Des Moines Parent Spotlight: Jennifer Thompson
I am so excited to introduce you to Jennifer Thompson! Jennifer and I have known each other for a few years now. She is one of my favorite partners in all thing pregnancy, birth and postpartum. We co-host a monthly postpartum support group together. Not only do we love to team up to offer fun things for Des Moines area moms, but she is also passionate about the health of families and adjusts our family. Learn more about Jennifer, her business Balance Chiropractic & Wellness, and some of the great advice she has for you!
Give us a little background of your family and personal life! How many kids do you have? Have you lived in Des Moines all your life?
I am the mother to 3 beautiful daughters, Emma age 8, Lucy age 5, and Vada age 1. My husband, Brian, and I will be celebrating 10 years of marriage in October.
I moved to Des Moines in early 2008 to open my chiropractic practice, and my husband and I went on our first date one week after I opened my doors.
I’m originally from South Dakota, until my dad’s job brought us to Iowa, with a short couple of years in southern MN. My parents still live in northern Iowa. Des Moines seemed like the perfect place to settle down in and open a business. I love the mix of the small town and big city life that it provides.
What is your business, and what do you do?
I am a family wellness chiropractor with a passion for serving pregnant mamas, babies, and kiddos.
My practice, Balance Chiropractic & Wellness, is located in Windsor Heights, and we will be celebrating 11 years of practice in June! I love what I do, and see how chiropractic can help the entire family achieve greater health through an optimally functioning nervous system and spine.
Why did you become a small business owner?
After I graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic, I practiced in 2 very different chiropractic offices as an associate doctor. While the experiences were incredibly beneficial, I knew that in order to serve my community and practice members the way I truly wanted to, I had to go out and practice for myself. Running a small business isn’t for the faint of heart, but its all worth it to see some of the miracles we see every day!
Where is your favorite place to take your children to play indoors?
My kids love the Indoor Playground for Kids in Ankeny. When my oldest was a little younger, we would visit some of the mall play places as well.
Where is your favorite place to take your children to play outdoors?
Pretty much any park! Currently, though, my oldest two just love to be outside in our neighborhood with friends riding bikes, and running around.
We do love the playground at the zoo, and when school is out, they like to head over to Dean Park in Ankeny or the Prairie Trail Elementary playground.
Parent’s day/night out. Describe your perfect parent only day/night out in Des Moines.
I’ll admit…these can be few and far between these days! My husband and I will meet up for lunch dates, and one of our favorite places to meet is Taco Hangover. On a date night, we like Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse as well. Before kids, we went to a lot of ICubs games. But now, I think anything we can do to have a couple of hours of quiet conversation would be the perfect date day/night for us.
What are some tips on juggling parenthood, working, and personal life?
This is the ever elusive question! My professional mentor talks about creating boundaries within your life in order to truly be able to focus on the most important thing at that particular moment in time. There’s no such thing as “balance” in parenthood, work, personal life, so creating the environment and having the support system around you that allows you to create the time and boundaries for work, home, kids, spouse, and self-care is key.
Creating an “ideal schedule” that you and your family can follow is a great step. By doing this, I know the times that I am focusing on my business and allowing the at home to do list to be set aside for that moment. And vice versa, when I’m at home, focusing on the tasks and time there and with family, and putting a pin in the to-do list for work until its time to turn my attention back.
Making my self-care a priority is also another huge aspect of how I keep things going. Especially fueling my body with good food, and exercise. My gym time is a given, as is my husbands. We work together to create healthy, mostly homemade meals for our family. And we all, of course, get adjusted very regularly!!
Finally – and I would say this has been the #1 for our family – is creating the partnership between my husband and I and how we run our home and our lives. We contribute equally to the household duties, pick up the slack when the other is needing help, and communicating about all aspects of our home and family. He definitely helps keep me sane when it all seems to spin too fast!
What is your number one parenting tip?
Do what’s best for YOUR family!
Because of the access to so much advice online and through social media, we can get overwhelmed by what we “should” do as parents. Take in the advice and information through the lens of how it will realistically work for your family, and tweak it to fit perfectly. It is ok if you don’t adhere 100% to one parenting philosophy. When you find what works, own it, and don’t ever be apologetic or let anyone feel like you aren’t doing it “right”! Only YOU know what’s best for your family.