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I Don’t Know How She Does It – Kimberly Bernhardt

2012 July 17

I have known Kimberly through various work circles for a few years now but really connected with her recently when I realized that, like me, she is ambitious and fearless and crazy enough to juggle a full-time career, two kids, and a growing blog, Lila’s Teacup. Her eye for mini-me style finds is second only to her career kudos (she is an executive director at one of the biggest national public relations agencies in the country) and of course, her most important role, mommy to four-year-old Lila and nine-month-old Margot. Here, my friends, is how she does it:

What time does your day start and how?

The husband sneaks out of the house at 5:15am every morning for work and within 15 minutes my 9 month old lets out an extraordinarily loud squeal.  I’m not sure why I even bother setting an alarm.  About ten minutes later my 4 year old is bounding into the bedroom and since neither are the type to cuddle quietly in bed the house is hopping by 5:45am.  Our mornings are scheduled within an inch of a minute and so by the time the nanny arrives at 8am, everyone has been fed, watered, cleaned and dressed.  Lunches have been packed, diapers changed and somewhere in-between I have showered, dressed and applied make-up.  Sometimes we even have eight minutes left to play.

What time does your day end and how?

I leave the office between 5:15-5:30pm and hop straight in a cab, which means I am home within about ten minutes.  Living in the center of the city (Chicago) means we don’t have to face any sort of a commute, which is a huge bonus.  I spend two hours with the girls before putting them to bed and then most nights after story time I am back on my computer working until I have accomplished everything that needs to get done.  Don’t think some serious Pinning doesn’t happen whilst I do it though.  Somewhere between 10pm and 11pm my eyes start watering and it is time for bed.  My eyes close before my head has even hit the pillow.

Do you work from home or in an office? What is the set up like?

I work in an office environment.  Right now I have my own beautiful office but in keeping with the times, the agency I work for is relocating down the street and we’re going open plan.  Yes, we’ll all be in cubes.  The days of pumping, preening and making personal calls are going to be a thing of the past.

Do you see/speak to your kids throughout your work day? If yes, how/when?

I rarely see the girls during the day unless I decide to work from home, which, to be honest, isn’t that frequently. I try not to call too much because I don’t want them to miss me and upset their rhythm; however, I always give them a bell if I know something important is going on.  The nanny, a superstar, and I text during the day but I try and be cognizant of her time too.

What is the best thing about being a working mom? Hardest thing?

Although all working moms constantly feel torn between their work and children, I love what I do, I love earning my own money and I feel proud to be a strong role model to both of my daughters.  Dare I say that I would be disappointed that if later in life they didn’t want to have a career?  Fortunately, I work in PR, which is an industry dominated by women (aka moms) and so we all try and make it as easy as possible on one another knowing how intense it can be.  That makes the hard things easier.  I read a compelling book recently that reminded me that none of us are alone in this journey.  In the book, TORN, 46 women from all walks of life examine the conflict between the need to nurture and the need to work, and reveal exactly how they manage it.

Be honest, what is one thing you envy about stay at home moms?

There are times when I am sitting in my office on a beautiful sunny day and I feel jealous of all the mums who are lucky enough to be running around the park with their little ones.  Or if by chance one of the girls cries when I leave in the morning, which breaks my heart.  However, as cliché as it sounds, I try and remember that the grass is always greener on the other side and I admittedly seek a little solace when I listen to my stay at home mom friends complain about how tough it is on that patch of grass.

 Answer the question “I don’t know how you do it?” in ten words or less.

I don’t know how I do it…but I do!

And here are some things Kimberly is currently coveting…for she and she and she:


Clockwise from top left:

A white blazer goes with everything and is a chic addition to any outfit.

Lip gloss always does the trick.

YSL Touche éclat hides the dark bags and keeps the eyes looking radiant in times of great need.

Aden & Anais swaddle blankets are a must-have. They serve multiple purposes and I use them for everything blanket, burp cloth, stroller cover … you name it.

Flats.  As much as I love heels, flats are essential for moms on the run.

Amore Pacific because it keeps my skin hydrated and fresh all year round.

With two girls, plenty of tulle is a must. Since I try and avoid all things Disney as much as possible (never 100% sadly), I have endeavored to find beautiful princess costumes and Tutu Du Monde is my go-to.

Bobbi Brown blush to add a little color to my translucent English skin.

I only use organic products on the girls and one of my favorite brands is Earth Mama Angel Baby.  I lather Margot in their oil every day and it keep her skin healthy, smooth and smelling delicious.

A big tote that doubles up as a diaper bag on weekends….(editor’s note: that is one chic diaper bag. Now you see why I like this girl…)

6 Responses leave one →
  1. July 17, 2012

    Knowing Kimberly as I do – she is my baby sister – I have to say that she has actually inspired me to go back to work – though I also have two of her nephews. Kimberly makes it all look so easy and I too want to be an inspiration to my two little men. I want them to marry strong, clever and successful women…

    I will miss all those moments that I greedily soak in now…

    But my patch of grass feels a bit parched at the mo’….

    Love your blog. Clever you.

    • WWGD permalink*
      July 18, 2012

      Thanks so much! She made such a good point about the grass…we really are always dreaming of the other side, aren’t we? My current scenario is working out nicely — a little bit of both 🙂

  2. July 17, 2012

    My mom was a work-outside-the-home mom, and I’m a work-from-home mom. I think we both feel/felt lucky. She once told me that she read when I was a child (Dr. Spock, of course) that what makes mama happy will make baby happy. Some women don’t have a choice, but I feel very, very lucky that (essentially) I do.

    I love this series. Can’t wait to read about more inspiring women.

    • WWGD permalink*
      July 18, 2012

      Thanks, Lauren! I agree wholeheartedly — in the end, happy mama = happy baby, regardless of what occupies that mama’s day.

  3. Margaret J. Hawkins Carrion permalink
    July 17, 2012

    I also have known Kimberly for many, many years and she never ceases to amaze me! Not only is she the perfect Mom, but also the perfect friend and confidante to her countless girlfriends spread all over the world. Her two lovely daughters are always exquisitely dressed and she never worries that a skirt might be snagged or a favourite dress ruined in the rain. She is a real juggler, a model for any modern woman anywhere.

    I love the blog! It is a real inspiration for a professional woman, who in fact was a stay-at-home Mom.


    • WWGD permalink*
      July 18, 2012

      Aw, I love to hear that! I can honestly say I am finding more inspiration these days in my fellow creative, ambitious, insanely busy mommy friends than anywhere else.

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