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The M Dash

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What I Wore: Caroline Brown

M.M.’s Director of Retail Growth and Experience—and mother of two—wears our new Juggler Omakase while maneuvering between big presentations, peanut butter toast, and dinner with friends.

By Caroline Brown

As a mother of two and M.M. LaFleur’s Director of Retail Growth and Experience, Caroline Brown knows a few things about balancing projects, deadlines, and drop-offs. This week, Caroline dons our new Juggler Omakase (made with the working mom in mind) as she maneuvers between big presentations, peanut butter toast, and trying to fit in a dinner with friends.

Saturday

As a mom, weekends are definitely not what they used to be.

There are moments I long for the freedom of sleeping in or staying out, but 99% of the time, I wouldn’t change a thing. Around 5:30am, I find my 3-year-old daughter, Eleanor, lying next to me whispering, “Hey mom, do you want to play?” My husband and I go back and forth arguing whose turn it is to get up with the kids. It’s a glamorous life, I know! 

When I’m on early duty, I only consider my comfiest clothes, so I grab my Dougherty jacket and Foster pants, and we hit the town to pick up bagels and coffee for the rest of the family. We spend the day in Central Park (which has THE best collection of playgrounds) and nearby museums. My son Henry is 14 months, which means he’s on the go and will entertain only dangerous things like our oven knobs. I often find myself on the phone with outside vendors negotiating deals while simultaneously trying to keep Henry from burning down our apartment.

Sunday

6:30am. No children in our bed, so we panic for a second. Everyone slept through the night, so this calls for a celebration!

My husband makes pancakes while we plan our day. There’s a trade show at the Javits Center where up-and-coming furniture designers, artists, and craftsmen display their new product and techniques. I get a lot of inspiration for our showrooms at these conventions, and they tend to only be on weekends, so I drag the whole gang with me. I can’t tell you how hot it gets chasing my littles around as I’m trying to have a serious conversation with a designer, so I like to wear a light layer, like the Rowling top (bonus points for wrinkle and odor resistance!). I still look professional as I sprint down an aisle to grab Henry, who somehow made his way on top of a very expensive antique table.

Monday

TGIM!!  My nanny just got here, so it’s time to get ready.

I grab my Rowling top (yes, I am wearing it two days in a row—thank you, Polygiene®!) and a nice pair of trousers to feel like a functioning member of society. My personal secret: the pants are machine-washable, so I don’t have to worry too much about grubby kid hands or milk spills.

At 8:30am on Mondays, I am literally skipping to the subway as dreams of sitting at my desk alone for a few minutes fill my head. A good chunk of the morning involves cleaning up my inbox and paying a few bills. Around 10am, I look at pictures on my phone from the weekend, and I start to miss my kids already. My nanny tells me that Henry is running a fever, and it’s hard not to be distracted in meetings. My mom-guilt is in full effect, but shortly after I receive a text that he’s feeling better, I resume my double life. 

I sneak out early to catch a few minutes with the kiddos before bedtime. We have a tea party while Henry tears the room apart. Again, I wouldn’t change a thing. 

Tuesday

I’m giving a big presentation to our executive team today, so I need to project my most fabulous self.

I grab my Carson blazer and Constance dress, and I finish it off with a stylish belt. It’s the kind of outfit that looks perfectly polished, but also makes my life easier: The Constance has snaps to keep my bra straps in place and pockets to hold my notes (or a rogue pacifier), and the Carson has an easy enough fit that I don’t feel constricted all day. Before I head out the door, I make breakfast for my kids as I check emails to make sure there aren’t any fire drills. I really, really don’t like cooking. The only thing I can make is a fantastic reservation—but I’m trying! Today is peanut butter toast and scrambled eggs, which we’re all pretty excited about. Henry chases me around the apartment with peanut butter hands (he thinks I’m a human napkin) as Eleanor laughs hysterically. There is nothing that makes me happier than hearing them laugh and seeing how they love each other.

Wednesday

One of my favorite parts about working is coming home. It’s the best! I knock on the door and say, “Where are my Eleanor and Henry?” as they squeal and sprint toward me, fresh out of the bath in their birthday suits.

We break into a full dance party while Henry wipes his nose on my Dougherty coat. They love my soft clothes, and I don’t care. Eleanor always tells me to take off my “work jammies.” We finally settle in on the couch, bottles in hand (mine is Pinot Grigio, theirs is milk) and watch an episode of Pinkalicious on PBS. 

 

Thursday

Work-from-home day! My company is very cool and allows me to spend Thursday mornings home so I can take Eleanor to school.

I put on my Celeste top, Logan skirt, and Wide Strap belt since I’m heading into the office later in the afternoon, followed by dinner with friends. Every Thursday night, I make sure to do something social so I don’t lose touch with people. I drop Eleanor off at daycare and run back to my apartment to get to work. We are building a new store, so I set up shop by my window with all my favorite tools: paint swatches, measuring tape, and coffee. Henry is here with the nanny, and I love hearing them play in the room next door. I can’t help but join in every once in awhile. 

Friday

Friday is the most intense day of the week.

I’m home with the kids—no nanny—but I do have my saint of a mother who comes in at 7am EVERY Friday to help me. I struggle a lot with balance at this stage in my life. When you’re with family, you feel you should be working, and when you’re working, you feel you should be with family. This Friday, I push those feelings aside, gussy myself up, and take Eleanor to school. We fight for a few minutes about her lack of a warm hat but agree on the hood. You win some, you lose some. At drop-off, I meet a like-minded mom who works in real estate and do a little networking as we wait to get called in. You never know where an opportunity lies! My mind is always in two places—for good or bad. 

 


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Written By

Caroline Brown

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