We start the rubric ‘Mom vs. Work’ to share stories of the moms who deal with the unfathomable combination of motherhood and personal goals and dreams. We believe that these stories will help the moms who need a little help to make the first steps and follow their dreams.
We first met Adelina and her husband 20 years ago, when we were all taking art classes at a special place with a special teacher. Then we made a bike trip to the seaside and became closer. I am telling you this because you will see how adventures and creativity are still an important part of her life even after the birth of her three children. Adelina and Valkan run a small, stylish craft shop where they curate beautiful design products made in Bulgaria. The shop is called HAVA, it is located in the town of Plovdiv, in the Kapana creative district and it is one of the seven locations in Bulgaria (and the only one in Plovdiv) included by the Michelangelo foundation in their digital guide for applied arts – the Homo Faber Guide.
Here is what Adelina says about Hava:
Hava was an experiment aiming to bring us back to the world where we actually belong. We’d lost touch with art in our daily battles with the grind of life, personal problems, routine and fear of trying new things. Then we had to face a point of no return. We hold Bachelor’s degrees in Poster and Visual Communication from the National Academy of Arts and we took up from our professors the mission to teach good taste. This is a very difficult objective because a small compromise can lead to a big step backwards. While our job as graphic designers requires us to take on board a bunch of requirements that are sometimes quite unpalatable, with the shop, for the first time, we had the opportunity not to compromise with our understanding of what is beautiful and right and that’s brilliant.
We have the great possibility to show the works of talented Bulgarian authors, artists and craftsmen who’ve chosen HAVA to represent them exclusively in Plovdiv. Some of them we’ve known for a long time (like the ESNAF TOYS team), and HAVA was a good place to meet again after a long pause. With others we met because of HAVA and I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to meet all these people and present their beautiful creations. I am more than happy to welcome the people from Plovdiv and the visitors of the city to the shop not only to buy but to saturate their senses with beauty; they never miss to express their gratitude for the opportunity. This gives me a great charge.
And here is how Adelina is combining this beautiful part of her life with another beautiful and significant journey of hers – motherhood.
How many children do you have and what are their names?
I am a mother of three: Yoana, Valkan and Anton.
What is the most difficult thing about motherhood?
I will give you an example from my work as a graphic designer. No matter how good the font is, no matter how fine and harmonized the letters are, there is one very important thing which can ruin the harmony if it is not observed: one has to leave proper spaces between the letters. Every single element of the font has its significance – construction, width, incline, small or capital letter. They all interact with each other and have their own function. The relationship between the mother and the children is similar. It is very difficult to decide how close you need to be to our children- close enough to react when necessary, and far enough so as not to hover and suffocate. This is a dilemma that I constantly keep to mind.
Have you come across Mamah, a book by Helene Deforge? What type of mother are you?
No, I haven’t read it, so I will improvise. I’ve been a mom 1/3 of my life and I’ve been through a lot of different phases: the cool mom who can walk in the children’s shoes better than in her own but is still anxious whether she can handle it. The mature mom who is self-confident because she already has experience and she doesn’t need too much advice or help. The burn-out mom who’s totally forgotten about herself and who is aware she has too many irons in the fire. It took time to realize that taking up too many tasks is not commendable and that in this way I was not doing myself and my loved ones a favour. Now speaking is a slightly more harmonious version of all these women who would look down on their frettings with a slight sneer, and who also tries not to forget that many more challenges lie ahead.
How do you take rest from motherhood and what is your recipe for handling the tough moments?
I relax with my work because I love it. But this is not enough to feel complete, especially when work entails sitting in front of a computer for many hours. That is why I returned to the things that I used to do, but then I didn’t have time for, such as drawing, riding a bike, jazz concerts and theatre. I started experimenting with new things such as yoga. I thought it was too slow and boring before but I was wrong. These days I work with porcelain, which I find extremely fun and relaxing and I’ve started dreaming that working with porcelain can become more than a hobby. It teaches me patience with the too many stages you have to go through. It also teaches me that failure is an option too. You can practice in the presence of children although I prefer to do it by myself.
The recipe for the tough moments is never one and the same. You think you’ve found the solution and then new challenges occur. The recipe that works for me is to say to myself:
“Stay calm, nothing will be according to the initial plan but it is always better to have a plan. If, by chance, it happens according to the plan, I try to perceive it as a pleasant surprise.
What do you dream of?
I dream to have time for travelling. I dream to have more hours per day, because 24 hours are not enough. I long to be able to travel because this is what gives me energy, inspiration and delight. Based on the work theme - time and space are never enough. You need time and space to expand and show the best you can. Lately I learn how to find time and space. I learn not to waste myself in lost causes.
photography credits: HAVA