The Forever Juggle
The eternally elusive quest for balance and trying to juggle it all. I’m becoming increasingly aware that it is impossible to gain some kind of perfect balance between the different worlds of motherhood & work.
But at the same time, I’m learning to embrace that reality; to enjoy it. Although along the way it has raised a billion questions that I’m always asking myself.
In regards to building a successful creative business, I’ve often found myself pondering if it was the right timing. It just so happened that we started a family at pretty much the exact same time I went properly full-time with photography. This threw me into the deep end of a crazy steep learning curve of trying to keep up with major editing backlogs (little did I know that my all my software was in desperate need of updating to accomodate the sheer quantity of images), back-to-back weddings, client liaising & lots of travel whilst wrapping my head around the insane craziness that is early pregnancy with your first baby. I ended up photographing weddings up until 37 weeks pregnant and went back to shooting back-to-back four weeks postpartum. Retrospectively, it was a lot and if I knew then what I know now, I’m not sure if I would’ve done it that way as I’m not sure my clients got the best version of me. But that’s the beauty of naivety and jumping in the deep end because it made me learn so so much.
I dream of running a big business, being a strong role model for my boys, providing for my family. But at the same time, I often ask myself do I want the success/recognition? Success/recognition means more pressure and creative vulnerability. Ironically, going under the radar means there’s a lot more freedom — I guess it’s more about having the courage to not underestimate your work/worry what others think. And I let life get in the way of my work — it is the priority, as it should be. The full-time job that motherhood life is; the daycare drop off & pickups, the doctors appointments, the swim lessons, the playdates & naps, the dinners & the bedtime routine. All of it is just so beautifully ordinary yet so so profoundly magical and I know it is my true spirit calling & purpose — especially at this moment in time.
Yet, even while knowing that deep in my soul, it does scare me because I’m nervous that a lack of momentum could kill work opportunities & future success. It’s a lesson in trusting the timing of the universe and being wholeheartedly content with the present moment. And in realising that I can go as fast or as slow as I want — there are no hard and fast rules, despite what my mind will trick me into thinking. I need to remember that the beauty of having my own creative business means that I have the power to choose the things I can/want to do whilst enjoying every single detail about being a mother.
Truthfully, the ‘mum-guilt’ does creep in, especially when I think back to life pre-kids and recall that becoming a mum was all I ever dreamed of. And of course, being a mother to my boy(s) fulfils me more than anything I could ever put into words but I’m learning that I want my kids to see me honouring my multi-faceted nature of being their full-time mother and as someone who follows their passions, helps to provide for the family and has a healthy idea around the concept of ‘work’. I’m learning that I never stop being a mother and I never stop being a photographer. They meld together, I can’t compartmentalise it. And maybe by having the two ‘identities’ it helps to make me more appreciative of the other. My hope is that it will help to provide a strong foundation for them to build their sense of self on.
Being a mother is art. Raising children is art. Work is art. The juggle is art. Everything in life is art. The complete chaos is what makes it all so interesting. And I have deep deep desires for a life full to the brim with creativity. Living life fully & creatively with my family and with my work. Relishing in the sheer absurd beauty of the world — documenting our tiny little corner of it. Embracing the messy magic of trying (and failing — willingly) to juggle it all.