Jessica Hallbäck

Jessica Hallbäck - being a parent and giving children strength to be themselves

Jessica Hallbäck is an artist, graphic designer, journalist (and more!) and mother of four children aged 2, 3, 13 and 16. Soon the children will be five and I had a chat with Jessica about parenting, being a good role model and talking feelings with the children. To me, Jessica is a fantastic parental role model who has gone her own way and is concerned with lovingly giving her own children the strength to do the same.

Jessica Hallbäck

"It hasn't always been easy to get ahead and not do like everyone else.. not be employed and sit at a desk. I've had a really hard time with that. Make your own way in it and dare to believe that it works, so that you don't have to do like everyone else to exist."

Hi Jessica! Your account on Instagram is so beautiful and inspiring! You look like you're having such a good time. You have four children and one in your belly! The youngest are still quite small, but do you talk a lot about feelings at home?

Yes, we talk a lot about feelings. I remember when my oldest were little, when you started talking about feelings..that they should know that it's not always just one feeling but there are always more feelings, things like that. That you feel several things at the same time - you are not only sad, but perhaps sad and angry or sad and disappointed. I have worked on that a lot and still do. We talk quite a lot about feelings and how it is. My partner and I sometimes have slightly different settings. Maybe I can be a little too much like "oh are you sorry!" but you probably shouldn't always confirm every single feeling.. so they get attention by showing strong feelings.. We discuss it quite a lot, and have tried to meet each other in how to respond..

Find a balancing act there…

Yes, but exactly! It was funny, I actually talked to a therapist about how to behave..I think that as soon as the children show the smallest thing, they may have hit their arm somewhere.. "oh, how did it go?" and my partner does not think that you should pay so much attention to everything that happens. Then that therapist said that we need to find some kind of middle ground, because it's not good to kind of amplify all the feelings all the time, while at the same time you have to validate.

Yes, it can really be difficult! Also a little depending on what you bring with you from home and all that..


Yes, but really, it's really hard! How to deal with your own emotions and have learned to deal with emotions, etc., so it's complex!

You have children of very different ages, has the way you talk about feelings (preschool, school, society at large) changed since the older ones were small, do you think?

Yes, it feels like it started bubbling a little when my older ones were small. That there started to be a few books on the subject and so on. I don't really know what it looked like before the children came, but it felt like it was a bit new back then... And it's being talked about more and more. Also mental illness, that it is connected with it. Getting to know yourself. Mental health needs much more resources! It should be part of the pedagogical training for teachers etc. about mental health and how to deal with different types of people. There is much left to do. But talking feelings at home is a good part of the way!

Yes indeed! I understand that you use the emotion cards at home?

Yes, it becomes a bit like a game too! "What do you look like when you're angry?" or "What do you look like when you're sad?"

Oh how nice! That the older ones communicate with the little ones using the emotion cards!

Yes, it becomes a bit like a game too! "What do you look like when you're angry?" or "What do you look like when you're sad?"

Why do you think it is important to talk about emotions with your children?

I think it's about getting to know yourself and your emotional life and being able to put into words what you feel is important for your well-being.

Jessica Hallbäck

You are expecting a child, do you talk about the children's feelings about having a new sibling?

The youngest doesn't understand anything about it..haha but with the three-year-old we talk a little about it, although it's a little too abstract. We talk about our longing and I think there will probably be a lot of emotions when the baby arrives and then we will talk, because there will probably be a LOT of emotions!

How do you think that a parent can be a good role model for their children?

I've had so many talks now with the elders about high school choices and choosing based on yourself or based on others and that you should be safe with yourself and trust yourself - on your own feelings...

It must be so difficult, the older they get ..

Yes, very difficult..being a teenager is terrible, I thought anyway, and finding your way through it and trusting your own gut feeling... doing what you want and not what you think others want..

Yes, it really belongs to being a good role model, to stand up for it when it might feel like the whole world is shouting something else..

Exactly. I feel this way, I've followed my own path myself and it hasn't always been easy, but then you don't do violence to yourself anyway.

I think that you take a lot of your experiences, what you have done as an artist and other things, with you in your parenting, to stand up for what you believe in! Speaking of being a good role model.

Yes, I do. It hasn't always been easy to get ahead and not do like everyone else.. not be employed and sit at a desk. I've had a really hard time with it. Take your own path in it and dare to believe that it works, so that you don't have to do like everyone else to exist. And then I think that if I'm that kind of person, I probably have children who are drawn in that direction as well, so they might get a little head start that it's okay not to follow a straight path. Even if they just "Mom can you just have a regular job!" Lol

Has your view of parenting changed since you had a child yourself?

Yes, it's the classic, how you think you shouldn't give sugar, don't put a screen in front of your nose and things like that. That's how you do it anyway. It had been so long since I had my first child, but I had 100% more controlled thoughts about what it would be like to be a parent than it has become. So it has changed, I think. It's so funny, because my first two children are with another father, and my partner, meaning the father of the younger ones, didn't have children before. So I got to experience his thoughts about having children and then see how it turned out for him. It was very funny how it also changed..

Haha yes, how it wasn't quite as he thought maybe ..

No exactly, in his head we would be much more strict with sweets for example, or with routines. Now we still have quite a lot, he likes routines, but yes, it was a bit fun to see anyway..

Yes, most people probably experience that when they have children. Life happens at the same time, which wasn't included in the calculation ..

Yes, the hours of the day are limited.

Do you experience any unexpected feelings as a parent?

It is overwhelming how much one is prepared to protect one's children. That maternal instinct is crazy!

Hard question maybe, but what kind of parent are you? How do you see yourself as a parent?

My grown children have always said that I am not like other parents. I have been someone who has taken my children to everything and still do. I try to think that they are part of my life, that you continue. But then you become more and more limited the more children you have and it becomes more difficult to take them to things.

I'm probably a pretty relaxed parent, that I take it as it comes. Children are part of life! I don't make a big deal out of being a parent, I think.

Thank you Jessica for a nice conversation!

Jessica's Instagram: Home hosjessica hallback

and Jessicahallback

Jessica's website:

Jessica Hallbäck

Jessica Hallbäck about being a parent for soon five