ILI Interview: Erin Kotecki Vest (a.k.a. Queen of Spain)

Posted On: 11.24.09

queen of spainWarning: if you are a particularly insecure soul, you might want to stop reading now. Why? (I told you to stop reading.) Because Erin Kotecki Vest is an impressive creature and hearing about her sundry accomplishments might make you feel even more insecure. Consider yourself warned.

A fellow blogger, Erin spent a decade as a broadcast journalist in Los Angeles, Orlando and Detroit. During this time, she won not one, but six Golden Mic Awards with LA news institution KFWB. Currently, Erin serves as Producer of Special Projects for† BlogHer.com where she hosts BlogHer Backtalk. Erin also contributes to the Huffington Post, MOMocrats.com, and to her own marvelous Queen of Spain Blog where, depending on the day, she talks about the Senate HCR bill, soup recipes procured via Twitter, or her bittersweet role as Mom (a.k.a. “Funkiller”). I for one appreciate this digital tapestry of Serious and Silly and trust you will too. (Oh, did I mention that she once did an interview with Barack Obama? Not too shabby.)

In any event, this journalist and blogger and mother, this wearer of many glorious hats, agreed to do a little interview with me. (Does this mean that per some inscrutable transitive property I have done an interview with Obama? Hmmm.) Anyway, enjoy!

Balancing passions and family (and everything else) is something I’ve been thinking and writing about a lot on my blog. As a woman, you are many things – a former award-winning broadcast journalist, the Producer of Special Projects for BlogHer.com, politically active, a mother…this list could go on and on. How do you juggle everything you have in your life? Do you think balance is attainable?

Erin: Juggle? Ha! I fumble it. Honestly balance is near impossible for me but, like most, I do the best I can. I’ve learned that I can’t have it all and do it all and be it all and sometimes I have to just say ‘no.’ I have to remind myself that while the kids come first, I have a job to do and I have to remind myself that while I enjoy my work, I need to make some family time sacred. I am not sure balance is attainable, but managing chaos can be. While my life shifts daily from one end of the balance spectrum to the other, I do my best to make sure one side doesn’t get too far out of whack. I think that’s the best anyone can do.

Have you struggled with the choice to have a life “outside” of your children? Do you think the plight of the modern woman is that we really can’t have it all? Or do you think that’s possible?

Erin: I used to struggle with having a life outside of my kids and sometimes still do, but those times are fewer and more far between these days. Once I realized that having this life outside my kids was BETTER for everyone, including my kids, it became much easier to accept. I’m not sure it’s the plight of the modern woman that we really can’t have it all, it’s more of an annoyance. I think we all know we can’t do it all. We can’t be it all, yet here we are still trying. How annoying that we KNOW we can’t, yet we still try! I don’t think anything is impossible, but I am realistic. Some people would say I do have it all because I live in both worlds, however I, and those like me, know better.

What’s one thing you hope is different for your two children than it was for you?

Erin: I’d love for their hearts to never break and for them never to want… of course, but when it comes down to it… I hope nothing† much is different. I hope their lives are filled with just as much love and luck as mine, that they get more opportunity than even I was granted… and learn to appreciate each opportunity as it happens, not decades later ūüėČ

What have you learned in the world that you could never learn in a classroom or a newsroom?

Erin: It’s been the people I’ve encountered that have taught me the most. The relationships, the real stories. Sure I can learn about those things in a classroom or see them on my tv news or hear them on my newsradio…but nothing compares with talking to those involved yourself.

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Thank you, Erin, for taking the time from your superstar schedule to chat with little old me and make all of us feel a wee bit more insecure!

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Thoughts? Reactions? How would you answer the above questions?

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Comments


9 Comments for: "ILI Interview: Erin Kotecki Vest (a.k.a. Queen of Spain)"
  1. Interesting answer about having a life outside of the kids – I think this is often better for everyone, certainly we’ve found that, we’re much happier and therefore our family is happier.

  2. I know you warned me….but after reading this, all I could think was: I suck.

  3. For me, this says it all (and I couldn’t agree more):

    “Iím not sure itís the plight of the modern woman that we really canít have it all, itís more of an annoyance. I think we all know we canít do it all. We canít be it all, yet here we are still trying. How annoying that we KNOW we canít, yet we still try! I donít think anything is impossible, but I am realistic. Some people would say I do have it all because I live in both worlds, however I, and those like me, know better.”

  4. What great questions you posed! I, too, wish for my children’s hearts to never break or for them to always have what they need. But it’s the heartbreak and want that helps us to appreciate what we have. Ah well…..

    Great post!

  5. I’m happy for the answer that she gave to the first question regarding balance. It is a word that I have come to shy away from using, and cringe upon hearing. It is supposed to be this thing that we are all striving for. To be balanced. To have it all. To feel zen. That we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing, and still wearing all the hats that we wear.

    This…was just great:

    “I am not sure balance is attainable, but managing chaos can be. While my life shifts daily from one end of the balance spectrum to the other, I do my best to make sure one side doesnít get too far out of whack. I think thatís the best anyone can do.”

    Erin, I agree.
    And also, bravo on having this life that you have, and all that you are because of it.

    Oh and one more thing…it IS about the people, isn’t it? It is with them that we expand. It is with them that we learn how to learn, or apply what we already knew, or realize what it was that we read in a book.

  6. Aidan, you have such a way with your words. I love the questions you asked. You are so gutsy for interviewing someone as amazing as the Queen!

    We have been struggling with the balance between self and our lives as parents. I think one the most important thing you can do when you become a mother is not lose your sense of self and remember to take time for you.

  7. Wonderful questions, Aidan! And if you are reading, Erin, answers that make us all know we can achieve what you have if we want to.

  8. Jen

    What Big Little Wolf said. Exactly that. Why are we still TRYING? I’m going to think about this. As I struggle to balance SOMETHING and fumble most of the time. And keep.on.trying.

  9. Aidan I am SO JEALOUS. Erin is awesome.

    These questions are fantastic. For the longest time I felt guilty about wanting “me time and space.” I lost my job when Bear was 10 months old and it took me 6 months to find another one. That was honestly one of the most miserable times in my life. Since getting a new job I started my blog and finally feel the benefits of being more than just a Mommy. Don’t get me wrong, being a Mom is the best thing in the world. But I am a better Mommy because I work (full time but from home so the kids are with my for about 30% of my work time), and because I take time for myself and grow as a individual also. I finally realized that how can I continue to teach them, to show them how to adapt and learn and grow and live if I too were not doing the same?

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