How Jen Pinkston Balances Work, Motherhood, and Her Own Well-being

Jen Pinkston has crazy good energy. She’s genuinely happy, calm, and bubbly. Before motherhood, Jen launched The Effortless Chic (of course, that’s her site’s name!) in 2011. Channeling her expertise as a wardrobe stylist with her love of design, and now motherhood, Jen and The Effortless Chic are a go-to source for laid back and effortless style. Scroll down to learn about Jen’s life as a mother, how she stays healthy and happy, and her take on asking for help.

What time is your daily wakeup? Right now it’s 6:20 a.m. on. the. dot.

What wakes you up? I have a nine-month-old that, thank goodness, sleeps through the night, but wakes up at 6:20 a.m. like clockwork.

First thing you do? Honestly? I take my Synthroid. I have hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s. I would love to experiment with controlling it by diet, but just have not done the necessary research and also doubt my ability to do it consistently. What can I say? I love Tex-mex and wine! Then I pull on some pajama pants and head upstairs to get my cute, chubby babe. I’ll nurse her first and then put her in the playroom with toys while I make an almond milk latte. It’s the one thing I have to have every morning. It’s a habit I started when I was breastfeeding my oldest daughter Parker. She was a little dairy intolerant, so I switched to almond milk and got totally hooked. One night recently my husband used the last of it making milkshakes with Parker and I didn’t know until I went to make my coffee the next morning. My world literally stopped spinning … LOL!

Healthiest daily habit? I’m naturally a pretty positive person and I think that trickles into how I deal with myself. Self-love and loving other people is something that comes easy for me.

Worst habit? Sugar!

Biggest morning challenge? Finding time to workout. My husband goes to the gym at 5:45 every morning, so that’s not an option for me … unless we find a sitter who wants to come to our house that early—ha! I love Mod Fitness in Austin, TX. I try to go to the 9:45 a.m. or 12 p.m. class 3-4 times a week, but it’s hard for me to justify not working during that time. When the weather gets nice again, I think getting back into running would be nice for the days when those class times just don’t work. I also LOVE yoga. I’m living for the day when my husband and I can drop both our kids at the gym daycare and work out together again. We used to do this together every day before becoming parents. My oldest loves going to childcare now, but my baby is still really clingy.

And nightly challenge? Hmm … I’m such a night owl. My biggest challenge is not staying up until midnight. I can get so much work done during those hours, especially when my husband is gone. Also, I just love that time that I have to myself. I pay for it the next day, though.

If you had an extra hour each day, how would you use it? I would workout and not feel guilty about it!

What stresses you out? You know, I don’t get stressed super easy. Small children plus parking lots or dark water, though, will do it. Too many horror stories.

How do you find peace and calm in those moments? Eek! Maybe when they’re older I’ll find peace in those situations—ha!  

What are your secrets to balancing motherhood, personal life, and work? I’m learning to be present with whatever I’m doing. A constant work in progress, but when I’m doing that well I’m the happiest.

Honestly, mothering my two children is hands down my priority, so I’m learning to be okay in those moments where my life needs to swing in their direction causing everything else to be off-balance.

Date nights with my husband are key for making me feel like we are connected. It’s not even like we have to go to [a fancy restaurant]. We could literally just push a cart through Whole Foods together without children interrupting and get to have thoughtful conversations and that is all I need to fill my tank.

Who is your tribe made up of to support you being a healthy and happy woman? Gosh, I have great girlfriends in Austin and also back in Los Angeles. Moms that I can text about anything at any hour. Moms who are momming so hard. Some of them have professional jobs, others are stay-at-home moms. I just look up to them so much. My sisters, too, are here in Austin and are constant support and last-minute babysitting when I need them. Moving to Austin and having my mom close by has also been a total game changer! She’s been a huge help with the transition from one kid to two.

If you could give new moms one piece of advice, what would it be? Ask for or hire help when you need it. There’s ZERO shame in that and it’s actually the only way to build real community. There’s a closeness that you share with a friend that will ask you for help. You’re doing a good job. Everything is a phase and you’ll get through it.


Featured image: Aaron Pinkston

Edited by: Elizabeth Morrissey Hsieh

Post Author
Alex Winkelman
Alex founded Hello My Tribe not because she was an expert on motherhood, but because she was a mom who desperately needed support and community. During those tough first months of motherhood, Alex spent day after day reading and learning about motherhood. She learned: 1. She wasn’t alone in her feelings about motherhood. 2. Everything we could have ever dreamt of existed for the baby, but there was a lack of resources for the woman/mother 3. There are many maternal health issues in our country that need attention and need to be addressed. Hello My Tribe was built upon these needs. Previous to launching Hello My Tribe in 2016, Alex was a professional and volunteer fundraiser, raising millions of dollars for non-profit organizations. Alex lives in Austin, TX with her son and two rescue dogs.