I wish I could find a better word than FUNK, but funk’s gonna have to be it. For months I’ve been in the weirdest mental space (sharing this on Instagram stories and finding other moms that are in the SAME season, we are feeling weird together!) and after being a mom for the past almost eight years, starting in September… I’ll have time in my home alone for three hours a day, four days a week. This is commonplace for so many moms I know who’ve always had family in the area or have had their kids in daycare, but that has not been our case or our story.
For the ENTIRETY of my entrepreneurial journey, I haven’t had help MOST of the time. We’ve had the joy of having a few babysitting drop ins, but for most of them I was in the house still and so were the kids so this upcoming season is an entirely different dynamic and I don’t even know what to do with myself.
This year, I have gotten SO good at working when the kids are home that my session turnaround time is an average of 24 hours, and last week I delivered two big weddings within days of them happening…on a DOUBLE wedding weekend. And I blogged them and still shot three sessions that week that were all immediately edited and turned around and I still went to the gym, worked out, etc. No really – where was THAT years ago?!?! HAHA! I’ll tell you where it was…babies. Babies make it so much harder to work that way when you don’t have help (I’m talking like NO help) and I know that season of life is rough, but a few months ago I shared something on Instagram that blew moms minds about how to work when you have kids in the house: EXPECT to be interrupted, and don’t ever expect any smooth windows of time…EVER.
Avoid false hope and don’t think “okay, I’m going to distract them with this, or get the baby down for a nap and I’ll be good” – don’t EVER think that you’re off the hook because once you do, you set yourself up for disappointment and then resentment kicks in. If you think you are going to get 10 minutes of uninterrupted work and then your toddler asks for a snack three times, resentment will build. Feeling defeated is not a fun feeling when you’re a mom who works from home so if you take the expectation of having ANY window of time uninterrupted out of it, you’ll have a different mindset and you will KNOW it’s going to happen and you’ll go into “just keep pushing through” mode instead – which is where you HAVE to be in order to be productive while being interrupted every few minutes.
I am DEFINITELY the person who does not like to be interrupted while doing ANY work tasks, and in the past, it was getting so hard that I divided my tasks into interruptible work and non-interruptible work and made sure Mike was around when I did the latter but as the kids have gotten bigger, I’ve decided to suck up the non-interruptible work when with the girls so I can spend MORE time with Mike when he’s around. I pushed through and everything changed when I realized wow – I’m going to have to start and stop repeatedly no matter what, and consequently, with that mindset, I have been working WAY BETTER.
Andddddd now that I have that down, finally, after YEARS, I only have three months left until our littlest baby starts preschool and her two big sisters do elementary school together and this is where the funk comes in. I have refined working from home with three girls, running three businesses and somehow… I am SUPER SAD that I’ll be getting these brand new and shiny 12 hours a week to myself now to work diligently and without interruptions, without wiping a butt (LOL), without refilling a water or getting a snack or changing the cartoon or without dumping out the toy bin. Whew. Tears filled my eyes writing that and I had to stop. Admitting your baby season is over is hard. The hysterectomy took care of that, and I’m grateful for that surgery because I feel so much better, but it’s still hard to say out loud.
I’m about to be in a season of gaining more independence and alone time and I’m not like moms who get it/want it all the time. I love being around my kids as much as possible, and I also DO love a little alone time, but this amount weekly is just such a big transition for me. Funk funk funkity funk. I’m in one. But at the same time, I know I’ll probably be able to do SO MUCH MORE for Homeless Looks Like and also add another aspect to Amanda Hedgepeth Photography I’ve been looking forward to. I’ll be able to get all of the things done between my 4:30/5a.m. wake up time and these new work hours Monday through Thursday, and then spend those afternoon hours with my girls, instead of how I work through the afternoon around them now, I can give more uninterrupted time to THEM 🙂
Want to keep up with an Outer Banks mama of three sweet (and oh so wild!) little girls shooting weddings & small business photography while making time for the things that matter most? Click on the links below and let’s connect!