Hello all! I’m so happy today to run my 10th playdate here just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day! Thank you all for supporting this series. I hope this series have inspired you and that motherhood is both beautiful and doable – even for the most ambitious and career-driven woman.
My playdate mom today, Kristen Philipkoski, is pretty incredible! She’s the editor for Racked SF, science writer turned fashion writer at Stylenik, and a mother to the most loving adopted daughter, Frida! This was Kristen’s announcement post.
Kristen was one of the first bloggers I’ve met when I started blogging and I recalled our little conversation about how much she wanted a baby and how difficult the adoption process was. When I found out the news that Kristen became a mom overnight, I was overjoyed for her! Since then, watching Frida grow up in a loving environment is one of the happiest things to witness. What could possibly be better than giving a child exactly what she deserves?! Now that Frida is 22-months old, I took Hayden and Hadley, and our talented photog, Ashley Batz, over for a playdate at their 70’s mod Pacifica crib (also recently featured in Apartment Therapy). My girls had so much fun, and Frida was just the cutest and sweetest little hostess! I’m sure a lot of that came from the parents. Let’s see how Kristen handle this thing called motherhood…
How did you know you were ready to become a mom? Or is there even such a thing? It took me a really long time to feel really ready. I don’t think I actually was ready until we brought Frida home.
What’s your favorite characteristic(s) of Frida? Hard question, but I would have to say it’s her propensity for breaking into dance anytime she hears music. As soon as she could walk, she was displaying some serious moves.
What’s the biggest change you’ve experienced before and after having a baby? (Physically and/or mentally) I can’t think of anything beforehand because I just had no idea what I was in for :) After, the biggest change was probably the huge shift in my priorities. Suddenly my life was organized completely around this little human, and I was totally cool with that!
How do you balance a career and being a mom? Do you have help? I have a really great daycare provider Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, I take Frida to Gymtowne Gymnastics in Moss Beach and afterwards we always check out a new cafe off of Route 1. To feel relaxed on Friday, though, I have to be disciplined about planning ahead, which does not come naturally to me. My default is to window shop online and browse Facebook for hours. No more (OK less) of that post-baby.
Most rewarding thing about being a mom? The most rewarding thing is seeing Frida develop and learn new things. I love to watch her eat. You can see her figuring everything out, deciding weather she likes stuff, learning how to use a fork. It’s kind of amazing. Most challenging? The biggest challenge is managing my time. I try to stay up late after putting her to bed to get work done, but inevitably end up watching Scandal and/or falling asleep.
What does a typical day look for you? Usually I get up around 6:30 to squeeze in an hour of work before Frida wakes up. I make coffee (very important), then when she wakes up I get her breakfast, get her dressed, and pack her lunch for the day. My husband (bless him) takes her to daycare on his way to work, and I dive into my work. Mid-morning I usually either go to yoga or dance class. In the afternoon I might have a meeting in the city, I finish my blog posts, and then go pick up Frida at 5:30. Then it’s dinner (thankfully my husband is an amazing cook), bath and bedtime. After that, see above :)
Has your personal style changed since you had a baby? Yes, I almost never wear sky-high heels like I used to, even for events when I’m not going to be with Frida. I can’t stand teetering around, I feel like I need to be in control. I also almost never wear tight clothes anymore save for the occasional skinny jeans.
Style uniform? Booties, boyfriend jeans, and a Marine Layer t-shirt. If I’m getting dressed up for an event, I usually either dress up my jeans with fancier shoes, a jacket, and jewelry, or wear a comfy silk jersey dress.
If I’m to spend a day in Pacifica with my kids, where should go? It depends on what you like to, but there are so many possibilities! Linda Mar beach is great for surf lessons or just watching. I live near Sharp Park beach, which has an amazing hiking trail up to Mori Point. We also have a great fishing pier. Sea Bowl is super fun for bowling and the food is pretty good! Or, if you’d like some adult time with good food and wine where the kids can run around outside, Surf Spot is the place to go.
Where do you shop for yourself? That’s another thing that has changed a lot since having Frida—I shop for myself a lot less, which is pretty remarkable considering my previous habits. But when I have time, I love scouring thrift stores like Clothes Contact and Wasteland, as well as online at Etsy, Ebay, Thredflip, and Thredup. For new clothes I love Mira Mira for Mara Hoffman’s latest, Gravel & Gold, and I have a soft spot for browsing Madewell and Topshop online.
Where do you find inspiration for your personal style? Pinterest (of course), in particular I love finding old photos of icons from the ’70s like Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot, Bianca Jagger, Patty Smith.
Where do you go for tips/advices for motherhood and parenting? Most of my closest friends have kids older than mine, so they’ve been extremely helpful. Also my mom, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and the Cool Mom’s club have been great.
Do you own a diaper bag? If so, which one do you use? I don’t! I’ve always just adapted bags that I already had in my closet.
Has it been harder to keep up with your blog and career since you had a baby? Why or why not? I actually got Stylenik up and running again post-Frida. I love dressing her up, so it’s been fun doing mom-daughter outfit posts. I’ve also enjoyed writing about the adoption process, which I hope to do more of. In general I find that I manage my time better thanks to having Frida—I suppose it’s out of necessity!
Best places for kids toys and gadgets? I have to admit: Amazon is my go-to.
Your favorite baby gadget? Dropcam! I love being able to see her in her crib when we have date night.
Advice on marriage after having a baby? Finding a babysitter you like and trust is super important to make sure date nights happen. You won’t get time for yourselves if you don’t plan ahead.
What’s next on your agenda? Work wise? Work-wise I plan to continue to grow Racked SF and Stylenik, and I hope to do some longer-form journalism. Kids wise? Kids-wise, we’re thinking about trying to adopt a second baby… but we have a lot of paperwork to do and going through the whole process again is really daunting.
What advice would you give to a first time mom? Buy an Ergo and take your baby for lots of walks while he or she still fits in it. I loved walking Frida down to the beach. It was great bonding time and I lost weight!
Thank you so much to Kristen and Frida for being the most adorable and loving hostesses, and all the great new mom wisdom!! Be sure to follow Kristen on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter for her adventure with Frida, and of course, all latest SF happenings with Racked. I hope you enjoyed this playdate, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing moms out there! xo Jeanne
Photography by the wonderful Ashley Batz.