“The more lipstick I wear, the more tired I am,” she quipped.

It was a bright shade of red. But the radiant hue didn’t seem to mask tiredness for this mom taking the Baltimore literary world by storm,

It just perfectly matched her cowgirl boots.

coffee with: betsy boyd, editor-in-chief, baltimore style

Betsy Boyd is an editor, reader, wordsmither, tv-loving mom with an uncanny knack for 90s celeb gossip who — if she’s lucky — gets out for a jog twice a week.  

She is not and was not ever, however, a serious ballerina. Just in case you were wondering.

The BelAir-Edison mom of toddler twins recently jumped into the pilot seat at Baltimore STYLE, taking over as editor-in-chief last December. She may not have been comfortable behind the megaphone at first, but her quick wit, way with words, and engaging personality is quickly helping her find that ‘mega’ voice. 

“There’s a huge difference between being a professor and being a leader — being the boss,” said Betsy. “You have to be able to articulate YOUR vision which is different than supporting a fledgling student in the classroom developing his or her voice.”

Much like motherhood, there’s a nurturing component to her work life. And she doesn’t do either alone. Her husband co-pilots with her at home and STYLE’s creative director co-pilots with her in the office. It takes a team to keep all of the balls in the air (and a nanny at least six hours a day to safeguard ‘the babies,’ as Betsy so affectionately refers to her twins).

coffee with betsy boyd - (cool) progeny

I asked her what surprised her most about motherhood. Her immediate response was something I think surprised most of us: that these little beings come into the world with complete personalities. Her second response?

“That I’m such a good nurser!” 

In addition to a full-time job at STYLE, teaching classes at University of Baltimore, writing a mystery novel, and editing essays for Baltimore Fishbowl, Betsy is ‘still nursing’ her 21-month-old twins. (I’m still trying to figure out how she has so many hours in the day!) For her, those moments are a time to bond at the end of a busy day. The moment when her husband brings her a tall glass of water while she and the babies snuggle up. Admittedly, the moment might be fleeting — as the twins jockey and knock heads. They are a bit competitive of her attention, she admits. But it’s a moment worth having.

“I didn’t go into the nursing thing with any expectations,” said Betsy. “It just happened to work for us. And we’re still going.”

The glass of water is followed by a healthy glass of wine. Preferably pinot grigio but she’ll take whatever is open.

Her days are busy. They start around 7 in the morning and end late at night, after post-evening class chats. No one could argue that Betsy isn’t one to lean in. But for her it’s not about balance. It’s about work-life satisfaction. And time management.

“You can do more when you set the right limits,” she advises.

With two young kids, her weekends are unencumbered; exactly how Betsy likes it. The whole family might head to Lake Montebello or out for froyo. Or stay home and just relax. She and her husband aren’t really obsessed with date night yet — they’re still in survival mode. (Can you relate? Me, too.)

You won’t find Betsy sporting a ‘mom’ uniform. She showed up for coffee coiffed in a striped button-down, brown skirt, red belt, cowgirl boots, and an eclectic metallic headband. Her closet is a little bit of everything — dresses from The Girl Next Door at Cross Keys to tops from Forever 21 to a holey “Fiddler on the Roof” t-shirt from a grade school musical. She uses a classic trick from her days as senior editor at PaperDoll to get ready in the morning. Before she falls asleep, she thinks about and plans what she’s wearing the next day (and tries to remember whether or not it’s clean). That helps streamline getting ready in the morning so she can spend more time ‘with the babies.’ That and an 8-minute make-up routine she has down pat.

But scoping the best in Baltimore fashion may slide down a spot or two on Betsy’s to do list. Her next task? Choosing a nursery school.

“I want to teach my kids joy. I want them to know what makes them feel good — and what makes others feel good. To lead with kindness; to make authentic choices. To really mind their hearts and souls.”


Editor’s note: You may or may not know that Mid-Atlantic Media (the company that owns Baltimore STYLE) recently acquired Baltimore’s Child. Betsy is excited about chronicling her parenting adventures in that publication as well!