Angela Tafoya | Another Mother Her Way
I met Angela for work at a chic cafe in the Mission neighborhood of SF when she was the West Coast lifestyle editor for Refinery29 and she was everything you would imagine in that role. She was interested and interesting, easy to chat with about creative projects or juicy life things and a genuine supporter of other women. We were both getting married that Fall and in the seasons since we've both grown our families and made significant career changes. She's now a mother to her toddler girl, Tallie, and Lonny magazine's Managing Editor where she brings her inspiring eye and energy. After the early months of motherhood, she created a path back by working from home and eventually transitioned back to the office full-time to oversee Lonny. We re-connected on that path and she remains, as you'll see (read), among the easiest of women to chat with, especially on the topic of finding and committing to what works for her and her beautiful family.
Q HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
Aside from experiencing an earth-shaking devotion unlike anything I ever have before, motherhood certainly changed my life a lot in regard to how I spend my time and the pace I try to set in life. Remembering to really slow down and be in the moment and savor time. Before I had Tallie I felt the need to be working around the clock and was constantly tethered to my phone checking email, on social media etc. Because time can feel so fleeting and the moments are so precious, as every day they are flourishing and growing before your eyes, I really value and prioritize living in real time and setting boundaries.
It’s also taught me a lot about living with intention and remembering to interact with kindness and consideration. When I am with her I am always (or at least try to be) cognizant of the example I’m setting to really trying to lead with my heart first and above all instill kindness. Becoming a mother has really opened up an oasis inside my heart I never knew could exist and felt much more natural than I could have ever anticipated (because to be honest, I was totally scared how the hell I was going to this upon learning I was pregnant – ha). I am so grateful for every day and every moment and really pinch myself that this is real. That she is ours. She’s taught me so much about myself and my values over these last two years, than I could have ever asked for and for that I am so thankful.
Q WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
I went back to work when she was around four months (working from home) so it was a fairly flexible transition and then took a full-time in office position around nine months. My journey as a working mom has definitely been a complicated path and a flip flop of emotions. Being a working mom can often times feel like a delicate dance where some days I feel so proud of the life and career I've built and hope to instill the same work ethic and values within her and then other times I really beat myself up over the moments spent away from her and all that I could potentially be missing. Sometimes I feel like the notion of "balance" is this elusive phrase we throw around and can feel so out of reach at times. And, then I just really start to get down on how far we are as a nation in terms of work flexibility and support for working moms and federally mandated maternity leave and just wow — see what I mean. It's a lot. But ultimately, we all are held accountable to our own decisions and I really strive to maintain a positive outlook and pass that on to her.
Q DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
Loving, attentive, patient. I want to be the mother who at the end of each of our days thoughtfully recounts our favorite moments together, who appreciates the beauty of the simplest of things, who is supportive in every path she decides to follow, who is firm but also gentle.
Q HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD?
Ha working on that one!
Q EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
Oh yes, I am so grateful for my friends (some mothers, some not!) who are always there to not only lend an ear when I’m at the breaking point of trying to achieve balance but who provide countless inspiration in many other areas — and have paved their unique paths for themselves and have just such amazing input all around. I never leave a meet up with them uninspired. My amazing mother who lives about 45 minutes away and has been there so much over these last two years, who I could NOT have survived these two without. She’s taught me a lot about motherhood in a way I was not expecting. And, my husband who is the best rock I could ask for. When they say it takes a village they were NOT kidding.
Q WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
I’m constantly trying to identify what it is that makes the most sense for me and my family’s path and not let the mom-guilt or doubt get to me. Comparison is the killer of joy and what may work or be a fit for one family might not be for another. So, really identifying my needs as a mother and woman and not feeling bad or guilty — and confident with my decisions.