Featuring Jacque Jackson of Shoot & Playdate
Today’s mama is one who wears so many hats and all of them so very well. Once a registered nurse, Jacque Jackson, now devotes her life to her four beautiful children, is a homeschool mama, and is a gifted writer and photographer. Aside from her blog, Jacque wanted to find a way to use her passion for photography and combine it with building a community for mothers. That’s how Shoot & Playdate was born!
Shoot & Playdate is a motherhood community, it’s learning photography in a very laid back and casual way, it’s bringing our children together to do their best “work” of play and best of all it’s exploring our city!
Shoot & Play Date is an opportunity to get to know that camera, how to build the basic skill needed to record your daily life with your family, and take a step away from the green dial. It’s a fun chance to learn what all the buttons mean and how to maximize their use.
This is a mama who truly inspires us through her work and we’re thrilled to give her the spotlight today. Mamas, meet the talented Jacque Jackson!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Katy?
I was born and raised in central Texas in a small town about 30 minutes northeast of Austin called Taylor, there’s a sign somewhere along IH35 that mentions us! I’ve been here for 10 years now (crazy how time flies)!
You’re a mama! How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
I can’t even believe it most days, but I am the MAMA to 4 little people! 2 boys and 2 girls; 6yr old girl, 4 year old boy, 19 month old girl, 5 month old boy!
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in the Katy area?
To be honest, my favorite thing is how much there is to do and experience around town. I love that it only takes a quick car ride to a lot of fun play areas and our favorite stores (Hey, Target!) and
Greatest gift about motherhood and greatest challenge?
The greatest gift of motherhood for me would have to be watching how my children change over time. I am so blessed to be present for everything; seeing them enter into the different phases and witnessing the milestone has to be the most amazing gift!
The greatest challenge for this mama right now is time! I feel like I never have enough time to do all the motherly things, and the homemaking things, and the business owner things. I deeply wish there was a timer that I could push that would let me hold them each for a time without actually having time pass. My youngest two are always sharing my lap and I love it. But then my older two also want a piece of the action. I find myself saying “later” more than I like. But being a memory keeper I realize that later may not always make it here, so I am on a quest to build a better schedule and let some things fall down the list in priority!
Least favorite mom job? (i.e. packing lunches, dishes, bath time, etc.)
My least favorite mom job is likely no surprise. I despise folding laundry so much! Sorting it, putting it in the washer, then moving it to the dryer (after a few forgetful re-washes) are all ok. But the folding! It’s such a commitment to stay in one spot until the last sock is folded and with now 4 children, I have had to develop a new system. I’ll let you know how it goes!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
Erm…I have my first degree in Spanish! A lot of folks have no idea that my nursing degree isn’t my only degree! I studied abroad in college in Valladolid, Spain and spent a summer there learning all the things. So the first time I walked the college stage was to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and minor in English!
Favorite local things to do in Katy/Richmond/Fulshear? (With kiddos or just for mom!)
Oh we are definitely playground people, so seeking out all of the playgrounds throughout Fort Bend has been a super fun experience for us. We also enjoy visiting the different libraries and all the events they host.
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
Before a lot of our food sensitivities hit, I used to do a lot of food prep, but honestly now the best mom hack I can pull is making my kiddos more responsible and in charge of their own laundry. So they bring their clothes for washing and are sort, fold and put away their clothing! This has helped me tremendously as it leaves just the adult and baby clothes that are super easy to fold and put away.
Tell us about Shoot and Play Date!
Shoot & Play Date was one of my gifts from God! I had been really trying to brainstorm ways for me to bring moms together in this incredibly wild, hard and rewarding journey while teaching something meaningful and practical. I was sitting out chatting with a friend about my goals and like God does, every single idea fell clearly and simply into my heart!
It’s a motherhood community, it’s learning photography in a very laid back and casual way, it’s bringing our children together to do their best “work” of play and best of all it’s exploring our city!
We all have that camera purchased or gifted to us when our first kiddo was on their way earthside and so many of us have left it sitting to collect dust as our kids get bigger and bigger.
Shoot & Play Date is an opportunity to get to know that camera to build the basic skill needed to record your daily life with your family and take a step away from the green dial. It’s a fun chance to learn what all the buttons mean and how to maximize their use.
I love to teach and welcome anyone who is interested in learning their dslr camera from the beginner onward to register for a date that looks fun for their family.
All education that flows from me is mom friendly! So as we meet up you are able to get a quick lesson and get on with parenting and enjoying the company of your kids and meeting new moms and discovering the big city of Houston.
My philosophy in learning your camera is that you never know when your children will live a moment for the last time, so get it on camera NOW!
You’re a stay at home mama to 4 kiddos, tell us a bit about your career as a nurse before coming home!
Oh goodness! It feels like so long ago and yet just like yesterday. During my entire working career, I only worked in pediatrics at night! I have taken care of almost every type of pediatric patient except those in the ICU.
My last job was working at Texas Children’s Hospital at the main campus in pediatric cardiology on the intermediate care unit. I was so blessed to meet some really amazing families and have a small hand in helping them during some of their roughest days. The patients that I cared for had some sort of heart defect and or malfunction that made it difficult for their heart to do some or all of its job! I was able to take part in life saving heart transplants and surgeries and witness some pretty interesting cases that really helped me view life in a different way. I saw family life in a different way and really learned a lot about the way I handle hardships in general.
I was definitely that nurse (I worked nights) that you would always find in a patient’s room chatting it up and bonding with families. I really noticed my love for teaching during these long 12 hour night shifts! As much as I could, I would try my hand at overachieving and learning about different procedures or equipment and then become a “super-user” so that I could teach the other nurses. I also went on to snag another board certification to be able to add a few more letters to the end of my name to call myself a board certified pediatric nurse (BSN, RN, CPN)!
You’re a homeschool mama – what’s the biggest blessing in that and biggest challenge?
The biggest blessing in being able to homeschool my children is twofold. Not only do I get to see them “get it” as we learn new things together in our own time but to be at the center of it (outside of God) and help them discover their strengths is so neat. The biggest challenges are definitely the personalities and the days where no one wants to do any table learning – so that’s when I have to get creative and figure out how to turn the lesson into something less pen and paper at the table-like!
Besides your blog and photography business, what are some of your passions outside of motherhood?
I had a bit of a conversation with a friend about a week ago and found that I really do a ton of my life WITH my babies and I actually enjoy it. The things that I desire to do most without them lately are reading and eating!
I’ve grown to love a good charcuterie place and bottle of wine and can 100% see myself getting a hotel room and taking in a good plate and devouring a wonderful book in my biggest sweatshirt, chunky socks and a blanket!
Do you experience mom guilt? If so, how do you deal?
I experience mom guilt ALL OF THE TIME! Mostly because I never feel like I am giving as much attention to each child individually as I would like. What I have started doing a few months back was allowing each kid (especially the older ones) to have their own special time with mama where they stay up later and/or sleep with me on the number date of their birth. For example, my oldest was born on the 27th, so on the 27th of each month we know she will get to stay up and hang out with mama since the other kiddos will be asleep. This was the only solution as there were so many responsibilities for me during the day and it’s entirely too difficult to have a sitter for each of them (22, 24, 27).
How important is it for you to have a passion outside of being a mother?
I have to admit that life with four has been the hardest for me. One through three felt easy so that now I am seeing lots of life lessons. As much as I would like to have a day or two here and there for a reset, I do cherish the time I have with my kids and could really do an even better job of being in the moment with them. I have arranged my businesses so that the promote motherhood and not having to leave kids behind, so maybe the passion for motherhood is greater than having anything outside of that right now. I remind myself all the time how that on the day that I desire a special moment to happen with one or all of the kids is the day that it’s highly possible that they have grown up just enough to where that moment will never occur again.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom you are today?
I don’t know that anyone has influenced me to be the mom that I am today more than it was just a mixture of experiences I did or didn’t have growing up. I think a lot about how God has gifted these babies to me to do a greater work in the world. That thought influences me greatly.
When parenting gets hard, what’s something you tell yourself that gets you through?
Parenting gets hard is an understatement! I am constantly praying and reminding myself that it is my job to be the example of love, kindness and understanding. I also tell myself to pause a lot, think about my reaction and then pause again. It’s not easy but it does help shift perspective and delay some of the impulsive decisions I make in reaction to family life.
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
I would tell the old Jacque before I had kids to take more naps, read more books and dream more. I would remind her that she might just get what she wants and that there is nothing wrong with coloring outside the lines here and there! I’d also tell her to really cherish all the free time she has.
We are all about community, as are you! What does having a mom tribe mean to you?
Mom tribes are soooooo important to me for many reasons. For me they mean a soft place to land full of compassion and understanding. It’s reminding each other of grace. It’s listening and being present for someone else and releasing and resetting for yourself. Mom tribe means teaching and learning and honest discovery. Mom tribe is being honest and accepting and loving because you are here in this place, you’ve been there in that place and you will be next in that space. There is always a mom who can be a helping hand and a mom who needs a helping hand and when there’s a tribe it’s like an being part of an infinity symbol, you will always be one or the other at some point for the rest of your life!