Happy Friday, friends! Today for your Friday morning inspiration we have another smart and funny Mother Clucker: Amanda Keston, mom of two, who knows basically everything about wine. And don’t we all want to hang out with someone who’s smart, funny, and incredibly knowledgable about wine? So here we go!
Amanda! We are so excited to speak with you! Please tell us a little about your day job.
I am an auctioneer for Spectrum Wine Auctions. I help clients buy and sell fine and rare wine, and serve as the principal auctioneer for our live international auctions. My job is based on relationships that I’ve build over the years. I’ve found that collecting, buying and selling anything, especially wine, can be very personal. I have come to know my clients and their families on a personal as well as professional level.
That sounds so incredibly cool. And please tell us about your family.
I’m a mom to two girls, who are 7 and 4 years old. Both of my kids are in school full days. However, a lot of my business takes place during the evening. I have a part time nanny who I couldn’t live without. I am also incredibly grateful to live in a community where play dates, other nannies, moms, and babysitters are available and willing to help out.
Confess! What can’t you get through the day without?
I need all of the following:
Hint water – I like cucumber and blackberry flavor;
Chewing gum – almost any sugar free flavor except grape or watermelon;
My calendar – yes, I am still analog and bring a printed calendar with me;
My iPhone – I feel naked without it; and
Chocolate! – dark chocolate – around 66% cacao is right for me.
If you could start all over, what would you change?
I wouldn’t change a thing. I am proud of my path both professionally and personally. I am truly lucky.
What’s the best work advice you’ve ever received?
The best work advice I ever received was from the owner of a little store where I worked right after college. Iris pulled me aside when I told her I was leaving to take a job that was very low paying, but had tremendous potential for growth. She said, “Don’t secretly bring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in your briefcase for lunch (it was the late 90’s when people carried briefcases) but wear Gucci clothes.” Her point was to be the best you can be inside and out and to be real. You are who you are, so own it.
That’s pretty genius; you know we’re all about being real here. OK, how about the best parenting advice you ever received?
The best parenting advice I ever received was from a dear friend. She said, “The mess will still be there tomorrow. Go play with your kids.”
Do you have any advice you dispense to new parent friends?
Yes! I tell them it’s OK that the bed isn’t made and that you eat take out. You have your entire life to make the bed and cook. Spending mindful time with your kids is what counts.
Do you have a work or parenting fail you can tell us about?
I want to do everything, and I still need to accept that I can’t. Despite what I said earlier, it’s hard to accept that the dirty dishes can wait! But it’s definitely waaaay more important to build a puzzle or do an art project or read with my kids.
So you still struggle with work/life balance, just like the rest of us?
Of course. One of the hardest parenting decisions I ever had to make was to miss my daughter’s preschool performance in exchange for a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a business trip to Hong Kong. I was very lucky, the performance date changed so it no longer conflicted with my business trip, but the situation wasn’t without a lot of frustration.
Please tell us about the craziest part of your day.
That’s the morning routine. Getting both kids up and ready, lunches made (I know, I should totally make them the night before but can’t ever seem to get my act together to do it), and getting out the door. My house is like a Loony Tunes episode involving the Tazmanian Devil and the Road Runner. There are a lot of days where we brush our teeth in the car!
And what’s the best part of your day?
The involves getting really, really great hugs and kisses, unsolicited. I also love bath time because allllll the stories from the day come out. It’s like TMZ for preschool and I love the gossip!
How do you take care of yourself?
I take a yoga class at least once a week and I have a glass of wine in the evening to unwind. At least a glass of wine! I am also a huge proponent of date nights. It’s a big win for everyone.
We could not agree with you more. What do you want your kids to learn from having a working mom?
I want my kids to learn that it’s totally rewarding to have both professional and personal responsibilities. I am so proud to be able to contribute to my family as well as my community and schools. It really does take a village, and people (especially nannies, moms and babysitters) can be some of the best supporters and helpers around.
Amanda, thank you so much. We are so grateful for you sharing your stories with us!