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I Don’t Know How She Does It – Marissa Kraxberger

2013 March 19


There is a very big part of me that believes I should be living and working in New York. In fashion. With a fabulous brand that inspires me and inspires its consumers and infuses the world with creativity and style. But now that I have two kids and am (semi) firmly settled in the suburbs, that all seems like a dream. A dream that Marissa Kraxberger is living. She is the vice president of the creative department at Oscar de la Renta, overseeing all creative for the brand, inclusive of ready-to-wear, accessories, home, fragrance and childrenswear. Impressive, right? She also launched the brand’s fun and fashion-forward childrenswear blog, George & Ruby (which is how I first found her). Yep, still impressed. And finally, but most importantly, she is mom to two adorable littles, Alexa (almost 3) and Hayden (almost 2), who are some of the best-dressed tots in Manhattan from what I can see and finds time (and energy!) to take them on great adventures around the city. Now I am officially beyond impressed. Oh, and she happens to be super sweet and professional and lovely when fellow bloggers write to her out of the blue and ask her to share a glimpse into her life…this, my friends, is how Marissa does it:

What time does your day start and how?
On a good day I wake up at 5:30am and go to the gym, it’s the only time in the day that I can find that is just for me! I head to the gym so that I can catch up on Twitter (editor’s note: follow her here) and read a book on my Kindle app–all while getting in a workout. On all the other days the little ones are my morning alarm. The kids normally wake at 7am – they are thankfully good sleepers… as soon as they wake up their first words are either yogurt or iPad? Our nanny arrives at 8:30 and she and I catch up on all the happenings with the kids. I then head to work to start the day at around 9am.

What time does your day end and how?
I normally head home from work around 6:30 or 7….I wish it was earlier but my job is demanding and I always have a lot to fit into a day. As soon as I step out of the Oscar de la Renta offices I am on the move – I rush to catch the express train to Brooklyn. Thankfully my commute is only 30 minutes… the second I walk through the door I kick off my heels and throw my stuff to the side just in time to catch the little lady as she sprints into my arms–it is the best moment of my day. My husband Nate gets home from work before me to take care of the kids so by the time I am home I can just focus on playing with them and putting them to bed… we read books and cuddle and then I tuck them in around 8:30. After that Nate and I make dinner (or get take out), break open a bottle of wine and settle in on the sofa, watch tv and catch up on work emails, blogging or ordering diapers and groceries. We typically get to bed around 11pm.

Do you work from home or in an office? What is the set up like?
I work at the Oscar de la Renta offices. As much as I would love to work from home with the kids I know it would not work for me… it would be hard for me to be productive. I like having the separation because it allows me to focus on each fully without distractions. I would rather be around the kids and give them my full attention than have them be around me while I am busy trying to handle work issues. At work we have an open office space, I sit very closely with my team. I like it that way because I am very close with my team members… they are some of my best friends. I am able to do what I do because they are so strong, talented and dependable. I’m super lucky.

Do you see/speak to your kids throughout your work day? If yes, how/when?
It sounds bad, but no, I do not. I really trust our nanny, she loves the kids and they love her. She calls me every now and then, but mostly she just takes photos and sends them to me. I feel like it would be harder for me and for them to talk throughout the day. They are out and about exploring the city and enjoying play dates. I think about the kids a lot, but I have faith that they are in good hands. I typically call as soon as our nanny leaves (at 5:30) and touch base with my husband to hear about their day.

What is the best thing about being a working mom? Hardest thing?
The best thing about being a working mom is that I get to do two things that I really love…design and art direction, while also being a mom. I hope that I am a good role model for them…I work hard, but I love hard too. The hardest thing is the guilt… I try not to let it take over, but I often think and worry about the moments I am missing. That is really hard.

Be honest, what is one thing you envy about stay at home moms?
Hmmm. I guess I envy that they don’t miss moments…they see and experience everything–the good and even the bad. I didn’t realize how much I miss until this past Christmas holiday break…I was with the kids for 12 full days straight and saw them change before my eyes.

Answer the question “I don’t know how you do it?” in ten words or less
I focus on living a happy life. If you think positive and are kind, I believe good things will happen.

And here are this busy mom’s must-haves for she and she and he:  MarissaKraxbergerMustHaves-WWGwynethDo

From left to right:

I don’t know how I ever lived without Klorane dry shampoo! Who has time to wash their hair?? 😉

Vapour Organic Aura Multi-Use Blush

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer has been my go-to for years… plus it has SPF. Even if I am going sans makeup, I wear this!

We love, love, love the Speck iGuy iPad case.

Aquaphor for me AND for the babies. Great for lips, dry skin, etc. (new moms know it’s the answer to every question at the doctor’s office–”just put Aquaphor on it!”)

Squeezie fruit pouches like these from Plum Organics are a staple – we love lots of brands, but always organic.

I wear Bobbi Brown corrector every day. It’s a wake up call for tired eyes.

Native shoes for the kids.

6 Responses
  1. March 19, 2013

    what an inspiring mom! such a cool career that she obviously loves & with two small children, such a wonderful example of making it all work. she sure does it! thanks for sharing!!

  2. March 20, 2013

    What an amazing career, and juggling it all with two very small children is no small feat. It seems no matter how full our plate, we all manage to make things work and do the best we can. It takes a village. Thanks for another great post in this great series, Marissa and Raluca!

  3. March 22, 2013

    I love this series! Thanks for the insight and inspiration:) We working moms need it!

    • WWGD permalink*
      March 24, 2013

      Thank you, Cat! Couldn’t agree more. Hope you find lots of inspiration here – for the good days and the not-so-good ones 🙂

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