Working moms have a lot on their plate. Along with things like presentations, monthly reports and P&L statements are mental notes about packing lunches, potty-training, after-school activities and finding that favorite stuffed animal that mysteriously disappeared. As any mom will share, i’s not easy. Brief moments of sheer insanity can occur, followed by triumphs large and small. It is truly the heart-melting moments that make it all worthwhile. The fact that we are lucky enough to experience it all with the rich, colorful background of 30A makes it that much sweeter. 30A Street Style takes a closer look at what the pursuit of balance looks like for working moms around South Walton.
JENNIFER & ROWAN
Who? Jennifer Steele, Executive Director for the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and mom to Cale, 18 and Rowan, 7
Favorite thing to do on 30A with the kids? My kids and I are fortunate to have been in Grayton Beach all of our lives. Our favorite thing to do is play in the sand and water at Grayton. We don’t get to the beach as much as we would like to, but when we do, we make it count!
Favorite “me time” indulgence to balance mommy life? Travel – especially during the busy season here on 30A; It’s nice to get away for a long weekend, but I always appreciate coming home.
Favorite part of your daily routine as a working mama? I am fortunate that I have a job that allows me to work from home when I need to; I try to be home before Rowan gets off the bus, and I love that routine – hearing the bus pull up, watching him walk down the driveway and say “Hi, Mama!” It is a sweet part of my day.
How do you describe your clothing style? Eclectic; I enjoy pairing casual and elegant pieces. I love vintage finds – especially blouses and handbags. I think the beach provides us all with some relaxed freedom that we wouldn’t have if we were in a city. For example, wearing a sun dress and flip flops to work, which I often do during the summer.
How do you describe your mom/parenting style? My parenting style has definitely evolved. I would say I’m hands-on but not hovering. I think I’m pretty relaxed, but Rowan tells me I’m the mean parent and I’m okay with that!
Favorite clothing/style items to buy the little ones? I like to buy blazers for Rowan because he loos so cute in them when he throws one on with jeans and a t-shirt. He wore a blazer in his kindergarten school picture and I laugh every time I look at it and joke that it is his first campaign photo.
How does being a working mom make you better or stronger? Working full time makes me appreciate the time I do have with my kids and it makes me aware of what my priorities really should be.
Best advice to busy moms trying to balance it all? My advice to myself and to all moms is don’t feel guilty when you can’t be the best at everything. It’s impossible to give 100% to yourself, your kids, your relationship and your job all the time.
Recent thing that makes it all worthwhile? Rowan tells people I am famous because I run the CAA, which gives a real laugh to my staff. It makes me happy that he is proud of me and my work.
On Jennifer: Skirt by Zara; shirt by J. Crew; shoes by Saks Fifth Avenue; earrings by Rock Hard Designs; pendant by Judith March On Rowan: Pants, shirt and tie by J. Crew
MAKENZIE & CAMPBELL
Who? Makenzie Carter, Marketing Director for The Seaside Style and mom to Campbell, 2
Favorite thing to do on 30A with the kids? We love to go to the beach and play on the Seaside playground. Campbell loves the swings!
Favorite “me time” indulgence to balance mommy life? Getting manicures and pedicures.
Favorite part of your daily routine as a working mama? Picking Campbell up from school is my favorite part of the day. She is always so excited to see me and it means my work day is (somewhat) over.
How do you describe your clothing style? Classic with a little bit of prep. 90% of my wardrobe is from J.CREW if that says anything.
How do you describe your mom/parenting style? I would like to think that I’m a warm and nurturing mom that also believes in fair and consistent discipline.
Favorite clothing/style items to buy the little ones? Seaside t-shirts (of course), inexpensive shorts & leggings, cotton dresses and TOMS in every color! And if I’m being honest… the smocked auctions on Facebook get me every time!
How does being a working mama make you better/stronger? “Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” ~Linda Wooten
Best advice to busy moms trying to balance it all? Have a glass of wine and go to bed early. 😉
Recent thing that makes it all worthwhile? Campbell grabbed my face and said, “You’re perfect, just the way you are.”
On Makenzie: J. Crew dress, Jack Rogers sandals from Perspicasity On Campbell: Gap Kids
ERIKA, SLOANE & WHITNEY
Who? Erika Powell, Owner of Urban Grace Interiors and mom to Sloane, 4 and Whitney, 10 months
Favorite thing to do on 30A with the kids? We love the beach and ice cream or snowcones in Seaside! The playground at Padgett Park is also a favorite, the splash pad in the summer lots of fun.
Favorite “me time” indulgence to balance mommy life? Leisurely bike ride or dinner out with friends.
Favorite part of your daily routine as a working mama? Picking Sloane up from preschool. As a working mom, there is just something so comforting about being reunited with your child.
How do you describe your clothing style? I gravitate towards what is comfortable… let’s call it “comfortable chic”, so I don’t sound like a grandma. I want to be able to come home from work and play in the backyard with my babies without the fear of wrinkling my dress.
How do you describe your mom/parenting style? Oh goodness… I don’t know… maybe you should ask my husband this one. 😉 I hope I’m lots of fun, with just enough disciplinarian in me…. that will eventually result in two well-rounded, sensitive, caring children.
Favorite clothing/style items to buy the little ones? Shoes! Sloane (4.5) has recently expressed interest in fashion, so together we have been searching Zappos for the most colorful tennis shoes and the coolest cowgirl boots.
How does being a working mama make you better/stronger? I’m getting better about setting boundaries and I think because my time is split between work and home this has been easier to do.
Best advice to busy moms trying to balance it all? Give yourself grace, don’t let the guilt of working or the guilt of being at home creep up on you… it’ll steal your joy and not allow you to be fully present wherever you are.
Recent thing that makes it all worthwhile? Last night I got a “you’re the best momma in the whole world”… I also love picking Sloane up from school and seeing that she spent her free time writing everyone in our family’s name on a piece of paper complete with little hearts all over.
On Erika: Sam & Lavi top from Willow, Lucky Jeans Charlotte Kick Flair, Sam Edelman shoes, vintage bracelets On Sloane: Carter’s dress On Whitney: Feather Baby Top, Ralph Lauren leggings
CINDY, BARRON, MAE & WALTER
Who? Cindy Krutz, co-owner of Willow Boutique and mom to Barron, 6, twins Mae and Walter, 3
Favorite thing to do on 30A with the kids? Going Watersound Beach Club and play in the pool and go to the beach.
Favorite “me time” indulgence to balance mommy life? I get facials regularly.
Favorite part of your daily routine as a working mama? Coming home in the afternoon to everyone screaming with excitement Mama. Warms my heart!
How do you describe your clothing style? I would say modern classic.
How do you describe your mom/parenting style? I am actually pretty hard on my kids and want them to grow up respectful and hard working.
Favorite clothing/style items to buy the little ones? I love Mae in tunics w/ bloomers (love showing off her legs) and for my boys, I put them in shorts with a pattern or stripe with a collard shirt.
How does being a working mama make you better/stronger? Since I am not with them all day everyday, I feel like I am more attentive and enjoy them more with the time I have with them.
Best advice to busy moms trying to balance it all? Mine would be to try and not always have guilt and to remember you are doing the best you can.
Recent thing that makes it all worthwhile? Mae has fallen in love with clothes and is always wanting to come with me to work.
On Cindy: Rebecca Taylor dress from Willow On Walter: Havacoa swim shorts and shirt On Mae: coverup from Gigi’s Fab Kids On Barron: Puro Panno swim shorts, Johnnie O shirt from Fitz & Emme
REBECCA, LAKE & GEORGIA
Who? Rebecca Balkcom, Owner of Bountiful Creative and mom to Lake, 2 and Georgia, 1
Favorite thing to do on 30A with the kids? Strolling from our house in Old Seagrove to Seaside to visit Modica Market on weekend mornings for a chicken biscuit, comraderie with the locals, lunch at Barefoot Barbecue where Lake and Georgia indulge in Murph’s Mac and Cheese, a romp on the beach chasing Seagulls, followed with a mad dash to the Seaside Playground (next to the tennis courts) to exert some boundless energy before naptime.
Favorite “me time” indulgence to balance mommy life? I love going to Sundog and perusing new fiction and memoirs just for ME…without the kids in tow. Add a long hot bath for the setting to enjoy my new book and that is my ultimate “me time” escape!
Favorite part of your daily routine as a working mama? I would say waking my children up or putting them to bed, but right now we’re dealing with the escape artist otherwise known as “Houdini” coming into our bed so I get the benefit of snuggling with him all night.
How do you describe your clothing style? I love wearing skinny jeans with signature patterned flowing tops and luxurious scarves paired with my signature jewelry collection from my husband….Gold bangles from Garden and Gun’s “Made in the South” designer of the year Christina Jervey paired with the timeless necklaces from Mary James Jewelry in Nashville and Blessings in Disguise found at Mercantile. I love keeping my clothes simple and adding jewelry as a statement. I need to be able to move quickly and to chase toddlers through the streets of Seaside!
How do you describe your mom/parenting style? Remember everything you said you would never do when you had a child? I’ve done every…single…one…of those things. I turn a blind eye to my dusty ceiling fans so I can spend my limited time cuddling and giggling with Lake and Georgia in our bed, free playtime on the floor and trying not to let the day-to-day routine creep into indulging them with sheer love and laughter.
Favorite clothing/style items to buy the little ones? I always envisioned smocked frocks with monograms. Now my kids (as young as they are) dictate their dress. I’ve learned quickly that my kids’ have their own style and that’s empowering to shape them into who they will become Georgia wears lots of color and pieces that are comfortable. She will thank me one day for not adorning her head with trendy headbands and bows. (No offense to mothers who do!)
How does being a working mama make you better/stronger? I had my children later in life so I don’t miss or regret anything, but I am challenged to step up my energy level to keep up with their rigorous schedule while balancing my clients’ needs. It makes me throw all of my so-called “plans” out the window and focus on the present. I am stronger in that all I have to do is make it through one day to the next…something to which I am sure other mothers can relate. So fortunate to have a husband who reminds me of this daily and supports my endeavors while being an equal partner/parent!
Best advice to busy moms trying to balance it all? You truly cannot do everything. Work with people you love, throw yourself into your career giving it your all, then turn off all devices when you are back on “mom time.” Be honest with yourself about your work load with not just regard to balance for your husband and children, but also balance for yourself to recharge batteries and come back to work and family with a healthy dose of inspiration and vigor.
Recent thing your kid did or said that makes it all worthwhile? Mommy, I lubb you. You are buuuutiful!
On Rebecca: blouse from Mercantile On Lake and Georgia: outfits from Duckie’s
JAMI & EMERY
Favorite thing to do on 30A with the kids? We love to mix it up. Wandering through Rosemary Beach with a treat from the Sugar Shak or blowing bubbles on the green is a favorite as well as taking Emery to ballet in Seaside and finding a quiet place on the sand in Blue Mountain Beach.
Favorite “me time” indulgence to balance mommy life? Quiet shopping trips where I can take my time to browse are really relaxing. And every woman needs a pedicure with a good foot massage!
Favorite part of your daily routine as a working mama? There is something about the morning routine and getting out the door that is always an adventure. The sweetest moments are usually right before bed, when I snuggle with Emery to tuck her in and we say her prayers. Even with a lot on my mind, I can shut down long enough to enjoy and really take in every little smile and story she has.
How do you describe your clothing style? I am obsessed with anything black and white. I like bright color, oddball patterns and graphic styles that are easy but still look put together. I’m not usually one to wear frilly ruffles or flats.
How do you describe your mom/parenting style? I try to be as sweet as I can while still creating boundaries – if that’s possible. The days might be long, but the years will fly by and I know I’ll want some of these moments back. I try not to take the little things so seriously and take full opportunity to be silly and laugh with Emery.
Favorite clothing/style items to buy the little ones? My bright color, black and white love has continued to kids clothing. I try to buy pieces that are like regular clothes – no characters, no slogans – just kid-size versions of dresses, blouses, shorts and accessories. I never got into the smocked and monogrammed look.
How does being a working mama make you better/stronger? I’ve found that I have become much more assertive and efficient. I realize how valuable time outside of work is, so I make the most of working hours and knock out as much as I can. I’ve learned to say no more often and really focus on quality projects I am passionate about.
Best advice to busy moms trying to balance it all? Compartmentalize! You can’t be successful doing everything at once. There has to be some separation to really make the most out of work time and play. I try to be more hands-free and not have a phone in one hand.
Recent thing that makes it all worthwhile? When Emery grabs my hand to interlace our fingers, my heart melts. The other day she said, “I’ll tell you everything you ever need to know because we are best friends. Right, mommy?”
On Jami: Karlie dress from Willow Boutique, Philip Lim for Target bag, Nine West wedges On Emery: Old Navy top and sandals, Mayoral crochet shorts from Fitz & Emme
WESLEYANN, BRAYDEN & LIAM
Who? Wesleyann Knetzer, Owner of Dear Wesleyann Photography and mom to Brayden, 5 and Liam, 3
Favorite thing to do on 30A with the kids? Between riding bikes, ice cream from the Sugar Shack, playing at the Fonville Press playground in Alys Beach and concerts at the Seaside Amphitheater….30A is like a dream for my boys!
Favorite “me time” indulgence to balance mommy life? Since most my time is spent in a dark room sitting in front of a computer, I love nothing more than stepping out into the sunshine and strolling the streets of Rosemary and Seaside, grabbing coffee at Amavida and popping into al the little boutiques to shop!
Favorite part of your daily routine as a working mama? I’d be lying if I didn’t say my morning coffee. My schedule is rather crazy and never seems to be the same…but my coffee….that my daily constant!
How do you describe your clothing style? functional and fashionable. But like I said…I sit in a dark room most days…so yoga pants are my primary attire!!
How do you describe your mom/parenting style? I’m a pretty laid back person who is used to just rolling with it and my parenting is rather similar. Even though little boys can be a handful, they’re pretty easy! While I don’t let a lot get to me, I do expect my boys to be obedient, respectful, kind, always put others first, treat others as they would want to be treated, and to belly laugh often!
Favorite clothing/style items to buy the little ones? My boys, ironically enough, love clothes! My oldest actually asks to go shopping for clothes. Their style tends to be like little men…lots of skinny jeans, button ups, and layered clothing, Their closet are packed full with clothes from H&M crewcuts, GAP and the more practical Target and Old Navy.
How does being a working mama make you better/stronger? I absolutely adore my job! My career as a photographer allows me to chase after my passion for creativity, satisfy my love for travel, and challenges me daily by the constant changing. Because I’m able to do what fuels me and brings joy, I feel as though it allows me to have a balance in life as a creative, female individual, as a wife, and as mother. I want to be an example for my boys with my career as well as in my marriage. There is definitely a lot of “mommy guilt” that comes with a double role as a working mom because you want to give your all in every area. My prayer is that my boys, first and foremost, know that they are loved wholeheartedly, but that they have a mother who is driven and passionate about what she does and that with hard work, determination, and even a few tears, you’re able to achieve your dreams!
Best advice to busy moms trying to balance it all? Don’t be afraid to ask for help and let go sometimes! Business and balance has been my quest for this year in order to put my family first. I’ve realized that in order to have a life outside of work, I have had to learn that I can’t do it all and I can’t do it all on my own! Oh…and that it’s ok to say “no” sometimes 🙂
Recent thing your kid did or said that makes it all worthwhile? The daily morning hugs, kisses, and “i love yous” are a constant reminder that it’s all worth it!!
On Wesleyann: Banana Republic Dress On Brayden and Liam: J. Crew crewcuts
CELIA & HUXLEY
Who? Celia Tucker, co-owner of Willow Boutique and mom to Huxley, 18 months
Favorite thing to do on 30A with the kids? We love to ride bikes to the Farmer’s Market in Seaside on Saturdays.
Favorite “me time” indulgence to balance mommy life? When my husband brings early morning coffee to me in bed before the crazy life with a toddler begins.
Favorite part of your daily routine as a working mama? Just those days when I feel like I am contributing to my family.
How do you describe your clothing style? Beach chic.
How do you describe your mom/parenting style? Oh gosh…I am not sure yet. I am actually more laid-back than I thought I would be, but still controlling. I’ll probably be the most strict mom on the block. That’s for sure!
Favorite clothing/style items to buy the little one? Well I am a true Southerner so I love a sweet smocked John John or a bubble. While he’s a baby, I’ll dress him like a baby….because before I know it, he will be asking for some Levi’s and Patagonia.
How does being a working mama make you better/stronger? Everything about it…independence, growing thicker skin, learning to be a mentor/role model for my employees, leadership skills, confidence, people skills, patience. Everything about my job…the good, the bad and the ugly makes me a stronger person. I hope one day that Hux, my son, will be proud that his mom started and owned her own businesses.
Best advice to busy moms trying to balance it all? Stop and take it all in every day. Be thankful and proud of yourself and your family.
Recent thing your kid did or said that makes it all worthwhile? This morning we were watching Mickey and crawled up in my lap and laid his head down and just cuddled up and keep saying “momma momma.”
On Celia: Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent dress, Rag & Bone hat, Karbn necklace, Willow signature Love necklace On Hux: Vintage pants