The question I get asked almost everyday.... "How do you do it?!" - I say do what... Do the kids, the work, the life. the balance. how???
Well besides copious amounts of coffee and wine, I'll give you a little insight of how I keep my shit together. ish. Heavy on the ish.
First and Foremost. I have one awesome husband. He rolls in from his work and dad's the heck out of our kids while I vanish to a shoot, wedding, meeting or the studio. Together we just dual roll everything that is thrown our way. Honestly tho... without him I would not be the successful photographer/mentor/blogger/committee board sitter... period. it just wouldn't happen. He's the most hands on and amazing dad. The kids have mentioned more then once they're happy I picked him to marry. ha - yup I'm pretty smitten myself. He's also worlds best story reader and my kids prefer when he does it over me. #demoted - For those of you that don't know.. we have zero help here in the city. My parents are 1.5 hours away and unfortunately his side we don't keep much in contact with. We have no siblings here (well that's a lie my bro and his wife are here but they are busy too) and no cousins old enough to sit. All the help we get is paid help.... which gets super pricey. So for those of you that have your sis down the street or your mom or dad just blocks away.. even 20 min away. count your lucky stars friends. It really does take a village. Hug them tighter next time you pick your kiddos up after your afternoon pedicure.
With all the technology around these days one would think we have our I-cals all synced up and rocking 4 apps to run our roost.. wrong. We tried that but you know things got missed. We full on use an HB pencil and a recycled calendar from staples. EVERYTHING goes on it. From work, kids activities, boot camps, gym, swimming lessons, meetings, OCM/MWS meets, dentist and friend dates... if it's not on the calendar it doesn't happen. plain and simple. This little 20 page book that hangs on the side of the fridge is our life! Some of our friends that catch a glimpse of it (especially those without kids) pretty much puke in their mouth when they see it. It just is. and we choose this. no complaints on being busy... sure I'd love to pack a bag and stay in a beach hut for 3 months, but we are so very blessed to have the full calendar we do. So the beauty of it, the battery never runs out on it and less likely to get lost.. but I suppose if our house burnt down we'd be screwed. but by that point we'd have larger problems then the damn calendar.
my girls. Some of you may have read my last post on friendship. So you may know where I am at with things but your girls are important.. or guys. maybe your person is a guy. But I have a few, in the same 3 kidded situation that just get me. They get where I'm at, they don't judge if I show up top knot, bra less in sweats for coffee. it's rare but it happens. You can just roll in, the kids all disappear downstairs together (6 or more) and for a slight second we get silence to sip a lovey cup of joe. I don't need to elaborate on this. You likely know what I speak .
My job is a 24/7 thing. It can be extremely consuming and roll into my personal life fast. Over the years it's taking me time to put balance on that, still not there but it's starting to come together for me.
my week: Mondays and Wednesdays are my usual work days from 8:30-5pm... that is when I have child care, I have been without childcare since Oct 31..... YES, I'm going crazy. (holler at me if you have any leads on that) - so on these work days I am cramming 7 days into this. Technically the work load I have I should have full time day care... but $$$$ dollars I don't have friends. Also I choose to only do 2 days as week as I want to help raise my kiddos with my husband. We have a great gig where it's he or I or both with the kids majority of the time. I start these days with emails for about 1 hour sometimes 2-3 but have to cap that off sooner then later as it can go on all day. I usually book lunch meetings on these days as it makes me put makeup on and not sit in the studio all day in my pj's. I'll keep those to the point and get back to the studio to edit my buns off. Packaging, prepping orders, editing, back end, books, backing up files... there's other boring stuff that flows in here too... I get comments all the time, "SO what's your real job?" "So what else do you do when you're not taking pictures?" "You must love being a stay at home mom."... well folks news for you. I LOVE MY JOB AND YES IT'S FULL TIME AND NO I WOULD HATE LIFE IF I WAS JUST A STAY AT HOME MOM. To those of you that are. I bow down to you. I need my sanity outside the home. even if it's 8 feet away from my house in my studio. I need my fulfillment of creating and sharing my passion with the world. So if you are one of those moms, I'm sending you an air high five right now. You kick ass!
I blink twice and it's 4:59 and my childcare disappears. Kids roll in, we do supper, homework, lego, coloring, dance, soccer, boot camp what have you then bath bed teeth stories (steve usually takes this one. we switch from kitchen clean up and bedtime) then boom it's 9pm and I'm spent. I half ass fold some laundry while steve races out the door to the gym or to his company Johnston Electric. I crack the lap top and have at er editing until 11pm- 2am (these days cause I have no child care). Catch some zzz's and repeat. All the other days of the week.... I do the juggling act. I've been known to bring my lap top to dance classes while sloan shines, I edit. Soccer practice, harlow exerts some energy, I edit. Road trips are the cats meow... I get so much work done. Therefore Steve mostly drives everywhere- thanks babe, I edit.
I answer emails as they come in, I text back as it comes in.. mostly If I don't, I will forget. Not intentionally it's just this poor mom brain of mine that is non stop... I don't know bout you but it hardly even shuts off at night.
I have to do lists and sticky notes all over the place. the notes app in my phone has so many to do's, should's, don't's ...
Where do I book my sessions you may ask? most afternoons in the winter and Saturdays. Come spring/summer/fall it's all week nights and weekends. I prefer the golden hour right before sunset. Beautiful light but means I'm not tucking in my babies usually. Again, rockstar husband rolls in here. I DO NOT work sundays. They are reserved for slothing, kids, house projects, cleaning, laundry, cuddles, meal prep (if I ever get to that. like never but it's always on my during the week "I'm going to do this sunday" thoughts. )
I attend boot camp in the north end and Lakeridge usually 4x a week in the evenings thru community associations. If you'd like to join look up krushfitsask.ca. Come summer I can usually only sneak in 2-3x a week. This is my hour of me time. my sanity. It's a must. Not only am I trying to loose the 3 kids "beautymarks" it also shows dedication to our kids on keeping healthy and on top of body health. We do our best to eat nutritious and healthy meals as much as ordering pizza pie appeals some days. we don't do it often.
Lastly we all have our crutches to get us through but mine is obviosuly coffee. We recently got a new self grinding fresh brew daily unit and it's been heavenly to wake up to the smell of fresh beans. I moved the tassimo out the to studio for emergencies and clients but a splash of french vanilla and I'm a happy lady. Now if I could only finish the damn thing hot and not have to microwave it 4 times to finish. I also here and there have my glass or two of vino.. who are we kidding it's a couple times a week. Usually we keep it classy with a box of malbec on the counter but after visiting Kelowna I turned into a wine snot and my current fav is NK'MIP and Red Rooster Merlot. mmmmm yum.
Some days you guys... I DON'T! I just shut things off I stay in my pj's and sadly leave the house in them some times. Sorry to the public that may see that. for the record, I put a bra on.
Some days are tougher then others. Some days momming and adulting are hard as fuck. Guess what. That is normal. SO totally normal. You got this. Each and everyone of you got this. Know that you need to stop the comparison's.... shut off your damn facebook and use your 20 minutes to go for a walk instead. Honestly I despise facebook but it's the hub for marketing for my business. If I had the choice I would hit delete in a second. Surround yourselves with supportive and like minded people. People who love you for you and have no judgement. The rest you don't have time for. Don't rid yourselves of them but keep them at arms reach and over all BE KIND TO OTHERS.
Take care friends. Find your groove and roll with it.
a little note from the lovely ladies of "Cat & Nat" - if you don't follow them. you should.
"To the mom who will go to bed tonight feeling inadequate and like they did a bad job, you're doing a great job. To the mom who will question whether they are doing this whole thing right, we are all wondering that, even when we look like we have it all together. To the mom who is never alone but feels so lonely , you're not alone, we promise, we've felt the same way. To the mom who lost their patience and wonders why they don't like their kids at the moment, it passes, the phase passes and you don't have to love every minute of it or like the way they are acting. To the mom who is overwhelmed , breathe, this whole thing can be overwhelming, we still get overwhelmed, just know you're also doing a great job. Love, two moms with 7 kids who go through every single one of these emotions still, 8 years into this motherhood thing." cat & nat