Meredith Sinclair, a mother of two teenage boys, has
dedicated her life to spreading the importance of play. Sinclair
began this journey by writing a traditional mom blog and working in TV for several years, but as
her boys grew older she wanted to do something a little different.
started to shift my writing and TV work into the world of play and its impact
on us as human beings, I decided to dedicate my site to sharing practical ideas
and inspiration for incorporating playfulness into our everyday lives,”
Sinclair has been building her brand and blog (Meredith Plays) for more than 10 years,
and her hard work has paid off in a big way. She recently published her first book,
“Well Played, The Ultimate Guide to Awakening Your Family’s Playful Spirit,”
and was invited to speak at the Mom 2.0 Summit, winning the conference's IRIS Breakout
of the Year award.
“I was 100 percent sure I wouldn’t win, so when they
called my name, I nearly fell off my chair," Sinclair says. "I learned a valuable lesson that
night. In the world of social media and content creation, it’s not always about
numbers of followers and trying to get the most clicks and views. People want
true connection and genuine passion."
To top off this success, Sinclair does regular play-related
TV spots on "Today," and is the new “100% Family Time Expert” for
Juicy Juice. Sinclair tells Mom.me how she manages to juggle her busy
work life with motherhood.
the moment when you were inspired to write “Well Played, The Ultimate
Guide to Awakening Your Family’s Playful Spirit”?
I’ll never forget it. I was asked to do a presentation
for the Mom 2.0 Summit, where I could talk for five minutes about anything I was
passionate about. I had been noodling the idea of a book for parents about the
power of play with our children, and also how playfulness is vital for us as
adults as well. I decided to workshop this idea in my talk, because the
audience at the presentation was the perfect target audience for the book as
well. After my talk, mom after mom came up to me (several with teary eyes) thanking
me. They told me they had forgotten how to play for themselves
and never realized the impact of incorporating play into their own lives as
well as their children’s. That’s when I knew I had to write this book.
In addition to being a mother, you’re the author of "Well
Played," you write your blog Meredith Plays, and you’re now a
spokesperson for Juicy Juice. How do you make it all work?
Being a working mom is not
easy, but I love my job. “Balance” has been the buzzword for busy working
parents for a long time, and it can be a nearly impossible goal. It’s really more a blend than a balance. Some days are well-blended, and others are
not. And that’s OK! When Juicy Juice first approached me to be
their Family Time Expert, I was beyond thrilled. This campaign really embodies
what Meredith Plays was designed to accomplish—providing easy and fun activities
for families to do together, in whatever time they have. Nearly all of the activities in my book and
the tips I share as part of the Juicy Juice Family Time campaign are things I’ve
done with my own children.
did you first feel successful?
I have felt successful throughout my life in various
ways, and not just through my professional work. I loved being home with my boys when they
were young and felt really proud of that work and quite successful. The first time I felt really successful as a
“working mom” (although, let’s be real, all moms are working moms) was probably
my first segment on "Today." That and the day my book launched. Those
two are tied!
there been anything about writing “Well Played” that surprised
you or inspired you in a way you didn't expect?
I absolutely loved learning about how a book is created
from start to finish. It was such a fun challenge for me, and the process felt
super empowering. My editor at HarperCollins and my literary agent were
incredible at guiding me through the process and encouraging me when I felt
stuck or scared. Writing a book can be quite daunting even when you’re sure of
your topic and love what you’re writing about. I learned to really trust my own
your advice for moms who are looking to start their own blog or write their own
Just start writing!
A blog is an amazing playground on which to find your voice and connect
with people through the written word. Write about what matters most to you, not
what you think will get the most clicks or comments. The thing that people tell
me over and over again is that they connect with me because they know I’m
authentically passionate about what I share both in my writing and on
sacrifices have you made as a mom and author to keep everything in
The biggest sacrifices quite honestly have been in my own
free time and self-care, but I’m definitely getting much better about taking my
own advice to play more for myself. In
the early years when I was building my brand, I spent many hours at my kitchen
island shooting and editing videos for my blog, writing columns, producing and
hosting TV segments for free and hustling from the time my kids left in the
morning till they walked in after school. Meanwhile, a lot of my stay-at-home mom
pals were off playing tennis, going to the gym or lunching while the kids were
away. I don’t regret the time I spent hustling
for my brand, but I now understand that whole “blend” thing a little better for
myself. I’m much better at everything when I fill myself back up now and again.
you could have lunch with any business person/mogul/entrepreneur living or
dead, who would it be and why?
It might sound a little crazy, but it would be Bethenny
Frankel. She is a woman who built an original brand with hustle, gumption, grit
and a 100 percent laser focus—and then sold it for millions. I love her
no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is unapologetic business acumen. She fascinates me and scares me a little, and
I love that.
was the process of writing your book different from writing your blog? Do you
enjoy one more than the other?
Writing a book is like climbing a massive mountain over the
course of nine months. You chip away little by little, and stop to breathe in
the view after each new crest. Blogging feels more immediate and spur-of-the-moment for me, like a brisk hike because the sun is out and you need to
stretch. I actually like them both individually for what they bring to the
table. I think I’ll give book writing another go at some point—pretty sure there’s
a children’s series in me somewhere!
there anything new on the horizon for Meredith Plays?
We have some cool videos launching that were filmed at my
home in California as part of my work with Juicy Juice. I am so excited about
this partnership because it’s completely authentic to who I am and what I
believe. I have some show concepts in development and hope to be bringing at
least one of those to the small screen in the next year or so. I’ll be also continuing
my regular play-based TV segments on "Today," "Fox and Friends" and "The
Home and Family Show."