what works for you, and chuck the rest. My mom was very reserved in her advice-giving. She helped me learn to trust my gut, and give me the confidence that I could do this parenting thing.
11. What advice would you give to new parents?
Love is the most important thing you can give to your child. Those days are long, but the years are short. You want to spend hours just snuggling with your baby while chilling with Netflix? Do it. Also remember, it’s ok to want and need time to yourself. You want to go see a movie by yourself? Go sit in Starbucks for an hour or three and read? It’s ok to get a babysitter to do something just for you. You don’t need a reason.
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Thanks for reading!
“11 Questions with…” is an on-going feature. I will be interviewing parents with the same 11 questions, who like me, live in the digital world. The goal is to examine different perspectives, advice, challenges, and experiences from how people parent their children, and live a successful work / life / online balance.
With all the challenges of parenting these days, we could all use stories from fellow parents, who may have already gone through a similar experience, or were offered advice that you could use.
If you would like to be interviewed for an upcoming edition, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.