I’ve long been a fan of Hello Fashion and ILY Couture, so when I got the opportunity to interview their founder Christine Andrew I jumped at the chance! Christine is someone who does it all and makes it look easy. She’s a new mom to Beckam, proud stepmom to Wes and Mara, and obsessed with her puppy Mio—and today she’s sharing how she raises kids, runs her businesses and makes it all work. (Hint: a supportive husband makes all the difference!!)
First things first, tell us a little bit about your family and where you currently call home.
We are a family of 6! My husband and I have been married for 4 years, and we have 3 kids, one child together (my two year old son Beckam), two step kids (Mara and Wes), and my 130lb puppy Mio :) We live a couple minutes outside Salt Lake City where we both blog and run our own companies.
Which came first, the babies or the business?
We already had Mara and Wes by the time I started the blog but they split time with their mom too and the blog was still more of a part time project. I had Beckam after the blog developed into more of a career so I was learning how to balance being a full-time mom, blog, and ILY for the first time.
What made you decide to be an entrepreneur?
My dad was an entrepreneur so he taught me young. I started working for him when I was little and was always so inspired by what he was doing – I knew from when I was young I wanted to have my own business.
Are you a morning person or a night person?
Ideally I would love to be a night person, but nights are when my husband and I try to power everything down and spend time together so I’ve forced myself to become a morning person but it’s a struggle.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee for sure!
What does your morning routine look like? What time do you get up? What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
When we are really busy and there’s a lot going on with work, I am up by 5:30 so I can get as much done as possible before the kids wake up. That usually consists of going through emails, finalizing blog posts, and having meetings with my husband for work. When the kids start to stir around 8:30 they usually watch cartoons for a little bit until they fully wake up so it gives me a little extra time to get cozy with them and wrap up some last minute things.
Balance—we can’t do this interview and not talk about it! Mostly because I’m desperate to know all of your secrets. How do you make it work?
It’s honestly a weekly struggle. I try to make it a point to work hours when the kids are asleep or out with their dad so I can make the most of the time with them but it just doesn’t work out that way. Some days it does but a lot of days they are running around with me! I have days when it all comes together and somehow feels so easy. But then of course there are those days where something’s gotta give and I have a meltdown. There are weeks where I feel like, no matter what, I’m falling short – whether it’s missing out on moments with the kids, falling behind on things for ILY or the blog, or not getting enough 1-on-1 time with my husband – but at the end of the day all you can do is start over tomorrow. I’m thankful for friends and family who help so much and are there to put up with my meltdowns!
Childcare is a big factor—what’s been working for you? Nanny, daycare or the stay-at-home/work-at-home life? Or do your kids go to school now?
My 2 step-kids, Mara and Wes, are both in school but Beckam is at home with us all day. As of right now we don’t have a nanny but we’ve been looking into hiring one to help one or two days a week. It’s just been really hard for me to let go, and I feel guilty for wanting help. I don’t know why?! I’m really thankful for my husband who takes the kids once a week for the entire day so I can get a lot done. He also always takes the kids from 3pm-5pm 3 days a week so I can have some time with out distractions during typical work hours to get time pressing things done. I try to take advantage of the hours the kids are awake as much as possible but sometimes that’s hard when the rest of the world (and deadlines) operate during normal business hours.
How do you make room for personal time for yourself? When you do get down time, what do you do to relax, refresh and/or get inspired?
I’m a huge sucker for massages! I also love going shopping (surprise ;). I do most of my shopping online these days so whenever I am alone and get a chance to go in-store, I love it! Even if I’m not buying anything, it’s therapy just to browse. Also, it’s weirdly relaxing for me to organize my home office. Our house is literally almost always a disaster (I’ve come to realize it can’t all be done and a clean house was the first thing to go ;) so organizing my office has become a common occurrence.
What one bit of advice would you give to a fellow mompreneur trying to make it all work?
At some point you realize there is no such thing as a perfect mom. The word mom has so many different meanings now so don’t compare yourself to others. You don’t have to have the perfectly kept house or a home-cooked meal every night. Stepford wives don’t exist anymore (at least not in my world ;). It’s ok to let the dishes go and take those extra moments to cuddle your kids!
Thank you for sharing your secrets with us, Christine!