I thought that I would share something a little personal on the blog today. I’ve been posting a lot about sessions, but its been a while since I opened up and wrote something a little more personal… something a little more real… something a little more relatable.
I want to start this post by saying that I am not looking for advice. I am not looking for sympathy or even a pat on the back with a side of “Go get ‘em!” or “You’ll be fine!”. Im just sharing because I think that a lot of people probably feel this way at some point or another whether it be about their business or some other version of their life and I want to be real with y’all about it.
I often post pictures of this sweet baby bump and talk about how joyful I am to be in this stage of life. That is 100% absolutely true. I also often post eye catching images about how fast my sessions for the remainder of the year are booking up. That is 100% absolutely necessary because the reality was that I literally am only booking through September and I felt I needed to constantly inform clients of that so that everyone was well aware.
I also have posted about how I am looking forward to slowing down once our baby girl arrives. I know, I know- everyone likes to hype up at this point and laugh at me with a “Slow down she says!” kind of attitude. I get it- babies are a lot of work. I understand that just as well as I understand the “better get your sleep now!” and the “Just wait until you’re changing diapers all day!” comments.
Lets face it- we knew very well what we were getting ourselves into when we decided to try to have a baby. At no point did we expect for this sweet girl to come out potty trained and sleeping through the night. We get it.
What I was referring to in those posts about slowing down was that I know that being a new mom, with a new baby at home, is going to force me to slow down in life. Its going to force me to be more present and for all of my attention to be on her and my husband and my dogs and our new life at home together.
I’ll be on maternity leave through the end of 2016 as I adjust to my new role and my new responsibilities as a mom. I know that is going to be such a life changing time for me. Regardless of the sleepless nights and number of diapers I’ll be changing, I’m looking forward to slowing down with her and Brad.
I’m looking forward to not working up to 14 hour days, looking forward to not being on the computer a majority of my week, looking forward to not having to look at my calendar and schedule a hundred times a day to make sure that I haven’t forgotten anything in the midst of our crazy life, looking forward to not having a massive two page to do list staring at me every morning…
This business is such a blessing to me! I adore every moment of what I do! I am SO fortunate to be able to live out my dreams every day! I was able to take my business from nonexistent to full time in about 18 months time and that was such an amazing accomplishment for me!
But here’s the reality to that last statement- I’ve been hustling my tail off to get where I am now as fast as I got here. No part of this business was handed to me. I’ve been working so hard to grow as a photographer, as an entrepreneur… So hard for so long with so much hustle, you guys!!
So, when I say that I’m looking forward to slowing down once the baby comes, know that I really am looking forward to slowing down because my life has been a whirlwind that revolved around business for the last two years in building my dream and making it a reality.
With all of that being said- here’s the part that I haven’t shared with you yet…
I. Am. Terrified.
I’ve spent so many early mornings into the wee hours of the night building this dream of mine, that I have become a bit of a workaholic at times. I am constantly thinking about work, constantly thinking about how I can continue to grow, how I can stand out in a saturated market, how I can serve my clients well… Constantly bouncing ideas around in this brain of mine all. the. time.
So, while I know that I am going to be “off” for the very best reason after Baby H arrives, you can imagine why I am so scared. This business has been my baby for so long. I’ve literally built it from a whispering joke of an idea that would “never happen” into a living breathing, reality of my life. The idea of not being 100% consumed by my business for the next few months is terrifying to me.
I have this constant fear that I will be forgotten… that all of the hard work that I have put into curating a tribe of followers that believe in me and believe in this business of mine will vanish during this time that I am will take maternity leave… I worry that I wont be able to book sessions once I am ready to come back… I worry that the fact that I wont be shooting sessions for a solid 2 months will make people think that I am not in demand or that I am not trustworthy as their photographer because I haven’t been shooting for months.
I feel the urge to literally ask y’all not to forget about me while I am on maternity leave! And as silly as these fears may sound to some of you, I have a feeling that there are a few of you that can totally relate!!
Now a new perspective- Here’s the thing that I know is truer than any of the above stated fears- its all going to be ok. I love this baby girl so much already and I know that I will love her more than I can even imagine right now once she arrives.
I also love this business of mine and it always will hold a special place in my heart. But the beauty is that I don’t have to choose. I can be the best to my little my girl- love her, be present with her, help her grow. But I can also be the best for my business- continue to serve my clients well, to grow as a photographer, be present within my business.
I know that its going to take a lot of planning and scheduling and a ton of hard work. However, I know that I can be such a great mom and continue to be such a great business owner at the same time. There will probably be a few tears along the way, a few days of doubt, a few days where I feel so unworthy, and a few days that I just feel like giving up… But I know that there will also be SO. MUCH. JOY!
My life is so joyful now!! Brad and I have created the most beautiful life together and I know that Baby H is going to bring that joy we feel to heights that we didn’t even know existed!! Along with that, I never thought that I could be a photographer. Then I never though that I could create a business out of photography. Then I never thought that I could be a full time business owner and make this dream a reality. Well, I did ALL of those things!!
So, rather than doubt myself and let myself be overtaken by fear, I’m just setting my eyes on the next big dream that I have- and that dream is to be a working mom that grows the business that is so deeply rooted in her heart, while also being the best mom I can possibly be to a daughter that is already such a blessing to us!
I know that this wasn’t a typical blog post and that some of you are wondering what my point is here. The reason that I wanted to post this is because I wanted to be real with yall. I can post all day long about how amazing my sessions are or how motivated I feel within my business and I can do it all with such a smile on my face!! But- the truth is that behind the smile, I have doubts and fears just like everyone else.
Do I feel like I’m on top of the world in my business most days?! Absolutely!! Do I also feel like I’m falling flat on my face and overwhelmed with fear and doubt some days?? You bet’cha!!!
So there it is folks… thats my “real life moment” that I just felt it in my heart to share. I know that we each have our own fears and doubts and struggles that we are dealing with. Some of us choose to post about them regularly and some of us choose not to share until one day the longest blog post in the history of their business occurs (cough cough- Abby).
Either way, I hope that you don’t allow yourself to be paralyzed by that fear, by that doubt. I hope that you can realize just how amazing you are, just how special you are, and just how much we are totally going to rock out in this next big season of our lives. We are all so much stronger and more capable than we sometimes give ourselves credit for and I challenge you to always remember that.
No matter what star you’re reaching for, no matter what impossible dreams you are trying to achieve (even if the dream is to find work life balance as an entrepreneur with a newborn) remember that you are totally capable and you’ll probably succeed so much more than you can imagine right now!!
Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.
Judy Blume, Tiger Eyes