When we moved to Celebration, I had all these grand ideas about my business and blogging and working! I had big plans and big ideas about all these shoots I would be doing and all these blog posts that I would write about our new adorable town! Heck ya’ll, I still do! If you were to come over right now and open up my laptop, you would see notes and stickies with blog calendar ideas for months! I’m usually not that organized but the ideas are all there and they keep coming! But when we moved, we didn’t anticipate all the adventures our family would have right from the start!
Being a business owning mama is an adventure in itself and finding balance is hard! If you talk to any small business owner whether they are a mama or not, they will tell you the struggle to find balance is difficult and sometimes it just feels impossible! When you have children (and I only have one) that struggle is crazy because your heart is always in conflict!
Back in Virginia Beach, I had a system and I never quite understood how important that system was to my business until we moved. I never understood how much I enjoyed and needed the quiet and stillness of our house when Linc was in school and Tuck was away in order to focus on e mails and write my blog posts! I never knew how much I needed a physically separate space away from my family in order to separate myself mentally to get into a “work” frame of mind!
I’ve been beating myself up lately because since we moved I have only written two blog posts. Blogging used to come so easy to me because I love to write. Writing is a natural outlet for me, but lately I find myself staring at the screen in tears because I just feel like I’m pulling teeth to find the words these days. This is such a huge red flag to me and it honestly scares me. Why can’t I blog? Why aren’t the words coming? It’s not for lack of ideas? I have plenty of them. It’s not like I haven’t been taking pictures, I have the images… I just don’t have the words anymore to describe the emotions behind the images.
So after one particularly bad incident, I decided to talk to my friend Christina! I’ve never felt this way before, I’ve always had the words… I’ve always had more than enough words! It was a brief conversation over text because let’s just be honest, when you have children (and she has four) you can’t always drop everything as much as you would love to be able to do so, and chat on the phone for hours. Text messaging IS the best thing these days because you can be quick and to the point, or as long winded as you wish and it can be in between playing with your kids, putting your kids in time out (like we are doing over at our house) or watching them at the pool!
Christina said something to me that really hit home! She told me that right now my priorities are just elsewhere and that’s OK! My family needs me right now… and that’s more than OK! I might not have the perfect words right now or any words for that matter because my brain is so focused on other things… and that’s OK!
Those words were short and simple, but they were just so powerful!
So I cried, because that’s just what I do and I went to bed! I woke up the next morning and I thought, oh my gosh she was so right… and then I realized I had a blog post!
My friends… I haven’t been blogging and this is why:
We moved from Virginia Beach to Celebration and while this has been so great for our family a LOT has changed for us! Linc used to be in school 4 days a week upon his request. Linc loves school! He loves the social interaction and he loves the structure! Tuck and I never really thought that moving in April to a very small town that is lovingly referred to by it’s residents as “the bubble” might mean that he wouldn’t be able to have a spot in the local school for the rest of the year since it was so close to summer! So Linc went from almost full time school to full time at home with me! This was a huge transition, not to mention the transition of moving to a new town (which he loves). But it’s been hard and it’s OK for me to admit that! It’s been hard because all his friends were in Kindergarten up until now when they were just released for summer. It’s been hard because he’s also 3 and this 3 year old age is for the birds ya’ll! His behavior got worse when we moved because this town is FUN and it’s SMALL and his boundaries went out the door! Linc felt like he was on vacation 24/7 and so Tuck and I have finally worked hard enough that Linc understands that this IS home and he does have limits and it’s all under control now! Every day since we moved has been a non stop exhausting struggle! A good struggle, one that I truly have loved! But it takes my full attention. I’ve been pressuring myself too much to try and be a full time mom and a full time photographer and that’s just overwhelming!
What I realized is that it’s OK to take a break and step away for a little while!
All of us small business owning mamas need to hear this and truly believe this! It’s OK to step back! It’s OK to gain some perspective!
Our families are the most important priority in our lives! They need to always come first and their needs should always be above anyone else! If you ask any business owning mama about their why… I bet you 10 out of 10 will say it’s their family!
So if we find ourselves struggling to keep up the pace or find the right words or find inspiration… it’s OK to take a step back and catch our breath every once in a while!
I remember I sat down with someone in coaching once and they told me that you have to work so hard all. the. time. no matter what! That if you don’t hustle and want it so bad with so much tenacity that if you don’t work 110% every single day you must not really want it… and if you don’t work harder, smarter, and longer than your competition then you should just go ahead and put the camera down. I remember feeling so sad when I heard that because I didn’t find it balanced. I DO want to be in this world of photography and I do want to hustle but I never want to do it at the expense of my family or my sanity. I also do believe that you can sometimes take a step back and take a break even for a while, a year or two, and return with just as much success as you could if you worked to the bone!
So this is where I have been! I’ve been here in Celebration with my family! I’ve been just mom… which actually has been a wonderful place to be! I have still been shooting but I haven’t been writing and I can honestly say now (without the tears or stress or fear) that it’s OK!
And this is where I’m going to stay for a while, until August probably when Linc starts pre-school here in town! That’s when I can take up my lovely schedule and the house will go back to being quiet and I can get what I need to actually work! I might blog a little here and there but not every day and that’s OK!
So if you’re like me, a mom and a small business owner and your feeling like I have been: a little scared and a little overwhelmed, today I want to give you a big hug and tell you that it’s OK to take a step back and breathe a little!
There are moms out there that are doing it and doing it well: my good friend Amanda Hedgepeth
for one! She has mentoring sessions just for moms that run a small business! Just know that if you do need to take a break, it’s OK… you can come back and start again right were you left off!
Hang in there girl!