For seven years, I’ve run a business that has grown so beautifully and served some of the most incredible couples and families and small businesses. I have also grown three little girls and raised them to be joyful, wild and completely hilarious and maintained a deep and loving relationship with my BFF Mike Hedgepeth. We’ve moved four times during the life of my business and the last one was to a different state. We’ve chased dreams deeply and boldly.
Oh and I have had absolutely no consistent daycare throughout this entire process.
So impossible it seems to most! And you know what? Most days it kind of feels that way.
Although we have family to help for sessions and weddings, they live a few hours away. We are still trying to convince them to scoot a litttttttle closer, but in the mean time…because it’s one of the MOST asked questions via email and Instagram DM, I am here to finally share how I am doing all the things all the time without having Ellie and Autumn (the two youngest, because our oldest is in Kindergarten now!) in daycare.
1. WAKING EARLIER – We started waking up around 5:15-5:30 am Monday-Friday. This has been our biggest family game changer in a while! I will journal/read a devotional first and then dive into emails and time sensitive things. We try to go to bed around 9:15 if possible to achieve this! I used to think I was a night owl and I was very wrong. I don’t concentrate well at night at all and I am SO sharp and work very well in the morning…I was missing this all along but so glad to have found it now! I love this book: What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast
Additionally, like mentioned in Monday’s blog post…we do a lot of prep work. One button to start the coffee, things already ready for the next day. On Sundays I fry up six eggs, toast six bagels and cook turkey bacon and pre-make our breakfast sandwiches. Meal prep on Sundays has been SO amazing, especially when we incorporated breakfast items, too!
2. PARENTS MORNING OUT at the YMCA – Guess where I am right now as I type this? It’s actually Friday, February 2 and the girls have 59 more minutes in the Parents Morning Out program and I’m in the lobby using wifi. This has been HUGE for us the past few months. We had a sweet babysitter this summer who was home from college helping at least once a week for a few hours in our home while I tucked away to the office in the back of the house but when she left I realized I NEED to figure something out. I craved (and still do) a longer set of hours (5 would be AWESOME) but for now, I have this three. At our YMCA, it’s $10 per kid for three hours. Our girls have gotten used to the daycare and now LOVE it thank gosh! I think it immensely helps that they get to go in together…but they love the other kids there now, too. They get a snack and drink while they’re in there and they’re good to go and ready for lunch when I get them out. In this short period of time, I’ve answered 7 emails, written two blogs (almost three!) and I additionally ran a mile before beginning my work!
3. Interruptibles & Non-Interruptibles – You may have heard me share about this before! We have an entire post about this, but the general concept is to divide your work items into two categories: work you CAN technically be interrupted during that won’t affect the quality of and then work you absolutely need undivided concentration and attention for. For me, most short and quick emails are interruptibles or work that can be interrupted. Also…culling (the process of sifting through a bunch of images you’ve taken and deleting ones that don’t look good, are blurry, didn’t work out) and brainstorming. I have more but those are the main ones! Work I can NOT be interrupted during, aka non-interruptibles are editing images, detailed and important emails and creating blog posts or newsletters. This helps me to lay out what tasks I’ll be able to attempt while taking care of the girls from my interruptible list and keeping the non-interruptibles for the early morning office hours around 5am and YMCA Parents Morning Out time!
You have to do what you have to do. You have to fight for what you want to make work. Too often we want to Google the answer and find the easy button. I get it! Some days I cry about not having a day care to leave the girls at Monday-Friday but I already realize there are actually some positive things about not having it as well. It’s all about perspective, and we always choose to live in the sunshine…so grateful is what I’ll continue to be, regardless of the work-life balance challenge 🙂
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!