Growing up I always said I wanted to be an artist. Then in high school I had a few traumatic “art events”, tales for another post, and I decided art wasn’t for me but archeology was. Until I met a college professor who said if I ever wanted kids I couldn’t be in that field, that men were better suited (I kid you not, ask my mom!). And my dream was truly to just be a mom so I gave up on archeology. But I still loved history and I had to declare a major so I thought maybe anthropology was my field. But what the heck kind of job can you get with that major? So I literally took every random class I could get my hands on for three and a half years before calling it quits. Because really, all I wanted to do was get married, have kids and stay at home to raise them. I never knew what I wanted to do so I thought that meant God wanted me to “just” be a mom.
And I did get married. And had kids. Three of them right in a row actually. And I was basically a SAHM. But of course we couldn’t afford two or three kids on a teaching salary so I had to make money. And during that time is when I found I loved my camera. And so Jodified was born, and then Fresh Art. And I finally have a job! A career. And one that I am incredibly passionate about!
And so it’s great right? That I have a job that fulfills my passions? That I absolutely hands-down love what I do? And I fulfilled my oldest dream of being married and raising a family? I have it all right? It’s great, right?
It is. Great.
Sometimes I don’t understand why God finally showed me my passion during a time in my life that I have three small children home with me. Because here’s the thing. I’m passionate about being a mom AND a photographer.
I love everything about being a mom. Reading books over and over. Art projects. Getting messy. Playing outside. Building forts. Teaching. Games. Cuddles. And there is even a part of me, deep down, that loves the cleaning/housework/laundry/cooking. Jammie days and running errands. Play dates. All of it.
I would be a really good stay-at-home mom.
So here is my issue.
I’ve found my other passion. And now I don’t want to just be a mom. I want to work and create and dream and succeed.
My head is full of ideas. All day. Every day. All I think about is our business, our industry, my passion. And all I ever want to do is work. Be that shooting or editing or blogging or designing or emailing or tweeting or whatever.
Today was a Mommy day. We were home most of the day, besides some quick errands and preschool for the girls. I did load upon load of laundry, we painted, I read, they ran outside, I cleaned (not that you can tell right now), they skipped naps… and there is where my day fell apart.
They didn’t nap. And I wanted to work. But no one slept. So I had no work time. And I was pissed off. Not because they were grouchy or acting out because of no sleep. But because I didn’t get what I wanted.
I am always in this constant battle in my head. Trying desperately to be present with the kids but always wanting to work. If I could send the kids away every single day I would feel guilty but I would also love it.
It makes me so sad b/c I feel I was designed to be a mom. I’m good at it. I know I am. But most days I just don’t want to be a mom. I want to be a successful photographer. And I know it’s because up until recently I was never good at anything. I was never known as anything. I had never stuck with anything or loved anything this much. And now I’ve finally found it. I’m not floundering, wondering WHAT I WILL BE WHEN I GROW UP. I’m here, I’m grown up and I have my dream job. But my kids get in the way.
Isn’t that awful? But I feel that way. A lot. And I can’t figure out how to shut off my work brain and just BE with them. I don’t know how to stop checking email or writing down the ideas that fly through my head or turn off Twitter. Why would God give me my life’s dream in two ways and make me chose every single day which one I will pay attention to b/c it is just impossible to do both at the same time? I can’t be a good mommy and a good photographer. I have to pick. And this is a minute by minute decision in my head.
But why do I always want to chose photographer? Why do I want to work more than I want to mother? What does that say to my kids? Do they notice? What does it say about me?
Today was a long day. With no relief because Chris won’t be home until after 9pm and he left before 7am. So I know that’s aiding in these thoughts. But I just wonder, do any of you love your job so much you’d chose it over your kids? Does anyone else struggle with these feelings and thoughts daily? This is the reason I stayed up until 3am making a paper banner for Parker’s birthday party. Guilt.
I hate struggling. And if we could afford it I would quit Fresh Art for a few more years until the kids are in school. Because I know I’d be a great SAHM. But I have to work. And make money working. And to make money we have to grow our business. And to grow this business we have to figure out new ways to market. So my brain is working ALL THE TIME. And there’s not much room for kid craft ideas or imaginary play anymore. And I feel awful. But I also know that if we could afford for me to quit, and I did, it would be like a part of me died and I would never be the same.
I have to work. I have to live this passion. But how in the hell do I balance it better? How do I turn off my head while I’m home with my kids?
Thanks for the vent. I had to get this out of my head b/c my brain has been consumed with these thoughts all day and if I didn’t write it down I wouldn’t sleep. And then poor Kim would have an even more tired partner for tomorrow’s session!
Thanks for listening. I love this blog.