JoAnna Garcia Swisher knows motherhood is a balancing act. “I struggle with it just as much as every mom does. I mean, we’re pulled in so many different directions,” she tells POPSUGAR. Still, she wants all moms to know that they should give themselves credit where credit is due.
“We’re multitasking to the supreme, so I think it’s so important to really just give yourself a little grace and to know that we can’t do everything every day,” she says. “As hard as it may seem when you’re in the heat of the moment, even stepping away for just a few minutes is so important.”
Swisher certainly has a lot going on. She serves as the host of Netflix’s “The Ultimatum: Queer Love,” a spinoff of “The Ultimatum” that focuses on queer couples exclusively, and stars in “Sweet Magnolias,” which is set to release its third season in July. Swisher also has two children: Emerson, born in 2013, and Sailor, who arrived in 2016. She shares them with husband Nick Swisher, whom she married in December 2010.
When it comes to spending time with her kids, Swisher says she loves to teach them how to maneuver their way around the kitchen. “We do a lot of cooking, we play board games, but a lot of our time is spent in the kitchen,” she says. “I love to cook with the girls, and I find that they’re a little bit more adventurous with their eating when they cook it themselves. They see it all; there’s no sneaky anything.”
Swisher partnered with Mrs. T’s Pierogis earlier this year, and she shares the special pierogi recipe she uses to add some extra flair to her kids’ dinners. “Normally, we just air fry them and enjoy them on their own,” Swisher says, but she loves to use “a mix of mozzarella cheese and fresh basil and fresh tomato” along with a bit of pesto to top it off. “It’s so good, so fresh, and the kids love it,” she says.
In addition to teaching them to cook, Swisher also wants to make sure she teaches her girls to never compromise their identities for someone else. “I think what I’ve really tried to do with my girls is just to allow them and to give them space,” she says. “I don’t label them as the athletic one or the funny one or any of that. It’s just really about giving them space to become who they are and to wear all the hats that they want, because now is the time to really explore who you are as you’re growing and taking it all in.”
That ethos aligns well with Swisher’s approach to hosting “The Ultimatum: Queer Love,” a show she calls “so special and important.” “Obviously, there are so many special nuances and complexities to queer relationships,” she says, “which I think are really important to highlight and celebrate and shine light on.”
In addition to wanting to encourage her kids to be themselves no matter what, Swisher wants to show her daughters the importance of taking time to rest and recharge. “It’s always a balancing act,” she says. “It’s so nice to be reminded and inspired to take time for yourself.” She’s also well aware of how quickly her girls’ childhoods are speeding by, and she says she tries to stay “present” with her children when she’s with them. “It does go by fast, but every stage is so beautiful,” Swisher says. “I used to get caught up in missing the baby stage or missing that or missing this and being emotional. I think that will never go away, but knowing that there’s so much to look forward to and watching them grow is one of the greatest joys of my life, so I’m really trying to be present while watching them unfold and blossom.”