We are constantly inspired by the amazing mamas in our Tubby Todd community. In our new Inspired by series we will be profiling some of these incredible women and giving you a little glimpse into their lives as they discuss family, careers, style and more!
Today we're inspired by Kimberly Klopfenstein, a local Southern California mama to four littles! We chatted with Kimberly about everyday life, future goals and what advice she would share with her past self. Read our interview (and get inspired!) below.
Q: What does an average day look like for you?
A: Typically our littlest, Havyn, will wake first and I will bring her into bed with us and nurse her as we both wake and ease ourselves into the day ahead; that time has become so sacred to me. We educate our oldest two girls at home and I’m grateful that many of our mornings start slowly and we enjoy that time of early morning light as we enter into a new day. Twice a week, our son Jude will head to his special day preschool. There are days that are filled with schooling for the older two girls, Brooklyn and Lyla, and others where we take our learning out into nature and explore with friends. Peppered throughout our days of learning together are all of the things that have to happen to make our home of six run smoothly. After school is done the older girls will often head out to play with friends on our little street as I spend time with the two littlest and get dinner ready (but let’s be honest, that night each week my man brings pizza home is pretty fantastic). We spend most evenings around the dinner table together as a family and are savoring these sweet times together. These days with four little ones at home all day can often seem long and hard and by the end I feel completely done, but I am acutely aware of the fact that these days are slipping away faster than I’m ready for.
Q: You have incredible style! Who are some of your mama style icons?
A: Thank you so much! From a young age I remember watching what my Mom and Grandma would wear and being impacted by how what they wore seemed to be a direct extension of themselves. They so beautifully chose pieces that they loved rather than what was the most popular at the time. While my style is different than theirs, the way in which they exemplified how to dress in a way that represented their own unique individuality remains with me. I have been able to wear a few of my Grandma’s pieces recently and I so love having her with me in that way.
It has taken until the last few years for me to even figure out what I really love to wear and although I’m sure that will be a continually evolving process, it’s been freeing in a way to finally figure out what I love. In the last several years, the story behind the garments that I choose to wear has become so important to me. Truly taking the time to be thoughtful with my purchases: buying with great intention and having less but really loving the pieces I choose to bring into my closet. As I have been learning in this area there are a few women whom I have garnered so much from. Kris Galmarini of the brand Neve + Hawk, continues to amaze me with her gorgeous designs as well as how she so openly shares the triumphs and struggles of producing ethically made clothing here in California. Her style is just so good and even more importantly she is just an incredible person. Quite a few of the photos from this post are from a shoot we had the opportunity to be apart of for a campaign she is working on.
Two other women whose style I so admire are coincidentally both named Stacie, and are the creatives behind the shops Suunday and Amae. Their designs and the way in which they share their stories and continue to create such beautiful pieces keep me coming back for those select timeless pieces that I can add to my wardrobe.
Q: What is the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?
A: To remain humble. I tend to be a very strong willed person and have given birth to four little people who also have strong wills. It’s easy to end up in a battle of the wills, rather than to take each of those difficult moments and turn them into a time of growth for both of us. To learn along with my children and to remember that I have so much to learn from them. Remaining flexible and putting my agenda on the sidelines in order to listen to their little hearts. Humility is difficult because it requires a death to my own desires in that moment in order to care for their needs in a way that is gracefully filled with loving instruction and encouragement. This is in an area I will be working on in all aspects of my life for a long time I’m sure; it’s definitely not one that is a quick fix for me.
Q: If you could have a conversation with your pre-mama self, what would you say to her?
A: To listen to my own heart and that of my husband rather than all of the books and well intended advice of others. To not be afraid to sit and hold my first baby girl all day because those are moments of beautiful connection that I would never regret. That it’s ok to not have it all figured out, that learning along with your babies will be a profound and sometimes daunting experience. That being vulnerable with your fears and questions is healing. To be open to learn through the wisdom of those who made the journey into motherhood and had their own hearts shaped in the process.
Q: What advice do you wish you had been given before becoming a mama?
A: That it’s alright to just be. There are so many things that this culture and even well intending family and friends, say that you need to be doing. Often times those things are unspoken, but the pressure is felt. Everyone has differing opinions on the best way to eat, sleep, play, the list goes on. Yet at the end of the day what you have chosen to do with your baby will be what you carry with you for the rest of your life. It won’t matter if you followed all of the advice that the best written books gave you, what will matter will be that you did what you knew in your heart to be best for your baby. So much of parenthood is filled with trial and error because we truly are just learning right along with our babies. Having so many voices telling you what to do can be slightly disconcerting and you can end up making choices out of fear of what others will think as opposed to what you know to be the best decision for you and your family unit. To be willing to take a step back, breath, and remember that all you can give the precious new life that is depending on you, is your best. And some days you won’t even be able to give your best because you are just too tired and overwhelmed, but that’s ok too. Choosing to ask forgiveness for the mistakes you’ve made and try better next time, choosing to be real with yourself and those you love so dearly.
Q: What traits of yours do you see in your little ones? How are they different?
A: Oh man, this is something that is so humbling. Humbling because sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking they are mini-me’s rather than thinking of them as individuals who may have similar traits but who are so uniquely their own person. As I touched on earlier, they all have very strong wills, just as my husband and I do. But with that strong will comes a determination and a strength that I so admire in each of them. I was pretty shy as a kid, but only one of our little ones seems to be shy at times. The other three absolutely love being with people, they love connecting with others and find so much joy in that. I still tend to be on the more quiet side and am happy being in a smaller group, but for the most part all of our kids have the “more the merrier” mindset. Our oldest Brooklyn, even from the time she was tiny, would walk right up to my slightly intimidating (at times) Grandpa and talk to him for the longest time. She just loved spending time with him and never cared or seemed to notice if he got frustrated at her. I so admire that about her, her ability to talk to anyone and make them feel so valued. Lyla is so gifted at being able to give people the kindest compliments and really seeks out opportunities to make others feel special. Jude, although he can only say “Hi,” uses that one word with the biggest smile on his face to bring such a light wherever he goes. Havyn is the most reserved with people, she really makes new people work for her affection and we honestly love that about her. So all that to say, each of our kids has some traits that are similar to my husband and I, but they are each so unique and it’s an adventure watching them grow into who God made them to be.
Q: We love hearing people talk about their dreams. What are some of yours? They can be simple and small, bucket list goals or experiences, or an overall grand hope for life.
A: Goodness, there are so many dreams I have, some so deep that I have yet to speak them aloud. Yet each of my dreams revolves around the hope that I would choose to love God and others in a way that demonstrates a graceful peace. That I would choose to face the hard things with courage and to actively do the things I hope for rather than passively wait for them to happen.
Q: How do you make bath time fun with your little ones. Do you have a favorite routine? Favorite Tubby Todd product?
A: Each of our kiddos loves water and would stay in the bath for an hour if time permitted. Their imaginations get going and they make bath time tons of fun all on their own. Water play is especially therapeutic for Jude as it allows him range of motion that he struggles with in most other situations. Given some Tubby Todd Bubble Bath or a Bath Bomb and they are set. Although they recently squirt most of the bottle of bubble bath in when I wasn’t paying attention, soooo I need to order some more haha. One of my girls really struggles with dry skin so I try to be good about following up bath time with lotion, our favorite scent is the coconut one that has been released the past few summers (I always stock up when it comes out). The All Over Ointment is a miracle worker, especially on Jude’s extra sensitive skin.
Q: What is something you’re most looking forward to in the coming year? In the next five years?
A: Throughout this coming year I am so looking forward to the adventures we will have together as a family. Those adventures I’m sure will come through different avenues: travel, starting a garden, raising chickens, and others yet to be planned. Through it all I pray we continue to learn how to lovingly care for each other throughout all of life’s ups and downs.
In the next five years, honestly, much of the same that I am looking forward to this year. Watching the kids grow and continue to become their own people through it all will be such a joy. I am anticipating experiencing new things together and allowing those experiences and those whom we meet along the way to mold and shape each of us. I hope that over the next five years our kids continue to develop a deep love for others, that they seek to care for the needs of others above their own and that my husband and I would lead by example.
Q: Can you share a memory or moment where you felt strong and empowered as a mama?
A: Giving birth to each of my babies required a strength I didn’t know I possessed. Much of their births didn’t go how I had envisioned they would, but each one taught me more about myself. Each of the times I have had to hand Jude over to an OR nurse and watch him being walked down that familiar hallway to disappear behind closed doors, I have felt a vulnerability and a strength intermingle in a way I never dreamt I would. Having to go to appointments with Jude that have taken me so incredibly far out of my comfort zone, but have simultaneously left me feeling empowered as the one who has the unique gift to have been chosen to care for such a precious little soul.
Follow along with Kimberly and her family on Instagram @kimberlybrook.