This is a post that I’ve had started and in draft mode for about 2 months now. I open it up, write a few lines, get distracted/fall asleep/break up a fight, and neglect to come back to it for another few weeks. This is why I’m titling it ‘finding the balance’….
I’m a wife and a mom first and foremost. But I’m also a working professional consultant and a photographer. I own a home and a fairly sizeable mountain of laundry that needs dealt with on a constant basis. I also work a 40-60 hour a week day job before I ever make it home to take on my other roles. So, I’m constantly trying to find the balance between being present for my family, my co-workers and my clients.
So, how do I do it? Coffee – lots and lots of coffee (and a very understanding husband who will take the kids for a few hours on the weekend and get them out of my hair so I can focus) otherwise it all comes down weaving my business into my life – using the idle mins here and there and planning to make sure we make the most of an outing.
These are my top 5 ways I make it work:
1. Combine location scouting with family outings. We’re outdoors people so we usually never need an excuse to get out of the house and go see something.
2. Planning and more planning – I live and die by my color coded calendar. I add my husband as an attendee to any session or meeting I need his help with so he has it on his personal calendar too.
3. Working after the kids go to bed. This is the hardest sometimes. I want to spend quality time with my husband but also need to use those late hours to plow through editing/workshops/etc.. I generally situate myself in the same space as him so we can have a conversation as I’m working some. Not perfect and not our usual night but when I’m working through a session it works.
4. A flexible day job so I can shift hours as necessary. I’m very thankful that I have a flexible employer. I don’t do it often but it allows me to flex a bit to optimize my time.
5. Taking a limited number of sessions. This is probably the biggest thing. I only take a limited number of sessions a month. In order to balance family time with client time I need to keep it to 2 newborns and no more than 3 family sessions. As the kids get older I’m sure I can take more but right now that’s how I’ve set my schedule and it works for us:)
Photography is my passion – I love every aspect of it (I even love the business part of it) and maybe one day I can turn this into a full time gig but for now I fit it in where I can and try to make it a part of the fabric of my life.