Making It Makers

Stokes Kennedy: Balancing Parenthood and Creativity

In honor of Women’s History Month, Squarespace is highlighting working women who are also balancing parenthood along with their professional pursuits — and inspiring other women along the way. 

For MyLin and Lindsay Stokes Kennedy, sharing their lives online has enabled them to build community and representation for black and queer parents and creatives. They recently talked with Squarespace about navigating parenthood in the pandemic, how support from other women has fueled their growth, and why they embrace the mentality that your best will be different every day.

Squarespace: What originally inspired you to create this platform?

Lindsay Stokes Kennedy: I started the first Stokes Kennedy platform on a blogging site back in 2015. I had always found my voice there when I wanted to be a writer.  When we got married, I put all our imagery there. I’d post pictures and talk endlessly about how I felt, and I’d gain friends around the world and we’d talk about their loves. The same reason I was there, was why so many black and queer people flocked to our page. There wasn’t much representation of real-life people who were open and honest and normal. Slowly I drifted over to social media and when my focus had to shift to my career, MyLin took over the page. From there, we decided to create a platform on Squarespace to share our life and sell MyLin’s art.

SQSP: What role has community with other women played in your personal growth and the growth of your platform?

MyLin Stokes Kennedy: During every large pivot in our lives, we can remember encountering a great support from women we knew personally or professionally. The saying “empowered women empower women” rings very true for us. At some of my lowest points in my life, it has been a woman to lift me up and let me know that I have the strength within to keep going. 

Recently, I have joined a group of queer parents that have become such a great support system for me. There are a few women in this group whom I can truly call friends, yet I have never even met them in person. Within this community we discuss our hardships with the day-to-day life of motherhood during a pandemic, we share pregnancy journeys, we listen and encourage each other. Through my transparency on my platform, I have been able to connect with so many women that relate to my experiences and it allows for us to both see that we are not alone. Authenticity is the key to the growth in relationships and the growth of our platform.     

SQSP: How has family life shifted in your house shifted in the last year?

MyLin: Over the past year, our family life and life within our home has shifted. When Lennox was born, I stopped working to stay at home with him. As a business owner, it was important for Lindsay to return to work after having Lennox, but COVID-19 was a strange blessing in disguise for forcing us in. It was amazing spending most of last year at home with our new baby, to watch him grow.

Lindsay: It was short lived because my industry has only boomed more during covid, but it gave us the time we needed to be together. I took some of that home time to redesign our space, prioritizing function and what works best for us. Being able to set up an office space for me, indoor art studio for MyLin and a play space for Lennox has been life changing. Now MyLin is at home with our eldest who started virtual middle school last August, a 16-month-old toddling around and a baby brewing so… ya know.. we’re doing our best. The family structure has shifted but our foundation has always been the love so we’re good.

SQSP: What advice do you have for other expectant moms during the pandemic?

Lindsay: Go with the flow.  Every mom comes into this with a plan for the new baby’s schedule and eating habits and play time.  Try your best to remember that everyone is struggling with their loss of structure, routine, and socialization.

MyLin: Give yourself grace. Your best will be different every day. Rest when your body says you need to rest.

SQSP: How does your online presence support your efforts at community building and representation?

MyLin: Our online presence allows us to build community and share the wealth. Community has and will always be at the forefront of our presence online and Squarespace has made it easy for us to build that community. Developing a blog to discuss our experiences or showcase our lives to a world that has trouble understanding us is important. For us, our online presence is a reflection of so many other women who have come before us and will follow in our footsteps.  We are working creative moms who often are misunderstood. Our online presence encourages people who work and look and feel like us to know that they are supported, that they can make it, and that there are many ways to succeed in this world that they forgot to mention.

Ready to build your own online community? Get started with Squarespace.

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