Momming is hard! Some days, ridiculously hard. Like, I want to lock myself in the bathroom, hard. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a mom and wouldn’t change it for anything EVER. But occasionally there are days when I am beyond exhausted and could really use a day at the spa or just an hour of quiet. And with four kids, quiet does not happen very often, unless it is 2am and even then it is hit or miss.
So what did I do? I decided to start my own business. I wanted to be a Newborn Photographer. I went head first in and haven’t looked back. There have been days, though, when I stop and think to myself, “What on earth did I get myself into?! I am swimming in things to do that all need to be done right away!” Between my running my business, being a coach, a room mom, a team photographer….not to mention running the house, being a wife and a mom my list of things to do is a mile long. AAAHHHHHH!!!!
When I thought photography business, I thought “fun! I love taking pictures.” But if you have to know, actually taking pictures is literally like 10-20% of this business. The rest of my time is filled with culling, editing, delivery, marketing, planning, budgeting, preparing, education, etc. etc. Seriously, the list goes on and on. It’s a good thing I enjoy learning and the business side of things almost as much as taking pictures.
As I jumped head long into creating this business, I found that I needed to start creating some sort of balance between my new work life and being a mom. Being a mom comes first, always. But balance is key!! How was I going to give 100% to my kids and still give my best to my clients? Let’s just say that I’m still working on finding that perfect balance. It is so easy to get sucked into working 24/7, especially when you work from home. Checking emails at midnight or editing all night long. I took an online workshop with another seasoned photographer that I respect so much, Kelly Brown. One of the things she said was, “Make business hours and stick to them. Treat it like you would if you worked for someone else and went into an office every day.” or something along those lines and I try to do that. I really do. It’s just so hard having all these ideas swirling around in my head or knowing I have things that need to get done but not doing anything while I sit and watch tv after the kids go to bed. I have gotten better at not editing until the wee hours of the morning and being on my computer all night too. I still do once in a while but not nearly as often. But as I sit here at almost 10pm writing my thoughts in a notebook for this blog post, I have to admit I am still having a hard time tearing myself away, especially when I love my job so much.
The first thing I realized was that I need to prioritize my tasks and get organized in my business so I have more time for my family. About a year or so ago I found some studio software that has completely saved me and allowed me to do every single thing for every client that I want to do to give them the best experience I can give them. I love it. It also has a calendar that syncs to my phone which allows me to have all my “to do things” in one spot and that is a life saver for sure. Next I needed to figure out what were the most important things I needed or wanted to do. What do I want to accomplish each day? Each week? Each month? What are my goals for the year? OK, I admit this, I’m a list person. It’s crazy and bordering on ridiculous. So I sat down and made a massive list of every little thing I wanted to do this year in my business. I got it on paper so I could look at it and sort it out. I broke everything down into smaller lists for daily and weekly tasks, monthly goals and yearly goals. Then I set up a work schedule for myself and arranged everything so that it all gets done. I felt so accomplished. I felt organized and, honestly, I felt less stressed out. I needed that. Having less stress on my mind helps me be a better mom.
What works for you? Do you create lists? What do you do to help you feel more organized? Running a business is hard. Running a business with four kids is like living in the Looney Bin at times. But I found a system that works for me. When I get and stay organized, it helps me get more done each day and stay on task and that in turn gives me more time for my family and myself. I could probably stay off social media a little more and make a few more changes to my day but I think I am doing ok for the year. We are only a couple of weeks in but I am happy with everything so far.
One thing I have learned though as I have gotten older and had kids is that you HAVE to make time for yourself. Even in the craziness that can sweep us away at times. You NEED balance in all areas of your life, not just in your professional life. It is so easy to lose yourself in all that you do for your husband, your kids and their activities and your business but honestly, you need to make time for yourself in there! As much as you love your family, business and clients you have to love YOU. When you take care of yourself you are allowing yourself to be the best you can be. Which in turn allows you to be a better wife or mom or business person.
Being a mom and having my own business is awesome. It’s a ton of work and balance is still a work in progress but I strive to get better and be the best #momboss that I can be.