Preview Magazine’s Editor In Chief Isha Andaya Valles shows us that you can be a hands on mom, have a successful career and do it all with killer style. Today marks the launch of Preview.ph- the online component of Preview Magazine- another facet for Isha to juggle in her very stylish life. Isha sheds light on the truth about what a #Previewgirl is really all about.
How do you balance your work and spending time with Julian?
I devote certain periods of time within the day to spending time with him. Mornings involve having breakfast together, playing (whether we’re playing with his toys in his room or he’s playing an educational app while sitting on my lap as I go through some emails) and hanging out in my room while I get dressed for work. Since I get home between 7:30-8pm, my evening time with him consists of a short amount of play before we begin our bedtime routine. He still sleeps beside me, which I love, and that’s why I also end up falling asleep so early. Other times I steal pockets of time to spend with him, so I might bring him to the office with me before he goes to school, or I’ll take him to an event with me, or I’ll bring him along when I do household errands like going to the grocery. My weekends are devoted to him.
What is the biggest challenge of a working mom?
What I find challenging right now are time management and focus. Now that he’s older, I have to pay more attention to his meals and activities. Whether its scheduling the time to cook a variety of balanced meals in advance for him to eat throughout the week or working with him on school projects and attending parent seminars, I find I’ve to pay closer attention to balancing this with my work schedule. With regards to focus, a lot of my work involves communication and coordination, so I’m constantly on my phone. It’s difficult to continue a discussion in a chat group with a 3-year-old demanding my attention. Vice versa applies, it’s difficult to focus on morning rituals or bedtime with messages coming in.
Is fashion a topic of conversation at home?
Not really, though a friend advised that allowing your child to choose what he/she wears is a great way to develop his/her decision-making skills. So fashion is discussed when he’s deciding between a Spider-Man or Star Wars T-shirt or which of his sneakers he’d like to wear that day. Sometimes, I ask him to choose my shoes when I’m getting dressed and I plan my outfit around that. He usually picks my furry flats (because they are so fluffy!) or a pair of sneakers (so that we match). He is also very inquisitive about my makeup and accessories.
What do you do to relax?
Either one of two things: I book a home-service mani-pedi and massage package for at least three hours to myself, or I spend three hours shopping by myself. I leave the boys to spend time together while I’m doing either.
How does the fashion world react to you taking a baby to work (have you done that?)
Yes, I like bringing him along when I can, when I feel it’s appropriate. Generally, people have reacted so positively to his presence. I think children have a way of bringing sunshine wherever they go. To his credit, he behaves when I ask him to stay with me, but also enjoys exploring venues and observing shows. He’s already made many fashion friends and points them out when he sees them on TV.
Name the best bag you’ve come across that holds your essentials when out with Julian.
To lessen the number of things I have to carry, I just slip a pouch that has my wallet, powder, lippie, tissues and phone into the Cath Kidston backpack I use as his diaper bag. I end up dressing casually or sporty when it’s just me and him, to make sure the bag doesn’t look odd with what I’m wearing. Ha! Though in general, I’ve also been favoring small cross body bags because they are not heavy and keep my hands free.
Most comfy pair of shoes for running around after him?
Sneakers, plimsolls, brogues and flat pumps. He runs fast so I need to be in the right gear to catch him! Though I have occasionally managed to get a good workout in by carrying him up a flight of stairs while wearing block- or stack-heeled shoes.
Dressing for taking care of a child- form or function?
Now that Julian is older, I can afford to prioritize form over function. Thankfully, athleisure and cool casuals are so stylish now so I don’t really need to sacrifice one for the other. However, when he was still a baby and I was still breastfeeding, button-down shirts, wrap tops and oversized tees were a go-to just for convenience.
Can a #previewgirl also be a mommy? What is a Preview Girl?
Yes, definitely! When I first started working at Preview, I was one of two girls on the team who wasn’t a mom. Everyone else had a child! If anything, working here has allowed me to see that it’s possible to have a career and raise your kids at the same time.
A Preview girl is someone who loves fashion, she’s young at heart, is inspired by what’s new and what’s cool, and looks forward to new experiences. Being a mom, doesn’t change that.
Any advise for a working mom who wants to be updated with fashion- what things can she add to her wardrobe to make her always stand out?
Don’t stop checking out magazines, websites, social media for inspiration on what to wear. Also, don’t feel that just because you’re a mom now, your life as you know it has to change. You’re still the same person, maybe with different priorities and needs, but that doesn’t mean you’ll stop getting pleasure from looking your best. Personally, I like reading features on and checking out the social media posts of stylish moms. It’s inspiring and I always think that if they manage to look chic while getting their mommy duties done, there’s no reason I can’t.
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