#TIFM – Interview with Jenna Gine

Brent

Welcome to season two of the Intentional Family Moment where the co-founders of Coriaria interview a variety of families seeking to live an intentional family life. This episode is sponsored by My Mindful Mat – your intentional parenting tool. Find out more at MyMindfulMat.com.

On this episode, we speak with Jenna Gines, founder of Jack’s Play Cafe, about how her family focus and her son’s different ability became the springboard to an upcoming, family centered play cafe, where all will be welcome.

Michelle

So the first question we have for you is: What is your family’s story?

Jenna

I met my husband in Alabama. We were both serving missions for our church. He got home in January. I got home in February, and then we kind of just started hanging out and it went from there. So we got married in August of 2010. We went to Utah State University in Logan, Utah. We resided there for a while and started our family. And so we have a five year old, Lincoln. Jackson is our second, and he was our surprise baby. They’re 17 months apart, and then we have little sister who is going to be two. So 5, 4, 2 are the baby’s Lincoln, Jackson, and Kennedy.

Brent

Cool. We’ve talked about Jack’s Play Cafe in the past. What is Jack’s Play Cafe? And how did you get the idea for it?

Jenna

Yeah. So, Jackson, my middle baby, he’s going to be four. He uses a wheelchair, and he has an undiagnosed genetic disorder. So we don’t even we don’t even know the cause or why his body works differently. I took my babies to the park and we were walking around. My other two were running around and I could tell that Jackson was getting really frustrated, and I could tell he wanted to play with them, so I was pushing him around trying to find something he could do. I was grabbing the ropes like, Look, Jackson, this is cool, you know? And he wasn’t having it, so I just kept pushing around and and it just broke my heart that there was nothing that my son could do, you know, in or out of his wheelchair, there was yeah, nothing. And so I guess my heart was little fired to build a place just for him and everyone like him. And so that’s and it kind of evolved and it became Jack’s Play Cafe. So it will be a place where everyone can come, no matter their abilities.

Parents can come bring their child or Children to play in an enclosed play area. It’ll be with wheelchair accessible. You walk, crawl, run – whatever it is everyone will be able to play.

Jenna & Family

Michelle

What has kept you moving and motivated? I’m sure it’s not easy to balance creating this new business as well as taking care of your your three babies at home.

Jenna

My huge why is Jackson. Just having this space where he can play with his brother and sister. We were in North Carolina for the summer, like I mentioned, and that’s when I went to my first play Cafe. I experienced a play cafe for the first time. I put Jackson down and the other two were playing, and then I went and sat down at the table, and this is just a little one. I could sit there and just take a minute and all my children are playing, they were all having fun, all included, And that just that keeps me going. I want a place right where I can take Jackson and he can play and he can make new friends. I want a place that the mom down the street with her baby can come and take a break and get out of the house and sit down for a minute and her child can play and have fun with new toys and imaginative play. For the dad that just wants to get in the house or for the mom that also has a child in a wheelchair, the whole thing just keeps me going, and I just can’t wait to provide this for a community.

Michelle

So how has your marriage played a role in this entrepreneurial endeavor?

Jenna

Both my husband and I are both entrepreneurs, and he recently started his pest control company. It’s kind of crazy timing because we’re both starting her businesses. We get each other and we we get it, we get the work, we get it, but we just get it because we both are.

Michelle

And so basically, you’re both both on an entrepreneurial path that moment.

Jenna

Yes.

Michelle

And so how what ways have you found to support each other?

Jenna

So I think just communication is huge. Talking with each other and being open, because it’s hard as a mom when I have my babies. But I have work stuff I want to do! And obviously so does he. Keeping the communication open and finding time for, you know, work and family and his work and my work. And so, yeah, and he’s been super supportive from day one, I’ve always been super supportive of his endeavors and what he wants to do. That makes a huge difference in a marriage when you can support each other, no matter what it is, even if you know you necessarily maybe don’t love it, but you have to put your spouse first, and their wants and needs and what sets their heart on fire. Being supportive of them is can make a huge difference in their success as well.

Michelle

That’s very cool. In what ways have you found to make sure that you do prioritize both your marriage and your family, and that it doesn’t get buried underneath those those business and endeavors.

Jenna & Family at Jack’s Play Cafe Carnival Fundrasier – Picture Credit: Jack’s Play Cafe

Jenna

So, the greatest showman, I’m sure, you guys have seen it, I love that show and his story and how you can get so wrapped up in work and being an entrepreneur. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in that side of life. And you think, “Well, I’m doing it now so that I can be with my kids and my family later, right? Or I can retire.” But I don’t think that’s ever the case, though. It is a huge priority to me to find the balance at all times – Starting a business, in the middle of the business, when you reach the success point that you want to in the business, because family matters and family comes first.

That song in the greatest showman – he’s going, going, going and you know she’s like, “When is it enough?” He misses the dance recital and he’s not there for things. And then finally, he realizes, from now on, I will be there. I’m gonna be a family man. It’s important to have that perspective from the beginning. That family is the most important, that your marriage is the most important, and that our relationships. That’s why we’re here. That’s what matters. And all this other stuff is great and it’s good. It could be amazing for multiple reasons, but that you have to have that perspective to put the family and marriage and everything first.

Brent

Last question. What does it mean to you to be an intentional family?

Jenna

Being intentional, I feel like is so important in every aspect of our lives because you have to be intentional to make things happen or to reach your goals. Anything you want, you have to be intentional. So to be intentional as a family, I love specific family time specific routines that we do! Before bed we always sing songs when we’re getting our pajamas on, we always go over scriptures and say our prayer. Being intentional about things makes a huge difference.

Brent

There anything you’d like to plug on your side of things?

Jenna

Sure. So if people want to follow me, I love to connect with people – Especially different needs mamas, any mamas, parents. I would love to. My instagram is JennaGines. Jack’s Play Cafe has an instagram also. Instagram and Facebook are the main ones. I do lots of stories on Instagram, so yeah, come find me. I’d love to connect.

Brent

We’d like to think Jenna for joining us on this episode of the Intentional Family Moment. This week we challenge our listeners to be intentionally inclusive of others. Join us next time on the Intentional Family Moment.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Covid-19 Family Takeaways (10 inspiring takeaways) - Coriaria

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *