Wednesday, March 9, 2011


After Mikhail lost his job over a year ago and started working from home, he took over our home office and a corner of our bedroom became my office. It was a plain little space, my beautiful vintage table that I used as a desk perpetually piled with projects in progress.

Truthfully it was not a very inspiring place to work, but I don't usually do my creative writing at a desk anyway. I use a desk for paying bills and doing household and organization work. The work that needs more intense focus I usually do at cafes, away from the chatter of little voices. Or when the house is quiet, I often migrate onto the couch, laptop on - well - lap.

When I was pregnant and couldn't sleep, I often found myself rearranging furniture in my head. I think it was part of my obsessive need to make the baby a real entity, a tiny person who would need a changing table, storage for diapers and ridiculously small clothes. It was like if I could just figure out how to arrange the furniture to make it all work in our small house, I could guarantee that the baby I so longed for would become a reality.

But when it came to implementation, I hesitated. When was the right time to take the plunge - to buy a changing table, to wash the baby clothes, to buy the diapers, to move the contents of my desk into cabinets in the living room? And I struggled with what it meant to no longer have a desk, that symbol of working life. Would it mean that I was no longer a writer? Would it mean that motherhood would have overtaken my life completely, leaving me no opportunity for my creative life? Would it mean that I had no chance for paid work?

The funny thing is that it totally works for me to have my office downstairs. Most of my papers are contained behind cabinet doors, there when I need them but not where I have to look at them. My laptop is perpetually within reach and regularly carted up and down the stairs. I've pulled out a pewter bowl that was a wedding gift to hold my stack of unopened mail, which before would just stack up on the counter. Ironically, I'm generally better organized than when I had my own desk, and I've done more paid work since Emry was born than I had in the previous four years. Of course someday, I'd like to have a desk again. Mostly because that would mean that my gorgeous & super-smart husband had a full-time job again.

In the meantime, I love how the nook in my bedroom has been transformed. It's cozy and bright and warm. Perfect for cuddling up in the rocking chair and having a nice snack of milk. It's the baby's space, and it's magical to me.

mobile with removable cloth insects/finger puppets by Furnis Spielwelt

1 comment:

  1. Love the light coming into the room, especially in the last shot.

    I too was always trying to visualize how things would look with all the baby's stuff. We moved the crib and our daughter to her own bedroom and moved the desk back into our room and it all feels very nice. She has a nice bright space and we don't have to tiptoe into our room every night!