Angela Kinsey is stepping out of The Office and into her role as brand ambassador for Citrus Lane. A leading subscription box company created by moms, Citrus Lane curates quality products for today’s busy parents — just like Kinsey. We spoke with the acclaimed actress about her latest collab, her favorite Mother’s Day memory, and why kids love getting snail mail.
How did you get involved with Citrus Lane and what has the ambassadorship has been like for you?
Well, I went up and toured Citrus Lane’s offices and I was so impressed with them. Coming from a comedy world, I often walk into a room and it’s all men, so you kind of have to fight to have a voice as a female comedian. But I walked into their offices, and it was all women. And I was just like, “Wow, this is amazing.” They have a room where they all go pump because there’s someone pregnant or having a baby at all different times. They were talking about things for children, and it just felt like that awesome, awesome Mommy & Me class, which as a working mom, I don’t always get to go to now.
But these women all wanted to have a job where they get to have an active part in their kids’ lives. We sometimes trust other people to vet products for us and our kids, and these women are actually doing it. They’re doing the research; they’re talking to other parents and then they’re bringing these great products to your home. They’re also finding boutique companies that take pride in their work and bring great products to your children, so it was just awesome. After I met with them, I just like, “I would love to work with you guys!”
I’ve given the box gift as a subscription to a few of my friends who were first time moms, and they still call me about it — and their kids are almost a year old! Because as a new mom, in particular, you’re so overwhelmed. As the dust settles and you start getting these boxes every month, the kids get so excited to get them and it becomes a family activity.
Do you have a particular box that you love?
I really like the back-to-school box. My daughter was starting preschool, and she was a little nervous about it. We’d obviously done a bunch of Mommy & Me classes and she was familiar with the teachers and everything, but preschool was a big deal! We got the back-to-school box from Citrus Lane in the mail a few weeks before preschool and it was so great. There was a book about going to preschool and a really cute Skip Hop lunch box and a few other items. It made her feel so special. And by the way, getting mail here is a big deal. I don’t know at what point that won’t be a big deal, but for now it is.
How old is Isabel now?
She is four years old and eight months. I can’t even believe she’s going to be five soon. It’s a cliche when you become a parent because I don’t really know where the time went. She knows what she wants for her birthday; she’s got a calendar, so she knows it’s coming up. She wants a jumpy house at the park with a pinata and I’m like, “You are a Southern California baby!”
How has filming the last season of The Office been like?
It’s nine years of my life, you know? And the people there are my family. Most of us in Los Angeles came out here to act or pursue something in the entertainment industry, so our families are not here. That’s the case for me. And these relationships that I’ve had for nine years, seeing everybody every day, all day, they’re just so close to me. So I’m sad that we won’t get to do this together anymore, because it’s been such an amazing honor and pleasure to get to know these people. But I also know that we’re going to be together for a long time as friends. They are a core group for me that will all be in my life forever. I’m just really going to miss the job because it’s so fulfilling. I love our show — it makes me laugh. I’ve had people come up to me and tell me stories about how our show is the one show that their family all sits down together to watch. I love hearing that, so it’s very bittersweet.
On the flip side, you kind of feel like creatively that this is the time to go while we still get to have a say in it. I think we would have been asked to be around for a while, but we all got together, and we were talking — you’re going to start losing actors, people’s contracts are up, people are going to go on to do movies and other things as they should because your career should evolve. And we wanted the show to end while the majority of us were still there, and we could really say goodbye to Dunder Mifflin and use characters people have grown to love. In that sense, creatively, it’s very fulfilling to have a hand in making that happen. Our writing staff, led by Greg Daniels, is just so amazing. They are really all about collaboration. They had us all up individually to meet with the writers and talk about our character, how our character would say goodbye and any ideas that we might have, or storylines that we felt that we needed to tie up or address.
Now how do you spend quality time with your daughter?
Oh, my goodness, we are homebodies. She has preschool and we do gymnastics and dance class and sort of your common “I’m a preschool girl” activities and playdates, but really and truly, she’s a homebody. She loves to be at home, and I do, too. As a working mom, when you get to be home, it’s like a vacation. There are times on the weekend when, other than a playdate, we don’t even get in the car. So if we’ve got a playdate on Sunday and we’re going to go to the park but on Saturday, we just stay home and we do arts and crafts.
We also have great neighbors; I love the street I live on. There’s a bunch of little kids and they’re all around Isabel’s age. And on the weekends, they yell at each other from across the street, like from one yard to the other — it’s so cute. My mom said my street is like Mayberry. I live far away from the hustle and bustle and in a very suburban little area. I’m the only person in the industry like on my street, so it’s very nice and normal for her.
Mother’s Day isn’t too far away. What is your ideal way to spend Mother’s Day?
Well, I’ll tell you Mother’s Day two years ago was really amazing and I want to try to recreate it this year. My mom and a few of my sisters came out and we spent the day together. We had a lovely lunch and then there’s a park that you can walk to from my house, so we all walked over to the park. It was a beautiful day out and it was so special because you have several generations of mothers there together. I just love being with family and my daughter on Mother’s Day, and not just celebrating Mother’s Day for me, but for my mom or my grandmother or my sister, too.
What would be some tips you would give to other single moms about making it all work?
I would say one, keep it about your child. That’s the most important thing. Don’t bring yourself or your ex into it; keep it about the child. That’s your common ground and your love. And through that common ground, you can find some kind of friendship. Then, I would say to have a great support system. I have great friends and sisters that I lean to for things.
That said, it’s really, really hard as a single mom to find time for yourself. You’re working, so you want all your free time to be for your child. And really, that should be your focus. But I try to find a little bit of time for me, and I call it guilt-free time. It’s either after my daughter goes to bed, or now I try to get up before she wakes up because she’s sleeping later now. My favorite time now is the hour before the house wakes up. I come downstairs in my pink fuzzy robe, and I make myself a cup of tea, and I do whatever I want to in that hour. I should probably get on the treadmill, but I often don’t. In the warmer months, I sit on my back porch with my cup of tea, and I take in the morning. I’ll read a magazine, or I’ll get caught up on a few emails. It helps me feel like in the day that I haven’t lost myself. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, we often feel like, “Well, where am I in this day? I’m just running from one thing to the next. I’m taking care of everybody”. And you can wake up and feel like, “Well, I don’t even know who I am anymore.” When you take that time to have something that was yours for the day, it makes you feel so much better and happier as a person — and a parent.