The Mom + Work Balance
Getting a little personal again, hope you guys don't mind. I want to talk today about the two little leading ladies in my life.
Rewind to spring 2014. We had just gotten done announcing our pregnancy to the world. Arron and I had been together for 1.5 years. I was in school. He was working full time and sometimes out of town. We were renting a house near New Melle. We knew our life was about to be rocked. But in a good way. 9 months later, we welcomed our first little sweetie. Gracie. She changed our life, she melted our hearts, she made us realize our priorities, in a way we found our purpose when she was born. We got married when she was 9 months old. We were also secretly 12 weeks along with Bonnie.
What a whirlwind.
Fast forward to present day. These little girls have given us so much motivation. So much purpose. In a way, everything we do, we do for them. I want them not to have the nicest things, the most expensive clothes, but I do want them to be unmistakably happy.
With Bonnie being 2 and Grace turning 4 in November, you can probably imagine things can get a little crazy and a lot messy around our home.
Enter work life. Both Arron and I have our own businesses. Arron has been full time with his business for going on three years, and mine for almost the same. Needless to say, we never run out of things to keep ourselves occupied with.
We hear quite often "We just don't know how you guys do it". In all honesty, we don't know any different. Arron has been a work-a-holic for as long as he can remember, starting his own lawn-care business before he could drive, and I have had a job since I was old enough to have one. The only thing that is more important to us than our work is our kids.
I would be lying if I said I am able to perfectly keep on top of all of my or Arron's business stuff. There have been a few sessions or jobs we have lost out on simply because we did not get back to a certain person within a reasonable time-frame. This has been something I have had to come to terms with being a part of my jam packed lifestyle. I work every day to become more organized, more efficient, and to provide the best client experience I possibly can.
Here are a few ways I have learned to balance work and mom life:
This has become so important to me. There is no possible way I can get everything done on my to-do list on any given day, so I naturally prioritize my tasks. I mentally categorize the tasks by the following:
Have To Do
I make sure to focus the main part of my efforts on the HAVE to Do items. The ones that are crucial to keep my household or business functioning.
I then do a few things I SHOULD do if time allows, and if I get enough of the other items done, I do the tasks I COULD do if I had the time.
ASK FOR HELP
This one is so important, but one I sometimes struggle with. I am so so independent and stubborn sometimes. I will do things all by myself just to prove to myself that I can, but also so I don't have to put anyone else out. The most common way I ask for help is by asking someone to watch the girls. A babysitter is downright necessary a lot of days so I can do sessions, run errands, or complete some of those HAVE to Do tasks.
This has become huge for me. I do my live videos, make blog posts, create content during this time. I reserve a lot of my photography business related tasks for when I am working at home with the girls, and needless to say, it can be nearly impossible to concentrate when they are awake. I know the years that they still nap are dwindling, but I will take advantage of it while I can.
DONT ALWAYS WORK
Even though I am pretty much home working with my girls at least 6 days out of the week, I don't necessarily work all of those days. I sometimes designate days JUST to home improvement, laundry, cleaning, or movie days. I don't even tend to plan when these days will take place. I will just grant them to myself when I need them or I feel work starting to take a toll.
Although the newness of photography has yet to wear off on me, I know that if I don't continue to enjoy what I am doing, it will become something I dread, and in turn stop doing. I am lucky that I love editing, and photographing sessions. Scheduling sessions and corresponding can sometimes be tricky.
I also recognize that I need to ENJOY my girls while they are here with me. I notice the more attention I deliberately put into them, the less needy they are when they know I am working.
All-in-all I love these little girls. I love the clients that understand I may always be talking about my girls, or may even have to bring them along to sessions. I am truly lucky that I get to be a mom to my girls and enjoy my career simultaneously. And I always strive to improve in both areas.
If you are a stay at home mom, a working mom, a traveling mom, a new mom or any other type of mom I applaud you and the fine job you are doing.