Designing my daughter's nursery... my biggest challenge ever! Part I
Creating has been my passion since as far back as I can remember. From objects like earrings, purses & headbands to large abstract paintings and murals. I am a maker. It's no wonder I chose architecture as my professional career. Designing has been my love, and has always come natural to me, or so I thought...and then I became a mother.
A combination of hormones and a new maternal instinct meant that absolutely everything had to be perfect. As if pregnancy and motherhood aren't hard enough on their own, you have a giant pile of things you also have to juggle, and try to do it perfectly. Things like: work a full time job, push your new business, finish the architecture licensing exams... all of this while supposedly setting up the perfect environment for your baby to grow. Yea, no pressure.
Everything, perfect. perfect. perfect. Now fold in to that, a background in design and a natural obsession over details and you have yourself a disaster waiting to happen. I felt the pressure constantly. "I can't wait to see what YOU are going to do with the nursery" I heard this all the time. YEA ME TOO!! I wished I could tell them about my amazing plan, but I had no idea what that plan was. There's an unreasonably high standard of what you want to accomplish and also what you think people expect you can accomplish.
Designing my daughter's nursery was difficult to say the least. Finding the perfect shade of pink and creating the perfect mural. I've made countless murals for friends and family, my daughter's had to be the most perfect mural I had ever made ever in my life. Gulp. Um... it needed to be stimulating, but not too much. Elegant, but still age appropriate. Three dimensional but not cartoon-ish. Whimsical but still calming for nap time. It needed to be everything I could possibly do, plus more. TALK ABOUT CRIPPLING THOUGHTS! It took me months to come up with an idea, and everything was going against me.
It was impossible to find something to paint. Eventually I gave up and decided to do a white tree. The cherry blossoms were blooming in DC so I thought maybe a cherry blossom. I could tell my husband was disappointed. Really? he said. Just white? okayy.... and his voice drifted. Remember those high expectations? YUP. I felt the pressure. He didn't think it was good enough, but didn't say anything. I could just see the disappointment in his face though. He had helped me with so many murals in the past few years and we always joked that or baby's room would knock all the murals I've ever done out of the water...
And I'm sitting here, just trying to get by.
The tree was coming REALLY slowly. One branch at a time. If I were to redo it now for someone, it would only take me a couple of hours, but for her room...it took me months! until I finally ran out of time! I remember being on the ladder painting my daughter's mural, at 40 weeks and 2 days, when my sister called. What are you doing she said? do you feel okay?... And on the ladder... while on the phone... paintbrush at hand.... my water broke.
Natalia came on August 22nd, 2016. A gorgeous, bright-eyed little angel. I wanted to immediately show her the world, which started with her nursery... which wasn't even finished yet. Way to go mom. I failed at my first design task to my most important client ever! my baby.
The winter passed, and I eventually came to terms with the fact that my daughter's room still wasn't finished. I accepted it. I returned to work full time, suffered through a few months of what I know now was a pretty bad case PPD and by spring time, I felt like myself was blooming again. I remember the day that Natalia was taking a nap under the half painted mural, I found myself browsing Pinterest when a craft idea came up for making paper flowers. I ran upstairs, got my paper (my stash of pretty paper is extremely impressive if I may say so myself) and started making. One quickly became two, and I was hooked. I could put these on her wall! This is exactly what's missing...
I put them up. They were perfect. I finally did it. My baby had the most beautiful nursery. The best one I've ever made. We wake up every morning and count the flowers together. She absolutely loves them.
Moral of the story... Give yourself time and space to think. If you need to be, just be. If you need to stop, just stop. You can't force creativity and you shouldn't. And gosh darn it, things take time!! I wish I could enjoy the process more rather than obsess of the little details and whether I am fulfilling someone else's expectations.
I am learning.
It's a slow process.
And that's OK.
...end of Part I
Part II: Natalia's Garden Theme Baptism coming soon!
"A year passed, and her big fat greek baptism was around the corner. 100 people or so, it might as well had been a mini wedding. If you think planning a nursery is hard, try planning a mini wedding while being a mother, full time architect and a business owner. But I knew what to do. This designer mom had a plan... a blossoming plan. It would be perfect.