Being a mother of four children (all under the age of ten) and working full time as a designer can often make my mind twist. There has though never been a doubt in my mind that I could have children AND a successful career. When I was growing up in Iceland, our president was a charming, intelligent single mother who we all looked up to. It was never an issue that she couldn´t have a successful career and be a mother. This lifestyle will simply demand more of us to think about how we integrate life and work.
It is surely chaotic and there is never a dull moment in the household. Our house isn´t perfectly clean all the time and I daydream about having more time to go to the gym but I remind myself that we aren´t living in a soap opera. The most important thing is that I am doing something that I love and it makes my heart and spirit grow.
It would be the easy way out to give up on my design career but I know I won´t become a better mother. I need to nourish my creative self to grow my spirit and thus have more to give to my family. It is like the rule about putting the oxygen mask FIRST on yourself before you help others. It is important for me to be a good role model for my children and teach them that they can be whatever they want to be.
The designer's job is to find good solutions to enhance people´s lives. The busy life of a mother can certainly be an inspiration. Applying the designer's tools to that life can yield fun ideas and even fully developed products. My children have taught me a lot about seeing beyond the obvious and they often point out things or perspectives I didn´t see at first glance.
I embrace having many hats on. It rests my mind (strangely enough) and I often get my best ideas when I least expect them. Women are said to be multi taskers by nature and I try to benefit from it. It is important to defend dedicated “work hours” but also be able to be flexible when needed. My work hours are mostly when my children are in school or sleeping. I love the moments when the whole family is in the same room and we are all engaged in something we love to do; listening to music, reading, working, playing, drawing or simply just being. That is the balance I crave and hope to have as often as possible.
It is my biggest and most challenging design project of all but I wouldn´t be able to picture myself without my children and husband close and around me every day. My constant drive is to integrate this project and all the other exciting projects that are in the works or only just making their way onto the pages of my sketchbook.
Learn more about Emilia on our designer page.