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FEATURE

May 13, 2018

By Jody Hume

REALREAL MOMS: HOW WE DO STYLE, CAREER & MOTHERHOOD

Mother’s Day means something different to everyone. How you relate to your mom and, for some, the experience of being a mom, is something universal but also deeply personal. We’re celebrating Mother’s Day by highlighting some of the moms we work with who inspire us every day with their unique approaches to navigating motherhood, style and building their careers. Plus, it was a great excuse to share some pics of their extremely cute kids. Read on for their experiences and advice.

Rati Sahi Levesque, Chief Merchant

How many kids do you have and how old are they?
I have a 5-year-old and a 2.5-year-old.
How do you balance work, being a mom and taking time for yourself?
With lots of help! My parents are close by and help with the kids. I get what they meant by “it takes a village.”
Has your style changed since becoming a mom?
My style is focused way more on comfort — sneakers, flats, layers. We spend more time outside and in SF now, so I have lots of big, easy crossbody bags to carry all of the snacks and water bottles around on weekends.
What advice would you give moms-to-be?
Put your phone down. Something I need to be better at!

Mandy Rivas, Men’s Merchandising Manager

How many kids do you have and how old are they?
I have three kids — Gianni 9, Giada Margo (Gigi) 7, and Gemma 4.
How do you balance work, being a mom and taking time for yourself?
Time management is key. Every minute of my day is accounted for in my calendar – meetings, projects, sleep and workouts. Even dinner, reading and date nights! My other secret weapon is my husband who is extremely helpful and supportive. We tag team everything. Since we both work full-time we switch off taking the kids to and from school/after-school activities, homework, cooking and cleaning.
Has your style changed since becoming a mom?
My style has evolved as I’ve grown as a person. One thing I vowed to myself is that I wouldn’t conform to whatever it means to “look like a mom.” I would be true to myself and what made me feel good. I truly believe that style is a form of self-expression. If you are being true to yourself, you will be happy and confident. I feel confident as a mother.
What advice would you give moms-to-be?
Be assured, it will all work out. Try to eliminate as much stress as possible because children internalize your energy. The happier the mommy, the happier the kid. Also, follow your instincts. I never read any “how to” books or conformed to any style. I always let my gut and intuition mixed with a little research guide me. Being a mother is the hardest job in the world and you will never stop worrying, but it is the most rewarding and fulfilling job I will ever have. I am blessed.

Bianca Wendt, Art Director

How many kids do you have and how old are they?
A 6-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy.
How do you balance work, being a mom and taking time for yourself?
I think it’s realizing that at any given time you can pick any two of the above and outsource the rest!
Has your style changed since becoming a mom?
Not really. More jackets that can be thrown over an old t-shirt, and not so many heels.
What advice would you give moms-to-be?
Sleep while you still can!

Hannah Soboroff Shargal, LA Business Development Director

How many kids do you have and how old are they?
I have a 15-month-old son, and another one on the way!
How do you balance work, being a mom and taking time for yourself?
My approach is that when I’m at home, I am 100% at home. When I’m at work, I am 100% at work. This helps me to be totally present with my family, and same goes for my work.
Has your style changed since becoming a mom?
My style has become more relaxed, minimal and toddler-friendly!
What advice would you give moms-to-be?
Motherhood is amazing! It’s also challenging and exhausting but most of all it is SO incredibly rewarding. There is no right or wrong way to parent, so trust yourself, trust your baby and be proud of the mama you choose to be!

Toni Lessler Mills, Associate Editorial Director

How many kids you do have and how old are they?
My first is on its way! She’s due June 18th and my hubby and I are extremely excited to bring her into the world and build a little family.
How do you balance work, pregnancy and taking time for yourself?
I pushed myself quite a bit in the 1st and 2nd trimester and almost forgot I was pregnant a few times. I was bringing work home pretty often and pretty persistent on maintaining a social life. The one thing that I did make an effort to do for myself was to walk to and from work as often as I could and keep up my yoga practice. Now that I’m well into my 3rd trimester, I can definitely feel my body slowing down and I’m constantly exhausted so taking short breaks from my computer and leaving work a little bit earlier have gotten me through it. Now, my couch sees a lot of me on weekends and the desire to get my house clean and ready seems to be kicking in!
Has your style changed since becoming pregnant?
I don’t think my style has changed that much, but I have been finding it pretty difficult to dress in the mornings, especially when my pre-pregnancy looks consisted of high waisted non-stretch jeans with a top tucked in. I had never been one for bodycon before, but all of a sudden ribbed stretch knits seem to be dominating my wardrobe. My Reebok Pumps have also become my go-to for shoes. Thank god this sneaker trend is still going strong.
What advice would you give other moms-to-be?
Don’t wait too long to buy a few new pieces that will fit your growing tummy. I held back from buying anything for as long as I could and felt very unprepared when all of a sudden, absolutely nothing fit anymore. I had to improvise for a couple weeks with hairbands to close my jeans and a bandeau top as a belly band while I waited for my online purchases to arrive. So doing a little bit of wardrobe pre-planning won’t hurt…and it’s a great excuse to shop.