If you're here-
Welcome. Sit down. I know you probably haven't done that all day. Except to pee, and even then, you probably had the door wide open and a toddler with yogurt hands trying to wipe them off on the inside of your pants, or maybe use your underwear as a safe place to hide their trains. Oh, just me? In that case, you can click away. This one is for the mamas. The ones that carry the invisible load of the family. The ones that clock in for a 9-5 and still come home to cook and clean and wipe noses and kiss boo-boos. The ones who traded a 9-5 for a 24/7 (aka entrepreneurship) and have to figure out marketing, social media management, doing the actual thing they even want to do (for me that's photography), respond to emails, create content that is engaging, learn how to drown out the constant hounding of "free" courses (they're not free. They're $5000 and that's a STEAL! Book today! Girl.... in this economy?) Nobody seems to have enough time or money for anything to be done well these days. But stay with me, there's a glimmer of feel good if you make it to the end.
As much as it pains me....
I didn't pick this path because I knew it would be easy, or even lucrative (I'll get to that in my next post, but if you think there's easy money in photography lets have a heart to heart AND a reality check). Photography chose me when I became a mother and my center of gravity shifted to the humans I had made promises to when they were just kicks and rolls in my womb. Perhaps you took up birth work, copywriting, content creation, blogging, or some other form of income. But why? To maximize the time with your babies and still feel a sense of contribution to your family finances. Maybe you still prefer that 9-5? Because you know you are the best version of yourself when you can provide a steady stream of income and have a structured schedule.
There's no one right way to be a mother.
It is not lost on me...
That we are in an ever-shifting and otherwise tumultuous state in our economy and financial stress is at an all time high for many families. Some of us are making choices that may not feel good in order to create the best outcome we are capable of. For many of us, especially entrepreneurs, it feels like we are in a never ending cycle of "not enough". Potential clients have less to spend on services while we ourselves need more to sustain our families and feel forced to raise prices.
So when it feels like a lose-lose, what do we do?
To be honest with you, I've stared at this block on my screen for far too long. Because I don't have an answer. But I can tell you what I'm going to do...
Recognize that several social media platforms exist to convince me I need that new thing in the Target Dollar Spot (I don't, like really, truly, I don't). Simplify my groceries and plan my meals out ahead of time. Kids honestly don't care for vast amounts of variety, and the more often we cook favorites, the more often they can join in on the process. More bonding time! When I get itchy for that "new space" feeling, turn to decluttering, repurposing, and redistributing things throughout my home. Make sure I'm being intentional about the time spent with my children and check in with my values and make sure they're aligned with the way I parent on a moment to moment basis. Reconnect with my spouse and learn something new about them, or find a way to cater to a facet of their love language that I've been guilty of neglecting.
When it comes to my business?
Go back to the basics and spend more time nourishing the aspects I do well but maybe aren't obvious. Like this blog post. Watch YouTube videos on SEO optimization. Teach myself new techniques. Clear out memory storage. Inspire a budding artist. Source inspiration from areas that aren't related to my niche such as poetry or even just a walk outside. Create content that directly speaks to my intended audience (once again, this blog post, which started off inspired by a Reel that has been gaining more and more traction). Oh, and try not to get too down about the fact that its been a little rough lately.
That feel-good part I promised:
What, you don't feel good being reminded that this sh*t is hard? I'm kidding. I know so much can be lost in tone so please know that the vibes here are akin to us sitting on the porch in our comfiest pants and speaking candidly about the bittersweet joy that comes with parenting, working (however you show up in work, because all mothers are working mothers), and navigating adulthood in a different socio-economic state than out own mothers experienced.
There's much good to be had here.
We are becoming aware of raising our children from the inside out, cherishing bonds, seeking communities, prioritizing communication, and emphasizing kindness in a way that no other generation has. The immense pressure we feel coming from all angles is necessary for positive change.
You are changing the world one deep breath at a time. Keep breathing.