Meet Jacklynn Walters
Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you live? How many kids do you have? Do you work outside of the home? What hobbies do you have?
I am a resident of Shawnee, Ks. My husband, Justin, and I have 4 children, ages 3, 6, 9, and 11. We have been married 15 years. I have been a stay at home mom for the past 10 years, homeschooling 7 of those. Just over the past 2 years I have started serving in a variety of volunteer and community roles. I love going on a long walk outside, reading a good book, baking a batch of rolls, or just relaxing with my family!
What is your favorite thing to do in the Shawnee Area?
My family and I love spending time at the many parks in Shawnee, they have so much to offer to entertain the whole family! We especially love the uniqueness of Erfurt Park and it’s rich heritage connection with our sister city Erfurt, Germany. We also love the new Wilder Bluff Park and their splash pad.
What do you love about being a mom? What is something you dislike about motherhood?
I have always wanted to be a mom, it has truly been one of the greatest joys of my life. I am so honored to be gifted with these precious children and love building a strong relationship with each of them, not one is the same! I love that when joys, tears, laughter, surprises, and heartaches come, they come to me, they know that I am here for them. I don’t take that lightly.
I don’t really have anything I don’t like about being a mom, however, I have discovered that motherhood is very sanctifying for me, probably more so than for my children. Nothing in life has brought out my weaknesses more than being a mom, the good side of that, is that I am then given an opportunity to improve in that area.
What has been the biggest surprise in motherhood?
One of the biggest surprises in motherhood was my desire for community! I am naturally an extrovert, but I had no idea how important the role mom-friends would play in motherhood. Having that friend I can text or call to laugh, cry, listen, and pray with me about the everyday struggles and joys of motherhood. This need has only grown over the years as my kids get older.
What are you passionate about outside of motherhood?
Outside of motherhood I am extremely passionate about food. Before starting a family I loved trying new time consuming, fancy recipes and hosting others in our home. I still love finding new recipes to try on my family, but they are often simple, few ingredients, and quick! We still host other families in our home, it looks different than it used to, but the laughter, good food, and good company make it all the more beautiful!
What is something you wish you would have known before becoming a mom?
I wish I would have known how much I would learn through motherhood, raising children is truly sanctifying. More so sanctifying of me than it is my children. I thought I was patient, gentle, and calm. It turns out these precious little people can push my buttons and sometimes what comes out is not what I expected. I have had to learn that I have to control myself. Take a deep breath, walk away from a mess, or a strong willed child and return when my heart is in the right place. Motherhood has shown me that I am still learning, growing, and can be taught to refine characteristics I thought I had mastered.
How do you practice self care?
As a very busy mom I strive to take care of myself, this has looked very different through the seasons of motherhood. Over the past 2 years I have made a habit of exercising 4-5 days a week, making healthy choices in my diet (with grace to enjoy treats and some of my favorites), and drinking lots of water. I also know that time spent in devotions and prayer at the start of the day really does impact my life as a mom. It helps me prepare myself for the day ahead!
Who has had the biggest influence on you and why?
In my adult life and since having children, the most influential person in my life has been my husband, Justin. He is a man of integrity and self discipline. He knows how to have fun with the kids, give hugs when they don’t even know they need one, and extends grace. He is not perfect, but I could not do life without him. He’s an amazing father, my biggest supporter, and my best friend.
Are you involved in the community outside of motherhood? If so, tell us about it.
I am honored to serve our community as a newly elected City Council member for Ward 4 in the city of Shawnee. It is a new learning curve as I have never served in a political office, but I love it! We live in a great city that offers the comfort of a safe and strong community which is perfect for raising a family. I look forward to being a voice for my neighbors over the next 4 years.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I’m not sure she would be considered a superhero, but it would be amazing to have the ability to snap my fingers like Mary Poppins and have messes picked up and chores done in a SNAP!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the community?
I am the Media Director for Midwest Parent Educators, https://midwesthomeschoolers.org a local homeschool non-profit organization. As a homeschool mom for 7 years I was asked to take on interview requests that MPE received. It opened the door for me to be able to help parents who really felt helpless when their kids were sent home at the beginning of the pandemic. I continue to meet with families who are interested in homeschooling and don’t know where to start.