I Don’t Know How She Does It – Janice Nickloff
I met Janice many moons ago when we were both young account executives at the same PR agency in Los Angeles. Not only was she a great colleague then, she became a good friend for the many years that followed as well. She is one of the women I admire most in my personal life because she has built a fantastic career (formerly at Burton and Stila Cosmetics and most recently as the new head of Global Public Relations at Hudson Jeans) while staying true to herself, her style, her friendships, and most importantly, her precious little family every step of the way (I am lucky enough to call her husband a friend as well and he’s a keeper). I know I can always turn to Janice for advice, insight or just a brain to pick and that she will understand and appreciate where I am coming from and more importantly…where I should be going. Her daughter Aila Rue (about to turn one!) is sure to follow in her mother’s amazingly graceful footsteps – with a smart, stylish approach to life that will lead her down many great paths. And I know Janice will be there alongside her every step of the way, cheering her on. Here is how she does it:
What time does your day start and how?
My day starts at about 6:30AM as soon as my 11 month-old daughter wakes up. I used to not be a morning person at all and only wake up to my phone alarm and pressing snooze at least 10 times, and now my body is automatically up at 6:30 no matter what. I immediately start the day with some music, most of the time Cat Stevens or Michael Jackson, but always some music to get the day going. I change Aila and feed her breakfast and then play with her for a bit. She just started walking so we do our daily morning tour around the house. Once I do all of that, I hand her off to my mom and get myself ready for work which takes me about 20 minutes since I’m very minimal with makeup and work for a denim company so that pretty much cuts my decisions on my daily work outfits in half. I leave my house around 8:30AM to head to the office and stop for Coffee Bean every morning. Coffee every morning is a must and don’t feel like my work day has officially started without it.
What time does your day end and how?
My typical normal day ends around 10PM. I get home from the office around 6PM and have dinner with my family. I then play with Aila, give her a bath, read, sing, again take a nightly tour (a few times) around the house and catch up on the day with my husband in between all of this. I start the process of putting Aila to bed around 8PM and she is usually asleep by 9PM and then I take an hour to wind down myself listening to a book on audio or just zoning out on social media (typically Pinterest) before I go to bed.
Do you work from home or in an office? What is the set up like?
I work in an office but with the nature of my job, I travel quite a bit and have a very unconventional work schedule. It is definitely not a 9 to 5 office job. My days/weeks are never the same. I juggle around quite a bit based on my husband’s work and travel schedule too. I’m very lucky to have my parents’ support as they both just recently retired and are available to help whenever they can above and beyond the support they already provide watching my daughter, Aila, during the week. They also both have a routine, a dog, and belong to a walking club and have their days they like to spend with their friends so I also want to make sure that my schedule never affects that for them so I’m usually driving back and forth to their house to pick up or drop off Aila and my husband and I stay the night at their house one night a week (on Thursdays) so that Aila has a bit of stability and routine too.
Do you see/speak to your kids throughout your work day? If yes, how/when?
Yes, all day long. Not sure how people did it before FaceTime. My mom is not very technologically savvy but I taught her how to use an iphone to text, take pictures, and FaceTime and that is how we communicate throughout the day. It’s the best part of my day hearing that “ding” go off wherever I am and get my daily photo and update for the day. I usually call throughout the day too just to say hi and see what she is doing so she hears my voice.
What is the best thing about being a working mom? Hardest thing?
Best thing is being able to live and accomplish both roles, still being that businesswoman I’ve worked my entire life and career to be and being the mother I’ve always dreamed to be at the same time. Still having those adult conversations and being able to still travel and meet new people. I grew up with both my parents working full time and my mom being a very successful businesswoman that commuted to downtown LA everyday to work a very stressful financial job and then coming home to take care of us. I never felt like she wasn’t there for us or missed anything in our lives which I’m sure wasn’t easy, but I never knew the difference. Same with my dad. He worked a full time job, but was at every school soccer game and coached my club soccer team from when I was 10-18 years old.
Hardest thing is being able to balance everything and find time for myself. I honestly just find myself absolutely exhausted and not wanting to say one word to anyone when I get home from work especially being in PR I have to always be “on” and a “people person”. After I gave birth, I told myself that I’m going to adapt Aila into our life and not adapt our life around her. I don’t feel bad if she doesn’t go to bed at exactly 9pm and just comes with me to do a Target run or takes a bath an hour later that usual or simply just watches TV for a few minutes. This is what has helped me really balance everything so far and I feel my daughter has adapted to it as well. She loves to be outdoors and enjoys being around people. If I travel for work, my personal rule is any trip more than 3 days I bring her and my mom with me. I’ve been very fortunate to have a career that allows me to do that. Let’s just say that Aila has been to New York a few times, Hawaii and Australia, all within her first year of life.
Be honest, what is one thing you envy about stay at home moms?
That they are able to spend more time with their kids and just be around to see those little day-to-day memories. The little things that make only us moms smile and get excited about. I sometimes wish I could just wake up and go to the playground and not have to worry about what time it was. On the weekends, I watch Aila just do the smallest things that make me laugh or make my heart melt and I would love to see that all the time.
Answer the question “I don’t know how you do it?” in ten words or less.
It takes a village.
And because both Janice and little Aila are two of the most stylish gals I know, here are their must-haves of the moment:
I live in these Hudson Leigh Boyfriend Jeans on the weekend and when I’m traveling.
And I live in these Joie Maddie Tees, too. I’m pretty much the epitome of a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl.
Stila Stay All Day Beauty Balm and Convertible Color in Gerbera. These two things are pretty much my makeup look. They are the only two things I wear on the daily. I’ll add mascara and red lipstick for my dressed up, night look.
I’m just really not made for heels so these Valentino Rockstud Flats are my lifesavers. Good for dress up or business casual.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir. One of my good friends, Sarah, is a celebrity makeup artist and introduced me to this piece of heaven. The smell and feel is amazing. I can’t get enough of it. I use this especially when I travel so my skin doesn’t get dehydrated.
Minou Kids Holiday Pants – This is a new line that I love. I’m obsessed with palm trees so love these pants and print.
This is the best baby bag that also keeps me in stylish work mode. My normal everyday purse is a Rebecca Minkoff too so it doesn’t feel like I switch to total mom mode when I’m carrying it around.
Freshly Picked Moccasins – Cutest and best moccasins. I wish they made a pair in my size, too (editor’s note: don’t we all…).