Thursday, January 9, 2014

Jenny, we couldn’t be happier to be spotlighting you to kickoff our 2014 year, we feel you are such an amazing mother, not to mention role model. Please tell us what it’s like in a typical day in the life of Jenny Eckton?
Thank you for asking me, it’s my pleasure! My day? Well, it varies, but the gist of it is this: wake up at 6 something, help kids get ready for school, and out the door for morning carpool. Once the kids are at school, my day consists of any combination of the following: going to the gym, running errands, writing from home (my job), housework. I pick up my kindergartener mid-day and then have lunch and finish whatever I didn’t get done in the morning. When my older kids get home our afternoon is a mix of homework and music practice before dinner. Some nights I’ll get dinner ready and then my husband takes over for the evening, getting the kids in bed, etc., while I’m at the theater for rehearsal and/or shows. I get home anywhere from 10-midnight.

Who was the person that most inspired you growing up and why?
My best friend’s mom, Sonnie. I always admired how she balanced a busy life with seven kids.

Tell us a few qualities that describe you.
I’m a very loyal person. I like to support my friends in living their dreams, and I hope my kids consider me a source of truth and love.

You have a special passion for dancing, since you were just a little girl. How has following this passion allowed you to carry a message of hope to others?
By sharing how I’ve followed that dream (and my dream of getting back into acting) many people – mainly women, mainly moms – have said that they’ve been inspired to go after one of their long-dormant goals. It’s easy to lose yourself when you become a parent, but I maintain that you don’t have to give up your dreams, you just need to redefine your dreams until they fit into your life. Here is my Ignite presentation from EVO'12, "Evolution of a Dream"

What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone doubting to pursue a dream?
I would advise them to breathe, take a look around, and ask themselves what is really holding them back. A lot of time it’s fear, maybe fear of failure. I would then remind them that they are worthy of their dreams, that their dreams are worthy of their time and effort, and for those who are mothers I would remind them that their pursuit of their dreams is a great way to show their kids the strength of their mother.

If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
I think about this all the time, and I have three answers. My first choice would be to take my family to New York City. In addition to everything else the city has to offer, I’d love for them to play around in Central Park before they get too old to enjoy such a thing. Best city in the world. Only slightly behind that, though, is a family trip to Hawai’i – O’ahu, probably, with time split between the North Shore and Aulani (the Disney resort). Third, I want to take my family to Spain…I’d even live there.

What is the hardest thing you have ever had to overcome, and what advice would you have for other mothers going through the same thing?
The most difficult thing I’ve ever had to endure is the loss of my son Taylor. He was stillborn over 13 years ago. Throughout the years I’ve met and been introduced to many women who have also lost children, and it’s heartbreaking. As for advice, I would just say to those who are enduring such an unimaginable loss: Your pain is real, and you are loved. Everyone mourns and grieves differently. Parents who lose children go through a rollercoaster or emotions over years – years. To those who have a loved one who has lost a child I would say this: please just love them. Please don’t offer a reason, as there is no reason to be found. Suggestions such as, “It’s meant to be,” aren’t helpful. Just show love and help your loved one grieve as they see fit. If they want to talk about their child, stand by and listen. And love. Always love. *Here’s my presentation from Utah’s first ‘Listen To Your Mother Show’ from May 2013.

What are the top 3 things you most hope for your children as they get older?
Oooh, I hope for so much for them. I hope that they will feel love, meaning that I hope they will see their own value and love themselves, and that they will each find someone who loves them and celebrates them for who they are. I hope that they always have open minds, positive attitudes, and generous spirits to enjoy this beautiful world and the people in it. And I hope they find satisfaction and enjoyment in whatever work they choose to pursue, whether they are working in the highest profile corner office building or within the walls of the home they create, that they take pride in their work and never stop learning.

What does Motherhood mean to you?
I wish I had forever to think about this because I feel like answering a question like this is so…final. But I’ll give it a shot. Motherhood is the ultimate sacrifice, and I don’t say that in a martyr-ish way, but that’s what I think. Having a baby makes you a mom, but motherhood is more than that – it’s work and energy and effort and time. When you become a mother your life is no longer your own, it’s split. Like a horcrux, but happy. With each kid you have your life, your soul, your heart is in that many more pieces. The trick is to find happiness in letting go as your kids get older; they become their own people and your heart swells to the point where you feel it’s going to break, but you just love them so much that you realize that your heart isn’t breaking, it’s full. Motherhood is as filling as it is draining, and it’s worth every effort, every sleepless night, every tear, every step back.

What is your number one goal for 2014?
I’ve thought a lot about this, and here’s what I’ve come up with: I want to make the right decisions. That sounds generic, but I just think that there is so much that this world, that this life offers, and many paths are put before us. It’s not even about good paths or bad paths, but many good paths, many good opportunities; I want to make sure that I’m in tune enough with myself and the needs of my family to make the best decisions for all of us.
If you want to get to know Jenny a little better, you can also visit her blog over at


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