From 2000 - 2011 I was a Designer. I knew that title. That title was me. Erin. Designer. Got it. Check. Then at the very end of 2011, December 24th, a nurse handed me my baby girl...and my title shifted to Mama. We came home as a family of 3 and my life got flipped upside down. I was unprepared for the hormones, lack of sleep, recovery and fear that comes along with that title. (That baby scared the hell out of me for about 3 months).
I made a conscience decision to step back out of design for a bit. My business card read Mama. No email address. No phone number. I was not online that much. I did not take any new freelance jobs for a whole year. I aimed every ounce of attention on the new peanut.
I woke up, played with baby toys, read books, fed her, naps, baths, diaper changes and back to bed. I watched her grow, smile and giggle, sit up, roll over, try her first solid foods, commando crawl to real baby crawling and pull up to standing.
At times, I have been accused of being a "black or white" person. I don't handle the gray area well. I could not figure out how to balance my new title and my old title. I did not feel creative. Nothing was firing up there. It felt like that part of my brain would be shut down for an infinite amount of time. Then she took her first step...right into that gray area. She wobbled over to me and in those small independent steps, she gave me permission. She gave me permission to take a beautiful picture with Instagram while she played with her toys. She gave me permission to design a logo after she went to bed. She gave me permission to use Pinterest while she took a nap. She gave me permission not to have to choose between my titles. She gave me permission to be both Mama and Designer.
So I am putting Designer back on my business card, in italics, under the bold Mama. My creative floodgates are opening back up and the ideas are starting to flow. I have slowly been accepting new projects. My timelines are now respectful to my clients' schedules as well as my toddler's. During the day, it is Baby G and Mama. After 8 pm bedtime, it is Erin. Designer. I am still working on the balance, but it feels great to be coming back.
Design is like breathing to me. I missed it and I missed all of you. I hope you have all been well and that 2012 was terrific. Here is to an amazing 2013! I am excited to see what journeys we will all be on!
ps Wish me luck! Little G and I are off to our first Mommy and Me class today. Fingers crossed we both make it through.