I have been working and mothering nonstop these recent, beautiful days! We’re embracing the last few bits of summer before Symphony starts kindergarten (!!!). Although it’s going to be a wonderful next step in my baby’s growing up – and I’m absolutely thrilled to be looking at a more consistent working, adult schedule – it’s bittersweet.
This crazy job of mine has allowed me a lot of flexibility in the past 5+ years, and I’m so grateful to have had time to be with our growing daughter in these early years of her life. Thank you so much to all of the clients, family, friends and colleagues that have supported my being with our girl first and foremost. Many parents aren’t able to stay home with their kids in their young days, and while it has been super crazy-making on many occasions, I’m so lucky to have the option of trying to balance my work and my kid. (Sometimes I’m literally balancing her on my lap while trying to email and edit photos!) I’m slower to get things done than I used to; my office is more chaos; I find myself saying both “yes” and “no” to different things than I would’ve 5 years ago. My priorities are different; my entire self is different! Things have changed a lot.
A part of me hesitates to say this stuff here, although it’s fairly benign, because I want my clients to feel taken care of; I want my colleagues and photo editors I work for to know I am on the ball, and will meet deadlines and give my work full focus; and because I want girls and women to confidently strive to “have it all” and not have any qualms about working as well as mothering. I’m a big feminist, and when we started a family, I never considered not working: yes, for financial reasons, but also because my career is a huge part of who I am and what I’m into! I would never want to give that up.
But: it sure has been nice having days where I can take my daughter on adventures. I love that I’ve had many, many days to be home with Symphony, and that there have been countless days (and nights) when she’s been with Devon, other family, babysitters, and at preschool while I work. While there have been times when that “modern women can have it all!” cliche has felt translated like, “modern women can have a small piece of each thing, not much sleep, guilt on all sides, and stress beyond belief!”… I still feel lucky. Grateful to have the chance to decide, and lucky to have the options that I do. I know many mothers who have to find full time childcare from the time their babies are weeks old – usually against their will; so while my cobbled-together chaos of never-enough-time has been a strain, I’ll always feel very grateful.
This is not at all what I sat down to write this evening! Symphony’s at her grandparents’, and I’m editing and preparing for a wedding tomorrow. In recent years, I’ve wanted to keep my blog posts primarily visual, in order to really let the photos speak without much extra. But I also know that honesty and truth are very important to me – and that most things seem to get better, and more interesting, when they’re genuine. So here’s a little bit of unedited, spontaneous truth.
And here’s my sweet 5 year old, metamorphosing into a big kid version of herself.