Most households in central Arkansas know Jancey Sheats as the calm, warm co-anchor of the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. news on KARK 4. But there's one family in central Arkansas who just calls her as Mommy.
A graduate of University of Texas at Austin, Jancey started her career in Sherman, Texas, at first as a producer and then as a reporter for KXII. She joined the KARK news team as anchor of the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news in 2005. Shortly after, she and her husband Rob met through a mutual friend. “He had my number for two months, but he didn’t call until after he saw me out with a few friends for my birthday. I was conveniently 'busy' for a few weeks after he finally asked me out. We eventually went to lunch at Brave New Restaurant, and the rest is history.” The two were married in October 2007.
Jancey and Rob welcomed twins Grace and Sophie in August 2008, and Jancey decided a few months later to return to work only part-time. Daughter Taylor followed two years later in October 2010. By Jancey's own admission, it has been a wild ride parenting three children under age three.
“I have always had to be in control and had my life planned out from childhood,” Jancey said in a recent email interview. “Then God gave me twins! It’s been the hardest yet most rewarding job I’ve ever had. They have such a unique bond that I hope they keep forever. My husband and I love just watching them interact with one another. Taylor is very lucky to have them for big sisters, and we are blessed to have all three of our daughters.”
Here's more about this TV mom and her family in her own words:
What are some of your favorite stories you've covered? I prefer stories about real people. I have interviewed plenty of celebrities and politicians, but it’s always those stories about average everyday people that are the most memorable. I was lucky to have the Good News Matters weekly segment at KARK, where I met some of the most amazing Arkansans.
How has local news changed since you entered the industry? When I graduated, we were taught to edit from tape to tape. We don’t even have tapes anymore. Everything is digital. Also, the days of waiting for the evening news to come on to find out what happened that day are long gone. Now, with the internet, Facebook, Twitter and blogs, consumers get minute-by-minute news. I event caved in and got a Facebook fan page!
What community activities are you and your family involved in? We are members of Geyer Springs First Baptist Church, and Rob plays in the church basketball league. I am also a member of the Junior League of Little Rock and have served on the Fine Arts Board, Baptist Women’s Advisory Board and the UAMS Maternal Fetal Medicine Endowment Committee. We are also members of Little Rock Athletic Club and spend a lot of time there with the girls.
Describe a typical day in your household. Taylor is still waking up every three hours, so I see quite a bit of her during the night. The twins come downstairs with all of their pillows, blankets and books around 7:45 a.m. and crawl in our bed. We all eat breakfast together on mornings that Rob doesn’t have an early case, and then it’s an hour of getting everyone dressed, which usually consists of tutus, sunglasses and rain boots. Then, I load all three into their car seats and we're off to tumbling class, swim class, the gym or the park. The girls and I usually eat lunch at the house, and I throw dinner together before getting ready for work. We have a nanny that comes in while I go to work in the afternoons, and Rob works from home some so he is in and out throughout the day. We always try to do dinner together when possible. The girls go to sleep about 8:30 p.m. Rob and I usually fall asleep on the couch trying to watch American Idol or whatever else we have DVR’d. There is never a dull moment!
Do the twins know they have a “famous” mommy? The Wiggles and Barney are famous. Mommy just works on TV. They prefer Sprout over KARK.
How do you keep your busy life in balance? There are definitely days when I have to walk outside and scream. Then, I catch my breath and thank God for all of the wonderful blessings in my life. I have had to come to grips lately that I can’t do everything. My family comes first and everything else fills in the gaps. I am very fortunate that KARK has allowed me to continue doing what I love on a part-time basis. I have my mornings with my girls and adult conversation in the afternoons. Rob is also an awesome husband and dad. I couldn’t do it without him. It takes lots of teamwork.
What is your parenting strategy? Our twins are very strong willed. I think I have read every parenting book there is and still haven’t found the magic formula. I try to be consistent and fair. They tend to mind Rob better than me. They are just so darn cute that it’s hard to stay mad at them. We do have a “no-no” spoon and when one acts up, the other one will run into the kitchen and grab the spoon for us.
Who is your mom role model? When it comes to nurturing and building self esteem and independence, definitely my mom. But not when it comes to discipline! She let my sister and me get away with a lot! We have to “retrain” our girls completely after Nani comes to town.
What about your children do you find humbling? They are just so innocent. They look at life in the simplest of terms. I told Sophie the other day that Taylor drinks milk because God hasn’t given her teeth yet. She replied, “Can’t we go buy her some at Target?”
If you could only teach your daughters one thing, what would it be? To have a strong faith in God.
AT A GLANCE
- Favorite Place in Little Rock: Our house
- Favorite Restaurant: Ristorante Capeo for date night. “Chicken A” (Chick-Fil-A) with the girls.
- Last movie watched: Do plays count? Rob and I went to see “Hairspray” at The Rep.
- Last book read: “How to Have a Boy: A Step-By-Step Guide to Scientifically Maximize Your Chances of Conceiving a Son,” by J. Martin Young (This was before Taylor Kate!)
- Currently in CD player/changer: “Elmo Sings Sophie” and “Elmo Sings Grace”
- Guilty pleasure: Chocolate and coffee
- When I was little I wanted to be: A broadcast journalist
- Actress who would play me in the movie of my life: Naomi Watts