Elle Strauss | Another Mother Her Way
Elle Strauss can wear an evening gown while at home, on a sofa, and it looks totally casual. Her ability to balance a confident, stylish sensibility with an easygoing realness makes it easy to lose track of time when you're with her and makes her very good at what she does. Elle was previously Fashion Director at Shopbop, more recently Fashion Director at BRIDES and now a Fashion stylist and consultant, blogging on the side to help a broader set of women. She's embedded herself as a fixture in the industry while finding ways to dial up and down to create space for herself to be with her girls, Honor and Imogen. Read Elle's chat about trying to hold on to her identity and giving in to motherhood the second time around, opting for a slower pace and working on acceptance.
Q HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
Oh gosh I'm not sure I did initially, it was a big shock. I think I consciously tried not to change with my first daughter like I was willing myself that I could do it all. Slowly I let myself chill out. Not accepting every dinner invitation, not feeling like work was the be all and end all. And I soon realized motherhood changes us because it's supposed to change us. With baby number two I have fully succumbed and I love it. Although the lack of sleep will never be easy!
Q WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
Career wise I took a slower pace role with baby number two. We're moving to LA in July and that's definitely a lifestyle choice as well as a career one. I want the girls to have a back garden and be nearer to family (my aunt is in LA) and it also means going freelance which is exciting and terrifying all at the same time. I've also started a blog, which I've surprised myself with - if you'd told me I'd be blogging a few years back I'd have laughed. But I love the idea that I'm helping other women out there. One woman confided that I'd helped her with clothes when it came to going back to work after maternity leave, which was wonderful to hear.
And yes no regrets!
Q DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
Loving, Supportive and Chilled! I hate the idea that the girls (when they're in their teens) won't tell me something because of fear of me flipping out. I've always been able to tell my mum or dad pretty much anything and not worry about reprove, so I'd love to have the same relationship.
Q HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD?
Yoga - it's become a huge part of my life only really recently but it's amazing. It's nothing fancy, no gym, just online in my living room when the kids have gone to bed. It's called Yoga with Adriene, and Adriene is just wonderful. I try to sneak in a class in the morning too if I can get up early enough.
Q EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
My husband James is amazing and although he travels with work a lot, when he's in town he completely takes over and lets me do things like sleep in until 830! whoop!
Lina, our wonderful sitter, takes amazing care of our babies and by the time I get home they're fed, washed and ready for bed, which is obviously like a gift from heaven.
My mum, although based in England, will jump on a plane at the drop of a hat. I once flew her to LA to look after Honor when both, myself and James were traveling. She also face-times so often it's like she lives here hahaha. The girls LOVE their grandma or Glam-ma as Honor calls her.
Q WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
Everything? Isn't every woman? I guess if I had to choose one, I think acceptance is probably up there. I put a lot of pressure on myself and accepting that not everything is perfect is definitely something that I continue to work on. The yoga is helping :)