5 Designer Moms Share What It's Really Like to Balance Career and Motherhood | NONAGON.style
5 Designer Moms Share What It’s Really Like to Balance Career and Motherhood

5 Designer Moms Share What It’s Really Like to Balance Career and Motherhood

Is work-life balance a myth?

Written by –
Vanessa Louie
on May 7th 2018
Hygge is home for Vanessa. If you're wondering how she likes to keep her house, think tidy and uncluttered. She even has a personal Pinterest board featuring only white colored homes, appealing to her minimal design aesthetic.

With Mother’s Day rolling around, it’s a time to reflect on the sacrifices that hardworking moms make for their family. From witnessing baby’s first steps to building safe and fun play environments, being a mother is a round-the-clock job that’s as rewarding as it is challenging. Fortunately, we’ve had the chance to work with plenty of inspiring designer moms here at NONAGON.style. This time, they’re giving us the truth about balancing career and motherhood.

 

Whether you’re a first-time mom or a working mom struggling to find time for kids, these five designer moms share what it’s really like to be a modern day supermom. Read on!

Marilen Montenegro

Lifestyle blogger, interior and product stylist at Marilen Styles

Former model and TV host, Marilen is an interior stylist and mom of two young kids.

Designer mom Marilen shares how she balances career and motherhood | NONAGON.style

Tell us about yourself and your relationship with your kids.

I’m a lifestyle blogger, interior and product stylist, and lastly a wife and mother of two. I like to call myself an intentional mom, making a conscious effort to impact my children in a positive and direct way.

How has being an interior designer influenced you as a mother?

Being an interior designer has helped me make design decisions that will benefit the educational and physical growth of the kids.  I also believe in teaching them to be neat and orderly at an early age without hampering creativity and individuality.

Designer mom Marilen shares how she balances career and motherhood | NONAGON.style

If your children want to follow your footsteps as a designer and stylist, what advice would you give them?

Dream big, test possibilities by trying them yourself and pay attention to every last detail.

 

Do you have any advice for first time moms?

Life moves pretty fast. I’m not an expert at this yet and every day I struggle, but BE PRESENT in your kids’ life. Literally and figuratively.

 

 

Read how Marilen styles her Hong Kong apartment here.

Tracy Gilmore

Interior designer at Gilmore Design Studio

Born and raised in California, Tracy Gilmore runs her own design studio. Her work is defined by a classic and comfortable design philosophy.

Designer mom Tracy Gilmore shares how she balances career and motherhood | NONAGON.style

Tell us about yourself and your relationship with your kids.

Interior design is such a wonderful and fulfilling profession. Having my own studio allows me to set my own hours, which is important as a mom. I adore my son and the time that I am with him is time that I focus on him. He and my husband are my biggest supporters in all that I do!

How has being an interior designer influenced you as a mother?

I love that my son sees me working hard at a career that I love. The working-parent balancing act is a difficult one. I strive to fit it all in – family time, work, and self care. The three of us have dinner together almost every night. And, we all support each other with our fitness goals.

Designer mom Tracy Gilmore shares how she balances career and motherhood | NONAGON.style

If your son wants to follow your footsteps as an interior designer, what advice would you give him?

If my son wanted to become an interior designer, I would stress the importance of an education, working for other designers to gain experience and have mentorship, and travel.

 

Do you have any advice for first time moms?

Two things: You are about to meet the coolest person in the world. The love of parent to child – there are no words. I’m so excited for new parents to get to experience those first magical moments. Also, don’t forget self care – take time for yourself as your child gets older.

 

 

Check out Tracy Gilmore’s renovation project in Misson Viejo

Ruthie Staalsen

Interior designer at Ruthie Staalsen Interiors

Since starting her own design practice 14 years ago, acclaimed designer Ruthie Staalsen has received plenty of recognition for her classic designs and eclectic touches.

Designer mom Ruthie Staalsen shares how she balances career and motherhood | NONAGON.style

Tell us about yourself and your relationship with your kids.

I am an interior designer in Grapevine, Texas. We have two daughters that are 16 months apart and they are both in college now. My passion for design motivated me to start Ruthie Staalsen Interiors 14 years ago and allowed me to have flexibility with my daughters, while they were in school. It was important to me that I was present in their lives during the crucial years of growing up.

How has being an interior designer influenced you as a mother?

I’m a very organized person and that’s how I keep sane. However, I have also learned that things don’t always go as planned and flexibility is the key to being a good mom. The only way I’ve been able to balance career and family life is to have the family philosophy that we are a team and the house runs smoothly if we all do our part. I’ve also learned that there really isn’t such a thing as balance, the word balance is overrated. It’s just really about your priorities, fortunately being an entrepreneur and having a very supportive husband has allowed me to choose my priorities.

Designer mom Ruthie Staalsen shares how she balances career and motherhood | NONAGON.style

If your children want to follow your footsteps as an interior designer, what advice would you give them?

I would suggest that they also get a counseling degree! 80% of my job is marriage counseling. Haha!

 

Do you have any advice for first time moms?

Remember, you have children to train them up to be great adults. Give them opportunities to do things for themselves. The more you encourage kids to be independent, the better adults they will be. Also, let them fail at things while they are under your roof. Better that they learn how to overcome those obstacles while you are with them and can direct and encourage them.

 

 

Read about Ruthie Staalsen’s custom made spaces for contemporary living.

Malwina Konopacka

Illustrator and designer

Based in Warsaw, Malwina Konopacka is a multi-talented designer, illustrator and graphic designer.

Designer mom Malwina Konopacka shares how she balances career and motherhood | NONAGON.style

Tell us about yourself and your relationship with your kids.

I’m an illustrator and designer from Warsaw, Poland. My kids are very close to me. I spend a lot of time with them and sometimes we even work together. I get very funny and accurate feedback for my designs.

 

How has being a designer influenced you as a mother?

Sometimes it’s hard to be a mother and to work at once. Most of the time, I’m with the kids. Because of the lack of time, I need to concentrate much more when I work – I have to do it in absolute concentration focusing only on work. When I walk with the trolley or do work at home, I’m thinking of projects. It’s kind of like sketching in the head.

Designer mom Malwina Konopacka shares how she balances career and motherhood | NONAGON.style
Illustration by Malwina Konopacka

If your children want to follow your footsteps as a creative designer and illustrator, what advice would you give them?

Do what you want, what you feel, no matter what others think of your ideas! Just be consistent and have fun.

Do you have any advice for first time moms?

Don’t worry! Spending time with kids could be a wonderful reward for working and late nights. But if you’re not comfortable working and raising kids at the same time, be open to others about it. Say ‘my company is closed for few months.’ That’s all!

 

Explore Malwina Konopacka’s work at the London Design Fair

Simone Haag

Interior designer and stylist

Melbourne-based designer and stylist Simone Haag is celebrated for her expertise in creating relaxed spaces with cool statement pieces.

Designer mom Simone Haag shares how she balances career and motherhood | NONAGON.style
Photo by Josh Robenstone

Tell us about yourself and your relationship with your kids.

I am a designer and stylist who helps my residential clients with furniture art object and styling. I have two daughters – Goldie who’s four years old and Clover who’s two and a half. I have tried really hard to not view my work as a negative aspect in conjunction with mothering. In fact, I find it very enjoyable and feel that the socialization that my kids have from coming to site visits with me from an early age and seeing me thrive is a good thing.

 

How has being a designer influenced you as a mother?

I’ve never stopped working when I had kids, and since most of my clients were mothers, my kids were very much welcomed on site.  So the success I have enjoyed has allowed me to structure my days to work around the girls. I think it’s also setting a good role model that kids can see you have passion and a work ethic.

Designer mom Simone Haag shares how she balances career and motherhood | NONAGON.style
Photo by Sarah Collins

If your children want to follow your footsteps as an interior designer and stylist, what advice would you give them?

Don’t worry about what others are doing – you will constantly feel behind the eight ball. When you ignore the output of others and concentrate on your own design integrity – the rest will follow.

 

Do you have any advice for first time moms?

Definitely call in help, if it’s getting your house cleaned or sending your laundry out. It’s perfectly fine to call in help, and don’t think you can do it all. I think it’s also important to retain your identity and your passions – be loving and committed to your kids but don’t put your life on hold for five years.

 

Find out how Simone Haag transforms a Victorian house into a modern family home.

Are you a working mother? How has your experience been? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

 

We’d also like to thank all of the amazing designers who continue to share their inspiring stories with us. And if you’re still looking for a gift to give mom this Mother’s day, check out our ultimate home decor gift guide.

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