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Eight Moms Who Work in Fashion on the Work-Life Balance

Try not to smile after clicking through this

03.24.16

That elusive work-life balance, man. Does it even exist? Who has it figured out?

Sure, we’ve covered it before, but this time we’ve enlisted the help of the wonder women who have seemingly mastered what it takes to conquer the farce of limited time and maintain their careers while also having children. (This is a task that sometimes feels more invasive, confounding and difficult than executing your own root canal while standing on a single foot in the middle of Times Square. Not that I’ve ever tried it.)

But if you’re thinking about children, have children or just want to hear from some efficient women who’ve cracked the code on time management (Guess what! It’s a mental construct!), enjoy the slideshow and brief interviews above. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that manicures, pedicures, sufficient sleep and time to shower are not a first world right — they are a privilege.

Photographed by Simon Chetrit (follow him on Instagram @simonzchetrit).

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  • The arrow/circles to flip between the shots often gets in the way of the text. Interesting article, nevertheless!

    • Yvonne Dunlevie

      This is fixed — thanks Denisse!

      • Awesome, thank you! Though filling in the blank can be fun sometimes 😉

        • Effie Hammond

          I am getting a salary of 6700 dollars each week. Over a year ago I was in a horrible condition , jobless and no bank credit ..et Thanks to one of my friends who showed me a way where I was able to gather myself and making average of 58 d/h. So it can change your life as it has changed mine. Why not try this.

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  • Rebekah

    Not to downplay the point of this article as it was an interesting read but it would have been nice to hear the opinions of everyday working class mothers too. Obviously women have a wide range of careers but this was kind of a narrow focus on a particular class and I feel like the concept of “work/life balance” is drastically different for most of the women I know personally. What about moms who work at the bodega down the street? Work as teachers? What about mothers who have no flexibility in their jobs or option to work from home? I never remember my mother (a nurse) being able to take days off when I was a child and was sick, and though as an adult I have a job where my hours are up to me, when I take a day off to take care of my son when he’s sick I miss out on a day’s pay and added up (when is your child ever sick for just one day, right?) that can get pretty rough before next payday. Honestly I’d be more interested to hear the points of view of a broader range of women who are more realistically reflective of most mothers.

    • Amelia Diamond

      hey guys! our first round of mamas centered on fashion (or those close to the industry) and we definitely should have clarified that in the title, but we can’t wait to feature more moms on man repeller. in that vein, actually, our next career month post features people from a variety of industries that we hope you’ll enjoy. going live the 31st!

      • Rebekah

        Can’t wait to read it!

      • JPM

        The article was very interesting in that 7 of the 8 founded their own businesses. It would be interesting to understand if the entrepreneurial bug was always there for these folks or if motherhood somehow helped them find it. Is there a link between being career oriented and driven but wanting to find a balance? I don’t know I just throw it out there…

        It would be great to hear about those who work for other people in other industries as well. I’m looking forward to reading that.

    • Julie

      I realize the wonen featured have careers in fashion but isn’t it important to include all different women in fashion, not just incredibly successful ones? What about other moms who work in the fashion industry? In sales, retail, production, media… These women are the backbone of the industry and often don’t get insane salaries or control of their schedules… There are plenty of fabulous and stylish women in the lower levels of the fashion industry that you could highlight and their stories would be much more relatable to the real world. I appreciate ALL of these women you chose and I applaud them but it is hard to look at their glamorous lives and feel better about my own…

      • Dominique

        I thought the exact same thing, also wondering how and if these women empower their female employees who also have children.

  • thebrightblush.com

    This is wonderful and inspiring and encouraging, but I agree with Rebekah below. These women have so many more resources available to them than most of us including income, flexible schedules due to their awesome jobs as entrepreneurs, homes/apartments that are probably fairly spacious in fun neighborhoods, a network of available help that probably extends itself quite far when needed, and just *options* in general that many of us will never have. HOWEVER, I appreciate that the words of these women did not seem to reflect that very much. Most appeared to say the same encouraging things, which is actually comforting and lovely. I do agree that it would be nice to hear from those that are outside of this bracket, though. Encouraging overall.

  • Yvonne Dunlevie

    I am VERY far from even thinking about having children, but I really loved Taryn’s advice about their being 9 months to plan. I think I need to apply this to other aspects of my life — I often sit around and get overwhelmed about things, and need to realize that there is almost always time to prepare for whatever it is. One day, when I think about having a child, I will be grateful for those 9 (actually 10!) months.

    • AJ

      Well, by the time you find out you’re pregnant, you’re already a month along, so it’s more like 8 months…not that it makes much difference! 😉

  • Luxe Lis

    Great article, MR! I’d like to give my wisdom using your questions : 1. Balance for work &family? Become flexible…life is a roller coaster…Full of thrills & chills. 2.Want kids? There are pros and cons to having one or more. Make sure your financial situation is aligned to provide, before you have children. Be fair to yourself and your children. 3. Feel overwhelmed? Taking care of your health and your child is a priority. 4. When sickness knocks on the door? Ask for help…don’t be super woman. Involve super man…a.k.a. your partner! 5. Alone time at last…? Enjoy every moment. None us know when we will leave this earth. Wishing you all health, good luck& happiness! ? Follow me on Instagram@ luxe_lis

  • Amelia Diamond

    “Moms have real-life super powers. I realized that I can do anything with limited resources and negative sleep.”YOU GUYS ARE SUPER HEROS 4 REAL THO

  • I ended up quitting office work with baby2 because child care costs were doing to exceed hourly pay. I’ve made a quilt of different work activities since then, often because new potential employers looked at my resume and said “You quit. Why should I trust you?” More often than not, those employers were moms themselves (albeit with living parents aka free child care). I had to make my own way, and I’m glad that I did, but I want to be very clear about this:
    I love my children, but – Being a mother is a job. It doesn’t pay, but it’s a job. It’s never a part time job; you just get another job on top of it. My dream is that social security will someday recognize the hours I’ve put into this job and give me some credit for it. As it is, I have nothing to show for the decades I’ve worked when I regard my financial records.

    I will never retire. And I am going to guess that none of the women you interview will retire, either.

    • RejK

      Basic income would be so wonderful. When framed through a feminist viewpoint, women (who are the majority caretakers) would finally get some compensation for putting in long hours (be that as a mother, or caretake to an elderly or infirm family member) in the home. What would that do to shape societies valuation of work that is traditionally feminine? It is insurmountably valuable, and necessary for the functioning and health of our society to have caretakers.

  • I feel like if you have children and you work, something always suffers; you can’t do both perfectly. You can MANAGE, but you can’t do it perfectly, and that is ok. You need at least a 27 hour day to get all of your shit done. What I wish employers understood is how hard it is to be present and focused at your job when all you want to do is be at home with your child who wants YOU around when they’re sick. It takes a toll on your soul. Fact.

  • Charlotte

    This article makes me feel more included than anything I’ve ever read on Man Repeller! Love it.

  • I smiled, nodded & well even shed a little tear reading this. I have a 2 yr old and I can vouch for all of what has been said. The joy, the guilt, the love – I still keep saying this – I never thought I could love someone so much! Motherhood is wonderful, terrifying, overwhelming and the most gratifying experience one can have. It would be interesting to read Dad’s perspective as well – because yes, the woman does have to do more than a man, Dad’s life also changes a lot with a kid around!
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  • I absolutely loved this article. I am only 19, so I’m not even close at all to having children (fingers crossed!), but I’ve always known that when I grow up I want to be the type of woman who has it all (a great job, kids, and loving husband). This article helped me see how REAL women actually accomplish this dream of mine. Glad I read this one!!

    theinnerlining.com

  • I really like this series! I’m five months pregnant and nowhere near as accomplished as these women but it’s still soothing to hear from mothers who are doing well and battling the rough times. It would be really interesting to hear from them about how their work changed when they had children (if at all) and how that impacted what they do now. Terri x

    https://thecactusmag.wordpress.com/

  • Meg

    Love this! The only thing I would suggest is adding more moms that aren’t the boss or owners of their own business.

  • Very interesting.

  • RejK

    Maybe I’m just doing the whole moms with jobs thing wrong, but this internet-lit genre of “working mothers having it all” is so depressing. Even these women, at such a high level, seem to be struggling to keep the plates spinning. I found the following question especially telling: What do you do to treat yourself? “I wait until the girls are asleep and take a long shower,” “…slipping away for acupuncture (which I cancel more often than not),” “my husband and I make sure we schedule a date night every few weeks.” Its like you’re in a chaotic desert of ambition and you’re only allowing yourself to be misted once every few weeks with vaporized Evian. That’s how these things read to me. A young working mom, who’s worldview is obviously heavily steeped in her own mother guilt. But again, I don’t know. I’m probably just doing it wrong.