A two-second scan of Ali Bird’s Instagram feed (here) is all it takes to get a sense of the family’s effortless cool factor. You’ll see weekly videos of the Director at The Wall Group – who represents the most powerful stylists and hair and makeup artists – hip-hop dancing to Cardi B at the Peridance Capezio Center. In between are shots by (and of) her partner, photographer and director Cass Bird, known for her incredible work in Vogue and with brands like GAP, Nike, and Warby Parker. Of course, their two children, Leo, 11, and Mae, 9, play starring roles, exuding the kind of badass vibes only kids who grow up with creative New Yorker parents can.
We sat down with Ali to talk all things parenting: tackling mornings with a “sleep zombie” and an early bird, striving for emotional transparency always, and bonding over Steve Carell memes.
What does 7 AM in your house look like?
Coffee and repeating, “Time to get up!” 20 times to [the] kids and Cass. Leo is a night owl and it’s so hard to get him out of bed. He’s not interested in breakfast or getting dressed. I can literally choose anything for him and he’ll wear it because he’s a sleep zombie. Mae is 100% the opposite. She is an early bird – wakes right up, wants breakfast right away, and is very opinionated about her outfits. She’s got a very authentic, specific style and loves getting herself dressed.
What does 7 PM in your house look like?
Family episodes of The Office. The humor in The Office is unparalleled – we have so many family jokes about it. It’s really Leo’s favorite and he just gets the humor and weirdness and so do I. We connect on that and are both constantly quoting it to each other, sending each other memes. Cass and Mae are along for the ride.
What’s an unexpectedly awesome aspect of parenting?
Getting to re-parent yourself. I think my parents’ generation was afraid to be seen as not having all the answers, and they often didn’t let us in on their internal lives. For me, it’s healing to be able to actually share feelings, thoughts, ideas and frustrations with my children, at a level that meets them, of course.
What’s an unexpectedly NOT awesome aspect of parenting?
Going from zero to 100 real quick! I don’t know any kids that listen on the first time. Mine certainly don’t. The constant repeating makes me frustrated.
What do you always find time to do with your kids every day, no matter how busy you are?
Connecting to humor, silliness and fun. It’s a way [for us] as parents to be kids again and meet our kids on their level. It relieves my anxiety and lets me remember not to take everything so seriously. We have a lot of jokes and a lot of family fun.
You and Cass work in the fashion and beauty space. What do you hope your children know and take away from watching you both?
That it takes all types to make the world interesting, and that being able to truly express yourself is the most beautiful of all. I think Cass and I strive to bring our authentic selves into every area of our lives.