Have you ever met someone who renders you speechless? Their mere presence transcends the physical world, giving you a firsthand glimpse inside the spiritual. On paper, this probably sounds totally woo-woo and a little crazy, but this is how profound my first encounter was with TyLynn Nguyen. In pictures, the founder and creative director of self-titled lingerie brand TyLynn Nguyen and mother of three (Lotus, 6; Czar, 3; and Hunter, 1) is certainly arresting. But Nguyen’s beauty goes way beyond aesthetics—she is a force of nature. And as she stands at a statuesque 6 feet, you see it as much as you feel it. This mother of three embodies empowerment with an energy and confidence that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Nguyen is the definition of author Clarissa Pinkola Estés’s wild-woman archetype, and she definitely runs with wolves.
While most people would put other aspects of their lives on hold when their business is just taking off, Nguyen had her third child mid-flight. Equally (and fiercely) devoted to her family and her business, she is redefining what it means to be a woman, throwing herself fully into both without hesitation. “I just did it,” Nguyen tells me of her transition from working woman to working mom. “I didn’t think about it. When I became a mother, it felt as though I was given stronger shoulders. The feeling of divine purpose runs through my body each day. The mission to provide my children and their children with a future seems like it has already been chiseled in stone—like somehow I’ve already accomplished the dream and have immense wealth to give them. I am just reliving the incredible story. Having children has taught me to roll with the punches and praise God for his many blessings in my life.”
Nguyen knows her power; she stands in her truth and sees strength and value in owning her femininity. She isn’t about to let archaic gender stereotypes hold her or her children back.
Even with that inner drive and determination, Nguyen isn’t immune to the realities and challenges of raising a family while running a business. But every day is an opportunity to learn something new. The key is being flexible and welcoming change. “Some of the biggest lessons my children have taught me about work and life is that there is perfection in the mess of things,” she says.
Some of the biggest lessons my children have taught me about work and life is that there is perfection in the mess of things.
As a self-confessed “perfectionist” who loves to have things her way, that lesson can be relearned daily, but Nguyen has found that her children are her greatest teachers. “My children have their own ways, and it’s allowed me to learn to bend and mold with them and others to create a beautiful environment I once only dreamed of,” she says. “I think children have a lot of the answers adults go searching for. The freedom and wonder opened my eyes and heart to the unfolding limitless potential within myself.” Nguyen says this is also one of the best things about being a mom. “The realization that your being influences another being,” she declares. “Being a mother means being a leader and recognizing the strengths within your child while helping them mature into the person they were destined to be. The most surprising thing about being a mom is how much it is a mirror to the issues lying dormant inside yourself.”
For Nguyen, that also means educating her children about their diverse heritage and cultural backgrounds so they grow up with an inclusive mindset and think beyond the limitations society often sets for us. “I am Dutch, German, Swiss, Cherokee Indian, and black, while my husband is Vietnamese,” she explains. “When I was 12 years old, I told my parents I was going to marry an Asian man so that I could have world babies. Sure enough, I manifested that into reality. It was me being aware at a young age that race doesn’t matter. Now my children have no limits. Nothing can hold them back.” Talking openly about race is very important to Nguyen and her husband, Bee. “We stress the importance of empathy and compassion,” she asserts. “We talk about how beautiful all skin tones are and buy dolls of all ethnic backgrounds. We compliment on their hearts before their beauty.”
In fact, she believes the biggest lessons we should be teaching our children about race are inclusivity and compassion. “All races are important (and beautiful), but there are races that have been marginalized and pushed as below beauty standards,” she laments. “My dad always stressed how beautiful my black culture is and showed me to be sensitive but also bold in my beauty to other cultures who didn’t understand that. It’s important to stand up for people who do not have the same privileges as other races.” Raised biracial, Nguyen tells me she has experienced being included and excluded. “And frankly, it sucks,” she retorts. “Just because you are black does not mean you are a criminal or that you will be late to a function. Just because you are white does not make you pure or better than another person. Just because you are Asian does not make you smart. It’s crashing these stigmas and teaching our kids to learn about individuals on a case-by-case basis rather than grouping people into racial categories.”
Since the birth of her third child, Nguyen is in the process of reconfiguring and understanding how she splits her time between work, family, romance, a social life, and “me” time. The lines are blurred, and it’s not easy, but she’s not rushing it either. “Each kid has made my journey more and more intense and full,” she reveals. “Sometimes I am completely overwhelmed. Children screaming, teaching them to share with each other, making sure they are gentle with the baby, taking care of myself, finding time to be romantic with my husband, my own alone time, work—there is always something to do. I feel the incredible love that is in my home and feel the fatigue of no sleep. Juggling each personality and my own needs gets stressful at times. I don’t think it’s gotten easier because there is a ton to manage each day. But I sense the payoff of watching and praying for each kid’s destiny to be achieved will be the best part of this journey. Plus, I wouldn’t have my life any other way. It’s exciting to be productive each day.”
Life is bursting at the seams with an endless to-do list, but Nguyen still believes in balance “more than anything.” She adds, “As a mother, I am balancing the intense role as leader to my children, love and friend to my husband, and running my business. My goal is to be extremely great at each of those roles, but in order to do that, I have to be in constant communication with God. There have to be moments where I am by myself or I will lose my mind. So to answer the question, I keep my work/life balance in check by making sure I have daily moments to myself to evaluate what I need for myself. At the end of the day, if I am not whole and happy, I cannot give my complete self to another person or my job.”
Her secret to keeping it all together? Making time for self-care rituals. “I have an extensive beauty routine that I do for myself every day,” she says without hesitation. “I am heavy on moisturizing my body and drinking a ton of water. Movement is key with my kids, and my focus is to be as comfortable, healthy, and as mobile as I can be. When my skin is supple, I am those things. Recognizing how important it is to take care of your skin and feel good about the woman you see in the mirror is key for me in being the best mother I can be. This is important for other mothers to know too.” In fact, finding a self-love ritual for yourself is Nguyen’s number one piece of advice for moms returning to work after having a baby. “This will increase your confidence and slowly but surely put you in the mindset and vibration for success in the workplace,” she says. “An example would be wake up, look in the mirror, say something kind to yourself, and remember our children feel everything we feel, so morning rituals for and with the kids are important as well. It’s a process that won’t happen overnight, but be sure to give yourself some grace and forgiveness when things don’t go perfectly.”
But whenever the going gets tough, Nguyen remembers the best parenting advice she’s ever received to come back to center: “Roll with the punches, and remember your kids love you when you start to feel guilty about things.”
On the best advice she’s ever received:
Think before you say. Just take your time and enjoy the moment because everything is going to happen. Keep your eyes on your prize.
On advice for new moms:
Take your time and enjoy these moments. You are stronger than you think, and everything will fall into place.
On her one time-management hack:
My iCal! Our days are pretty much outlined down to the minute for me so I can stay ahead of everything. The juggle is real and having my activities all in one place where my husband can see helps us stay sane.
On her tip for getting more sleep:
I love the book Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, MD. It explains how to put a baby to sleep and how important swaddling is. For my older children, we have a nightly routine that helps their bodies know when to unwind.
On keeping her family healthy:
It is challenging, but food is fuel. I keep myself and my children healthy by feeding them nutrient-rich foods. Food is medicine and the building blocks for growth.
A day of food for the Nguyen kids looks like this:
Breakfast: Cheerios and a smoothie (blueberries, carrots, strawberries, kale, vanilla yogurt, and probiotics).
Snack: Pirate’s Booty popcorn.
Lunch: Veggie nuggets with carrots and vegan ranch sauce.
Dinner: Spaghetti squash with turkey, kale, and cheddar cheese with pasta sauce and maybe a sweet.
On keeping her relationship fresh:
We spend time apart. We also really like being together. When I first started dating him, I wanted to be near him just to smell him. I think it’s mostly animal instincts that keep our passion alive. I am a naturally very sexual woman, and I think it’s so important to connect with your partner as much as possible. I think it’s also important to keep that certain something about yourself that made your partner attracted to you (even with kids). You have to love yourself and demand your own confidence. Remembering that we have to be our own person and do things separately is how we do it. It’s a huge team effort, but it’s worth it.
On the mantras she uses with her kids:
"Kindness is a virtue" because it really is. If you don’t have kindness, compassion, and understanding for other people, how can you ever be a leader? You cannot. Also, "You are beautiful; you are smart; you are a world changer," because they are! And they must be told these things. When they know, they will grow.