Recently, a lot of my friends on Facebook have been announcing their pregnancies and I am SOOOOO excited for them!!! Do they know the joy they are about to experience?! That their life is about to get sooooo much better and everything is about to change for the ABSOLUTE best?! I’m sure they have an inkling..but they just don’t know how good it’s about to get. And I LOVE that..because it’s the best surprise of their life. IT IS WORTH IT!!!!!!! I can’t IMAGINE if I would have kept “waiting”. There was no waiting here, the world needed a Cammy and we were meant to bring her here 🙂
It was VERY tough in the beginning balancing business and new baby. I think most of that was because I was both a very new business owner, too– but there are so many things I wish I had known! The thing is, I didn’t have a lot of friends in the industry with a new child…so I had no one to talk to about it 🙁 The first year we would have done the following things differently & I HOPE this helps people and they stop putting off starting their family because of their business!:
-Had a schedule or LIST of chores Mike was now responsible for around the house set and ready before she arrived to alleviate the pressure off of me who is nursing, full time taking care of a baby with no day care AND running a business. Trust me on this, please. Post delivery and nursing= EXHAUSTION but well worth it. I actually shot a session two weeks after giving birth, but I’m a workaholic so it was fine for me 🙂 I would have assigned dishes, trash, straightening up living area, bathroom and bedroom, washing the laundry (I could sit while folding it so I didn’t mind doing that), keeping up with bills online, etc to Mike ahead of time, not after we were stressed and falling apart. Things I didn’t mind doing were going to the store because it got me outta the house and got her fresh air, folding the laundry and that’s pretty much it 🙂 It sounds lazy, and I am SOOOOOO not lazy, but it’s so important for your husband to take over a lot of that stuff for you in the beginning. Shoot, maybe for the first six months. When you have a good husband, you’ll make this work together because he would do anything for you and the baby! 🙂
-Asked for more help! I like to clean personally because I am OCD and meticulous but having someone come over and watch her while I did it would have been nice. Instead, when she slept, I cleaned and worked (sleep when the baby sleeps, HILARIOUS advice..do you have a nanny or run a business? I didn’t think so. That is rubbish to me!:)) because I didn’t have help. My bad!
-Photographers: SCHEDULE EDITING AND BUSINESS TIME, like as in– you must schedule work hours (I am STRESSING this to you!!!!!!!!!) where someone is with the baby or they are at someone’s house so you can work SMOOTHLY and uninterrupted and get work done! My number one issue with working and a new baby around was I was interrupted so frequently that it resulted in inconsistency and forgotten tasks, AWFUL!
-Photographers/business owners: establish a very detailed and printed workflow you can reference when it’s time to work. I’m talking like a daily, weekly and monthly one with important tasks. Here’s the TRUTH about having a child and what it does to your brain- it is PROVEN that our memory isn’t as sharp after giving birth and during pregnancy, “mom brain and pregnancy brain” will GET YOU! That’s why it’s imperative to write down your workflow. Let’s say you are editing a session. You need to have a Session Workflow printed that guides you of everything you need from start to finish, for example a checklist including: Shoot session, Back Up Raws, Cull Images, Post Sneak Peek, Edit All, Upload to Smugmug/PASS, Create Facebook Album, Blog, Email download link, Submit to be Published, ETC……..like seriously because if you try to constantly keep this list in your head– you’ll miss something. You definitely don’t mean to but your mind is going to start getting WAY preoccupied with other stuff! You have another human to keep safe and alive now, please believe me when I say when it comes to your work you MUST write these things down to help yourself out.
-Most importantly, again, I will stress————– get that editing and work time scheduled and have someone with you or that you can take the baby over to their house to give you uninterrupted work time. You will learn to work FASTER now because you know you have less time. You will most likely be able to edit in half the time you did before! You will value your work hours and work so efficiently 🙂 Having that established time you set aside with HELP and HOURS, and the workflow system and charts will change everything for you. Also, PLEASE, you don’t want to ever have long turn around times because you could have a really stressful week or two weeks with teething, a sick baby, any other issue and that work is gonna linger over you like a dark cloud. Remember to write down a day in your planner that corresponds with the wedding/session where you will get help from someone and knock it all out and get that weight off your shoulders!
We work so hard and become business owners so that we can make business work for our life, not life work for our business. I blogged not too long ago when I was in crazy work mode about waiting to have another child and and now my husband has convinced me to try at least during April and May for another because if we don’t try, we will never know..and life is too short to keep putting things we want on hold ESPECIALLY so I can “go to WPPI” and etc etc etc. When all is said and done, I’d rather know baby #2 was here earlier in our lives than me going to a conference that SOMEDAY I WILL GET TO 🙂 It will always be there waiting, but the chance to have a sibling for Cammy may not. If you have been putting off having a baby because you’re scared you’re not ready, you may not be– but just remember there may never be a ‘right’ time either. Just follow your heart. We did, and now the most beautiful little girl in our world has enriched our lives and the lives of so many other people that she hasn’t even met with her sweetness and charm. I can promise you things will come up and it may not always be smooth– but if you do establish the household duties, if you have a very supportive husband like I do and if you make SURE you are scheduling your work properly, you can definitely have a successful business and not miss out on the amazingness of bringing a child into your lives 🙂 Don’t forget to make a life while you’re busy making a living 🙂
I typed half of this post with her sleeping on me— moms literally rock and can do ANYthing!