Andrea Pippins

Name: Andrea Pippins
Occupation: Author and Artist
Background: Andrea Pippins is an illustrator and author with a passion for creating colorful images. She has written several children's books, the latest one being "Who Will You Be?".
Residence: Stockholm, Sweden
Family: Mother to son Isa and married to Samir. Expecting another addition (a baby girl) within the next few days.
Instagram: @andreapippins

Andrea, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us, despite a packed schedule! We are living in unprecedented times (considering COVID-19) and you are currently pregnant with your second child, congratulations! How are you handling your pregnancy and parenthood right now?

Thank you so much for wanting to interview me. Yes, these are truly unprecedented times. It has been both a challenge and a blessing at the same time. Due to my pregnancy and expected due date, my schedule was relatively fixed and clear up until the due date. But it all got a bit disrupted because both my husband and I are in quarantine and our son is home with us. The challenge has been to be able to work, be with our son, prepare for the baby to come, and rest - but the advantage is that we have had some quality time together. We take many walks, Isa and I read lots of books every day, and we have also baked a lot. It has been educational to be able to let go of pre-set plans, be more flexible, and a reminder of what is truly important in life, like our health and our loved ones.

You are an amazing artist, author, teacher, mother, and partner - wow! How do you manage it all?

Thank you so much. Honestly, I handle things as they come. All you can do is take each day as it comes and try to be a little flexible and adapt when necessary. With my first child, I had to really focus, try to prioritize my needs, and learn to say no. I had to realize that sometimes I had very little time for certain things, and other times I had lots of time. That was probably the hardest thing to adapt to, but it made me realize that you can build something bit by bit by focusing on one small task at a time to eventually achieve a larger goal. I also try to give myself more time for things I want to do. Sometimes I look back and think, "How in the world did I get anything done during our first year as parents?"


Does this pregnancy feel different compared to the first one?

Not physically. I experience this pregnancy in much the same way as the last one, with similar cravings and emotional states. But my nausea lasted a bit longer this time.

Is there anything you found helpful the first time you gave birth that you plan to use again? Will you do anything differently this time?

The first time, I read "Mindful Mom to Be" by Lori Bregman, and it was really helpful, so I'm reading it again. One thing I will do differently this time is to dare to ask for support and help. Now that I know what kind of help I might need in the first few months (and afterwards) with a newborn, I feel more confident asking family and friends for support. I also plan to completely set aside work at least two weeks before the due date.

Style is so personal and can vary both during and after pregnancy. Do you have any favorites in your maternity wardrobe that have been indispensable for you?

Maternity leggings and tops! They are so easy to put on, comfortable, and can be dressed up or down as you like.

Name three things that were crucial in your recovery after pregnancy last time?

Lots of good food. I used up a lot of energy breastfeeding, and I remember being super hungry all the time. Meditation and time to write in my journal, which can be a challenge to find time for when days are dictated by a little newborn, but for me, it was non-negotiable.

What does sustainability mean to you as an artist, and has it changed in any way since you became a mother?

To me, sustainability means being aware of all aspects of life. It's about how we use our resources, how we support our communities, and how we take care of our families. In my family, we think a lot about buying second-hand items, we recycle, we don't buy clothes unless it's something we really need or want. We prefer going to the library rather than buying books, we try to support small businesses, especially in our area. We don't buy many clothes or toys for Isa, and most of his clothes are gender-neutral, just in case we have another child, and it paid off since we are expecting a girl now.


Finding time for yourself is key, especially when you become a mother. Do you have (or plan to implement) any routines to give yourself time for self-care?

Establishing routines for self-care is very important. You can start them at any time, but I think it's easier to implement regular habits even before having children. I have been keeping a journal since I graduated from college, and it’s a habit that has grounded me in many different ways. Other tools I use to stay present, grounded, and focused are drinking tea, taking walks, praying, meditating, and breathing, and going to therapy. When our second baby arrives, I plan to ask for more help. I believe that support can alleviate some of the stress that may come in the first few months.

What do you hope to pass on to your children as they grow older?

Definitely the self-care tools I mentioned earlier. But my hope is that they both feel free to be who they are and use that to find their own paths. I hope they will both be able to see me as a role model in that regard.

Do you have any favorite places you like to visit?

What I like most to visit are bookstores, especially those with used books. And I have a strong affinity for art libraries where I can spend many hours. Books are special to me, they are filled with stories, information, and inspiration. Some of my favorite places in Stockholm are: Fotografiska museum for their dynamic photographic conversations about the world we live in, and Kulturhuset for their cultural events and their fantastic art and culture library, I always appreciate their lectures and events. And finally, Moderna Museet for the wonderful exhibitions and collections of modern art.

Finally, what advice would you give to expectant or new mothers?

Trust yourself. During my first pregnancy, the midwife said, "You are the best mother for this child, you know what is best." And that stuck with me. There is so much good information out there when you are expecting. Sometimes too much! I have learned that many people, with the very best intentions, like to share their ideas about parenting and raising children. It can easily become overwhelming, so the midwife's advice really helped me navigate through the flood of information. It reminded me to follow my intuition and simply trust myself. We know, we always do, all we need to do is give ourselves some time and space to listen to ourselves.


Find more interviews with other moms we love here!