MOM CRUSH: LINDSAY

PORTLAND, OR (SHOT AT SAUVIE ISLAND)

DARLING CLEMENTINE BOSS MAMA (OF TWO) TAKES US ON A MAGIC SAUVIE ISLAND STROLL WHILE SHARING HER THOUGHTS ON POLITICS, THE IMPORTANCE OF ASKING FOR HELP AND WHY SHE's A BELIEVER IN LETTING KIDS GET "BORED"

PHOTOS BY PAIGE JONES

INTERVIEW BY KARIN HESSELVIK

 

What’s the first thing you remember creating?

I used to cut up all the magazines in our house to make collages, I’m sure my parents loved that, ha!

What’s the most recent thing you created?

I took my husband to throw pottery for his birthday, it was much harder than I expected and I was really blown away with that feeling of doing something brand new, it’s been too long since I’ve tried something new, it was addictive!

Are you a kid or a grown up?

I’m totally a grown up, I’m an organizer, planner and list maker, I think 10 steps ahead always. It’s not always fun but I figure someone’s gotta.

What are you most proud of?

Easy, my children. That and my marriage, it’s not always easy but we work hard to grow together and push each other towards greatness, big and small goals. To those struggling in their relationship I just say keep showing up, mentally and emotionally, once that is gone it’s over.

When are you your most creative self?

Gosh, lately I haven’t felt super creative, but that’s ok, those ebbs and flows are part of life right?

What does freedom mean to you?

Freedom means being being able to find joy in life.  If you can enjoy the beauty around you and the people you love, I’d say that’s freedom.

What energizes you?

Politics, I’m a total politics/news junkie. It’s so energizing seeing a voice, a movement, a march turn into real change. It’s so inspiring and a reminder that one voice can make a difference.

What brings you peace?

The sea, always. It's something about that salty air, the smell of the ocean, its roaring crashing waves or soft lapping water that take my anxieties or problems and instantly minimize them. Since the ocean is a 2 hour drive from Portland we’ve been heading to Sauvie Island to take long walks to who knows where, we have discovered herds of cows, horses and hidden ponds. Those walks with no real destination are always the best ones. We’ve never regretting packing up the kids and heading for a beach adventure.

How do you nurture yourself?

I don’t as often as I deserve that is for sure. Meeting up with friends for coffee, a chat or a girls night out is crucial, swapping stories with other women is always a way to connect with the community around you. We all can learn from each other in ways we don’t even realize, even just to feel like we’re not alone in our struggles, that nurtures me.

Three words to describe your take on motherhood?

 Chaotic, Tender, Community

What have you learned about yourself since becoming a Mother?

I’m not a patient as I hoped I would be, it’s something I am constantly working to get better at. Children do things slower, be it walking to the store or putting their pjs on, it’s their day too and I have to remind myself they shouldn’t feel rushed. I have been trying to let them do things in their own time more, it feels good.

What role does creative play in how you parent?

I am strong believer in letting your kids “get bored” and figuring fun out on their own, not everything has to be a huge project that parents set up for their little ones. I read somewhere that the best thing a child can do with a toy is to break it. It resonates with me in my parenting style. When Jack breaks Juliette’s lego masterpiece by accident I’ll say to her, “Reimagine it darling, it’s meant to be ever changing anyway.” Trying to instill a go with the flow attitude in all aspects of their lives, and secretly hoping some of it rubs off on me too!

Best thing about having two kids?

They’re happier together than apart, it’s so sweet to see. For Jack (3) he’s never known a day without Juliette (7) in it, and for Juliette, Jack was the most amazing gift she’s ever received. Now that Jack is 3 and has a stronger voice in choosing how they play, it’s been wonderful to see Juliette having to take a back seat a little instead of planning everything out which she’s done since he was born. They’re teaching each other more than they’ll ever realize about life and relationships.

Hardest thing?

Honestly I don’t have much to say that’s hard about having two. I suppose explaining to Jack why he can’t go with Juliette on her playdates or birthday parties has been a bit heartbreaking, Juliette also doesn’t fully understand why he can’t tag along. Like I said, happier together.

Best piece of advice you received on parenting?

Trust yourself and ask for help when needed, we are all in this together and shouldn’t feel ashamed to reach out.

What was your mission for starting Darling Clementine?

I had a baby and realized everything I could find for my daughter was so cutesy, super gendered and rarely made of organic fabrics. I wanted to offer parents a carefully curated selection of modern baby and kids brands that were designed well, durable and if possible, made of sustainable materials.

How do you balance your workload while being a stay at home mom? 

I opened Darling Clementine with no childcare whatsoever, I worked during naps and after she went to bed at night, that was my ‘basic training’ for running the shop with 2 children, ha! I learned early on to use my time wisely, work in bursts and stay on top of it with lists and good notes to pick up when you sit back down at the computer after running after toddlers. Also I am extremely quick to reply to emails, texts and messages on social media, the sooner I can reply the better, otherwise I might forget.  Otherwise it nags at me and I can’t concentrate on my kids, so a quick reply and I can focus again.

How do you define success?

If you can sit down at the end of the day, with a glass of wine or cup of tea in hand, knowing you tried your hardest and gave it your all toward your work, friends and family. That is success.

How do you stay inspired?

I’ve been connecting with some amazing women on Instagram lately, I’ve got many group direct message conversations going that really are just amazing, women all over the world working in their capacity on their lives, businesses and often raising children. We vent, share tips, support each other in every way we know how.

Talk about the transition of moving from the hustle and bustle of New York to Portland

In my opinion New York is one of the most inspiring places in the world and it will always be home for me.  That being said, moving my family of 4 from a 4th floor walk up in a ever changing crowded city needed to happen, we spent most of our time in the daily grind, getting groceries was a challenge even, finding parking, getting armfuls of bags up the stairs along with little children just to turn around and do it all over again.  It was getting to be too much! We wanted to enjoy life and spend more time as a family doing fun things, being outside, exploring and spending time with friends. Moving to Portland allowed us the time to do that.

How has your move impacted family life?

We have more time to hang out as a family without “things to do.”  Weekends used to be a list of errands and it was getting tiring, now weekends are about driving to the coast, walking around town with no agenda, exploring farms and letting our kids see wildlife up close and not in a zoo, it’s pretty spectacular!

What’s your biggest struggle right now?

Thinking of the big picture, do we move from our sweet little apartment, buy a house, rent a house? Does that mean changing schools for the kids, etc. We’ll figure it out, but I wish someone would just give me the answers (and a set of keys!)...

What is a perfect Sunday?

Everyone sleeps past 7:30, I am able to take a shower while Kevin and the kids make breakfast to eat on our sunlit porch. We spend the day outdoors and end it with happy hour and tuck the kids in early. I’m pretty easy.

What would you do with more time?

READ! I’m too tired at night to red in bed and I just can’t concentrate enough to read when my kids are around, I’ve been reading the same Joan Didion book for months now, it’s embarrassing.

What’s a question you wish more people asked?

How can I help (and really mean it). People underestimate the human to human desire to be there for each other, we all try to take on the burdens ourselves but if more people helped one another I think we’d all be better off.

Why do you think being part of a female community is important?

Women are naturally champions of one another, it’s extremely crucial to all of our success to share our knowledge and boost each other up. I think women just get one other, we’ve all been there and can tackle issues better together. The future is female after all.

 

In this political landscape, what role can we play as creatives and as mothers in affecting positive change?

It’s an insane time we’re living in, but the silver lining (if you’re looking for one) is the rise of grass roots activism! There have been an endless amount of inspiring every day people standing up to their politicians, in marches around the world, at town halls and at small gatherings to write postcards and make calls to state and local reps. Art has played a huge role and needs to keep working to inspire.  Resisting can be tiring and fatigue can overcome even the strongest of activist souls. We must take care of ourselves because our fight is needed.

As mothers we must not shield our children from the world, we must raise them to be kind to one another, that simple act will change this tide. After the election I tucked a note into Juliette’s lunch box that read “If you see someone in school who looks scared or lonely or sad, please tell them you are their friend and they are safe with you” I keep coming back to that sentiment, all of us need that note.

One thing you’d like to tell another pom pom mom trying to figure it all out?

You’re doing just fine.