Jenna is the single foster-adopt/grandparent to two little boys with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder), ages 3 and 4. She is also the parent to two grown daughters in their twenties. She worked in child welfare for almost 20 years before becoming a foster parent to Liam and Aiden who were born 12 months apart. Both boys were placed with her as newborns which prompted a huge change to her lifestyle and eventually to her career. Unable to maintain full time employment while caring for two toddlers with special needs, Jenna left her career to become a work at home parent (WAHM), starting her first website, 24 Cottonwood Lane, and a small design business that she managed while the boys were at daycare. Realizing the need for supports and resources for parents caring for children with FASD and wanting to support other foster and adoptive parents, Jenna started her second website, FASD Families, in 2015.
Jenna has always loved to travel. When she was a young mother with her first set of children, she was putting herself through university and unable to travel because finances were tight. Once she was established in her career, she realized that while she could probably save some money to travel, it was difficult to take time off of work to do so. Eventually, Jenna and her kids got into the habit of traveling at least once of year, mostly on long distance road trips. When they couldn’t mange that, she took the kids camping. Jenna was younger then 🙂
Once her daughters were grown, Jenna began to travel more often and that included several solo trips. She once flew to Hawaii for a week alone with five days notice because she “got a good deal”. While on that trip to Hawaii, Jenna decided she was going to plan for a year long leave of absence and a round the world trip on her own. A month later, Liam was born and he was placed in her care shortly after that.
Initially, Jenna thought her travel days were over again however, she was able to manage a road trip from Canada to Panama City Beach, Florida with Liam when he was two months old and again for six weeks just before returning to work after an eight month leave of absence to care for the baby. (Panama City Beach is her happy place!)
Aiden was born a few months later and Jenna found herself back at home with another new born. Jenna knew that her travel career was over at that point and stayed home for quite a long time (almost 2 years!) while managing the boys needs and working at her full time social work job in child protection. When the boys were 1 1/2 and 2 1/2, Jenna manged to convince her older daughter to join her on a road trip to their favorite beach once again and the trip was not a complete disaster. With the exception of the toddler who refused to wear pants.
Shortly after that trip, Jenna bought a trailer to camp with the boys on weekends. While she loved renovating the trailer, she realized that she really didn’t enjoy camping as much as she used to.
A year later, Jenna took both boys on a three week road trip to Florida again (she really loves PCB!) and to Alabama to visit family. The trip was a success and she began to feel fairly confident that she could manage traveling with two little boys with special needs on her own.
This site launched from the belief that parenting doesn’t mean the end of traveling. If you’re scared to travel with your kids, worried about how they’ll act at the airport or on the plane, you’re in the right place. Jenna’s scared, too, sometimes. But she still thinks travel and adventure are worth the risk and really believes that traveling with kids is worth it. Traveling Single Mom is unique in that, while there are some amazing family travel blogs, there are few that talk about single parenting on the road. Join Traveling Single Mom and read about great destinations and travel ideas, the ups and downs of traveling with young children, and all sorts of useful tips and resources.