Meet Jamie Anderson-San Miguel

This Twentynine Palms native is the Mother of 2 beautiful rays of sunshine, Annaleigh (2) and Aubrielle (14 months). She is also an English Teacher at Twentynine Palms High School and Copper Mountain College. When she left for college, she knew her little town would call her back home, and it did! Find out why she returned and decided to raise her own family here.

What is your favorite thing about living in Twentynine Palms and why did you decide to raise your own family here?
My favorite thing about living in 29 Palms is that it is 29 Palms! I love how secluded it is. I love that it’s this small town tucked away from all the craziness of city life. I’m at peace here and appreciate the quiet simplicity and wouldn’t trade our starry sky views for city lights. I knew I wanted to raise my family here because I loved growing up here and attribute much of who I am to the experience that this unique place afforded. I love the military faction and how it brings people who have lived all over the world, the diversity in cultures, the family feel of having everyone know your name everywhere you go…I love all of it and I want my kids to grow up with all of those things.

Name 3 things in town you can’t live without…
I definitely couldn’t live without the 29 Palms Inn, Luckie Park and Edchadas! The Inn is our go-to for any special family celebration and a must take for all visiting family and friends. We love being at the park as a family and just enjoying the sunshine, green grass and playground equipment. And lastly, Edchadas because it’s such a meaningful reminder of my childhood and some of my favorite memories.

Tell us about what you do and why you are passionate about it…
I am an English teacher at 29 Palms High School and Copper Mountain College. I love getting to be a small part of student’s lives and helping them on their learning journey. My job gives me a real sense of purpose and fulfillment and even though it sounds cliché, my work doesn’t feel like work most of the time and I am incredibly thankful for that. I’m passionate about all things English and love getting to share my enthusiasm for reading, writing, analyzing and discussing with my students!

What do you love about your job? What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of your profession?
I love that my job allows me to work closely with the future of our world. I love seeing young people grow and achieve and getting to nurture that process. The most difficult aspect of my profession is that not all kids are reachable and there are those cases that can be really heartbreaking. I wish I could save them all. Oh, and definitely all the grading!

Is there something parents should know or you would like to share about teenagers today?
I think overall people need to know that under most circumstances, teenagers get a bad rap and we need to give them more credit and be kinder in our assessment. I hear all the time that “kids have changed” but I truly believe that the issue is everything around kids has changed. From family dynamics, values, interests, priorities….I think we aren’t giving kids a chance and we, as parents, need to shift our focus, do more for our kids and be better for our kids. And I think that the younger we start, the better our teenagers will be grow to be!

How do you balance teaching and being an amazing Mom?
Two words: My Mom. She’s the reason that I am the teacher and the mother that I have always wanted to be. Since I started growing my family, she has job-shared with me which allows me to work part-time so I have more time to spend with my girls. It’s the perfect balance and gives me the opportunity to be fulfilled professionally while also being able to be the present, hands on mom I want to be. I never feel overworked or overwhelmed because of the amazing support system my mom is at work and at home. She is an integral part of our lives and Annaleigh has told us that Grammy is her “other parent” and she truly is. We are all better because of her and we wouldn’t have this amazing quality of life without her!

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you…
I’m a TV star! Lol…I have filmed 3 infomercials for Lifelock and I am their most watched interviewee on YouTube! Being on TV is fun, having my identity stolen—not so much! Watch Jamie’s infomercial here

What’s been your proudest parenting moment so far?
It is so hard to narrow this down to one moment because they are literally my pride and joy in everything they do and all that they are! But one of my proudest moments so far was when Aubrielle got really upset and was crying and when I went to comfort her, she turned to her sister instead. Annaleigh wrapped her up in the biggest hug and consoled her by patting her back, telling her “its okay my little baby girl, I’m right here, I got you” and giving her kisses on her head. Their bond and love for each other makes me so incredibly proud.

What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time?
I think the most difficult age so far is the almost 3 age we are in now. Annaleigh’s favorite phrase is “I don’t know about that momma” and it’s her response to almost everything I say! She questions everything, knows it all, constantly pushes back and is forming very strong opinions. It’s tough to set limits and boundaries while still allowing her the freedom to figure out who she is becoming. Raising a strong young lady is tough! I just remember how fast it all seems to be going by and I know I will miss every part of it and that keeps me balanced and enables me to navigate the more trying times with grace and patience.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another Mom?
The best piece of advice I have gotten is from my mom and that is to be fully present. This can be hard as it is easy to get distracted and even easier to give in to the complete exhaustion that is being a mom so I am always working on this. I try to keep the phone and TV off, save the chores for later and minimize the stressors so that I can give my full attention to every moment. I make a conscious effort to be engaged completely while we are reading, playing, singing and just being. I think it makes all the difference and I know I’m not missing out on anything.

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