Work it: Kristen Ronan on PR and Parenthood
With over 10 years of public relations experience at international brands such as DVF and Farfetch, Kristen Ronan excels at communication, time management, and high-pressure situations. In other words, her career prepped her for the most demanding, yet darling clients of all: her young daughters Leighton and Gwyneth. Two years ago, Kristen launched her own PR firm to gain more flexibility in her work. We asked her to share a typical day in her household, how her own mother has influenced her career, as well as inspiring advice from her former boss Diane Von Furstenberg.
Kristen Ronan, 32
Mom to Leighton (4) and Gwyneth (2)
The place you call home: Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey
Describe your typical day as a working mom:
No day is the same as I am forever juggling my girls' activities with client needs. I rely so much on scheduling and that's the magic for making it all come together. I evaluate each day by slotting times for everything, whether that's dropping my older daughter off at school, running a conference call or meeting up with a group of friends for an afternoon play date.
How has becoming a mother changed your approach to work?
It’s given whole new meaning to the phrase 'work/life balance.' Becoming a mother changed my career perspective and what I was willing to do to maintain my professional self while growing my family. I launched my consultancy in order to have flexibility in my life, as I wanted so much to be with my daughters everyday but also continue growing my career. I like to think I've finally achieved that goal.
What working mothers inspire you?
There are so many strong, amazing women in my life, some of whom are stay-at-home moms—which I constitute as a working mother because let me tell you, raising children is a full time job!—and others who’ve pursued professional careers at major corporations. They’re all incredible in their own ways, but I'd say my mother has always been the most inspirational. She was one of the first female investment bankers in the country back in the '70s and has helped so many women break through the glass ceiling over the years. Of course she's also my mom, so in addition to paving her successful career, she was also always there for me.
What part of motherhood do you find most challenging?
Somehow managing to remain patient from the wee hours of the morning when the girls get up to the end of the day when I'm reading the third bedtime story of the evening. Although adorable and amazing, my little ones can really wear me out!
What's your favorite parenting hack that makes life a little easier?
TV time is a hot commodity in our household since we only allow the girls to watch it every so often. When I really need to get something done and occupy their time for 30 minutes uninterrupted, I'll let them watch a favorite show or movie.
What do you hope is different about work and the workplace when your daughters are your age?
As my former employer and mentor Diane von Furstenberg, says quite often, 'Be the woman you want to be.' I want my daughters to do just that: Be the woman she wants to be. I'd like for them to grow up feeling secure in themselves, knowing that nothing and no one can stand in the way of their dreams. I hope the workplace continues to evolve and encourage young women to do just that.
Say you're granted a few kid-free hours to yourself. How do you spend them?
I'll attend a barre class followed by a coffee break (I normally have to re-heat my cup three times throughout the morning when the girls are around!). In the evening, you'd likely find me having a glass of wine with my husband at home after a long day.
Best parenting advice you've ever received:
Actions speak louder than words.
Best work advice you've ever received?
You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.
Do you have any favorite Monica + Andy products?
The bodysuits for infants are hands down the best—super soft and with the cutest patterns.