“It is ridiculous that we’re holding absurd public standards for what we expect parents to be versus treating it like it is.” -Jay Rooke
“Parenting is about rewiring your own brain.” -Heather Campbell
If there is one word that would describe your parenting journey, what would it be?
Parenting is probably one of the most challenging but fulfilling journeys you can take. Raising little versions of yourself to be responsible, happy adults gives the most valuable rewards. Although, the journey itself can be full of moments where you go, “What did I get myself into?!”– that expression coming with both a question mark and an exclamation mark, probably accompanied by a facepalm. And yes, parenting will really challenge your sanity. That’s one thing people wish they knew before they decided they want to experience the joys of parenthood.
But hey! Here you are! Your love for your children is incomparable and we know that you are doing the best you can every single day. And we also know that some of you are feeling the burnout and are suffering in silence.
So, here’s a holiday treat for parents out there! The Gonzo Parenting community launches a new podcast where you can hear parenting stories, tips, and hacks from real-life parents and experts who understand the chaos of modern parenting.
This podcast will peel every layer of parenting there is and expose the raw side of parenthood, including scenarios that are not openly talked about, the hardest parts of parenting, unlocking the things you wish you knew before diving in, and walking in your own personal development to become the best parents you can be.
This podcast is hosted by Jay Rooke, the unlikely guide and mastermind behind Gonzo Parenting. As a father to a twin, Jay has met with the various “trials and tribulations” of modern-day parenting, which allowed him to discover more about himself and what else he can accomplish. The lessons he learned and the experiences he earned has now evolved into a perfect platform for parents like him who are navigating the path of Gonzo parenting one step at a time.
In this episode, The Legal Website Warrior® creator Heather Campbell interviews Jay on the origin of the term “Gonzo Parenting”, what the logo for it symbolizes, the backstory of how it came to be, and the pillars of the Gonzo experience. Jay and Heather also talk about their own share of crazy, messy, and funny parenting stories you will probably relate to.
Tune in every week for raw and relatable stories, parenting hacks, and expert advice on embracing the chaos and comedy of parenting.
And make sure to join the Gonzo Parenting Community, where you can connect with fellow Gonzo parents!
Join the Gonzo Parenting Community Finding Comedy in the Chaos
- 02:59 The Crazy Life of a Parentpreneur
- 10:14 The Hardest Part of Parenting
- 15:06 What Modern Parents Need
- 17:58 What is Gonzo Parenting?
- 22:20 The Unlikely Guide
- 26:12 The Origin of the Name and Logo
- 31:43 The Pillar of the Gonzo Experience
- 35:23 What’s Next in Gonzo Parenting
- 41:06 Parenting Never Gets Easy
- Guts, Grits, and Great Business Podcast: Out with the Old and Creating Your Own Modern Method with Jay Rooke
Meet Our Guest:
Heather Pearce Campbell is a warrior mama, nature lover, and dedicated attorney and legal coach for world-changing entrepreneurs. Based in Seattle, she is mom to two little, wild munchkins, and founder of Pearce Law PLLC, home to her legal practice. She is also the creator of The Legal Website Warrior®, an online business that provides brand protection, legal education and support to information entrepreneurs (experts, coaches, consultants, online educators, speakers & authors) around the U.S. and the world.
She hoards information, paper, and books while secretly dreaming of becoming a minimalist, and relishes an occasional rare night with her hubby when the kiddos are miraculously asleep and she can soak up HGTV without guilt.
Connect with Pearce Law PLLC:
Connect with The Legal Website Warrior:
- 06:11 “There’s nothing I would change about our parenting journey. We learn a lot about ourselves in the parenting process.” -Heather Campbell
- 15:43 “It requires a lot of intentionality to build in things like friend time or one evening a week into yourself.” -Heather Campbell
- 17:31 “Parenting is about rewiring your own brain.” -Heather Campbell
- 18:52 “It is ridiculous that we’re holding absurd public standards for what we expect parents to be versus treating it like it is.” -Jay Rooke
- 24:18 “When things stay hidden, including things that we’re struggling with, we don’t have an opportunity to come together for each other.” -Heather Campbell
- 26:31 “Our business and our kids teach us so much about ourselves that we didn’t necessarily know or understand.” -Jay Rooke
- 27:28 “When you start arguing with a child, it becomes extra difficult because you realize you’re arguing with a smaller version of yourself!” -Jay Rooke
- 30:43 “If we think about how messed up everything in the world is… if we can get the parenting side down, we can help with the happier, healthier kids side of things.” -Jay Rooke
- 32:29 “Laughter isn’t just cheap comedy. It’s actually healing.” -Jay Rooke
- 33:21 “We let our guard down more when we’re laughing; we’re more real and vulnerable when we’re laughing, which gets us closer to the heart of where we’re truly at.” -Jay Rooke
- 34:47 “When you can infuse humor, it’s like this little dose of accidental healing.” -Heather Campbell
Jay Rooke: Welcome to the Gonzo Parenting Origin Story episode. I am your host, Jay Rooke, and the founder of gonzoparenting.com. Father to six year old boy, girl twins, and wanted to welcome you to the podcast. In today’s episode, what we’re going to do is just talk about the origin of Gonzo Parenting, the brand kind of where this all started with the cultures, etc. Future episodes, what we’ll do is have roundtable conversations with parents that are going to be followed by conversations with parenting or personal development experts. But today, we’ve got Heather Campbell who I’m super excited about. Heather, welcome to the show.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Thank you, Jay. So happy to be here.
Jay Rooke: I’m stoked you’re here. So we’re very excited to have Heather here because Heather followed the whole progression of Gonzo Parenting. We’re gonna flip roles here, and I’m going to be the one getting interviewed for today’s episode. And so what we’ll chat about is everything related to the origin of Gonzo Parenting. But first, I would love to give a little context for Heather. One of the things that I love about Heather and why I think she’s perfect for the role is she’s a fellow parentpreneur. She’s got her own legal practice that we’ll go into depth about in a little bit. And we both watched our businesses evolve over the years with having littles, and all of the challenges that come with that. And she’s a fellow attorney. She helped with some of the contract of the Gonzo Parenting, and she also has a podcast called Guts, Grit and Great Business. And I got to be a guest on episode 66, and we talked about how to find your own method for entrepreneurship. I’m really happy to hear from Heather, and I’m very grateful for you.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Oh, thank you, Jay. It’s so good to be here. I’ve been looking forward to this because I know we’ve had to reschedule a few times. But I’m like, there’s nothing I love talking about more seriously, especially with somebody who gets it. Then the madness of trying to be an entrepreneur and a parent of crazy little people at the same time.
Jay Rooke: It’s really funny, because I go back and forth. Part of me is like, I couldn’t picture ever working in corporate because you have no control of your schedule. And there’s all the challenges that come with that. And then I hop over the entrepreneurial side of things. I’m saying, well, wait, this is almost even harder because we got to build it, drive it and execute it. But we do get that flexibility, and everything that comes with running our own business, which I do think helps with some of the, let’s call it volatility and inconsistency of raising children and running a business.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Oh, my heavens. So there’s that terrible quote, entrepreneurs are the rare breed that work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40.
Jay Rooke: Right, totally for somebody else. Exactly.
Heather Pearce Campbell: And then you add parenting on top of that. It’s like, oh, my gosh, the days that never end.
Jay Rooke: There’s also the unintended consequences. So as an example, I grew up in a family where lots of public servants, and that zeitgeist and mindset, and not as much entrepreneurially. And one of the things that I always take for granted is the value of modeling for our children and how observant they are. And so my son the other day started talking about this entrepreneurial concept that he had, and it’s like, alright, Dad, we’re gonna buy these for this price, and then sell them for that. And then I know all the kids here that know the kids there, like, oh, this is fascinating. You’re more entrepreneurially advanced at six than I was at 30. And seeing what kids pick up.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Connecting all the dots. Yeah, it is fascinating. When you watch your children start to pay attention to some of those concepts, like my son who is way into rocks, like there are kids that are into rocks, and then there are kids that like our way into rocks. He’s one of the way into rocks. We took a trip to Montana a year or two ago, and we had been collecting rocks all along the trip because that’s what we do. And we came across a gem shop, a rock shop downtown. No, no, no. Where was it? Missoula. And his light bulb, that little light bulb went on so fast like, wait? You can sell rocks? Anyways, the rest of the trip was all about how we could sell the rocks that he had been, anyways, it was hilarious, but it was an opportunity. Like he literally set up shop in whatever hotel we were staying in, like down in the lobby, little sign, little pile of rocks. The prettiest ones. It was hilarious. And it was a good little lesson in entrepreneurship. We got to talk about why his marketing was either working or not working, and what to do about it, and the pricing, and it was so fun.
Jay Rooke: So cool. Well, how about this, tell us a little bit about yourself, and your kids, and their ages, and kind of your journey. Give our listeners some context about you?
Heather Pearce Campbell: Totally. So we’re based up in Seattle, our journey to parenthood was not the easiest so I’m pretty open about it. It took us seven years, seven pregnancies, lots of heartache. I joke that we’ve got our million dollar babies here, right there. They’re no longer babies. Aiden just turned nine, and my daughter Henley just turned four. So little peanuts, but busy as all get out like rambunctious, intelligent kids are. And the journey itself has been challenging to say the least. There’s nothing I would change about our parenting journey. And obviously, we learn a lot about ourselves in the parenting process. But Mr. Aiden came with some special needs and some behavioral challenges that started young that made him being able to participate in public school very challenging. So we have faced all kinds of twists and turns, and constant learning throughout the journey. And then by the time he finally was able to be in school, basically full time as a five years old, full time for the school program, kindergarten, I had my daughter so I primarily have been a mom, first. Entrepreneur second. But like we’re talking naps evenings, weekends, like every other waking hour that I have not been parenting, I’ve been the entrepreneur.
Jay Rooke: I remember chatting with you during the pandemic and talking about how you would take evening times to catch up on work and whatnot, and how dedicated you were to continue to grow in your practice, it just hits me as we chatted before this episode began about some of the challenges of parents right now and you throw in things like special needs, and the pandemic, and entrepreneurship. And oh, boy, are we in for a ride?
Heather Pearce Campbell: Right. Yeah, right is an understatement.
Jay Rooke: Well, in keeping with the theme of the brand, do you have any particular Gonzo Parenting story that comes to mind for you.
Heather Pearce Campbell: My gosh, where do I begin? So there are a couple of really funny ones. So when Aiden was three and are pretty short, but when Aiden was three, I was having one of those mom moments where I’m like, okay, where’s the rubber room? I need like for myself, I needed myself to be locked in a rubber room. And instead, I took him to his little bedroom. And at that point, we had turned the doorknob around so that it could lock from the outside. Yeah, I know, parents with really challenged children everywhere nodding their heads. So I just needed literally like five minutes, 10 minutes to just catch my breath and decompress. We were just having one of those days. I tell him that he just needs to play, hang out for a few minutes. Mommy just needs to, I don’t know what I told him probably to go the bathroom, or breathe, or something. So I go upstairs, and I am not even kidding. Like one minute later, I hear a little voice. I’m like, where is that coming from? Outside. And let’s be clear that Aiden’s bedroom at the time was in the basement of our house, the windows are high up the walls and there’s nothing that would support him in climbing that wall to get up to that window. Oh, that’s exactly what he had done. Climbed the wall as a three year old, broken out of the window, like push the screen out of the window, figured out how to open it all of the above. And he was just outside playing, happy as a clam. Like, nice try mom. Yeah.
Jay Rooke: I love this straight up jailbreak of like trying to lock him in his own room, and then he escapes and goes outside like this, it’s quality.
Heather Pearce Campbell: In like one minute, and then he’s talking to himself. Moments after moments like that were for parents that just have a hard time getting a single moment. We know the intensity of certain kids is higher than others, and my son tends to be in that camp. But we’ve had several versions of that story where it’s like, there’s just nothing I can do to contain this child even when I literally just need like five minutes of peace and quiet. So yeah, that’s one of those moments.
Jay Rooke: Absolutely, crazy start. How about for yourself, for your own parenting experience, obviously, all of us become parents for the first time, and it is a complete look behind the curtain that we didn’t otherwise have. What’s been the hardest part about parenting and your journey?
Heather Pearce Campbell: The hardest part, honestly has been the loneliness. And the crazy part is saying that as somebody who loves people, I’m an extrovert. I am the person like at any event, I will just like walk up to people and butt myself into their conversation, whether they want it or not. So I’m not afraid of people, and I don’t generally have a hard time talking to people. But the parenting journey, like trying to balance entrepreneurship, parenting a child with challenges and having one of those children that never understood safety rules, never understood a lot of the social norms, never understood things that kept other kids safe, I had to be on top of him whether I wanted to or not. And that made playdates really hard, and park time really, like none of it came easy. And so I would say the overwhelming loneliness and isolation that I have felt trying to parent and trying to do it without the support, truthfully, that I’ve needed.
Jay Rooke: Yes.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Even though I’m not an individual without resources, it’s still really challenging to find the right support. And so yeah, that’s by far been the hardest part.
Jay Rooke: I would double down on that one for myself, and we’ll talk about this in a future episode. I think it’s funny, there’s a mom and dad sort of different journey along that path as well. So like, for most single guys, once one of your buddies has a wife or girlfriend, whatever might be, they get pregnant. It’s like, nope, deadzone.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Adios, see ya.
Jay Rooke: Yeah, totally. After the 15th invite that gets declined, you’re dead news. And then you’re trying to re integrate with his parents and community that you don’t perhaps previously have traction, and then to your point trying to be the responsible parent on the playground that is watching to make sure their kid doesn’t run off in a traffic or fall off the monkey bars on–
Heather Pearce Campbell: Everybody else, right?
Jay Rooke: There you go. So it makes the conversation with other parents during that time. Fairly superficial because we’ve got one eye, one way, and trying to be one spot the other, and it’s a huge challenge. I agree. I’m not sure if you have any extended family locally, but I feel like part of that, yeah. So Heather is shaking down here. So I think what’s interesting, I’ve been chatting with other peers around what’s different now versus when our parents raised us. And I think there’s been more of a moving away to different parts of the country and just extended as life happens and people do. And under estimating the value that having family for those, just that one night off each week, or whatever it might be that’s not a paid babysitter a couple 100 bucks and that whole thing.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Yes. Well, and even for us, if we found a babysitter, it was really hard to keep them. It’d be like one or two experiences with Aiden. I remember one time, a gal that we found, like, she tripped on a towel that was in the hallway, and I’m pretty sure Aiden put it there. Anyways, he was little and he told her that he wished that she had fallen down and died. That was the end of that. She was just not interested in coming back and being tortured by our three year old at the time. And so keeping babysitters has been a real challenge for us.
Anyways, the whole thing, right? Just even when you need support and you try to build it in, actually finding the people that you trust with your child, especially if they have special needs to not just pile on and be one more adverse event in his or her life. Or there was a preschool early on that was a drop in, preschool like you didn’t have to schedule in advance, you could literally drop in the day off. And for me, that was really helpful as I tried to flex my schedule around having certain days with Aiden and other ones when work things would come up. Having some support, he hated it. It was run by these older women that were pretty like rule followers, and he felt terrible. And to this day, he tells me how much he hated that preschool. And he only went there a handful of times. And so speaking of the family element that you just raised, having both my sisters in different cities, one across the state, one in a different state, sort of literally the only two people I trust with my children implicitly.
Jay Rooke: Totally. Get that totally. We’ve had the experience of having a new babysitter, and as we’re walking up the driveway and doing the exchange, you can just see the look on our face when we’re just like, you’re never coming back again, are you?
Heather Pearce Campbell: Twins, I can’t even imagine. I know. It’s a lot.
Jay Rooke: How about this? We’ll do another question or two here, and then we’ll dive in. But is there something that you wish somebody had told you about being a parent before having this occur that would have really changed things for you or you wish you know?
Heather Pearce Campbell: I think one largely depends on your personality whether you would accept the kind of advice that you need. For me, I’ve always been kind of an answer seeker. So if something’s not working, or there’s a challenge or problem like I really want to get to the place of figuring it out and getting support. But I think just understanding how much support is really required in modern times, especially if you are a self employed individual, or you’re somebody that has a demanding job, just balancing those two aspects of life, it requires a lot of intentionality to build things like friend time. Or like you said, building one evening a week into yourself. I remember a couple years after having Aiden, we did that. This was obviously pre pandemic and I’d have a Thursday night to myself, and I’d literally be like, what do I do? I didn’t even know what I was going to do. I would take my journal and like, go to a favorite restaurant, sit and have a glass of wine and journal. That’s all I could think to do. But even that felt like such a reprieve. So one, I think it takes lots of support, being very intentional about the kinds of support that you need, and also very intentional about building in time for yourself, because that’s the first thing for me in my life that goes away and stays.
Jay Rooke: Yeah. That scheduling component you’re talking about is huge. I find I need like a two or three week lead time with kids now. And if I try to start a Monday on a Monday, if you will, that entire week is a disaster, and it’s completely reactive and caught on our heels. Like everything costs more, there’s more friction in the family, all the balls get dropped, the appointments missed, and it ain’t pretty.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Yeah, yeah. The other thing is I think that a lot of us, especially if we’re fairly, I don’t know, for lack of a better word, are aware, like really how aware are any of us. But if you consider yourself to be a fairly aware person, I think we often think like, oh, I’ll have the right instincts around what to do, or how to respond to a certain scenario. And I also wish somebody had said, don’t always trust your instincts, they can be wrong, and often rooted in our own childhood. And so the biggest thing I’ve learned is parenting is really about rewiring your own brain.
Jay Rooke: Hmm. Well said. Yes, I love that. And actually, we’ll talk about that later. That’s gonna be a big theme of the community, how to work and have that deliberate conscious parenting. And personal–
Heather Pearce Campbell: Yeah, I love it. Okay, it is your turn. Yes. Oh, my gosh, I’m so excited. So talk to us first and just tell us what Gonzo Parenting is?
Jay Rooke: Yes. So Gonzo Parenting kinda was born out of the tail end of the pandemic, but had a little bit of a run up for the years leading up to that. And it’s a community of catharsis, comedy and connection. We’re basically trying to shoe modern, or rather perfect parenting and come out of this with a sense of, let your hair down, come as you are and start talking about what this really is. And for me, I was just astounded at how much harder it was than I anticipated. And what I noticed more and more of that as I paid attention during the parenting journey was, how many other parents were silently suffering? And it wasn’t cool for whatever reason they thought because they didn’t want to look like they were quitting on parenting, or were overwhelmed, or whatever it might be, but would privately message, I’m so overwhelmed, or this is so hard, or I would do anything for some time off right now. And I thought it was kind of ridiculous that we’re holding just absurd public standards for what we expect parents to be versus treating it like it is.
And so what I wanted to do was flip the script on that. I wanted to lead with humor and my own, just straight up on the insanity of parenting, and how utterly crazy just about every aspect of it, especially through the littles, and then again in the teenage years. But to create a container where folks can come on filter, describe what’s going on, laugh about, gets support from other parents and peers that have similar values and mindedness, and get a sense of connection so that we’re able to laugh and navigate like water going down a river over rocks through the parenting journey versus more of that rank and file conflict that we might see otherwise, and torturing both ourselves and our kids along the way. And so how do we create a spot where parents can be happy. And so it’s focusing more on the parental side of the journey with the hope that if we get that right, it eases the childbearing side of the journey.
Heather Pearce Campbell: I have another question for you. But first, I want to speak to your point of silently suffering. I think there’s so much shame that goes along with parenting. One quick story is when my son was two, two years old. He’s very verbal early. He’d heard me say the word, can I swear on this?
Jay Rooke: Yes, you can.
Heather Pearce Campbell: You say the word. Damn it, I dropped this big pasta bowl, it was a glass bowl that like shattered and it was like full of pasta. When our dinner, this massive glass bowl, well, then the space of a couple days, my husband burned himself on the stove pretty badly and dropped the F bomb. And so after this, connecting the dots on both of those experiences where mom and dad were mad, and Aiden would say, fuck, damn it. Every time he got mad for probably several years. fuck, damn it. We were not actually F bombers in our house as a general rule. And that one time, he could hear a word one time and say it. But in preschool, do you know how many people appreciate a two or three year old saying F, damn it every time they’re frustrated? They don’t appreciate it. I’ll just tell you, they don’t appreciate it.
Jay Rooke: I thought you were gonna surprise me. Oh, wow, that was appreciate. I would have felt the opposite.
Heather Pearce Campbell: I wish it was like some comedic relief for all involved. It’s not.
Jay Rooke: Somebody already woke like montessori approach. Okay, yes, we’re away.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Oh, my gosh. Well, I will just say that I really quickly had to let go of the feeling of shame and embarrassment around certain behaviors and things that I literally had no control over with my child. And people could pass judgment all day long. And how often do we feel judged as parents by our own siblings, by our own family, by other people that might witness a certain interaction. And anyways, I just for one appreciate the fact that you have this mission of creating a community where its parents first, like show up as you are and be real and have a place to feel supported. So I love your backstory.
Jay Rooke: Thanks.
Heather Pearce Campbell: So the next question is, why do you consider yourself, or why are you the unlikely guide to lead a parenting group?
Jay Rooke: So what cracks me up about this process, and I think part of why, when I started to write about, and for those that don’t know me, I started writing, I’m not gonna say prolifically, but quite a bit about the parenting journey during the initial years of having kids. And so I was an only child raised by a single mom. So my house was very quiet. Like if I wanted to play with another kid, it took work, scheduling and that type of things. So I was used to a very chill and quiet environment. And I also had zero exposure to other kids growing up. So I’m probably not overestimated [inaudible]. I spent 10 hours around children prior to having my own. So when that occurred, coupled with having twins, I was so like flipped on my back around like, oh, my God, what did I get myself into? And I would start to write about the rawness of these things and try to do it from a vulnerable spot where I was sharing what was really going on for me at the time. I think I was doing it more for my own mental health and processing, but it started to resonate with people who would then say, oh, me, too. And how about this? Oh, I’m so happy you said that. And things started to click through. And so I think that unabashed, I have no clue what I’m doing, learning along the way, and this is completely overwhelming and pushes every single button for me, connected with people. And so if it were more of a, if you will, a perfect parenting community, I don’t think these things would be flying as readily. We’d be talking more about parenting hacks and how to make perfect pumpkin cupcakes with organic blah, blah, blah for Halloween and stuff like that.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Well, one, you are a brilliant writer. I’ve read some of the posts that you’re talking about and I responded, I’m sure, to many of them. And yes, I did personally love, and I think it’s so important, really for any of us, whatever the journey, I don’t know, I must share, sometimes an overshare. But the reality is, I feel like when things stay hidden, including things that we’re struggling with, we just don’t have an opportunity to come together for each other even as friends, as one on one friends, as groups, as communities. So that sharing piece I think is huge for other parents to see that, recognize it, and also feel the importance of it.
Jay Rooke: Agreed.
Heather Pearce Campbell: I love that you did that. How did Gonzo Parenting itself come about? So you’ve been doing this writing, how did it evolve into the concept of Gonzo Parenting?
Jay Rooke: Yeah. So what would end up happening is I started to get more and more on these posts. And at the time, I was doing a lot of business coaching and personal development work, and I could write what I thought was my most profound and insightful blog post on either of those two topics. And I get two or three likes, and one would be my mom, and one would be my wife. And I’m like, what’s going on here? But I’d write a post about my kids pulling their diapers off, throwing their poop down the heat register and the whole house smelling like poop. And all of a sudden, 200 likes and 100 comments, and it just continued. And so all of a sudden, I was like, wait a minute? I think we’re on to something here. And as I sat back and kind of went through the pandemic and everything slowed down business wise, I realized that there was an opportunity to plug in both to feed myself and my own growth around this, but also to serve the community and create a platform where others can share their voice and then roll into it from there.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Yeah. Well, knowing your posts and the nature of how they took off like that, it is something to behold how much people resonate with the openness of those stories and the way that you would share them. I’m curious about the logo itself. Talk to us about the process of choosing the name, the brand and creating your logo. How did that all come about?
Jay Rooke: It was super fun. Because going back to the whole unlikely leader on the last person to provide parenting advice, obviously, having never spent any time around kids and only being a few years in, so it became peculiar to me that this was starting to happen. I had so much fun on this journey. I mean, being a business owner and then being a parent, our business and our kids teach us so much about ourselves that we didn’t necessarily know or understand and force us to push through. And I realized how much I love to write, I realized how much I love the creative side of things more than the business side of things. And I was an avid reader of Calvin and Hobbes growing up, and every single comic book that they publish. And ultimately, we named our son after him. If you were to go back and tell myself 30 years ago that someday you’re going to be screaming Calvin, no, over and over again coming out of Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, I would have laughed at him. So the logo and some of the styling came out of Calvin and Hobbes.
And there’s a YouTube video on our channel about the dolly cart story that nails where the logo came about. But essentially, it was a dark day in the pandemic and my kids wanted to ride a furniture dolly down the street, which I was telling them no about, and we’re going back and forth. And as when you start arguing with a child, it becomes extra difficult because you realize that you’re arguing with a smaller version of yourself. And then in my case, there’s two of them that have been bored all day and stuck in the house. And so I think going back to your, can we swear, I think internally, I said, you know what? Fuck it, fine, go ahead. The actual was like, alright, fine. And all of a sudden, we find ourselves riding a furniture dolly down the street and crashing into curbs and other stuff, and they’re laughing and utter glee and delight. And it made me have this aha moment around.
A lot of parenting in my experience thus far has not been in, how do we control and do top down management of the container with a vise grip and the jackboot, but how do we sort of flow and weave with things and surrender to the moment. And I noticed when I do the former is when I get the worst results. And when I do the ladders when I get the best results. It’s a matter of, can I maintain my awareness around? Which mindset I am at the time. And lastly, I’ll wrap up on the Gonzo front. I’m a huge Hunter S. Thompson fan, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was one of my favorite books ever. He sort of coined this term gonzo journalism at the time, which was around reporting from the frontlines. And instead of being an objective journalist and reporting that way, he would actually infuse his own experience of the event with the storytelling of it, which just made it more rich and engaging from there. And I started to realize that that’s what I was doing in my Facebook post and other writings, I was engaging my experience of it and fusing that and so the reality of what happened. And so this the shift from gonzo journalism scans apparently.
Heather Pearce Campbell: There’s so much to love about that. I mean, the way that you describe the contrast of the two approaches to parenting, every parent is like, oh, they know exactly what you mean when you talk about that top down versus being in the flow. And I think it’s really brilliant when we can be in the flow. And I love that image of you guys riding a dolly or a car down the road and slamming into curbs, and just like having it be the best thing ever. Was there an event that finally kicked you into gear around this? What was it that you’re like, okay, that’s it, we’re doing it.
Jay Rooke: I almost liken it to when someone has some talent or whatever it might be that they’re unaware of and they’re doing it like, you gotta do it. You have to do X, Y, Z. And like, no. I don’t see that, I think I should be doing A, B, C. And I just started getting a lot of comments back saying, you need to do this, you need to do more of this. You need to write a book. And what really ended up hitting me was when I started to get personal messages from people that I didn’t know saying, this is what gets me through the day, or I leave my kids twice a day to go in the bathroom and check to see if you’ve posted yet because this is what’s making me laugh. And please keep doing this. And I’ve never really had people cheer me that way around something that was artistic or vocational. And as I sort of debrief, I was like, well, should I do anything? Or is this just all ego fed? What I realized is that there was a real opportunity to help, serve and ease the journey for others in a way that I didn’t see coming for me. And what then hit me was, if we think about how messed up everything in the world is right now, my two senses that’s all born from people that were raised in ways that didn’t know how to get their needs met, navigate emotions and all of them. So I had this sort of last year of epiphany around, if we can get the parenting side down, we can help with the happier, healthier kids side of things.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Hmm. I love that. Yeah, it sounds like it really feels like a calling to you at this point.
Jay Rooke: That 100% well said, yes. Yep. And I haven’t exactly had that before in my professional life. So yeah.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Well, it is something when people reach out to you, especially folks that you don’t know saying, hey, this really makes a difference in my daily life. And I could see how that would absolutely kick into gear. So for folks that are joining the Gonzo experience or thinking about it, tell us a little bit about, what it’s about? What are the pillars of that experience?
Jay Rooke: Love that question. It’s funny how they all came up with seas for us when we started to tinker underneath the hood, and then marketing conversations. Comedy was for most. When we realize all that other stuff that we’re doing exists out there and other forms, but the comedic element was the one that was the most healing.
Heather Pearce Campbell: And the poop down the–
Jay Rooke: Totally, totally. With so many good stories. And that’s the other great part that I want to encourage people to join the community for is because it’s not just my stories, it’s everybody contributing with theirs. And the things that are going on are hilarious. And again, going back to pandemic days, I forget what the show was, but I was not in a good headspace. Spent a couple hours binge watching something on Netflix, I realized how much the laughter really changed me and I was like, oh, wait a minute. Laughter isn’t just cheap comedy, it’s actually healing.
Heather Pearce Campbell: How have you been the tiger guy, the kitty cat, the lady tiger like.
Jay Rooke: Exotic Joe or Joe exotic? The targeting, targeting. That’s what it was.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh, yeah. But I think of laughing, and show, and pandemic, I’m like, wait, isn’t that it? Or are there others?
Jay Rooke: A little phenomena. Yeah, yeah. So that connection with comedy and catharsis and how the two work together, and it’s like healing from the side. One could be upset, anxious, whatever it might be and say, okay, I’m going to do some coaching, or some therapy, or whatever that is, and take it head on. And then there’s also the lateral approach that I think can be more effective, because we let our guard down more when we’re laughing. And we’re more real and vulnerable when we’re laughing, which gets us closer to the heart of where we’re truly at. And then to your point around the isolation community is hands down one of the biggest pillars. And so how do we conquer that so that we’re not feeling that way as parents, and then the final one being consciousness? And one of the things that I really want to help cultivate in Gonzo Parenting, whether from our own vignettes, or experts, or whatever that might be is just as conscious parents about, how do we get more mindful? How do we get more aware? How do we catch ourselves when we’re triggered before we blurt out at the kids, or that whole spectrum of things so that we’re passing down less intergenerational trauma so there’s less for our kids to clean up when they become adults.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Right. Well, I love it. I’m a huge fan of alliteration, so win, win, win all around.
Jay Rooke: You’ve been in the community since its inception, what’s been your experience with the community?
Heather Pearce Campbell: Oh, my gosh. Well, first of all, so much laughing. I will literally laugh out loud at my phone, and my husband’s like, what are you doing? I feel like there are only a few places where that happens. It does, I think, tend to be on topics that are most relevant, most connecting. Like when you can infuse humor, you’re absolutely right that it’s this little dose of accidental healing as well. And I think being able to share funny stories, having a place to go and say this crazy thing happened, I see that from other people as well. It’s just that sense of community around parents who are willing to be open about their experience as a parent is really refreshing.
Jay Rooke: Thank you. I appreciate that. Totally. Thank you.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Yeah, absolutely. So what is next for Gonzo Parenting? Talk to us about your plans for it?
Jay Rooke: Yes. So this is kind of that crossover from. This is just an odd hobby and something I’m goofing around with to, oh, wait, let’s actually turn this into some structure. So here’s what we got going on. We’re just logic. We’re in November 2021 as of this recording. Next month likely to launch the podcast, and really looking forward to getting the podcast going. I’ve been podcasting for several years now, and I think this one’s going to be the most fun and the most entertaining. We’re about two thirds of the way done through the Gonzo Parenting Sanity app, which I think will be a fun add on. We’re officially launching a comic strip, there’s going to be a paid community offering with some additional perks, some low monthly dollar figure per month type of thing like a sandwich, or a beer, or a cup of coffee and have some perks and exclusive content for them. And then about two thirds of the way down through a book, which will probably be late half of 2022.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Please tell me it’s a compilation of all those stories.
Jay Rooke: It mildly is. It’s gonna read slightly like a captain’s log of diary entries of what was going on during the pandemic, and then sort of crossing over to what was actually going on in my own life at the time, and the processing of some of that. A rough working title right now is something like sons becoming fathers, and that whole transitional process that we go through. What I haven’t said yet is a part of, I don’t think I said any one part of the main focus of the inspiration for guidance on parenting is also to say, how do we do the personal development work that we need to do to become the parents we want to become? And so that’ll be a big component of the community is, how do we grow in those ways so that we’re showing up in ways that our children celebrate us? And hopefully, it’s been good numbers.
Heather Pearce Campbell: I love that so much, and I love that the app has sanity somewhere in the title.
Jay Rooke: Yes.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Will open it. Yeah, exactly. Well, I’ve learned this kind of the painful, hard way, but it really does take a community, it takes a village, right?
Jay Rooke: Yeah.
Heather Pearce Campbell: So how can people help in supporting the community, supporting you, just tell us all the ways that people can help.
Jay Rooke: 100%, I would very sincerely ask for anyone’s support, Gonzo Parenting is speaking to you. The only way for this to continue is if we grow it and can figure out how to monetize it. And the better we do that, the more of an impact we can have, and the more parents and kids we can help. So the first thing would be inviting your parent friends and helping to grow that base of the community. And then if we think about it, if you’re a brand that has products or services that speak to the parents community, we’ve got a very curated and engaged community of parents that would be great fits for. So there’s sponsorship opportunities, both for the podcast, affiliate deals. We’re looking for comic strip sponsors and then parent experts for guests that will help us get better at certain topics, whether that’s how to better navigate temper tantrums, or how to deal with unruly teens and win your relationship back, we’ll be having all sorts of featured content like that. And I think the last thing would be whatever gets us in front of a larger parent community. So have another parenting podcast or a parenting brand that we can get in front of, provide some quality content and get them laughing as well. I would love the introduction.
Heather Pearce Campbell: I love that. That’s an amazing list. I mean, so many opportunities right there, and just so fun. I just will have to say that I love having watched this from pre, like before this ever was a thing to where it is now. It’s just so exciting to watch.
Jay Rooke: Thank you. I appreciate that.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Yeah, absolutely. So what else should I be asking you? What else have I missed?
Jay Rooke: I think we’re good. Anything on your end that you think we–
Heather Pearce Campbell: No, I mean, if you’re a parent and you’re listening to this, get in the groove. I know the first thing I did when I joined because I started reading some of the content. And again, it was like, oh, I think I was a little late something. I don’t remember what was happening in my life at the time that you actually launched, and so I was a little after the fact getting in. And then I was pinging my sisters to join. You got to come join, my favorite parents first. And so it was literally the first instinct I had once I saw the content and some of the stuff inside the group.
Jay Rooke: Thank you for that. I appreciate that. And note, where this we launched on Father’s Day of 2020. No, sorry. 2021, 2001.
Heather Pearce Campbell: I was like, no, it wasn’t that one. Yeah, this year.
Jay Rooke: It’s all a blur now. But yeah, so if anyone, join us.
Heather Pearce Campbell: It feels like 189 months ago, right?
Jay Rooke: Exactly, exactly. Well, I want to say thank you so much for taking the opportunity to sit with me today and help me to tell the Gonzo Parenting story, I really appreciate your time and the thoughtful questions that you’ve asked.
Heather Pearce Campbell: I love it. Jay, I’m such a fan. I’m a fan of yours. I’m such a fan of the Gonzo Parenting concept and community. I feel like I don’t want to skip over this when you mentioned it earlier. The fact that you were raised by a single mom and had like 10 hours total of experience with other children before. Like, I’m one of six. We were the kids that people in the neighborhood were like, I don’t think they have any parents or an orphanage. I think it’s an orphanage because we lived outside on the trampoline, and it was right next to a public park. And so we were always in the park. People literally thought we didn’t have parents and we were an orphanage, and because it was us and our friends. So yeah, so like my brain is just kind of exploding over here. The curiosity around having such limited experience with other kids growing up, like I want to hear that story. So I do hope you put that into a future episode.
Jay Rooke: I think that’d be a fun one, and it does. It speaks a ton to it. Because as you said, if you grew up with six siblings or five siblings, you’re like, I understand the lay of the land. This is what happens. And I might think like, what in the hell is wrong with you guys? What are you doing here? Who does that to themselves? Especially those years of what’s called the first three where you’re basically keeping them alive in spite of themselves the entire time. That just blew my mind.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Well, and as an older sibling, so I was the second oldest in my family. There’s one very funny story that pretty much sums up the experience of living with small people in your house. My baby sister at the time, Haley, who was like one and a half, she was toddling. She was an early walker, but she had both pooped and wet her diaper but pulled it off. And so they’re these little poop balls on the ground and she peed. Well, nobody had discovered that yet. She walked over to the dish rag hanging on the stove, and actually pulled it off and wiped up her own pee with a dish rag at like one and a half or two. Put it back on the stove. And what I did is, I was out mowing the lawn or something. I was like 10 feet. Well, I was always the lawn mower growing up. Hot, and I came inside and washed my face in the kitchen sink and grabbed that towel. And yeah, rubbed it all over. And then I was like, wait? So I was the one that ended up piecing together the end like finding her little potty.
And anyway, so I feel in some ways, but I will tell you. I will just tell you, Jay, that having been through the experience with little siblings before and feeling responsible for them and the whole meal deal, I kind of feel like this is round two of my parenting. I still don’t think it makes me any better at it. I will say that you may not be missing out on much. And the other reason why I’m curious about your story, though, is because my husband is an only child, raised largely by a single mom. His growing up experience was living on a farm in the Midwest and talking to animals all day, playing, running around and playing on the farm. Totally different, completely different than mine. So that makes sense. Lot’s of curiosity piqued. I think it’s worthy of a future podcast episode.
Jay Rooke: I appreciate that. Well, how about this, I’m sure, tell us a little bit more about your legal practice, who you work with and how folks can connect with you because you got such good offerings going on the new website that just came out and all that good stuff.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Oh, thank you. I appreciate that. So yeah, I can be found online at legalwebsitewarrior.com. I am an attorney and legal coach. I focus exclusively on serving what I call information entrepreneurs. These are folks in the online space who are coaching, consulting, they’re doing online education, their speakers, their authors, they go by different titles, podcasters, but they’re all about sharing their information and services, usually in a variety of ways. I help them really take care of their business legally speaking and treat their business like a business, everything from setup to contracts, protecting online content, protecting intellectual property. So a lot of attorneys build their practice around a specific practice area. I’ve built my practice around a very specific client.
Jay Rooke: Yes, yeah. And having worked with you before and knowing many other people that have worked with you, I highly encourage folks to reach out, [inaudible] speaking to you. Can’t say enough about the work that you do. And as with any attorney relationship, just having integrity and trust is one of the most crucial building blocks. And so to know that that’s already in place, plus the quality legal expertise is a nice one too.
Heather Pearce Campbell: Thank you. I appreciate that, Jay.
Jay Rooke: Thank you again for your time today. We really appreciate you.
Heather Pearce Campbell: It’s so good to see you. Thanks.
Jay Rooke: Absolutely. Hey, folks, so we’re gonna wrap up here. A reminder, go to gonzoparenting.com, join the free community, hang out with fellow value minded parents. Please listen to the next episode, which is going to be the first official episode of gonzoparenting.com where we’re going to do the parent roundtable followed by an expert. I really hope you guys like our intro and outro. We had a lot of fun creating some of the music and sound effects, and the first episode is going to be all about the parenting rather than during the pandemic and the pain that came from that, and some of the challenges, and what we can do from that now as we come out of that and start to be rebuilt. So with that, thank you for listening. I’m your host Jay Rooke. We’ll catch you on the next episode, and until then, please stay Gonzo.