Updated: Oct 12, 2020
The day Nova was born, a new Gloria was born with her as well. The architect stepped aside and the mother within me came out in full force and it has transformed me in a way that is beyond words. This picture above represents my soul right now: It’s full of peace, joy, happiness and an overwhelming love that makes my heart burst. I’ve been exclusively breastfeeding Nova for 16 weeks now, it has been one of the hardest and most challenging things I’ve ever done in my entire life, yet it has been the most rewarding as it has offered me a level of connection with her and with myself as a mother that I didn’t know it existed.
Before I found out I was pregnant of Nova, all I cared about was my career development. I'm a very ambitious person and I have specific professional goals that I want to achieve but after I read that "Pregnant" word on the pregnancy test, that morning of October 3rd of 2019, everything changed: my baby became my number one priority at that exact moment.
My pregnancy wasn't exactly as I imagined, due to the COVID-19 crisis (I'll go in more detail about this experience in a separate post), but it was such a wonderful (I can even dare to say it was a magical) experience.
Nova was born and I committed to my new role and the ride throughout the ups and downs of her first months of life. Let me tell you (in case you didn't know already!), the so called "Fourth Semester" can be seriously brutal. The sleep depravation is real.
With all that being said, I got to the point where I needed to go back to the work force and I just wasn't ready for it. I needed more time with my baby and I also needed a way to control the amount of hours I would work per week. Everything was now moving around Nova.
When I was living in the Dominican Republic, my home country, I had my Architecture Studio where I specialized in Architecture of Interiors with commercial, corporate, retail and residential projects. I’m not necessarily a “business person” by nature but I loved the freedom this allowed me to have. I was able to choose the projects and clients that aligned with my vision and practice, and also, I had a very flexible schedule and that right there was key for me.
When I came to live to the United States of America, as an immigrant architect I had to start all over again. My architecture license was not valid here so I had to go through a set of steps to transfer my license to Florida (I’ll go in more detail about this journey in a separate post). Because of this, I had to get a job and I wasn’t able to call myself an Architect anymore until I would obtain a license here.
I got my reciprocity in 2019 and became a registered Architect again, but for some reason I stayed in that job I had, even though I knew in my heart it was no longer the best fit for me. I wanted to be able to design and manage my own projects, and call them “mine”… That was never going to happen while working for someone else. Period.
When the time came to make a decision about going back to work or staying with Nova, I chose Nova, but at the same time I chose myself, my marriage and my family… I chose us. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my husband Jeremy. Now I’m able to refresh and refocus on myself on a personal and professional level, and see my career from a different perspective, and this is how Glow Architects was born.
As I navigate this new phase of my life, and I’m balancing out my architecture career, my entrepreneur spirit and motherhood, I’ll be sharing with you all what’s is like to be in this position, an immigrant woman architect trying to make it in a foreign country. I’ll share in detail in other blog posts what it took me to get to this point in life and all the steps I’m taking moving forward to create a successful and profitable architecture studio in the USA while still being the best Archi-Mom I can be.