by Ellen Lupton | AIGA
“How do you do it all?”
I often get this question, and my answer is this: no one does it all. Doing it all means, of course, having a career and having kids, and it’s one of the great myths of our era. The myth is that you can pursue these two essentially incompatible activities without screwing up either one. The myth is that having children will infuse your professional work with a wondrous energy (akin to the fabled second-trimester glow), and that having a job will make you a more interesting and fulfilled person, and thus a better parent.
One year ago, I had the privilege of sitting on a panel called “Women Rock!” at the national AIGA Design Conference in Boston. Devoted to the life issues faced by female designers, the panel sought to “offer unique insights on juggling career and family, dealing with stress, and how all the chaos offers training and inspiration for becoming a better designer, a better businessperson and a better mother.” That program blurb neatly sums up the myth, suggesting that the chaotic life of the working mom provides the ultimate training ground for getting better at everything.