Content Creator Lucie Fink: is our February Cover

Content Creator Lucie Fink: is our February Cover
Photographer: Yumi Matsuo

Content Creator Lucie Fink: is our February Cover

It was a Saturday morning, I had just made my daughter breakfast, watched her eat it and then asked her to go up to her room to pick out an outfit and get dressed. She listened. At almost 5 years old, it’s hard to imagine her as the reckless, never-stops-moving toddler she once was, or, better yet, the sleepless baby who woke up three times a night almost every day for the better part of a year. It’s even harder to imagine the frazzled, exhausted, overwhelmed me that existed during that time. But here we are. Now, she almost always sleeps all night, gets herself dressed and feeds herself. It’s wild. 

But after breakfast I was suddenly transported back to those early days during my interview with social media content creator, Lucie Fink. Lucie is a new mom (son Milo is just over a year old) whose postpartum story is as relatable as they come—at least for me it was. As she recounted her experience I found myself either furiously nodding along or just sitting there, paralyzed by the similarities.  I know motherhood is different for everyone, and I know that every baby is also different, but I believe moms have more in common than not. She said it best during our chat, “Since becoming a mom…I just feel this connection to moms that I never felt and it’s kind of wild.” I couldn’t agree more. It’s like we’re all in this secret club that’s not so secret, and no matter how we gained entry (biological birth, IVF, adoption, egg/sperm donors, the list goes on) we all share the burden and the blessing of being in charge of keeping a little human alive—and being their shining North Star in the process. It’s a lot to carry. Lucie says it’s “heavy” and she’s right.

She is set on keeping her platforms varied and exciting and not just about mom stuff—especially now that she’s feeling more like herself again. Many of Lucie’s 213K followers on Instagram, TikTok 447K and 419K subscribers on YouTube are not mothers, so while she tries to balance her content to reflect all facets of her life, she can’t deny the major shift this last year has brought. Read on to learn about Lucie’s journey through her professional career, family life, and how her and her husband try to keep things as 50/50 as possible. 

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Photographer: Yumi Matsuo

CP: Tell me a little bit about how you came to be a content creator.

LF: So I guess if I go back to my youth, I kind of had this split interest—I was fascinated by medicine and thought I wanted to be a doctor and then the other half of me was fascinated with TV and media. I grew up with a radio DJ for a dad and an interior designer for a mom, so I was raised in a very artistic, creative household and definitely was not pushed into a traditional career path. I was allowed to follow my passions. When it came time for college, I decided that the route I wanted to go down was the medical route. So I went to Johns Hopkins, and my first semester I was pre-med. Very quickly, while being surrounded by other students that were going down that medical route, I realized that my passion for media was actually more fitting with my personality type. Like, all throughout high school, I was in plays, I was the president of the Scarsdale High School Drama Club, my senior year and when I got to college, I immediately joined an acapella group—I was always performing. But really the one thing in college that I guess kind of kick started my career was during my freshman year I pitched a YouTube series that would live on the Johns Hopkins admissions website. My vision for it was like a travel channel type show about the city of Baltimore so that prospective students from around the world could see what the city has to offer without having to come to visit. They had never had a student that wanted to do something like that, so they said, ‘By all means, here’s a student videography crew, go do whatever you want.’ It started as a total, extracurricular side passion, but after my first year, it turned into a full time job on campus where I was actually getting paid to make these videos. There were thousands of students who in their applications were writing that my videos were the reason that they were applying. So that was really my first experience.

CP: You got bitten by the bug.

LF: I got bitten by the bug. And I was loving it. It was definitely a turning point for me in terms of putting myself on YouTube and seeing immediately what it means to expose yourself to the internet, just in terms of dealing with comments and what were people saying and how was it all being perceived. But it was in that moment that I sort of made the declaration to myself that this is what I love doing: I love communications, I love making videos and I love producing. I wasn’t just the host of the video, I was also writing the script and producing the whole thing. And then by the end of my senior year, I was also editing. I just loved it. And I knew if this is what I want to do, I have to just move past whatever anyone’s gonna say, and trust that I’m doing what brings me joy. And so that set me off on my media journey. 

CP: What year was that? 

LF: That was in 2010, it went from 2010 to 2014

 

Photographer: Yumi Matsuo

CP: That was when social media was really starting to pick up steam, so the timing of it really worked out for you.

LF: Exactly. The thing is, I never would have like, put myself on my own YouTube channel and just tried to be a YouTuber, I always found value in working for a company, for a media conglomerate. I was so happy to be on the Johns Hopkins YouTube channel because that series is what really unlocked a lot of opportunities for me. I wound up being on the Today Show like six or seven times as a millennial spokesperson, and every time I left I would email the producers and pitch them like 15 ideas of other segments I could come on to talk about because I wanted to be able to graduate with both a YouTube video reel and a live TV hosting reel. At that point, I thought my career was going to lead me to a more traditional TV hosting route, maybe as a news anchor, or an E! News host, right? As soon as I graduated, I realized neither of those paths were right for me. So upon graduating, I went the production behind-the-scenes route, and said if an on camera opportunity presents itself to me I’ll take it, but I’m not going to seek it out. I took a job in advertising, I thought I was going to be a creative director and be behind the scenes on all this branded content. But the moment I started working there, I found that I couldn’t stop seeking out on-camera opportunities and continuing to tell everyone I met that I wanted to be on camera. I had this one meeting—the biggest, life changing event for me—with the Chief Creative Officer of the company. She was really like a mentor to a lot of the young creatives at the company, so I treated the meeting with her kind of like an interview, even though I already worked there. I went in and I just laid everything out for her and we had a great meeting. A month later, she became the CFO of Refinery29, her job was to build up the video team and she hired me.

Refinery was a really great partner in terms of realizing that I was building my own brand alongside them. So every video that I made would drive people to follow me on my own platforms. And so I was just kind of slowly accumulating my own following and my own audience and people were starting to want to get more behind the scenes content from me. They wanted me to start blogging on my own YouTube channel and they wanted to have all the information about my relationship. My now husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, who I had been together with since high school, has been like a secondary character. I also have a twin sister who my audience knows really well. And they became really interested in my day to day lifestyle, and have been with me throughout multiple stages of my life. They watched me get married, they watched me have a baby, and now they’re watching me move soon. 

CP: Let’s talk a little bit about how your presence on social media has changed since becoming a wife and a mom—what that means for your son, and how you’re navigating all of that.

LF: I’m lucky that I was with my husband since I started doing this because he’s always been a way more private person who has agreed to be in videos with me, if I ask him early enough—sometimes I need to put two weeks notice on his calendar that I need him for a video so he can mentally prepare (laughs). But I’ve always had to navigate being conscious of the fact that while I’m an open book and nothing’s taboo, I realized that a lot of elements of my personal life are actually his personal life, too. 

CP: It’s not just your story.

LF: Exactly. I just feel like I try to be as open as I can myself while respecting his boundaries. And so when we got pregnant, we started talking about what are we going to do, because there’s just so many different theories—some people who are completely not sharing their children’s names or faces at all, then there’s some people who share a little bit or put emojis on top of the kids faces, and then some people who thewhole channel is the baby.

CP: So where did you guys land? Or have you not landed somewhere yet?

LF: We landed in a place where we knew for a fact that we did not want my platforms to become a family vlog channel. My husband said to me, ‘If social media was a thing when our moms were young, if both of our moms were influencers, and put you and me on social media, maybe because of you and your personality, you would have been happy. But because of my innate personality, I would not have been pleased.’

CP: That’s an interesting way to look at it. 

LF: Yeah, and I agree with him completely. So we kind of came to this conclusion that at a certain young age, up until a certain point, I kind of feel like it’s up to our discretion. My audience knows I have a baby, I don’t like the idea at all of hiding him—I feel like there’s something with that too, that it’s almost like you make it into a bigger deal if you’re intentionally hiding him. So I really didn’t like the idea of not showing anything and not telling them anything. And also because motherhood is such a big part of my content now, they know he’s there. So the way I think of it is, I do actively try to make sure that my platforms are not the Milo show. I still want it to be about me. I have plenty of followers that don’t have kids and don’t even want to see that, so it’s definitely a big balance. 

CP: Speaking of balance, as a mother myself, my daughter’s four and a half, I found the shift to motherhood, the shift of my identity, very surprising and jarring. So my question to you is, since you’ve decided you don’t want to be like a family-focused content creator, has that helped you stay in touch with who you were before you were a mom? Help you balance that identity shift a little bit? 

LF: Before he was born I remember saying, I don’t want to become a mommy blogger, I don’t want to share everything related to motherhood, I want to keep all these other parts of me alive. And then in the first few months, it was like, ‘This is what I have now.’ My first few weeks, I had insane baby blues. Every night when the sun would set I cried for no reason. I really opened up about it on social media, sharing photos of me crying, and writing how I was feeling in real time. I got such amazing feedback from people telling me that they felt the same way and it’s normal. I really leaned on my community during that time, and it was so helpful. 

But then I definitely understood why people become mommy bloggers, because when you’re a mom—I just  realized the amount of mental space that being a mother takes up, it just crowds out the time for much else. There’s no room. The other day my husband even said how we were talking pre-baby about how we wanted make sure to not lose ourselves and keep up our relationship as a two. But it’s just like, once he’s here it’s the baby show. And it’s so hard to stick to the stuff that you said you’re gonna do. I think at the six month mark, that was a big turning point for me. I felt this renewed inspiration to get back to a lot of elements of myself that were not related to motherhood. That was when I started a dedicated strength-training practice again, and I got back into some meditation and journaling and I signed up for some breathwork classes. I stopped nursing at nine months, that was also a big change. I donated my breast milk during the formula shortage because I had a major oversupply. And so then I was pumping around the clock, and as soon as I stopped that, it was a life changing moment.

CP: I had the same experience. I breastfed my daughter for a year so I think it was the combination of stopping breastfeeding, her turning a year old, me being a year postpartum. I finally at a year felt like a person again, like myself. 

LF: I felt like the thing that was the most surprising for me was I hadn’t been that close to people in my life that had babies before. And so my experience of being around people with newborns was, you know, I would go for an hour to someone’s house with this cute little bundle and then I would leave and think how lucky they get to just do that all day. But then, when it was mine, it was just…coming home from the hospital and having him there and being the one that was staying there while everyone was circulating in and out…it just felt like a massive weight had just been put on me. I was like, why is this heavy? I thought it was gonna be jovial and light. The whole experience of becoming a mom felt obviously more magical than I could have imagined, but so much heavier and sadder too.

CP: So much of what you’re saying is resonating with me. I had the same experience, very similar. So I want to talk to you about love…you have this loving, committed relationship, but then you have this little blob come along. And I’m just curious what does love mean to you now? How has your definition of love broadened or narrowed or changed since becoming a mom? 

LF: That’s a great question. I think what’s fascinating about high school love that lasts, and goes all the way to now, is that you really are like growing up with the person. And as you change your life, they change—you kind of give everyone the space to just change and grow. Because you’re so young that you still have to grow up. And I think that’s been what has made our relationship so strong and steady and solid is knowing who we were, and having watched each other evolve and being where we are now. It’s this completely unbreakable bond. My two parents are actually both high school sweethearts, also—actually they met in middle school—and I just remember always watching them growing up thinking, nothing could tear them apart, because they just had their whole life history together. The process of becoming a parent with someone that you have that relationship with is mind blowing. I’m constantly pulling myself out of my head, and looking at the three of us now from above and thinking, I can’t believe this has been here all along. If we rewind back the clock, we talked about this for so many years, we literally said in high school we’re gonna have babies together, we were those kids that were talking about how that was going to happen. And now it’s happened. I’m kind of one of those people that likes to think deeply about quantum physics and time and is it linear? And is everything happening at the same time? It’s just crazy that this was always here. 

CP: Do you feel like your love has deepened since having Milo?

LF: Definitely, but a lot of people warned me, our relationship has shifted a lot. And it has become way harder to find the time to connect just the two of us without Milo there, or without us talking about Milo. It actually takes a dedicated concerted effort to put in our calendar date nights and make sure we have someone to watch him. To go out and force ourselves to not look at pictures of him, to not talk about him. It’s definitely hard work. And even our New Year’s resolutions, a lot of them were about how at the end of the night, when we put him to sleep, not just putting in our own headphones and going about doing our own tasks, but connecting and doing highs and lows of the day, and looking at each other and sitting together and doing things together, because otherwise it’s easy to just put the baby to bed, finish up your work, and then get in bed and watch a show. So in a lot of ways, it’s gotten a lot harder, but the crux of it, has gotten way, way stronger. And I genuinely think my husband is in like the top 1% of partners in terms of how hands on they are with the baby. He works from home so he’s here physically, and he’s so 50/50. I hate to say that because I don’t like scorekeeping, but he’s definitely very involved.

CP: Was that something you discussed beforehand, or did it just kind of work out that way?

LF: No, we definitely talked about it a lot. And we both had parents that kind of were equally as involved, even though both of our moms were stay-at-home moms and both of our dads worked. I think we discussed very early on that I want to stay working and so if we are gonna both be working then we are going to need to be sharing this load. We talked about it at length and he started reading books about fatherhood and parenting, and was definitely very involved in the process. However, we both agreed that once the baby came, just naturally, a lot of the weight lands on the mom, a lot of the invisible load lands on the mom. And so even though he’s hands on in terms of physical stuff, like diaper changes, and doing laundry and doing dishes, I think the stuff that falls to me winds up having more time dedicated to it. So like, planning his activities, figuring out developmentally appropriate toys, finding nursery schools…it relies on a lot more research and time. and like, I was the one who was spearheading our whole baby led weaning journey, watching courses, reading guides, and then educating him on it, right? And we talked about how he took it that I was just more interested in that stuff. And I was like, ‘Well, I think I’m more interested in it because I have to be because someone needs to do it.’ It’s almost like my brain is meshed with the baby’s a little bit more. 

CP: Again, very relatable. I loved talking to you about motherhood and hearing your journey into social media because I think it’s actually a very unique story. I think will be interesting for people to read about.

LF: What’s been exciting is since becoming a mom…I just feel this connection to moms that I never felt and it’s kind of wild.

You can find Lucie at: Youtube, Instagram, TikTok: @luciebfink.  Facebook: Lucie Fink

Photographer: Yumi Matsuo

Lucie Loves…

We asked Lucie to dish on the content creators she loves, watches and follows. Here are her top three picks:

@ColorMeCourtney “Courtney is a ball of fun and bright colors and her video content is really creative. Even though she’s not a mom and her content right now doesn’t 100% resonate with where I’m at right now in my life, I still find her really talented, really creative. She works so hard and she’s an amazing entrepreneur.”

@MaryamIshtiaq “Maryam is a mother from Dallas, TX who has been through pregnancy loss and I love that she shares about it so openly and honestly. I especially love how as a new-ish mom she shows up on her platform balancing how she shows her child or not. I admire how she maintains her child’s privacy but still includes her in the content.

Jonna Jinton on YouTube “Jonna is a filmmaker who lives in the woods in the north of Sweden. Her videos are like cinematic masterpieces. She inspires me from a film, stylistic perspective but also does a great job incorporating her beautiful footage with more vlog, real-life footage. Her life could not be further from mine, in terms of the way we live, yet I really love unwinding and watching her, seeing her little corner of the universe that is so different from my world. That’s what I love about social media.”

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