These last 8 months have been a struggle.
And I don’t mean personally.
Personally, I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
I love my husband more than I ever have.
I am blessed to take care of our little lady on a daily basis.
I love my body more than ever and it’s the least beautiful (in a worldly sense) that it’s ever been.
I love being a mother and every little thing that goes with it.
So much so that we want like a small herd of children and pray to the good Lord we are blessed with many more & they all fit in our little house.
The real struggle has been a professional one.
My business was my baby before & I was borderline workaholic.
Hustling is the name of the game in my industry…arguably in any business really.
However, most people in the wedding photography industry are young & single, newly married, or a husband and wife team. It’s not as common to see a young mother with infants or toddlers just doing all the things: regular styled shoots, 30+ weddings a year, traveling all over the world while making dinner, managing a household, and being the main caregiver to your babies (let alone any type of self care for yourself). Moms everywhere are probably rolling their eyes: “She acts like she is the only one experiencing the balancing act and she is the first & only mom-business-owner on the planet.”
While I know this is not the case at all, from my perspective as a first time mom & self employed business owner…I haven’t heard anyone else talk about it. It has made me feel like it’s a weakness to be a mother in this industry.
That is so terrible.
I have never ever in my life been more aware of what is going on with everyone else thanks to the devil of social media and sitting in a quiet nursery with a sleepy baby for hours, phone in my hand. Oh man, that is just terrible to admit. I should have been soaking up every second of those nursing sessions and that beautiful babe we were given because that in itself is the most beautiful thing.
But there I have sat, many times over, scrolling through everyone else’s highlight reels, thinking to myself: “If I don’t do a styled shoot, I will become irrelevant. You need to get back to blogging like _____ because otherwise you will be forgotten. Man I need to up my game in that department like ______. If I don’t shoot a wedding on every continent, I have failed. Wow I’m just not good enough for this anymore. Oh man my business is going to fail. Yep, I’m basically done for. Dead.”
THAT rabbit hole. The rabbit hole of lies & satan & overdramatic-ness & negative self talk.
It has taken me eight months to get somewhat of a grip on my thoughts of all of this and to accept that a lot of what I’m feeling is normal. I realize some women may not have all of these thoughts and they keep on keepin’ on just fine. However, being the feeler emotional person I am, I cant say I’m totally surprised to be effected by motherhood in such a large (lovely) way.
I’m writing this for myself just as much as any other new mom that is home full time with babies and also running a busy, full time business by herself. Because I wish someone had talked to me about this months ago.
It’s okay to have a change of heart.
It’s okay to slow down and be a mother in this season of life.
It’s okay to say no. To stop shooting, planning, doing things that don’t feed your soul..even if it does go against the status quo.
It’s okay to ignore what everyone else is doing because you are not everyone else.
It’s okay to admit to yourself that you would rather be at home with your baby than travel 8 hours for a session. Does that mean that you don’t love your job? Prioritize your job? Or love your couples? NO. It just means that you love your baby & your family more and that is entirely OKAY and normal. I am pretty sure a doctor would look me square in the face and tell me that he loves his children more than taking care of me. Would I find fault in that? Of course not! Afterall, “doctoring” is his job not his life.
Woa. Big statement there. “But wait, you’re serving people on the biggest day of their lives? Your supposed to be ALL ABOUT THIS?! 110% of your undivided attention and soul at all times.”
And sister, I am. I’m there, I’m dedicated, I’m with you.
I will carry your train, eat the cake, create amazing images, and fan girl over how gorgeous you are all day because I genuinely do feel that way and adore photographing weddings.
BUT. For the first time ever, my worth is not in my job, my success (or lack thereof), or how busy I am. My identity is not in my career. I don’t want to be super woman like I originally thought when I was pregnant.
I am first a wife.
Then a mother.
And then…a business owner.
I finally feel like admitting this outloud isn’t a sign of weakness or lack of dedication.
I should say: “I am mom business owner, hear me roar!!!!”
But I don’t really want to roar. Not right now.
I want to squeak and laugh and enjoy every second I have of being able to stay at home with babies, roll on the living room floor amongst a sea of musical toys & crunchy teether things with drippy frozen fruit stains on the carpet. All while taking on a manageable workload in a job I love, shooting things that feed my soul, AND serves others. I want to shoot a select amount of weddings every year, working for clients with crazy hearts, deep souls, that love so hard they could just burst into thousands of little pieces.
I will roar again when the school years roll around.
I’m finally okay with not being superwoman. What a weight that is to admit.