It’s nearly impossible to walk down the street without seeing one of Rebecca Minkoff’s iconic handbags. Her namesake label is famous for making luxury accessible, which makes sense, since her female-led brand is one she built from the ground up. Minkoff is more than just a fashion powerhouse. She’s a mother and a partner who uses her influence to advocate for women’s empowerment. In 2018 she launched RM Superwomen to highlight inspiring business women who are making a difference.
The designer, advocate, podcast host (we never miss an episode of Superwomen with Rebecca Minkoff!) and mother of three shared with us her struggles of balancing it all, but also confirmed what we knew all along: it’s important to be honest and transparent about the struggles of parenthood.
Nothing Will Be The Same
At 18 years old, Rebecca moved to New York City to pursue her fashion dreams. She’s been her own boss for years, but having kids means that she had to report to a new set of superiors—baby bosses.
Early on, one of the hardest parts of motherhood for her was not having the time to go out, have fun, or be with friends. She says that it’s important to accept that things will never be the same as they were before, especially when the new boss in town needs our love and care.
She finds her joy spending time with Luca, Bowie, and Nico – something she never would have imagined before having kids. Fittingly, Rebecca says that the one word that describes her first year of motherhood is EVOLUTION. “I went from having a singular focus to being a mother,” she says, “and that opened up the 4th dimension for me of senses and love and seeing my heart outside my body.”
Prepare for the Process
For many women, that first postpartum year can be a really difficult transition. Rebecca found that each of the first years with her three children were different – but with each birth and the postpartum period that followed, she learned more about what she needed to nourish her body and mind during recovery. For Rebecca, it was all about preparing for what she knew was coming. “I can say that the more I prepared my body for this event,” says Rebecca, “the better I felt.” She credits a regime of fish oil capsules before, during, and after pregnancy, prenatal vitamins, and the encapsulated placentas from her pregnancies for being able to manage that first postpartum year with each of her babies.
But it’s also about support – surrounding yourself with people who are there to help you, care for you, and make that transition into motherhood a little easier. “My partner knew and was clear about my breaking points, so that he could help me in the most effective way,” says Rebecca. “That’s different for everyone but having the conversation is a must.”
It’s Never Going to be Perfect
Rebecca has been married for over a decade to her director husband Gavin Bellour. They lead very busy lives, which has impacted their day-to-day in admittedly challenging ways.
She says because of their lifestyle, the couple goes through stages where they feel more like friends than husband and wife. Rebecca isn’t mum about how hard it is to balance work, marriage, and parenthood, but it’s a struggle they’re committed to working out together. Instead of dinner at the hottest new restaurant or drinks and a show with friends, Sundays are spent strategizing over calendars. But that doesn’t mean they don’t carve out other bits of time to spend together, even if it’s a far cry from those pre-kids days. “My husband and I both work full time and pride ourselves on being very involved parents, so nights and weekends are when we can hang,” she says. And Rebecca also acknowledges that it’s so much easier when you have help and support, even if it’s just a grandparent visiting for a bit or a friend who comes by to help manage the chaos. “If we had more help even just with cooking and cleaning, I think some of the stress that is created with ‘doing it all’ would be less.” The issue of balance gets even harder when you have more children. “These kids want our engaged attention at all times,” says Rebecca. “So understanding how we can do that and not have the odd man out is hard and I wish we could figure it out.”
So many of us get into the habit of comparing our family life to others – we’re only human, after all. It’s easy to fall into the trap of, “What am I doing wrong?” but it can really help to remember that from fashion powerhouses like Rebecca to your neighbor up the road, no one has it perfect. Underneath the curated exteriors, we’re all making it work as best as we can.
Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries
While we’re making it work, we have to know where our limits are. It’s ok to want to be everywhere at once and everything to everyone. Saying no or turning down people can feel too harsh. But trust us—and Rebecca—it’s worth it in the end.
Before Rebecca became a mother, it wasn’t out of the ordinary for her to work around the clock on the business she built from the ground up. But nowadays, she depends on her team to help her maintain the boundary between work and her home life. When it comes to her business, if she’s at home with her family, it can wait until the next morning. Setting those boundaries with work and other aspects of our lives will make us more available for what we want, and not for what others want for us.
The most rewarding lesson her kids have taught her? To value boundaries.
Take One Thing at a Time
When we ask Rebecca to describe herself, she uses these three terms: hard-working, humble, and a mother.
As a business-owner and entrepreneur, she expresses that her career keeps her hard-working and humble. Rebecca didn’t know what type of mother she wanted to be in the beginning, but has since learned to deal with parenting as it comes and not to put too much pressure on herself to be the “perfect” mom (which doesn’t exist!). She’s thriving in business and thriving in motherhood, and has been able to find a balance in her life that allows her to do that.
One of her biggest takeaways? Take one thing at a time. This life is brief, her time with her family is even more brief, which leaves no time to worry about what-ifs.
We keep coming back to Rebecca’s word: EVOLUTION. We’re all constantly growing and changing. Motherhood, like life, isn’t static. It’s a constant ebb and flow, and we’ve just got to give in and go with the tides, wherever they may take us.