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Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with a photographer friend over coffee. As I bounced Easton on my lap and struggled to feed him, I felt obligated to apologize for not being 100% focused in on our conversation. This seemed to be an illustration of the last ten months: balancing a baby and a life. 

But, she graciously said it was ok and she totally understood. Over the course of the next few minutes, our conversation led us to this topic: how a baby affects your life and business. I admitted to her that before I got pregnant, I was worried about what having a baby would do to my business, my baby at the time.

I feared that I would not have time to put forth the effort to run a business, that I would somehow lose my ability to remember how to use my camera, that I would drown in a sea of to-do's while trying to sustain another human being. As a result, my ultimate fear was that all of the work I had put into my business would vanish. 

I feel like these are all legitimate fears that people have prior to starting a family. Life is never the same after having kids, it changes. It's a GOOD change, but it is so different than what you have been used to.

Now that I am a mom and a business owner, I can tell you it is not as scary as I had imagined. The Lord has given me so much grace and resources(a gracious husband, grandma's and friends) to allow me to continue to do what I love and serve others. And in the process, I have changed too. And with that, here are some of the ways that having a baby changed my business! 

- My time is more valuable now

Each moment of the day has purpose! My day is pretty much ran by a baby. Feedings, diaper changes, play time. It leaves little time in the day to get things done. But, when nap time rolls around I stop at nothing to make sure I am checking off things on my to do lists!

Do I miss the days of laying on the couch watching reruns of Law and Order (Criminal Intent is my favorite!)...Yes! I miss those longggg periods of rest. But, I know that this season in my life is short and it won't last. Having a baby definitely makes you more aware of how you are spending your time. 

You've got to roll with the punches. I used to have schedule out my days by the tasks I would be doing hour by hour. And I used to say to myself, "I'll get this wedding culled in 1.5 hours". But now, things are done in chunks of time. And if the wedding doesn't get culled in 1.5 hours, it's ok! It will get done. In fact, most of the time I will edit weddings once Easton has gone down for the night, or I will wake up before he wakes in the morning and work. I basically work around him. 

 I finished out my 2017 year and I never once got behind on a deadline!! {The Lord had always been good to me and allowed Easton to sleep at just the right times for just the right amount of time for me to get the work done.} Blog posts still go up, and the gallery is still ready and everyone still receives their photos on time! I still think that my clients deserve the BEST, and having a baby does not change the way I serve them! I make every effort I can to see that they are getting more than what they deserve.

- I'm no longer a work-a-holic 

Let me start by saying, my business and my clients are just as important as they were pre-baby. Never have I felt that service to my clients should take a back seat. They are the lifeblood of my business and I absolutely LOVE serving each and every person.

Now, let me say this: My business used to be my baby. I had a tendency to work non stop and not come up for air some days. It was unhealthy for me and my family at times. Not to mention, it can become and idol in my heart if I do not keep it in check.

But there was a shift in my thinking after Easton was born. Those work-a-holic tendencies? They were forced to go! This is how the Lord sanctifies. He weeds out the things that prohibit your heart from being aligned with His word, it's a beautiful thing!

I feared that if I wasn't doing some kind of work, my business would suffer. But the thing was, a lot of my time and energy was being exerted in the WRONG things. I "felt" busy, but I wasn't being productive. There's a difference. (That is a whole other blog post in itself!)

After Easton, I realized I had unintentionally cut out the fluff. Instead, I only worked on things that actually were productive. Because I didn't have the ability to have extra time on my hands like before, I was forced to only concentrate on those things that truly mattered.

This has actually helped me stay more focused in my business! I don't have time to "kill" anymore, so I do the things that need to be done and I go on to the next task! 

- I Do Not Overload Myself With Too Much

Because Easton is so little and needs so much of me, I have to be careful to what I say "yes" to. I know that I cannot shoot a double header weekend, or have more than 2 portrait sessions per week on weeks that I have weddings.

With the amount of work that is involved, it wouldn't be fair to my clients and it wouldn't be fair to my family. I want to be able to give the best of myself to not only my clients, but to my family as well! So, I just have to be careful with the amount of work that I book. 

- I love shooting more than ever now!

Because I am at home so much, getting out and shooting weddings and portraits have actually brought me MORE joy than ever before!

I love to get out and just create.

Being cooped up in the house too long will give you cabin fever and give you an excuse to binge eat whatever you can. But now, my work has more intention and purpose behind it than it did before. And I love that! 

I hope that this post is encouraging to my fellow lady entrepreneurs who are considering starting a family! In the end, having a baby wasn't the 'end of my business', like I had feared. It is actually growing and I am continuing to serve my clients well! 

 

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