To be completely honest and transparent, last night when I wrote this blog post, I totally felt like this was going to be my "get real with Paulina" blog post where I finally feel some confidence, like I finally can say from a confidant stand point that I got my ish together today.
This morning, when the wave of obligations impacted, my emotions got a little disturbed. I told my husband, I'm just going to skip lunch, I'm too stressed.
When I get stressed, I can't eat. My stomach does flips and turns and I have no desire for self nourishment, I just need to accomplish, settle, finalize.
So before I get into today's blog post, I want to address my greatest struggle.
I struggle SO much with balance. I don't know if its that I lack the time management skills or if I simply and plain put have way too much on my plate at all times, but balancing all my life and work obligations is truly my greatest struggle.
I was having a conversation with one of my dearest friends and favorite doulas, Lisa Raynor, and I told her, "I haven't done anything for myself in I really don't know how long."
It's so true. It's very easy for me to become swept up in efficiency, power machine through life and work and kids and forget that I need down time, relaxation, self care. Self care that often gets pushed back to the end of that 4 page list of to do's I have, and let's be honest, I've never gotten out of page 1 and its been months.
The mommy life to small, wild children / the full time photographer life / the I own and operate my own business from home life is my greatest life's challenge.
So when I watched mompreneur Louise Glendon of ClickLoveGrow.com on Vicky Lashenko's show on facebook talking about how she and her husband had to get real and she had to cut out and simplify because she had too much on her plate, I commented on that interview with this:
So without further ado, let me get into the blog post I wrote up for you guys last night:
I just love the mompreneur show run by Vicky Lashenko on Facebook.
I love how real the conversations get.
Not knowing what you're going to make for dinner because you didn't do your groceries because way too much obligation falls on your shoulders - I can't even begin to count how many times I've been there!
Almost 5 years ago when I had my first daughter I made the super risky transition from a steady income working for a graphics / virtual reality medical military contractor to being ALL IN the full time stay at home mom / pro photographer game. I even remember telling my husband, "if I'm not meant to be doing this then I will have no success," and then it ended up going completely the other way.
I'm a big believer in the school of thought that if you're doing what you're supposed to be doing and you give it your all, that successful will come to you, but if you find yourself faced with no success it means there is a door with much greater opportunity uniquely designed for you that you are just steps away from uncovering.
And let me tell you it was not all green lights from this point, let me get real with you for a second and just completely open & honestly say that being a stay at home mom has not been the walk in the park I thought it would be. I totally anticipated a life filled with smiles, snuggles, feeling blessed and joyful and grateful day to day I definitely was not expecting postpartum depression to come out of left field and derail my entire "business plan" for my life as a stay at home mom.
My struggle with it definitely made things way harder when it reappeared after the birth of my second daughter in the form of panic attacks anxiety attacks. I think that it was the start of the second year of my daughters life that was the biggest challenge for me of the five years of being a mom. The amount of obstacles that we were met with truly tried our family. In fact, we are currently only in the baby stages of having just emerged this huge cloud that has been hovering over us for a good solid year.
During this time I had to pull together my ambition to see past the personal struggle of nothing working harmoniously in our personal lives and continue to push through professionally with my pro photographer business. But it wasn't just for the sake of finances. We made the only-one-spouse-working dynamic happen before. Granted we have two kids now and our living expenses are higher, I continued to push through with my business because it fulfilled me on multiple levels.
Vicky said in this interview, when you're filled with passion you'll get up however early to make it happen and that is so true. Through my art I find myself more confident, energetic, awake, alive, and I'm willing to make sacrifices and I have made many sacrifices to achieve the goals I have with my company. But it doesn't stop there, because I definitely had to have a supportive spouse to make it through the most trying of times. I made sacrifices but so did he. That's the only way my business could have not only survived but also thrived.
And despite not experiencing being a stay at home mom as the most blissful experience of my life, it was those struggles of my personal life as a mother and wife that provided a blank canvas for me to paint my emotions and plunge myself deeply into supporting women through art.
If it had not been for my passion for what I do, there is no way my work would have ever become a strong enough artist to run my own business, my personality would have never opened up to be transparent and real enough to be relatable for my clients, there's no way that anyone would ever trust that I am a committed professional -- because you just can't fake any of that.
It takes long, late hours and days and weeks and months and years to get to where you're wanting to go and also realizing as an artist that your work actually won't ever be good enough for YOU, that's when you realize you can be confidant about your work, when you realize you aren't 100% content with your art. That inkling of discontentment with your work is what will always keep pushing you to get ahead of yourself and achieve greater work with each new endeavor. The moment you feel like you've done it all, you've reached the top is the moment your endless creativity and passion is tapped.
A 40 hour work week and steady income would have definitely made our lives far less complicated but as an artist I could have never made it far in any of those careers.