‘Ripped Jeans and Bifocals’ Makes Moms See Life More Clearly
Do you ever feel the need to ask yourself the question, “When did I become so serious?” I do. Sometimes, I catch myself running from errand to errand, stuck in my head, and frenzied to remain on the treadmill I’ve embraced without question and it occurs to me that I’ve barely given myself the luxury of a chuckle that day. It is during these moments when I realize that I must slow my pace down and re-position myself in my life.
It is that awakening that Jill Robbins and her blog Ripped Jeans and Bifocals bring to moms everyday -- the one that comes with a ‘not so’ PG rating, a strong cup of coffee, and the kind of brutal honesty that snaps each of us back to our senses, where we belong.
Her topics and humor span everything from midlife to motherhood, including stories about adoption derived from her own, first-hand, experiences. Admittedly, Jill skews a bit older than most mom bloggers but that is what gives her the fresh perspective her readers crave. As you never stop being a “mommy,” you never stop needing the wisdom of moms who have already trekked through those trenches you are, currently, burying yourself in and trying to climb back out of. Why do you think Jill has those ripped jeans to begin with.
So if you are in need of an injection of ‘funny’ today or grappling with the challenge of keeping perspective, read Jill’s interview below. I guarantee you, you will walk away much calmer, feeling all too normal, and laughing at yourself for your own absurdity.
What is your full name?
Where do you live?
How many children do you have?
If you were asked to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be?
Wordy…which is why it’s hard for me to describe myself in one word!!!! Okay, just kidding. Maybe, "Direct." How’s that?
What is your personal mantra?
Be kind to yourself and others.
Do you believe you have a “life’s purpose?” If so, share it.
To be the happiest person I can be.
Tell us about you and your life.
I have three kids, one husband and one very skittish cat. My oldest daughter is 23 and married. My two youngest are adopted from China. I don’t take myself too seriously…except when I do. I’m very creative, sensitive and solitary and I’d rather read a book than talk to people. I love to travel and try new things. I like to laugh and I find the funny in everyday situations. I’m also super awkward in large groups. I never know what to do with my hands and I always say something that makes no sense.
Finish this sentence, “The best part about being a mom is _____.”
ACK! That’s too hard! Free snuggles and kisses and my kids thinking I’m the coolest is the best part for now…and yes, I realize that’s not going to last for too much longer (my boys are 5 and they still think I’m the shiznet!)
How long have you been blogging for? Do you blog for any group blogs or websites beyond your own?
Ripped Jeans and Bifocals has been online since May 2014. I blogged at “Adding Branches to Our Family Tree” from 2011 to mid-2014. It’s still active on the internet but it’s not very polished…more like an online diary with lots of really weird fonts and formatting! I used to blog for Blunt Moms, which is an awesome collaborative site. My writing regularly appears on Babble and SheKnows.
Share with us the significance of the name of your blog to you. How did you come up with it?
Ripped Jeans and Bifocals represents where I’m at…I’m still sort of hip and cool (maybe only in my own mind, but hey, that’s something, right?) and getting older and having to take off my glasses and squint to read the directions on the package of oatmeal. It came to me while I was running. I wanted to have something that was two words that represented me and captured where I’m at. I think I did a pretty good job.
What is the primary focus of your blog?
Parenting and lifestyle…I have a handful of steady readers who read my blog for the adoption stuff. It’s my space on the internet to write, to rant, to share, to create. It’s my little space I’ve created that makes me happy and makes me truly comfortable.
What makes your blog unique?
I don’t know of any other blogs that are exactly like mine. I’m not your typical mommy blogger because I’m older…like a lot older than most of the mommy blogs. My adoption stories and my midlife/aging stories are a bit of a departure from your typical parenting blog. I’m also a little bit unfiltered…okay, a lot unfiltered. You won’t find the “10 things I love about being a mom” on my blog. Not that I don’t love being a mom. You’d be more likely to find a post called “10 ways to get rid of the boy bathroom smell” except I don’t know how you do that. Do you know? (Try pouring vinegar in the tank and letting it sit for an hour then flush)
Tell us about your blog, including what you hope to accomplish through it.
Unfiltered perspective on motherhood, life and aging. My blog is a vehicle to promote freelancing and, hopefully, it encourages and entertains…and occasionally informs.
Are you a Brand Ambassador and if so, for which companies?
Not yet! I am definitely open to those partnerships, though!
Beyond your blog, do you engage in other social media outlets such as Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc.?
Yes, yes and yes! I also use Facebook and Periscope.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to moms who may be interested in beginning a blog?
Think about your why and take your time. Think about who you want to reach and what your “niche” is. Read other blogs; look at sites that give information about how to blog – two of my favorites are Blog Clarity and Fabulous Blogging. At least, try to go in with some information under your belt. I wrote a “things I wished I would have known before I started” article that gives some perspective on things to look for.
Are you an entrepreneur or professional beyond your blog (and outside of being a mom)? Please share.
I’m a freelancer, published author and speaker. I’m not awkward talking in front of people if I have a purpose. Just at parties – ha! I am the Producer and Director of Listen to Your Mother: San Antonio. I’m putting together a live stage show that will tell stories of motherhood. I’m also starting up a writing and speaking workshop in my community for women who are looking to get more eyes on their writing and their words.
Do you support – either formally or informally – a particular social cause?
No, not formally supporting any cause. There are a lot of great ones out there. I tend to get behind movements that advocate for children and veterans but there are so many people doing great things in the world.
When all is said and done, what is the one thing you hope your loved ones and those who knew you remember about you?
I hope my loved ones can have good memories of me being happy…not being rushed or stressed or buried in work. Happy memories of me doing happy and fun things. I hope I’m remembered for not being an asshole…for being a kind person. I really try hard to just do more good than harm.
No doubt, the only assholes in life are the ones who fail to find humor in it. It is safe to say that Jill will be remembered rather kindly with regards. Her lightening of our loads through the sharing of her own ensures this. I’d suggest adding another responsibility to your ‘to do’ list by making it a point of visiting Ripped Jeans and Bifocals regularly. Classify it as “maintenance” next to tossing random lego pieces away and plunging the toilet -- basic removal of all crap in exchange for room to laugh and breath.