Hello blog long time no see. Happy Mother’s Day!!
I recently needed to write a paragraph about myself for upcoming Women in Design mentoring night. This brief statement would be used for introductions. The event allows women to meet a wide of design professionals to discuss career issues one on one. Easy enough right? Actually who really wants to condense themselves to 4 lines or even write about themselves? It fell to the bottom of my weekly to do list. I was sent a friendly reminder with other participant’s paragraphs. About half of the statements were attached. Impressive and well known group, I was happy to be included. I read their statements. I completely understand there isn’t a right or wrong way to write about oneself and a few lines isn’t much but not ONE person mentioned their family. Not one! There were schools, firms, awards, volunteer positions in the community but NOT one family child or spouse was noted.
I am mom! I am a mom to three teenagers!
Seriously do women still need to hide the fact they are mothers? Still? it is 2014! So I suggest owning it. So while I could have sent info about where my work has been published or awards I have won, I instead focused on my family. Yep I get many questions about how to balance life. Design and family can sometimes be tricky with long hours with demanding projects. I own the fact that I have a family and actually it HELPS me during interviews. Many of my clients have families too! They need a mudroom that works, a garage to stash strollers, bikes and every imaginable piece of sports gear. They don’t want to spend hours organizing their homes every week they want a thoughtfully designed home that works for the WAY they LIVE. Yep we use a microwave to reheat dinners as a busy family schedule with several kid activities can impact dinner time. We need a space to do homework nearby the kitchen so multitasking can happen. We also need a space where a science projects can exist for weeks on an adjacent table. Yep we need a laundry space that works so soccer socks and uniforms can be found quickly!
Working moms have a tremendous amount of information to add to the design mix. I say own it. And when you see a young mom trying to do it all, Go out of your way to give encouragement! Who have you mentored lately?
Rebecca Riden Rebecca Riden AIA Architect
Rebecca started her firm that specializes in residential design 18 years ago. A graduate of K-State she is licensed in Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico and Michigan. As a one person firm she sees every project through from initial client meeting to final move in! Her work has been featured on HGTV, Kansas City Star, KC magazine She also is an adjunct lecturer at UMKC where she teaches architectural design studios. Proud mom to three teenagers she lives in Prairie Village with her husband also an architect.