This week’s gList interview takes us behind the scenes with Jessica Seinfeld. In addition to being a philanthropist, mother, author, and wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, Jessica is the founder of Baby Buggy, a terrific organization that puts gently used and donated items into the hands of families in need. We love this organization so much, we’ve chosen it as our national charity partner for the Great giggle Give Back. Although we’ve only known Jessica a few short years, we’ve been lucky enough to serve on the Board of Directors of Baby Buggy, and we’ve had the pleasure of watching Jessica in action as she prioritizes giving back, helping those in need, and above all else, encouraging healthy, happy families.
What is your motto?
I have a few. Being my own “Army Of One” is how I’ve always tried to live, but once I turned 40 I’ve moved into a phase of “you get out of life what you put into it.” I’m trying to be the most evolved person I can be in every way possible and I’m always feeding my brain and soul with different experiences and finding new interests. My friends would say my life motto is about being “relentless” (in a good way, I think?!).
What inspires you?
It sounds cliche, but I love to escape to art museums and galleries whenever I can, as well as travel (using good, old fashioned paper maps to find my way around), eat great regional food wherever I go, read smart books, and ride horses. People also inspire me — those with a great work ethic, professionalism, and those who don’t feel the need to overshare. Being discreet sadly seems to be a lost art in our culture. It’s nice to NOT know everything about a person you admire.
What are you currently reading?
“Behind The Beautiful Forevers” by Katherine Boo and “Parenting Without Power Struggles” by Susan Stiffelman.
What’s your favorite city/location/destination?
Almost anywhere in Italy. I love the history, art and food culture there, of course, but most of all I envy the time Italians spend having an afternoon espresso in their favorite local cafe, and just enjoying solitude or in the company of friends. You don’t see people carrying large take-out paper coffee cups on the streets in Italy. I admire and respect the Italian way — that there is no rushing the simple pleasures in life.
Who is your favorite composer, or what is your favorite music genre?
I appreciate many different types of music, it just depends on my mood. I love jazz during dinner, electronica while I cook, classical when I am home alone and need to think, or listening to opera with the volume cranked up really high, as my parents used to do when I was growing up. On Sundays, I love all the programs that run on NPR. But, when I’m driving with my kids, they put on pop and R&B and change the channel 50 times an hour until they can all agree on a song.
What is the favorite baby gift you received?
A beautiful napkin ring. It reminded me early on of the power of having family meals together. I was lucky enough to have them every night as a child, though I didn’t appreciate their impact until I had my own kids. I committed myself to sitting down every night as a family when I received that gift.
What is the baby product you can’t/couldn’t live without?
A hand me down blanket that made the best swaddle blanket I could imagine. It was worn perfectly soft and had just the right amount of stretch by the time it got passed down to my 3rd child. Now that my kids are way out of that stage, I have discovered that you can actually buy ready-made swaddle blankets!
And please complete the following:
…makes me laugh:
My husband, kids and all of my friends… I am blessed to have incredibly funny people in my life.
My proudest moment in parenting is…
When someone tells me they have witnessed my children acting with kindness and generosity, especially when my kids didn’t think anyone they knew was observing them. Knowing our kids can behave as fine human beings when we parents are not around is very gratifying.
Celebrate Earth Day by giving back! Visit your local giggle on Sunday, April 22nd to donate new or gently used baby gear. All donations benefit families in need.