Motherhood + Career ‘Sit Down’ With Andrea Lavinthal
The Style Director at People.com
Every woman in business or in life has someone they admire and a career path they aspire to follow. My desire to write started when I was young. When it came time for college my parents asked me what I wanted to do for a career and my answer was always, live in NY and work for Cosmopolitan Magazine. Well, lets just say that my parents insisted I find a backup, which I did! Moving away from family was the one thing that kept me here. I ended up in Medical Sales after college but once my first child was born I found myself creating my own dream job: writing for myself and ultimately for all of YOU. Oh Happy Play is my slice of the internet and a way I get to create my own dream job (thanks to all of you!) That brings me to today’s amazing feature of someone I admire SO much, Andrea Lavinthal! She is ultimate mom and career goals in my eyes and having the chance to virtually chat with her on all things career and motherhood was a dream come true! I have loved her for years and I think you all will quickly fall in love with her too!
Andrea Lavinthal is the current Style Director at People Magazine but I first heard about her when she worked for Cosmopolitan Magazine and Cosmopolitan Radio years ago! Her personality and humor is so likable and it makes her so easy to love. Right now Andrea overseas all fashion and beauty content at People.com and you can also listen to her weekly as she Co-Hosts on one of my Favorite Podcasts, The Taylor Strecker Show. The duo is amazing together and they provide all the laughs! On top of her amazing career she is a mom to one little boy and pregnant with her second! She really does it ALL!
My fangirl moment was having a chance to chat with Andrea via the web and have her answer some burning motherhood/career questions that I think we can all enjoy. I am so excited to share all her answers with you all now!
What is one thing motherhood has taught you?
I want to say patience because motherhood requires that you have a ton of it — particularly at 7:15 p.m. when your toddler is running around the apartment naked when he’s supposed to be on step three of the five-step bedtime routine that you paid a sleep consultant to come up with — but I’m still working on it.
How do you maintain your work/life balance? (Making time for your significant other/son all while following your career dreams)
When I’m at work, I’m working, and when I’m at home, I’m a mom and a partner. At least that’s what I wanted it to look like when I had my son. But in reality, there are days when I strike out on both fronts, and days when I feel like I’m killing it. I’m worried that having a second child will make it even more challenging to focus on my career, but I’ll just have to figure it out.
What does a typical day look like for you?
At home, it’s kind of Groundhog’s Day in terms of our schedule. Justin, works outside of the city so he leaves early in the morning and is home late in the evening which means it’s on me to be home every night to relieve our nanny. Luckily, she’s amazing and often comes in early or stays late when I need her to. At work, my day is usually a blur of meetings with my coworkers, appointments with brands and industry events. I used to go out almost every night of the week for work or with friends, but having a child makes it hard to maintain a social life.
You’re expecting your second babe, what has been the best motherhood advice you’ve ever received?
When I first had Saxon, everything felt so overwhelming and I struggled with even the smallest issues. One day, I was talking to another mom about the best bottles (because what else do new moms talk about?) and she happened to mention that they skipped the standard infant size nipple for the next size up because her baby seemed frustrated during feedings. I was floored. How did she know to do that? What books was she reading that I wasn’t? Did she have some special mom intuition that I didn’t? Did her pediatrician tell her to do it and should I switch pediatricians because mine never told me you could do that? Apparently, I said all of those things out loud because she shrugged and said, “you just troubleshoot until you find something that works.” So simple, yet such a brilliant reminder that none of us know what we’re doing. You just have to do your best to tackle each challenge and keep trying when you fail.
What is one piece of advice you could give a woman who wants pursue her professional goals but also wants to have a family?
Being a working mom is hard no matter what, but if you have support in the form of solid childcare at home and somewhat flexible hours at the office (or at the very least, a good manager), it’s slightly easier to make it work day to day.
What keeps you going when the stress builds up?
I try to remember that both the good and the bad is temporary. And I have a glass of wine. Or another cookie when I’m pregnant.
What is your favorite beauty product to use while pregnant? And your favorite for when you’re not pregnant?
I use pregnancy as an excuse to abandon my regular skin and makeup routine. I just don’t’ have the energy for it, plus it’s kind of liberating to go a little feral with your appearance every so often. That said, throughout this pregnancy, I used Kopari face products (the Coconut Rose Toner is delightful), Weleda Skin Food Body Butter all over and Noodle and Boo Elasticity Oil on my belly. When I’m not pregnant, I like Drunk Elephant Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, Glossier The Solution and any makeup from Charlotte Tilbury.
What is your favorite piece of maternity wear that you own?
Blanqi Everyday Maternity Belly Support leggings have been a lifesaver these last few weeks of pregnancy.
What is your favorite celeb encounter in your career?
I just interviewed Ryan Reynolds and he was totally dreamy.
(This is me, Noelle, but you HAVE to GO show this picture some love because, yes, he is dreamy!)
What has been your worst/or most awkward celebrity encounter in your career?
Diddy. When I interviewed him for the launch of his last fragrance, he was annoyed that I didn’t know he won an Oscar for executive producing a documentary. I was mortified.
Lastly, who is or has been your biggest role model, and why?
My mom. She’s incredibly kind, patient and generous. People stop me all the time to tell me how nice she is and how much they love her. I never get tired of hearing it.
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