After having Wilder, I became increasingly interested in learning about how other self employed moms, specifically the creative type, made working for themselves achievable. Before I was even married, I always pictured myself as a stay at home mom once I had babies. My mom stayed at home and that role always seemed appealing to me. I loved having my mom around growing up and I wanted to be there for my kids in the same way she was there for us. However, as I started to build my business, I started to find a lot of fulfillment and growth in what I do. I had realized a deeper need inside of me to use the creativity I had been given, and so when I became pregnant with Wilder, I decided that I was going to keep working.
I didn't have a plan as to what it was going to look like. I just decided I would take it in stride and make adjustments as needed. In the beginning I scaled back a lot. I tried to schedule my shoots two weeks apart so that I wouldn't feel stressed out or rushed. I took him to work with me a lot in those precious, first few months when he would magically stay asleep the entire time in his carseat. Once those glorious days of long naps in carseats ended, we entered a new season that brought with it new challenges.
The season of the bottle. Wilder hated the bottle, I can only think of maybe five times that he actually took one and even at that it was always just an ounce, maybe two. He was getting too old to bring on sets with me, so every time I had to leave him it created a lot of anxiety for me and most likely the other person who had to console the screaming six month old. Looking back this was one of the hardest seasons for me. I felt a lot of guilt around leaving him anytime, even if it was just for an hour. I dreamt a lot during this time about quitting and just staying at home. Luckily I decided to stick it out and like every hard season of life, it eventually ended.
This brings me to my current work situation. When Wilder turned a year old, I started to see the need to find consistent help. My work load had become steadier and trying to coordinate with family to find someone available to watch him wasn't reliable enough and making scheduling things a headache. I wanted to be able to separate work from home, and now that the studio was finished and I had a place to go, it made more sense for me to give myself consistent hours designated for work. We ended up finding the perfect sitter for Wilder. She comes MWF from 9am-2pm. Wilder usually naps from about 11-1, so if you think of it in terms of hours, he's only without me about nine hours a week. It's been a really good balance for everyone in our family. I am a lot less stressed and I find that I am able to be more engaged and at peace when I am at home. If you are a creative who works from home, you know how messy it can get, and adding a kid or a few kids to that scenario just escalates the chaos.
Having the freedom to decide whether or not to work, how much you should work, and where you should do your work is an immense blessing, but at times it can be tough and layered with guilt when you have kids. I think the most important thing for your kids is that you are a happy, healthy and engaged mom. For me, having some time away to be creative and productive re-energizes me, so that I am able to be more focused and at peace when I am at home.
Have you found a good rhythm that works for your family? I would love to hear creative ways of how you are making it happen! Comment below or send me an email.
All photos by Meghan Savage Photography