I’m a designer. And I’m a mom. But it happened in that order.
As my office is in the back of the house, it’s inevitable that sometimes my projects (and my mess) leave the confines of the 13 Creative headquarters and try to make a beeline for the door. In fact, they tend to creep and crawl their way into the bedroom, the living room, the tv room, the kitchen, and sometimes the dining room. Well, to be clear, it used to be the dining room. It is now what we affectionately refer to as the playroom.
In it’s glory days this “dining room” used to be the room where we entertained, where we drank wine, where we felt like “adults” (because “adults” don’t sit on the couch and eat dinner off of plates on their laps!). Now, this beloved mark of adulthood and “finery” has pink and brown cushion-like tiles all over the floor and is littered with toys, books, dolls, and really insanely noisy, battery operated, objects made out of fluorescent green plastic, which if weren’t magically able to quiet a crying child within seconds, would be chucked out the door faster than you can say “Helvetica!”
But I digress. This dining room cum playroom still has a table in it though – the only really “good one” in the house that isn’t already covered in my “mess”. And I use the word “mess” lightly because what is mess to others (aka: husband) is clear, organized and perfectly logical to me.
So, this table is my out-of-the-office sanctuary for cutting, assembling, producing, gluing and the all-time favorite, corner punching!
In the days pre Grace, this table would sit in the middle of the room, covered with the tools of my trade – papers, rulers, rhinestones, scraps, glue and of course the all mighty x-acto knife. My projects would go on for days in some cases, during the hefty production of a lavish wedding invitation or packaging mockups for a soon-to-be printed product. Brad and I would fight about “mess” and he would insist that my project got cleaned up each night and put away somehow. He would spend the night strategizing on different solutions for designer-moms to use so that each night projects could be placed out of the way and brought back to life in the morning without much hassle. I refused each and every brilliant suggestion however, offering up the “creative process” as a good enough reason to keep “mess” exactly where it was. Then I would ply him with wine and make him forget about our little argument!
Now, in the days post Grace, the table is still covered with the same tools although we have more arguments than I can count about sharp tools on the table. No amount of wine will make him forget – and boy have I tried! My how things change! I guess old habits die hard because no matter how much I love Grace, and desperately want for her to be safe at all times, I have the hardest damn time committing to removing my x-acto blades from the table each night!!
At Art Center the teachers drill it into your head that a dull x-acto blade is more dangerous than a sharp one – and so my collection of tiny little blades, which get changed out every 15mins or so during a project, sit stacked next to my work, waiting inline for their tour of duty. At the end of my day when I go from creative genius, goddess, guru (call me what you see fit!) to “mommy” I can’t find the part of my brain that wants to clean off the table and remove all blades of glory before fixing supper or changing a diaper.
*Note: Just so no one thinks they need to call Child Protective Services on me… there are NO x-acto blades on the table. I do see Brad’s point of view – I’m just reluctant to admit that he’s right!
I guess this is all part of being a designing mom. I struggle with the balance from a mental point of view, but had no idea I was in for a struggle in this realm! I am guessing that one day when I feel more “mommy” than “designer” this won’t be an argument, or struggle at all but until Grace can say “mommy” I think that day is a bit far off.
Helpful Tip: One of Brad’s suggestions during the quest for the ultimate solution on “mess containment” was to use large, flat boxes (pizza boxes would be perfect) to store each project in. At night, all the project components would get put into the box (large enough for rulers, oversize sheets of paper, etc.) and would get stacked away neatly, on top of all the other project boxes. I really do think this is a genius idea – thanks Brad – but knowing me, I wouldn’t be happy with just “any” pizza box and I certainly don’t have time to start designing a line of designer pizza boxes for use as project organizers. Guess it’ll just have to live on the to-do list for a little while longer!