Sheinelle Jones, co-host of the Today Show’s third hour and Weekend Today, knows how to multitask. With three young children – a 9-year-old and 6-year-old twins – and a career on a top-rated network morning news program, Jones has learned to be an expert at prioritizing and reveals that balance comes with embracing the chaos.
Relating to J-Lo
As a working mom with a high-profile job, Jones admits that giving her kids the time they need can be a challenge. When Today interviewed superstar Jennifer Lopez on balancing motherhood and career, Jones could relate to what the megastar shared.
“The mom guilt is insane. We just had Jennifer Lopez on the other day and this woman has twins so she’s a fellow mom of multiples, she’s heading out on tour, she has her Las Vegas residency, she’s got this YouTube channel, everybody knows she’s with [Alex Rodriguez]… even she talked about mom guilt,” Jones said, according to SheKnows. “We all feel this guilt and it’s one of those things where if we all took a breath [and ask ourselves]: who is not doing their best? Honestly, are you not doing your best?”
Jones, who has been married to Uche Ojeh since 2007, has learned to put the guilt aside and just breathe. “It’s fine to take a breath. Just give yourself a break – you stressing out and having guilt is not helping anybody,” she advised. “And it’s certainly not helping us physically or emotionally. So if you give yourself a break, you’re giving yourself some extra wiggle room to be a better mom.”
Best routine is no routine
Working in television news makes for a chaotic schedule, so Jones remains flexible rather than rigid when it comes to keeping a routine. “My day is always different… If I’m being honest, my routine is the lack of routine,” she told Parade in August. “I just turned 41 in April and everybody has been teasing me because my joke is that I’ve been really trying to figure out a way to find a routine, even though things are always kind of crazy because in this business you never really know where you’re going to be the next day.”
Geography can sometimes be an issue in her job, where things can get lost in the shuffle. “One day you’re in New York and the next day you’re in Nashville and then the day after that, you’re at your 9-year-old’s soccer tournament,” she revealed. “So in the midst of that, it’s very easy to lose yourself.”
Jones looks at her days as constant, where there is no ‘9-5’ type of structure. “I don’t even have shifts, I have 24-hour non-stop [days]. The only break I have in my schedule is when I’m sleeping,” she said, as reported by SheKnows. “And when I go to sleep at night, it’s because I physically can’t keep my eyes open anymore. There are days when I fall asleep in my clothes and wake up with one lash on. I’m always going, [but] I’m working on slowing down a little bit. The shift never ends.”
Writing it down
The mom of three is testing out a new system of mapping everything out using a visual aid. “We got this big chalkboard and we put it on the wall in our kitchen and it’s like air traffic control. We have all of the kids’ activities on there,” Jones explained. “This one has be at soccer. This one has piano. This one has a birthday party. Mommy’s got to fly to Nashville but she’ll be back in time for dinner.”
So far, Jones sees the written schedule as a success. “We do it the night before and in the morning when we’re up, when everybody sees it, we all know what’s happening,” she shared. “It’s been great because I think when you have kids who are, especially in the school age where everybody has activities, it’s sometimes kind of hard to keep track of it all.”
Watch Jones on the third hour of Today and Weekend Today!