Meet longtime friends of ours, Carissa and Joey. Together since they were 15 years old, they are now navigating busy day to day lives in Los Angeles— Full-time working parents to their toddler, Otis, preparing for their new baby arriving January 2022, and most recently purchasing their first home. Carissa is the Director of Marketing for skincare brand and dermatology boutique, Facile, and Joey is a freelance producer for TV commercials.
Parenting presents different challenges for all of us, but one thing we all have in common is wanting to raise kind, confident and loving little humans.
Q: Finding the right work-life balance for your family is something most of us struggle with—How have you navigated being new parents while maintaining and growing your careers?
A: We are definitely still figuring it out and probably always will be. The guilt is overwhelming sometimes, but we try to go easy on ourselves since we know he’s always watching and learning from us. Weekends are our family time and we make it a point to do something special just for him. Learning from other parents has been super helpful too. It’s nice to know we’re all in this together (as cheesy as it sounds). Whatever rough patch you’re going through, another parent has been there and probably worse. It’s definitely comforting to know you’re not alone and then you can find the humor in it, which we lean into a lot.
Q: What are some things you’ve found to be helpful, as well as most challenging in the day to day?
A: The most challenging thing is our schedules. The most helpful advice we’ve been given is to ask for and hire help (if you can) when needed. I think there can be a stigma around it but having support as a parent is crucial. We are so lucky to have someone who Otis loves and we trust, care for him while we are working. Because of this, mornings are super special for us. We start the day together and cook breakfast as a family. There’s music and dancing and it really just sets the tone for all of us to have a good day.
Q: How has raising kids impacted your creativity?
A: Raising a child definitely opens up your eyes to things you may not have even paid attention to in your busy, pre-baby life. Their minds are so amazing and what may seem simple and every day routine to us, could mean the world to them and keep them occupied and happy for hours. That always puts things into perspective for me. Looking at things through Otis’ eyes has totally allowed me to lean into creativity differently. Everything becomes less complicated and more simple, seeing what’s always been there in a new light.
Q: You’ve mentioned that having your kids grow up in a diverse community is important to you— What are some of the ways that you’re taking advantage of the diverse city that you live?
A: We’re continually searching for new things that we can expose Otis to—Lately it’s been food! We both realized that neither of us really had the exposure to food from other cultures early on. We want Otis to try everything, learn about the culture and tradition behind all foods and find a love and appreciation for them. It’s super important and something we are always working towards.
Q: What excites you most about parenthood right now?
A: I think the most exciting thing about parenthood is that every day is different. It all goes by so fast. Just watching him explore new things makes every minute an adventure and we’re just happy to be along for the ride.
Q: Do you have any favorite kid’s books, music, meals or other traditions that are a part of your daily routine with your family?
A: Ray from shop Palomita is a new favorite! 10 little fingers and 10 little toes is also currently on repeat (like 5 times in one sitting). Otis has taken a liking to the piano lately and any music he can dance to! We start and end our days in the backyard and it’s definitely become a tradition for us. Rain or shine, Otis makes sure of it.
Q: If there was one thing that you wish you had learned at a young age, that might have helped you in adulthood, what would it be?
A: Such a great question! For me, seeing how much Otis learns just by watching has been super eye opening for me. It makes me never want him to see me say anything negative about myself, because I know it would affect his own self confidence in some way. I always want him to believe in and love himself and others. For him to be a kind, loving person is all I can hope for.