Let’s talk about messy homes and motherhood. But first, I find the most interesting people via Pinterest. But the thing is with Pinterest, to reap the real benefits of using is, you need to click on the images you like and link out to the sites where they’ve been pinned from. It’s easy to habitually repin what you see on others’ boards or in your feed, but the beauty of Pinterest is that it also connects you to new people which is exactly how I found author Annika von Holdt. Annika is such an interesting woman! She splits her time between island life on Harbour Island in the Bahamas and her home in Copenhagen, and not only does she style interiors but she is a bestselling novelist, writing professionally for nearly 15 years – the same amount of time that she spent as a fashion model. You can learn more about her four thrillers, The Mummers Play, Sleep Like the Dead, The Night Hour and The Haunted, here (in her left menu click on Books).
I also found Annika on IG yesterday and immediately followed her – I love her aesthetic despite how different it is from my own. Her style is very popular in northern Europe and Scandinavia at the moment – very graphic, a little dark, edgy, just all around rock star cool. I also love that her home is so posh and clean although she has an 11-year-old son – mothers often tell me that it’s not possible to have a child and a beautiful home and I’m always so quick to defend how I feel which is that you really can have it all. Most mothers then say, “Well you’ll see after the baby is born”. My son will turn one in 10 days and he’s running all over the house now, opening cabinets, the typical toddler routine… Yet I’m still a decorating fanatic and a clean freak. Annika must feel the same way as I do because she pays a lot of attention to her interior world.
Some mothers are quick to think that those of us who are so devoted to our interiors after we have children are simply plagued with this disease called perfectionism or are even a bit strange or “troubled”. I’ve heard this quite often, especially online where mothers tend to voice their opinions without holding back. But I believe differently – that some women require total life balance in order to be the best mom that they can be. Some of us simply cannot turn our homes into a giant playground and be happy with that, and I’m that kind of mom. And for those mothers who don’t mind, well that is wonderful because honestly, it’s less stressful if you aren’t the type to be bothered by sticky surfaces and sofa stuffing tumbling out onto the floor. I often wish I didn’t care so much. I may be able to relax more and spend less of my free time tidying up.
I don’t think either approach is wrong – being attentive or inattentive to housework and decorating – whatever a mother chooses is how it should be for her and her family. And of course, dad should be included when it comes to chores because not everything can fall on the mother, right? Yet, no one can judge how you manage your home unless it’s so unsanitary that it’s not fit for human life. But it is a mistake to look at those who have immaculate interiors and assume children are being neglected or brought up unable to be kids simply because their mother loves to keep her home nice. Personally, I spend a lot of time when Aidan is napping or asleep at night to tidy the house or work on a decorating project. And I have a cleaner for 4 hours who, before my son, came once biweekly and the moment he arrived, she is with us once weekly – and it’s wonderful and I just cut back in other areas to be able to afford little luxuries.
But back to Annika. I’m so inspired by women with children who are also invested in their interiors. Because sometimes, I really have wondered if I am crazy or if my decorating bug should be stamped out for awhile until my son is older. But I just can’t imagine my life without loving my home and I only love my home when it is clean, organized and looks appealing to me. I must add though that my home is not photo-worthy at the moment, it’s a bit upside down since we moved in a year ago because our baby arrived a month after we moved in so some things are still boxed up in our spare room. And I need to finish decorating my home – something I’m currently working on slowly. Because with a baby, you aren’t able to keep your same pace so what would have taken me a week before takes me a few months because I can only work on a project an hour here, and hour there. Yet, it feels good to not be sacrificing part of my life or what I value because I had a baby. I really didn’t want to lose that part of myself just because I became a mother.
What are your thoughts on motherhood, messy homes and keeping your interiors inspiring despite sticky fingers? And how great is this space from Annika?
(images: annika von holdt)