PMC Member of the Month {August}

Jennifer Ostermann

Where are you from and how did you come to live in Petaluma?

I’m from Los Angeles and my husband is from Eastern Oregon, and we’d been talking about a move for a while. He got a job here as assistant principal of Casa Grande high, and we just leapt.

What is your son’s name and age, your husband’s name?

Theo is 2 1/2, and my husband is Dan Ostermann

 

When did you and your husband meet and marry?

We met when he was hired to play in my band. He was a freelance trombone player and I was performing in clubs around LA as a singer songwriter. It was love at first sight! We had only been dating 2 weeks when we first starting taking about kids, but it took us eight years to get the courage to do it!

What is your work-life/career/passion outside of motherhood?

I love film and music, and I was able to combine these passions in a career as a film music supervisor and editor. I cut way back on work when I had Theo, and have been working more on indie films and episodic shows (I used to work on mostly studio features). It’s kind of tricky to manage childcare being freelance, since when I’m between jobs I just want to hang with Theo, and most nannies or daycares want consistency! But I’ve found a nanny in Petaluma who is willing to work three days a week at times, and then go down to 1 day, or even be off for a month or so, since she is also freelance it works for her (phew!)

What is your favorite part of raising your child in here?

The PMC! All the playgroup opportunities are amazing. Also, I love the downtown which is super safe and easy to manage with a wee one. And the proximity to the beaches is great!

Do you and your family have any special traditions?

We used to go to San Luis Obispo every year between Christmas and New Year’s, which was an easier trip from LA. Now I think it will might be that we return to LA every October for Theo’s birthday. We have some really special friends in LA, including Theo’s first nanny whom he loves and still talks about so much. She was too important in our lives for those first two years, especially since I had postpartum depression. Also, his best friend Posey, who is only 12 hours apart from him in age! This year for his third birthday we are going to stay at a beautiful old hotel called the Langham Huntington Pasadena and just invite everyone to come there and swim and enjoy the grounds. We’ll also caravan to the Descanso Gardens, one of several large botanical gardens in the Pasadena area (where we used to live). We had a membership there and used to go at least a couple times a week.

Do you have extended family nearby?

Just my sis and her family who live in San Jose. It’s great being closer to her! Everyone else is far… Illinois and Oregon.

What do you find most rewarding about being in the PMC?

Being able to share the good and the bad! I recent saw a Facebook post that said simply, “I want to punch my three- year-old in the face. Just sayin’.” The freedom to say that, and be able to know that moms will get it and just laugh and vent is priceless!

What is your ideal date night?

Probably Theo with a babysitter AND some other kids, so I know he’s having a blast and I can go on my date with minimal guilt! And then it would be super simple, a movie and dinner is just such a luxury!

Do you have a favorite movie/band/book?

I’ve always had a hard time with this question my whole life! No favorites I guess, but I love tearjerkers across all three categories! I’m reading a lot of Pema Chodron right now. She’s a Buddhist nun and she writes about “just being” in a million different ways – funny, tough, cerebral from every angle basically. She’s very warm and funny – an excellent teacher. It’s about how we can be on the path of being awake.

Do you prefer to be outdoors or indoors?

Outside! But I end up inside a lot out of habit. I grew up inside, in malls, etc. I think my parents were outside a lot in ways that felt unpleasant to them growing up, being poor and working their tails off, so by the time they had my sister and I, it was all about air conditioning and keeping things super clean and predictable.

What makes you laugh?

My husband, Theo, Dave Chappelle,

What do you think has changed the most about yourself since becoming a Mom?

I’m more self-reflective, aware of my neurosis. I started
a serious meditation practice when I had postpartum depression and it’s completely changed how I respond to everything, and I’m grateful for the experience even though it was the darkest year of my life.

If you could change or enhance any part of our community what would it be and why?

More sushi!