Raina Kattelson | Another Mother Her Way

Raina Kattelson is one of those people that makes me daydream about life upstate because I imagine towns filled with loads of women like her - grounded, compassionate and intensely creative.  Raina started her career in Manhattan after graduating from Parsons, then launching a children's wear brand before quickly realizing her interests and talent were in styling.  She's now a reputed stylist with work appearing across the gamut of magazines and brands. I was drawn to Raina's path because of her significant pause from full time work after having her daughters, Maeve and Romi, and her transition back, establishing prominence in the stylist community.  Raina is candid about the impact of that pause on her career, her value for her community and how she stays interested, interesting and involved in different ways.

Q  HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER? 

Becoming a mother grounded and focused me in ways I didn't forsee happening.

Q  WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD?  WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?

When my older daughter was born I stopped styling and working full time.  I thought that would be only for a brief time but she had some special needs. My husband is away a great deal for work and we felt that we both couldn't be away and the she needed me there for her.  We had to make some changes to our lifestyle but fortunately we were able to make it work. 

I certainly don't regret that decision, it was the right one for our family, but it definitely affected my career.  I did some part time design work when the girls were small to feed my creative soul and bring in some money.  I went back to work seriously when my youngest was 9.  It definitely takes a fair amount of juggling.  I've had several fabulous young women over the years who do much more than just care for the girls when we are away.  I know both girls would agree that it's important for them to see me working and juggling our home lives, so they know they don't have to choose between the two as they become adults.  And I think watching me work helps them in that the work world isn't some mysterious far away thing and that there are many independent careers possible for them.  Sometimes that has meant they have come with me when I am propping or on set.  I grew up watching my single dad juggle running a business and parenting and that gave me a great understanding of what work (especially having your own business) entails.


Q  DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS.  WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?

Loving, involved and supportive.  And if I could have a fourth - definitely more patient!  I hope my kids know that I am there for them at any time no matter what and that they can talk to me about anything.  I have always been very involved in causes I believe in - our local school, planned parenthood, politics and the arts in our area.  In the last few years, in addition to parenting, working and remodeling our home, I have been taking care of my aging father and his legacy as a photographer.  I hope that somehow I've been able to balance all of these things well and I hope I've been able to pass on to my children the desire to be involved human beings and the strength to advocate for themselves and their beliefs.  

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Q  HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD? 

Yoga, a strong cup of tea and a crossword puzzle, a movie and time with good friends all revive me.  Because I travel so much, a lot of time away from my kids is not as important.

Q  EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE.  WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?

I am so lucky to have a close knit community of friends and people I can call on in any crisis at any time.  There are so many amazing women in our community that the girls see as examples of people living interesting lives.  They have all brought so much to their lives.  My husband's office is several hours away, so he stays there 4 days a week.  Living near there would mean he would be home at night and I would be closer to some of my work.  We debated many times over the years if moving closer would be worth it but we feel so strongly about our community that we made the decision to stay here.

 Photographed by Monica Buck, Styled by Raina Kattelson

Photographed by Monica Buck, Styled by Raina Kattelson

Q  WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER? 

Ahhh.  That comes back to the patience thing.