When Jacob was born my life was thrown upside down ... not in a bad way by any means but his arrival forced me to do something i had been wanting to do for a long time. Since our arrival here in Germany i had been employed at Chilis on base as a server & a bartender. Not the career i had in mind as a twenty something photographer with a degree but it was the best i could do. On the plus side it paid for my equipment, workshops & the studio. But photography is my love, my passion & what i want to do with my life i just wasn't ready to take the leap. & then we throw Jacob in the mix, the realization that i didn't have day care, that it was time to really be a family & that i wanted to see my son grow up. So here i am, a stay-at-home-mum following my dreams.
I asked what people wanted to read about on my blog & one of the responses was for me to talk about being a working mum. I admit i've only been doing this for a couple of months but this is what i know ...
... it's not easy but it's incredible rewarding! I've learnt to edit with one hand & a sleeping baby on my shoulder. There are times when i will put him down (thank god for the car seat, the bouncer & more recently the bumbo) but nothing beats a sleeping baby for precious moments.
... i'm learning to work around his schedule. Thankfully i was blessed with an incredible chilled out baby, he's so happy & content. When i was 5 months pregnant i made the decision to set up a studio in my home o i can shoot boudoir & the occasional child at home without worrying about a sitter. My little munchkin has sat happily in the corner whilst i photograph women in their underwear. Such a lucky little boy right?
... i only schedule shoots every other weekend. One of the things i missed out on when working at chilis is time with my husband, weekends away & more travel opportunities. I can now set my schedule (to an extent you know uncle sam is always going to get in the way), i can work one weekend & spend time with family & friends the next.
... i've had to take my son on a location shoot with me ... the downside to being out & about is that i either have to schedule these shoots when my husband is off work or when i can get a sitter. Now it's not hard for me to get a sitter because i have some wonderful friends who love my son i just hate imposing on people. But occasionally my son is going to have to come with me & i can only hope the client is as wonderful about it as this one was. Plus the fact my son loves being outdoors & it's summer makes it easier though i can't lie i'm not 100% focused on the client (the down side).
I know as time goes on my thoughts will change & practices will increase. As Jacob grows i may get to a point where i need to hire a sitter to take care of him for a few hours so i can focus on my work. The thing about working from home is that as nice as it is to set your own schedule, be able to work all hours & not worry about office politics we don't always focus the way we should, like editing one handed because i have a sleeping son. Before he arrived i could sit down & work my way through a shoot, not worrying if i didn't finish the editing process until the wee hours of the morning. Now I need to make sure i'm in bed at a decent hour as is Jacob.
But i'm not fitting everything in around my chili's schedule & i have noticed that i am more focused on my photography. I'm loving what i am doing, & not tired from dealing with the stress that came from chili's. I can work at my own pace, spend time with my son & i feel (for lack of a better word) more fulfilled as a result. This is the life i want, the dream i had & my happy ending.