Nicoletta Savod | Another Mother Her Way
I met Nicoletta Savod through her serene abstract art work (which you can now buy on Minted or Etsy) so I initially only knew her as a romantic soul tucked away somewhere a world away. But before she was painting, she wasn't too far - working as an art director at a large cosmetics brand in New York. Nicoletta initially worked full time after having her two little ones, Steven and Georgia, but she felt that much discussed tug of war between the day to day of motherhood and work commitments. In her post below, she shares the questions she asked herself that prompted her choice to shift from full-time corporate work to a more personal path with painting, while at home in Long Island with her children as they grow.
Q HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
My priorities quickly changed the second my son, Steven, was born! He decided to come into this world 8 weeks early, and while I was so not ready, I was thrown into the world of NICUs, pumping, and weight-gain. It was an eye-opener for me—I have a tiny someone I need to really take care of now. It changed the way I saw everything else—things seemed unimportant (a shower? Ha...no time for that) and ordinary things took on special meaning, like taking him on his first stroller ride or his first time on a swing. When my daughter, Georgia, was born three years later, I was more prepared but still blown away by the power she had over my life.
Q WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
For many years, I worked full-time in New York City for a large corporation as an art director. I continued to do so for a few years after Steven and Georgia were born, but the older my kids got, the harder and harder balancing my work life and my home life got. Both were all-consuming and I was feeling major guilt no matter what decisions I had to make. Do I miss that important meeting or my son's Halloween parade? Leave my daughter who had a fever or miss a deadline? It was overwhelmingly stressful. I now have been working for myself at home for the past year, and I am so happy to be able to get my son from the bus, bring my daughter to the library, and be home to make dinner instead of missing it completely. I am still busy doing my graphic design work and painting, but now I can involve my children and they are in turn more creative themselves. I wouldn't change it for the world.
Q DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
Affectionate, Encouraging, Appreciative.
I strive to be the kind of mother that my children will be able to share things with, both big and small. I want to be able to guide them in the right direction and have them make good decisions on their own. And I want to have fun and enjoy them!
Q HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD.
There are definitely times where taking care of myself is a challenge...my last haircut was way too long ago. But with an almost 3 and 6-year-old, I've learned to be extremely efficient when I do get some free time (mostly during Georgia's nap). I spend most of that time to garner my creativity and focus on my work without interruption, although sometimes I just sit and catch up on my DVR. When Georgia is in school next year, I'm sure I will miss the 24/7 company!
Q EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
I have been so fortunate to have the help I've needed from my family, especially while I was working full-time outside of the home. My mom, sisters, and in-laws have all been instrumental in raising my son and daughter. And of course, my husband who works so hard for his family. I am so appreciative of my village!
Q WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
I have a difficult time letting go of my babies! I try to be more adventurous and have them learn certain lessons on their own. It is a challenge for me, but something my husband encourages me in—he is definitely the more daring parent. It's not the easiest thing for me, but knowing that in order for them to learn, they have to be a little fearless, and that makes me a little more fearless, too.