Zoie Kingsbery Coe with Luca and India
Zoie Kingsbery Coe runs an international company and is the mum of six year old Luca and three year old India. The family has had it’s home in downtown Manhattan for years. Before Zoie had babies she travelled the world with her DJ husband. With the second child, and the father being a musician who tours a lot, things become a bit more of a challenge. How does one manage the transition from easy-going party life to becoming a mum and a business woman? Here is an insight into Zoie’s life.
Dieses Interview ist vorerst nur auf Englisch verfügbar.
Running your own company and being the mother of two, how do you manage to actually have some me-time?
I exercise really early in the morning and that keeps me sane. It has become a habit for me. And I have to say it’s ok now for me to take some me-time. The second time around you know that you’re doing the very best job that you can do and you stop worrying so much what other people think or stop being so judgmental on yourself. The first time I had a baby the transition from being really free spirited, independent, doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, traveling all the time and then having a child was really difficult for me. So the first time I felt really guilty when I took time for myself. I felt like I shouldn’t be doing that. Now once you’re older and more confident in your skin you know you’re doing the best that you can do. But having help, helps. It’s impossible to do all by yourself.
What kind of help do you have?
I rely on my mom a lot, but I know that that’s a luxury. I also have an au-pair. That was a huge liberation and learning curve for my family. As well as other mom friends. Because you are all in the same boat together. Not feeling bad about asking for help is a big learning curve, too. You don’t have to do everything by yourself! And that was a hard lession for me to learn: Get rid of the perfectionist tendency and be like ‘You know what? It’s ok”! Take any help you can get, you just have to be willing to ask for it.
Have you ever felt that you have to give a part of yourself up to be a (better) mom?
You fundamentally become a different human being when you have children. And everybody tells you about the change and you’re like: Ya, ya, of course it’s going to be harder, I’m used to no sleep etc… But nobody tells you that you as a human being change. And yes, you give a lot of things up, but you gain a lot of things, too. You give up a lot of freedom, but you can stay familiar with the girl or the boy you were before. It’s important. You have to want to though. Some people make the transition to parenthood and they’re like ‘I don’t want to go out again.’
What’s it like to raise kids in Manhattan? Would you want to live anywhere else?
That’s a question that depending on the day you’ll get a different answer! There are many things that are fantastic about living in NYC with kids: walking everywhere, the convenience factor of whatever you need when you need it (5 minute diaper and wine delivery anyone?!), access to amazing classes, theatre and museums, ability to meet friends quickly and spontaneously. That being said, it’s a very intense pressure filled space to live, and I’m wary of over-scheduling my children or having them think the rest of the world is like New York City! I could be convinced to live in London again. LA for a bit maybe…but for now NYC is home and I’m just happy I get to leave for Europe every summer!
You mentioned that your husband, who is a successful DJ and traveling a lot, is hardly there on the weekends. When and how do you spend family time?
That’s something that I really struggle with. When my husband is home it’s such a happy household. He loves to cook. He is in the kitchen making pancakes for the kids. And when you’re younger and you’re traveling and having the time of your life you don’t think about the change you’re going to make. It becomes really difficult when he goes away. We miss him. And when you’re alone on Sunday with two kids – it’s really hard. After India was born I felt like ‘This isn’t what I signed up for. I wish he was around more.’ And then friends said ‘ Well this is what you signed up for and it’s the path you guys took.’ He is not an accountant, he is a musician. So I had a talk with myself, and being with my family, having our au-pair and friends – all this helps.
You do you travel with him sometimes?
We used to tour everywhere with Luca when he was little. Now we move to Europe in the summer. We don’t tour with him as much anymore because it’s expensive buying two extra tickets and so on. It was easier when it was just me and Luca and Sasha. We went around the world a few times.
What’s the secret to a vacation everybody is happy with (you as parents, as a couple, the kids)? Is it possible at all?
I definitely think it’s possible and I think it’s a learning process of you and your family. My company’s mission is to simply modern family travel, because family vacationing is not easy. But I think if you realize the alternative is to not go anywhere and not expose your children to the world, you just struggle through it.
When we travel I like to go to places where we can explore as a family. When Luca was little we’d go for nature walks and find rocks and leaves. I don’t think you need to have a lot with you. Also, doing it early and installing a sense of adventure and that there is a big world out there, they become adaptable. I can take Luca anywhere and he just gets it. We don’t travel much with India and she is definitely more timid than Luca.
My tip is to just do it and go out of your comfort zone! It’s easy to just stay at hotels. You could be anywhere in the world and it isn’t any different.
Is that how you had the idea for Kid&Coe?
It really did come from my own personal traveling with Luca and Sasha, staying at boring hotels and trying to find something more interesting and something that would be fun and work for us with a kid. Which wasn’t easy. People started realizing that families have different needs. It became apparent to me that there still wasn’t one website that was devoted specifically to families, who didn’t only want a Mickey Mouse-kind of holiday.
At Kid&Coe we are just really specific and giving all the information you need to know as a mum of a baby, or six-year old, so you know what you’re getting into.
Our two last questions: What is the most annoying about being a mom?
I think the routine is the most difficult. Every morning the same.
And the constant noise and insistance for your time is tough. I used to love to be calm and just read a book – it’s not possible anymore.
For me work is a bit of a respite from that. At first I felt guilty about that, but it’s just the kind of mom that I am. And when I’m with my kids on the weekends and in the evenings I’m so happy to see them and we have a lovely connected and engaged time. But if I was with them all the time, I’m honest, I would have a hard time. It’s about figuring out what works for you and being ok with that yourself.
What’s the greatest thing?
The absolute love for those little creatures that you have. And every single day I think I should be writing down the things they say like “I want to be a flying unicorn!” And who doesn’t want to be a flying unicorn? Their way of looking at the world gives you a beautiful perspective.
There is real family unity. They do make a partnership difficult, but if you can get through the hard part they make your relationship stronger and that’s beautiful. And it’s still always a struggle but you have this family – and it’s everything.
Thank you Zoie!
Pictures: Matt Barrick
Interview: Marie Zeisler