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The Juggle with Brent Neale & Laurel Pantin

The Juggle with Brent Neale & Laurel Pantin

A big happy Mother's Day to all of US readers, motherhood is one of the greatest gifts you can be given in life, it is both equally challenging and rewarding but as mothers we wouldn’t have it any other way. In celebration our founder, Pepa Gonzalez, chatted to some of our favourite inspirational women, including New York based designer and owner of Brent Neale Jewelry, Brent Neale and Laurel Pantin, Style Director of InStyle magazine. 

First we talk to Brent Neale, as a business owner becoming a parent has meant that Brent has had to find the perfect balance between work and home life.

Hi Brent! It's lovely to meet you. To start things off, why dont you tell me about your family. 
Hi, lovely to meet you too! My husband and I have three children — a pair of twin girls and an older son.

(above Brent's little ones wear our Navy Striped Mariner Jumper & Red Floral Handsmocked Dress)

What does Mothers Day mean to you and your family, how will you be celebrating?
Well, I really do think every day should be Mother’s Day!  I’m expecting some lovely drawings from my littles and a delicious meal at one of our favorite restaurants as no one in our family is much of a cook. I’ve already made myself a piece of jewelry because it takes the pressure off;  it’s very hard to shop for a jewelry designer!  

Who have been the important female role models in your life that have taught you about motherhood?
My mother and my sister for sure. I’m so grateful to have someone to call if things aren’t going so well or if they are. I think about how my mother would have handled a situation at home and I’ll often tell my kids what she would have done. She was far more strict and traditional than I am...funny how they always behave for her?! 

What were their most useful tips?
My momma has the most amazing patience I’ve ever seen, and my sister is hilarious and parents her own children with humor. So, I would say patience and humor. 

What was the thing you WISH they had told you, but you had to find it out yourself?!
I wish someone had told me twins run in our family because that was a complete surprise!!!

What pieces of wisdom do you hope to pass on to your children?
I have no wisdom to impart at the moment, but my hope is they grow up and feel they had a wonderful childhood and were loved unconditionally. 

Did having your babies change your perspective on your career and what your priorities were? 
It really did. It changed my entire trajectory of my career actually. I was working for another designer when I found out I was having twins. The thought of having three children under three was overwhelming and so I took off that year. Shortly after, I decided to start my own company so I could still work but be able to control my schedule. If I had not had twins I would probably not have gone out on my own. 

How do you juggle career and children what are your three pillars for keeping it all together?
Friends for fun, family for balance and coffee and a cocktail for sanity.

Its been a tough 12 months for parents have you had any little rituals that kept you grounded?
For me work is my ritual. It’s my outlet and my mental savor.

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Next we chat to Laurel Pantin, Style Director of InStyle magazine. Laurel often has to juggle a busy working life with spending quality time with her little one. 

(above Laurel's little one wears our Classic Coral Handsmocked Romper)

Hi Laurel! It's lovely to meet you. To start things off, why don’t you tell me about your family. 
I have a 3-year-old son, Ellis, and a 1-year-old daughter named Phoebe. We've been in Austin, TX for a little over the last year during Covid to be closer to my parents, and it's been the biggest blessing in disguise to get to spend this time together.

What does Mother’s Day mean to you and your family, how will you be celebrating?
Since we live down the street from my mom, we'll probably all spend the day together. Mother's Day is funny, it's nice to get to be all together, but since we're all home so much I'm craving a little bit of recharging time. I might try and sneak away for a solo walk or if I'm really feeling indulgent, my first pedicure in over a year! 

Who have been the important female role models in your life that have taught you about motherhood?
My mom! She's been my guiding light, and I'm so lucky to have a very close relationship with her. 

What were their most useful tips?
I'm trying to follow her example of appreciating and loving my kids exactly as they are, not trying to encourage them to do one thing over another but explore their interests and become their own people. 

What was the thing you WISH they had told you, but you had to find it out yourself?!
Everyone told me how hard it is being a mother, but it's not the kind of thing someone can explain to you or you can understand before you do it. It's relentless, and I don't think I was prepared for the major lifestyle shift that comes with having a baby.

What pieces of wisdom do you hope to pass on to your children?
Oh boy, I hope they just grow up to feel loved, capable, and confident. I hope they can stay curious, have a good sense of humour, and are more optimistic than not. 

Did having your babies change your perspective on your career and what your priorities were?
Yes completely - it made me realize how important my work is to me, but that it's not the MOST important thing in my life. I learned that what I do and how hard I work isn't the main defining characteristic of my identity, but that it is something I enjoy and need to dedicate myself to be happy.

How do you juggle career and children – what are your three pillars for keeping it all together?
Help! We have always had amazing nannies and caregivers helping with the kids. There's nothing wrong with asking for help, and I think it's beneficial for the kids to have strong bonds with people outside the family. 

It’s been a tough 12 months for parents have you had any little rituals that kept you grounded?
My kids and I do a little morning walk together before the nanny arrives that I just love. It's nice for all of us to start the day by getting out of the house, and having a predictable routine keeps us all sane. 

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