Mama Muse is our monthly feature where I chat with creative moms I admire. It may be anyone rad and inspiring - entrepreneurs, travelers, artists, photographers, musicians, foodies and anyone else who seems to be able to do it all while making it look easy and stylish! Give me all the secrets and advice - I can use it! xx Julia
Jen Hawkins is a sweet mama I met a few years back through Instagram and photoshoots and we bonded even more over motherhood. Her journey as a mother is so incredible to watch - from days in the NICU with two very tiny twins to bringing them home and absolutely slaying the mom game, she is a total inspiration. She literally makes the juggle of working and motherhood look easy!
Top three photos by Taryn Kent / last photo by Jen.
What do you admire most about your children?
Definitely their strength and determination. They were born crazy-premature and were such strong little fighters despite the tough beginning hey had. And it’s just continued - watching them develop and push themselves to do things on their own like sitting, crawling, and eating just amazes me.
Best piece of parenting advice you've gotten?
To fit the babies into your life, don’t fit your life to them. Obviously I took this with a grain of salt, because there are a lot of things that revolve around the babies now! But it’s a good reminder not to give up the things you love just because you had babies. Since we don’t love leaving the babies, we either divide and conquer or we try to include our babies in those things whenever possible, and we are all happier for it! We remind ourselves of this especially when it comes to traveling!
Why is travel important to you and your family?
One of my favorite things about having kids is watching them see or experience something for the first time, and travel is the best way to do that. Also, we don’t live near any family, so it was important to me early on to get the babies used to traveling so that we could take them to see family as much as possible!
Do you have any tips or must-haves for traveling with twin babies?
Don’t stress! Try to enjoy the journey…literally ;). It can seem overwhelming packing for and taking twins on the plane on in a car for a long period of time, but it’s always worth it. Do a few things to prepare (like have tons of extra formula/food and diapers/wipes) but other than that try not to overpack. What helps me with this is a couple days before we leave, as I go through my day with the babies I make note of all of the things I use throughout the day that I can’t do without. Everything else, leave at home!
Random fact: If you’re flying with twins, you probably won’t be able to sit in the same row! I didn’t know this before, but apparently only one lap child is allowed per row because there is only one extra oxygen mask.
What are some of the ways motherhood has changed priorities professionally?
I feel like I’m way more efficient with my time! Usually time spent working means time away from the babies, so I get things done a lot faster and have become better at prioritizing.
Most of us know that balance is a myth but what's the best way you've found to run your business and spend time with your family?
I’m still figuring this one out!!! But I’ve found that I do much better both professional and as a mom when I set aside time for each. For example, I try to block out time for work (when the babies are sleeping or someone else is with them) and in that time I work hard. And then I try (still working on this one) to be really present with the babies when I’m with them. Separating things as much as I can really helps me feel like I’m more accomplished in each area!