I’ve been sharing videos of my oldest jumping around doing cheer stuff for a couple of years and nobody has cared! (JK, some of ya’ll do). But now that Netflix has a docuseries that’s giving a behind the scenes look at competitive cheerleading people are sliding into my DMs with all the questions.

Do I mind? Not a bit! Though I’m not one of those cheer moms who will drop everything and pick up the topic whenever, wherever, I do love chatting about it now and then. It’s fun meeting someone who “gets it”, but I also enjoy sharing our experience with it for people who are curious. I’m still new to the cheer mom life, but I’ve learned a bit along the way. And I adore supporting my daughter in this hobby. 

Actually my support and excitement for it has manifested itself into something of its own on my YouTube channel. Somewhere along the way in our journey we started a cheer vlog and my channel has become our channel. I love it though, and it’s been fun to see the little community we’ve grown along the way.

Jayda and I finished watching CHEER on Netflix yesterday and I have some thoughts. Overall we really enjoyed it. I love any chance for the world to see how intense and amazing this sport is (yes, hopefully by now you consider this a sport). But I’m not going to turn this blog post into a review. Instead I’ll answer some of your questions that you’ve been sending me in DMs on Instagram, and ones I saved from the question box. If I didn’t answer yours drop it in the comments and I’ll respond there. 

black all star competitive cheerleader

Are you letting your daughter watch CHEER on Netflix?

While I don’t typically let her watch with TV-14 shows, especially ones with some harsh language, and mature issues like stolen nude photos, child abuse, and suicide attempts. I saw this docuseries as a chance for her and I to bond and if she had questions along the way we talked about some of those issues. We took it slow and watched part of an episode every few days. A little more on weekends. If you’re unsure if it’s appropriate for your younger child I’d give it a watch first. Or plan on fast forwarding through some of the topics that may not be age appropriate.

When did your daughter start cheering? Did she do gymnastics before?

She started competitive cheerleading in the summer before first grade. Right after she turned 7. She did a little bit of dance and tumbling. She saw the competitive cheerleaders coming in the gym one day and liked their uniforms and said she wanted to do that so we decided to give it a try.

Isn’t that her gym on the show? Is she in the Netflix show?

The first couple of episodes feature a lot of her gym: Cheer Athletics. But the one it’s featuring I believe is their main location in Plano, TX. We are at the Austin gym.

That stuff looks scary. Are you worried about her getting hurt?

biracial cheerleader tumbling at a cheer competition

Jayda is a “top girl” or “flyer,” which means she gets tossed up in the air and sometimes she comes back down… To the ground. I do worry about her getting hurt but I honestly don’t watch them practice much so I don’t get to see the mistakes. I typically just watch when they’re performing for the parents or competing at the competition. So by then they have the routine figured out and by then I’m not as worried about her getting hurt as I am about the team messing up.

How much does competitive cheerleading cost?

Helping your child follow their passions. Parenting an all-star youth cheerleader level 1.

Oh boy. As a wannabe frugal-lifestyle mom, the cost of competitive cheer pains me. I could pretend that the money is well-spent and will be worth it when she earns a college scholarship. But the truth is, with monthly all-star tuition, extra classes and private lessons (which we are currently taking a break from to save $$), uniforms, shoes, other cheer gear paying for tickets to actually WATCH her compete, competition travel/hotels etc, I will likely not be getting a full return on my investment. In fact, if I put all the money we were spending in a high yield college savings account I could probably pay for her college. So I’m not fooling myself and saying that’s why we’re doing it. But though it may not be a direct investment towards her potential college scholarships, I see it as an investment in her personal growth. 

Do you find the sport to be very diverse?

Not necessarily. At least not where we live. I love how the Netflix show featured athletes from different backgrounds, but on Jayda’s squads she’s been the only black girl, or in the past, one of two. But we’re out there. We don’t get the spotlight as much, but I try to show her the diversity that is out there. I love the instagram handle @BlackGirlsCheer. I get excited when I see more of us. But I would love to see the sport grow in diversity. 

Who is this Gabi Butler chick?

Honestly I wasn’t sure until the show either. I’m not immersed in the cheer world, but I asked one of the cheerleaders who carpools with us and she said she’s followed her for years. I guess she’s a long-time competitive cheerleader and she’s been on a couple of other cheer shows in the past. She’s known as a “Cheerlebirty.” And she’s talented, so a lot of athletes look up to her. Personally, the only one I I really like to follow is Angel Rice (and now Jerry of course). Her tumbling is incredible! I’m sure that list may grow as we get more immersed in this world.

Is her squad going to compete in Daytona?

No. Her team will compete in their National Cheerleading Competition (NCA) in Dallas next month! That’s our “big” competition of the season, and where a lot of the great all-star teams compete. This year will be Jayda’s first time attending.

How does what she does compare to what they did on the show?

All star Competitive cheerleader stunt taken by a cheer mom

So competitive cheerleading (all-star cheer) is broken down by levels and age groups. What you saw on Netflix was a competition on the college level and a MUCH higher difficulty. Jayda is on a level 2 small junior team. They do difficult stunts but not that difficult. It’s all kind of complicated to explain. But just know that their moves aren’t nearly as crazy as what you saw on that show. Maybe someday. But it’ll take a lot of work for her to get to that level, if she even wants to.

Does Jayda want to cheer at Navarro College?

I’d never even heard of that school until the show! She has a photo of the BYU cheerleading squad on her vision board. I don’t think CHEER changed her mind about that. But Navarro would be closer to home. 

I’d like to edit my own cheer vlogs, what software do you recommend?

We use final cut pro. But iMovie is a great free editing option. There are also a lot of editing programs you can use on your phone. I like inShot and Spark Camera.

How do you balance it all? FLYING to competitions? Say what?!

Cheer mom holding her cheerleader daughter wearing a cheer athletics uniform explaining cheer mom life

Yea, cheer mom life can be a lot. I feel bad at how much I miss seeing the rest of the family when Jayda and I are “away at cheer.” In December it felt like we were always at the gym or away for competitions. Combine that with the fact that the gym is 45 minutes away and it’s a lot. This year we’ve tried to balance this by taking a break from the extra classes and private lessons. This means she hasn’t been able to learn new skills, but with this being a larger and more competitive cheer gym, we’re just taking this year to ease our way into it all. Next year we may step it up a bit.

What’s involved in getting stage ready for a competition? Hair? Makeup?

Usually just a red lipstick and a tiny bit of mascara. Some teams do a lot more makeup with blue liner and shadows. The team she’s on this year isn’t so intense. And thankfully her team’s hairstyle is very simple. Slick back high ponytail with a scrunchie. The coaches require you straighten your hair IF it is not naturally curly (I almost passed out before he added that last part). Thankfully for Jayda, that makes doing her hair really simple. I’ve heard some horror stories about girls with natural hair having trouble on their teams but we’ve had nothing but good experiences so far. You can watch me get her ready in this vlog.

How did you help her find her sport?

biracial competitive cheerleader doing a back walkover

I answered this a little bit above, but mostly I just let her try a lot of things. She was definitely drawn to active and social activities. She can talk a little more in cheer than she could in dance and I think she likes that. In the past I was more on top of her about practicing. This year I’ve stepped back and just been more of a spectator and cheerleader for her. I’m not even sure I’m very deserving of the title “cheer mom” at my current level of chill. 

What kind of time commitment is it?

We have practices three times a week for two hours each time. Sometimes more if it’s a competition week. For NCA week (also dubbed Hell week) we will probably be practicing every night. During competition season, we have a lot of out of town competitions, which means overnight stays at hotels. 

What workouts does she do for flexibility?

Cheerleader posing in front of the Disney World castle

She does a lot of splits and backbends. I can see her improve a lot the more she works on it. I haven’t been encouraging (read: nagging) her to practice and stretch as much this year. I’m hoping she will develop some self-motivation techniques. I think in a sport like this you really have to want it for you. Not your mama, or anyone else. 

When are you posting more videos of Jayda?

I’m sorry to all of the tweens who miss all of Jayda’s IG tumbling videos and our vlogs (it makes me smile when I get a random IG DM from ya’ll). We’re working on a system to get these up more regularly again. I must admit, it’s really fun to go back and watch her progress. Keep reminding us, and we’ll try to get in the habit!

Have more questions? Maybe we answered it in this Q and A video

Still didn’t catch it? Leave a comment and I’ll reply!

29 Quotes on goal setting

I’m totally that mom who likes to whip out a quote or saying when I’m trying to teach my kids a lesson. Goal setting quotes or sayings help me get pumped when I’m making a vision board, or setting intentions for my week. Sometimes, all we need is a little inspiration for setting goals, or to keep us going. Hashing out what our overall goals is one thing, then following through with them is even tougher. Often, all it takes is a little push or encouragement in the right direction and we’re up and running again. 

If you’re in need of a little “pick me up” as far as setting or following through with goals is concerned, these quotes for achieving goals will do the trick. I’m a visual person, so we’ve turned some of these goal achieving quotes into images. You can show these to your kids when you’re talking to them about setting goals. Or use them for yourself. Feel free to download and print them for your vision boards, or little reminders around your home, so at random moments you’ll see some cool quotes for achieving your goals. 

So scroll on, and hopefully you’ll find something that’ll give you the boost you need.

“If you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”– Unknown

“In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed.”– Sid Caeser

Disney Aladdin dessert idea Princess Jasmine donut dessert.

Our family has a weekly movie night tradition that goes like this: Every Friday night is movie night. For dinner we usually make or order pizza. Popcorn is a must, and a themed dessert is a maybe. We take turns choosing the movie. When it’s your turn you get to pick the movie and no one else is allowed to argue with your choice. No devices or extra screens allowed on movie night. Just family time. Movies, fun and food.

These are Aladdin-inspired donuts. Perfect for anything from an Aladdin party theme for a birthday party, a Princess Jasmine party, to an Aladdin themed movie night like our own. One of the BIG requirements with things we make is the recipe must be SIMPLE. I know how it is to be short on time, short on creativity, but full of love for your family. You want to do something fun without a ton of mess but that can bring lasting memories. This next recipe may be just the thing you guys make and love and recreate over and over again.

Goal setting with kids physical goals

Ask my husband, my kids or anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you I’m big on setting goals. Goal setting is a huge hobby of mine. Strange but true. But it’s not just the act of setting the goals that’s fun for me, but the reality in knowing I’m going to achieve them. There’s nothing like crossing off something you’ve worked to accomplish. Whether it’s just a simple daily goals checklist, a short-term goal, or a long-term goal, achieving a goal you’ve set out to accomplish is such a rush.

This is the time of year when many of us are looking to set new goals. New year, new goals right? I already have my Passion Planner ordered and ready to go. But the truth is, you can set goals at any time. But since it is still January I am going to talk about setting goals for the new year. Particularly goal setting for kids. 

This week we are sitting down with each of our kids (well, the two big ones, Lee Lee is still a little young) and talking to the kids about setting their intentions and goals for this year. We are specifically focusing on four areas our church is encouraging: Spiritual, Social, Intellectual, and Physical. 

African American woman smiling for a self portrait

Last night I spent a little bit of time scrolling through my newsfeed and I saw a lot of things that made me smile. One of my friends paid off $92k in debt, another finished her goal to read 100 books in 2019. So much to be thankful for, and I couldn’t help but feel so happy for them. Joy can be contagious and I love when I catch it.

I also came across a post where someone was upset about a popular book being picked as a popular book for 2019. I hadn’t read the book. It’s one of those titles I’d heard thrown around a bunch, but I wouldn’t have known if it had come out last year, or three years ago. Overall I thought that it was a hit, so I was a little surprised to see so many people jumping in the comments dogging on it, and the author.

While there’s nothing wrong with disliking a book, or a popular fad, I was impressed with the ferocity of some of the responses. I’m talking long paragraphs, and some serious dislike.

Vision Boards: How to host a vision board party and a tutorial for how to make a vision board to help all of your dreams come true! What a great way to ring in a 30th birthday!

The time between Christmas and New Years is my favorite time of year. The time when I really reflect on all the things we accomplished (or fell short with) this year. When I cram in some last-minute goals, and prepare new ones for the year ahead. One important part of goal setting is having a vision for what you really want to achieve. It’s helpful to have something physically in front of you to help bring up these visualisations. One way to do this is with a dream board, manifestation board, or something also known as a vision board. I’ve shared a little before about how to make a vision board for kids, and how to have a vision board party. But today I’m going to talk more specifically about how to make a vision board that works. 

Self reflection about individuality. Learning to be my best self and inspiring others to do the same.

As I scroll through my hard drive to see all of the photos I took in 2019 I have to say I’m a little bit disappointed. It’s not that I didn’t take a lot of pictures, because I did. But SO many of them are posed, a bit stiff, unnatural, or overly branded. In other words, I didn’t take enough photos for ME, just for fun. Photography became more of a job than a joy. And one of my resolutions is to get back to my roots and change that for 2020. 

A table covered in magazines at a vision board party with two women at the table

Updated January 2020 I’ve mentioned before how much I was dreading turning 30. Well, I found the perfect way to ring in a new decade, with a new vision board! Start Your 30’s The Right Way and learn how to host a vision board party! Not sure just how to make a vision board? Read… read the rest.

“Oooh, look at all of those toys you got” the Walmart attendant noticed as my kids and I pushed our cart towards the exit. 

“They’re for kids in foster care!” My oldest daughter said proudly. 

“Oh really?” The attendant asked with a bit of surprise as she marked our receipt “That’s so nice!”

It may be nice, but it hasn’t always easy. This is the 5th year we’ve shopped for children in foster care. But the first time for each of my big kids, was a little rough. It was all fun and games until my kids realized they weren’t going to keep any of the toys. And that I wasn’t rewarding them with anything special for the gesture. 

But once we dropped the toys off at the facility with all of the volunteer elves ready to wrap them, they were pleased with their job well done.

all-star cheerleaders at a cheerleading competition

As we walked through the double doors at the Austin Convention Center I was instantly overwhelmed with the amount of sparkle and athleticism in the room. These girls were not here to play. They were there for medals, Division Championships, and Summit bids for the day’s All-Star Cheerleading competition.

Lee Lee is the boss in our house and she knows it. We are all wrapped around her tiny little fingers. It’s so fun seeing how different and strong willed she is. It’s cool seeing her own little BIG personality already.

You’d think by the third kid you’d see some personality traits overlapping but I’m amazed at how different she is. Here are some of the things she’s done that my other two didn’t.

Frozen 2 clip Elsa and Anna playing a game

Frozen is the highest grossing animated movie of all time in the worldwide box office. I’m not even sure we’ve all recovered from all of the hype surrounding the first Frozen movie, yet here we are, close to Frozen 2 hitting theaters. If you’ve seen the previews you can probably deduct that the movie is taking a darker and edgier spin. But is Frozen 2 scary for young kids?

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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I’m a 2017 Iris Awards Winner

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