Thanks for the Hug

I laughed out loud when I read my friend Linda's (at Lime in the Coconut) comment about the "group hug" I'd received though the comments to yesterday's post.  She's so right.  Thank you all so much for the kindness.  When I wrote the post yesterday, I was feeling as close to tears as I've felt in a really long time (I joked with my assistant Meghan that I was going to jump in her lap for a good cry.)  I honestly didn't write it looking for anything... In a way I use this blog as a journal, usually keeping off the drama/ boring / too personal stuff, but there are times when it comes out anyway.  (After I hit "publish" I thought I sounded like a whiny complainer.)  But I did end up getting something.  So many of you are in the same boat and somehow knowing that we're not alone-  faaaaar from it it- makes me feel better. 

Thanks for the hug.
{pic via pinterest via piccsy}

And there are so many different sides to it.  Many commenters are in completely different careers and it seems they still struggle with the same issues.  There are those moms who do decide to stay home and love it although can't help wondering "what if" just the way moms who go to work wonder "what if?  There are stay-at-home moms who feel like people think they are on easy street.  (Can I just say I can' disagree with this more??  Staying at home with children to me is the toughest job.  (I'm sure it's very rewarding but it is exhausting and those parents deserve a LOT of credit.)  Then there's the guilt that seems to be associated with all sides of motherhood.  One commenter raised a really interesting issue that in her workplace history, there has always been a "mommy" who she felt used her children as an excuse to get out of things and put more work on others.  Another mother commenting mentioned that she realized she had judged those decorators without children. thinking about what would happen to their careers once they did have kids.  I also realized I was judging the people who judged the "mommy" decorators.  (And just to clarify for any of those who asked, this isn't something imagined, I've actually heard of specific decorators using these terms in reference to others in a very negative way.)  My mom (who was a single parent for most of my childhood) said that childcare was always one of the toughest part about raising kids. 

When it comes down to it, I think we all have insecurities and questions ourselves sometimes.  I find that when I get really frazzled/ upset about something with my kids (such as the daycare situation yesterday morning) I start to question myself.  On normal days, things roll off my back & I'm even able to laugh or roll my eyes when I hear about haters, but when I'm emotionally charged like that, it all seems like it's tumbling down.

With Justin's case yesterday, I took him back to his existing daycare, which had turned over most of its teachers & its director over the summer.  We were less than thrilled to be taking him back to the center as we didn't love it last year & were planning on using it temporarily until we could find Mary Poppins, but when I got back to the daycare yesterday, it was worse than it had been the previous year.  The two ladies we looved -who had taken such good care of Justin- happened to be coming in later that day and those that were left seemed unconcerned that Justin was crying for so long.  I'd fully expected him to cry, I just expected he'd be picked up and comforted. 

Anyway, I have two kidinkies up right now so we're off for breakfast, but thanks for the shoulders yesterday.  I promise I'll get back to good stuff later this week.

{NOT a picture of our breakfast - i wish!!- image from the Awkward Bird}

On another note, we are installing a new project tomorrow.  (Thank goodness for my mom babysitting!!) My clients' house underwent a major renovation and all of the pretties are going in tomorrow!!

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact us about our design services.


Karena said...

Oh Lauren, it is just so difficult for a working Mom!! You try your very best and must have a career. I think as long as the children's needs are met by parents, its all okay. We never stop worrying though!

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Art by Karena

CRICKET said...

I keep on thinking about your post. I know no mom whether working oustide or inside the home who has an easy time of it. We constantly worry about our children when they are away from us. Sending positive thoughts you way in finding some childcare that is a better fit!

Lisa said...

Hi Lauren,
I've been an avid reader of your blog (and big fan of your style) for sometime, but very rarely find the need to comment. But yesterday and today's posts have resonated with me on a personal level - thank you so much for sharing your doubts and the challenges that come with be a Mom/Wife/Interior Designer/Blogger.
I'm an architect whose been in the profession out of school for 7 years, am already an Associate in my current firm, and am getting ready to start a family. And I have lots of questions and lots of doubts about how being a Mom and a Professional are all going to work out.
From the career side there are lots of negative judgements on putting family first, even when its just trying to find time to share with your spouse or take care of home emergencies. And frankly I think the negativity comes from people just not getting it, and not caring about the complexities of families and kids. It boils down to the culture of a profession and to individual offices, project teams, and managers and what kind of environment they want to create.
Design is a creative field filled with passionate people, who are competitive by nature. Those making nasty "mommy designer" comments are most likely venting their own insecurities about their design capabilities and throwing them on an "easy target." I am questioned all the time because of my young age relative to my stature in our firm, and sometimes its hard for me to not take it personally, but I realize most of the time its because someone feels threatened (and not because I'm young, but because I'm capable and talented at what I do).
Your designs are beautiful and sophisticated. And your blog gives me hope and a great example of a successful woman who is working to balance family and a design career. Bravo! I've loved reading all of the positive and supportive comments after your post! Obviously there are a lot of women who get how important family is, and how important career aspirations are to making us feel whole. We all just have to keep supporting each other and doing our best to create the balance - I hope that over time our hard work will create a more understanding work culture overall.
A girl can dream, right?!!! :)

Laura Lynn said...

Hi Lauren,

I was meaning to post yesterday but just wasn't able to get around to it. I'm glad you feel better today!

But to add to what you were talking about, the quote came to mind, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

I think whatever the profession: Motherhood, working in the home in addition to motherhood, or working outside of the home in addition to motherhood, or no kids at all, everyone needs to come to their own personal conclusion about what works for them and be happy with it. period. regardless of whose opinion doesn't matter.

You have to get to the point where you don't apologize for your different titles. I could go on about competition, guilt, haters,etc. but really, you can't make it seem like you apologize for anything. Does that make sense?

Even if you feel the pang of guilt, don't let it show and move forward. The absolute best thing you could do is to not even acknowledge those comments. It's the worst thing for those types.

Out of the hundreds of design blogs, yours is one of the few I read because you combine life, home, personal stories and design. It's one of the things that sets you apart.

Thanks for letting me write a book!


AnneHH said...

Just sending some love your way. And, thank goodness for our maternal instincts alerting us and telling us what "feels" right or wrong in a situation for our kids. You did the right thing for Justin and I think when we feel those alarms, we need to put all else aside.
But, when those alarms are not going off and the kids and husband are happy we should be free to follow our dreams and make the careers that we want for ourselves.
One piece of advice I got when my two boys were Christian and Justin ages (sorry if I gave this to you before ;)--every day when you wake up, expect that one thing at least will go wrong with your family, your house, your car or your pets that day. If you meet the day with that expectation then it won't be so upsetting when the inevitable happens. That is life. But the days when nothing does go wrong, you celebrate. And the days when something does go wrong, you won't blame yourself or the kids or your husband or even a stranger--you will just know that that is life and we all need to find the magic in spite of that.
That advice was just life changing for me.
xo, Anne

NewLightRedesign said...

Hi Lauren, I have been reading your blog for several years now(although I have never commented). I am twice your age but I went through the EXACT same feelings you have right now 20 years ago. There is never an easy answer to the whole Mom/working situation.I worked as a professional photographer with my own very busy studio in Boston all the while raising two very active boys. Some days were better than others and I confess to more than one break down into tears in the car after dropping them off at Day Care. Obviously we do the best we can and hope the kids turn out okay and that we can enjoy some success in our chosen field. I am a designer now and my two boys are grown and turned out great. Almost every time you post I wonder how on earth you do what you do, with all you seem to have going on, and do it all so well. I think the designers who talk down about "mommy designers" are truly just threatened by you and those other Mom's who are so talented yet have the family life too. I think they are just jealous that they chose for whatever reason not to try and do it all. I give you HUGE props Lauren and just remember..the kids grow up so very fast but the design jobs will still be waiting. Enjoy your beautiful boys and just keep doing what you do best..EVERYTHING!

HeatherC said...

Hi Lauren. I have been reading your blog since the beginning but have never commented before. I am a designer in MoCo have enjoyed following your posts that overlap with my life. Your path has been very parallel to mine and I just wanted to encourage you as I commiserate. My eldest is now in college but there were so many days that I had to bail on clients because of sick or needy kids. There were days I installed rooms with a baby in a backpack or sleeping in a car seat. I was sometimes embarrassed until I remembered that I wouldn't always have little ones. I tried to balance my work/mothering with no regrets. I'm still not sure how my kids would grade me, but I know that I tried to always remind myself that I was in business for myself so that I could make some of those choices and call those shots. I could interview clients as much as they interviewed me and I was often able to see if the client might be empathetic in an emergency. Sometimes I had to make wrenching,humbling and job-risking decisions. But, since their childhood has flown by, I can guarantee that setting some of the professionalism aside was worth the risk. I have a successful business and it hasn't hurt me in the long run.

Kerry said...

I am glad things seem like they are on their way to being OK for you. I just closed my design business when we moved and started a Part time job that was supposed to involve daycare. I couldn't pull the trigger. I ended up being able to adjust my schedule but its emotionally tough no matter how you play it--guilt happens.

Lisa, An American Mom said...

Hang in there Lauren. We're all here with you! I am a SAHM to a 3 year old boy and a 1 year old boy and I think any working mom has such a tough job of trying to balance it all. I really admire those that seem to do it with some grace. I would have done the same as you and walked back in to claim my crying baby. That would have broken my heart.

And for the record, I'm not sure what a "mommy decorator" is, but I consider you a working mom with a very busy, growing business! To throw in managing two small boys is heroic!

GL finding a childcare situation you are all happy with. When you do, you will be feeling sooo much better. I know that makes all the difference.

Velvet and Linen said...

You always keep it real, Lauren. I think the balance between career and family is something we all struggle with. I certainly do! There is definitely no such thing as having it all.

I'm sending big hugs your way, from one "mommy decorator" (and I'm proud to be both of those titles) to another.


Muraca Design Notebook said...


I too did the exact same thing with my middle son when he was just under 2years old. I was in the process of getting my design business started and had both my boys in a daycare I was on the fence about. Ended up pulling them out under very similar circumstances. Fast forward about 13 years... last week, we took my oldest to college (up by you actually at George Mason). Go with your gut! Everything has a way of working out if you listen and act on choices that are right for you and your family.

My baby girl (my third and youngest) will turn 13 next week. I'm still decorating and getting ready to open an online shop. No regrets about how I've balanced work and family over the years. Certainly questioned things at times, still do!

I've been following your blog for over a year now. You are an inspiration!

Keep going!
Sandy Muraca

Susan said...

the only thing I want to say, as a SAHM of an almost 18 yr. old and almost 15 yr. old (so, I've had some experience!) is that most people that say things like "mommy decorator" or want to decide how you should raise your kids (go to work, stay at home) are simply trying to make themselves feel better or more important. Ignore them and do what works best for you and your family and it will all fall into place. I've heard it all over the years and it's not pretty but just remember that no one knows your situation and your kids better than you do!!

Acquired Objects said...

I missed your post from yesterday so went back to read it and nearly cried for all the unfair people out there, ignore them Lauren. I don’t have children, never could have them and to be honest I have no idea how you do all that you do. I know what my day is like with a husband, dog, yard…acres, home and a sixty-hour a week business. I’m up between 4-5 just to get everything done. Being a Mom is just one of your jobs it shouldn’t define who you are because you’re still a person, a human being first. My hat is off to you for being able to be a Mom, wife, nurse, homemaker, top-notch designer and everything else that goes with life. So if someone comes at you ignore them the best you can because the fact is those people are jealous and I wonder what’s lacking in their life that makes them go after someone else. Hugs to you my friend and keep your chin up, you do good!

Lesli at My Old Country House said...

oh my...reading your blog and all of the wonderful personal generous comment stirs up so many thoughts and emotions, and ALL I can tell you, is, in the end, you HAVE to ONLY do what works for you. I have 3 children ages 11, 13 and 15. When my children were babies, thinking ahead to NOW was nearly impossible. It was like looking through a dark fog, my mind and my heart simply would not let me go that far ahead. Too, too, too many variables. Now here I am. And while I could never look into the future, I can tell you that I can see the past, the days they walked into preschool, the moments they tied their shoes, or just gazed out the window of the car from their car it happened... this morning. It goes that fast,and there is no room, nor time to ponder about what is "right". Right and wrong are not applicable in these conversations. If you ask yourself, you will know. You DO know. I worked, I quit, I worked, I pulled back, I worked too much, I worked from home. Not one single option is easy, it is not supposed to be. You are raising people, to go into the world. I fail every day, and everyday they do something, usually 100 somethings that tells me that despite me, they are brilliant. They came that way.
Thank you for reminding me why I chose to start my own blog, why I am doing everything possible to be close during a time that puts it all in perspective.
If you are ever in the area, stop by and visit my blog@

Margaret said...

You're such a loving mom! I have removed my child(ren) from questionable childcare situations, too. As heart-tugging as it is now for you, I would gladly trade places, as when they're adults, and riding fast motorcycles, contemplating joining the Armed Services, dating, driving, and God knows what else..well..let's just say God was wise to give us tear ducts to relieve our stress, and moms, and friends, and wonderful husbands to get us through! And you know what, your sons are growing, too, despite their tearful woes that tug at your heartstrings, as you turn to leave the center! XO