I've read a few very honest blog posts this week about being a mom, and those are the blogs I am most drawn to, the honest and open ones. I have always said that I want this blog to not only be a professional place for me, but also a personal outlet so I thought I would spend a little time today and get you caught up on how things are going. This will probably be one of those posts with run-on sentences, and crappy transitions, and I'm tired so it might not all make sense-you've been warned.
A few nights ago Kevin and I had a friend visit us, actually he was in town for an entirely different reason but it was kind of one of those two birds with one stone things. Anyways, he has always been the single type, and he made a comment about marriage that caught me a little off guard. He claims that the only reason to get married is to have kids. I pretty much kept my mouth shut because I think it's b.s. and I didn't want to get into it, but later I asked my hubby about it. We both know that we are not solely in this marriage for the babies. Obviously when we got married we both knew we wanted children, but that was not the sole reason we entered this marriage. We genuinely like spending time with each other and have fun together. We don't always have fun, and we don't always like to do everything together, but we share similar interests and we generally like the same things. Over the years we have become two halves of a whole. I can honestly say that we without a doubt did not get married just to have children, and last I checked you don't have to be married to have a baby. If all I wanted was a baby, I could have made that happen. I wanted a family. Kevin and I both agree that we did not know what happiness was until we had Paxson. I know it is sooo cliche to say that, and it is something you are supposed to say, but it is the God's honest truth. We have never been happier. (don't worry, this isn't going to be a look at how happy I am post) So I guess I don't know why I felt so defensive when he made that comment. I know the truth, my hubby knows the truth, does this friend honestly think we are only together for children? Maybe I am so defensive because I am still trying to navigate my new role as mother, and not let it completely take over me. But I have to admit that I LOVE being a mother more than I have ever loved being anything else.
However, that isn't to say that being a parent isn't a lot of work because it is. It is exhausting and frustrating, there are days when I just don't feel like I have it together at all. This week has been one of those weeks. Paxson is teething or has something going on because he is not sleeping well at all. It feels like such a cruel joke because I went from finally getting some decent sleep to feeling like I have a newborn again. A couple days ago Kevin told me that I should be sleeping when he is sleeping. In my head I thought yeah right, that crap only flies when he is a few weeks old. He's almost five months old. There is no reason for me to be taking naps in the middle of the day. Then I thought about it a little more. Well why the heck not? He is getting up every 2 hours at night which means so am I. I am pooped, I'm taking a nap. The worst part about doing it is the judgement I pass on myself. Sure I feel better, but now I'm even further behind on editing, laundry, cleaning, I'm still in sweats, my hair is in a ponytail again, and I'm not wearing make-up. I seriously need to tell myself to F off once in awhile. I highly doubt my son cares if I have make-up on so why do I? Maybe because the UPS guy dropping of the huge box of diapers will notice and judge me for being a stay at home mom who spends her days looking like a slob....why do I care? (unrelated but seriously Amazon prime is soooo worth it. So much great baby gear dropped at my front door in two days! Less time spent at Walmart is a good thing!)
I told Kevin the other night that I feel like all my relationships are suffering a little except my relationship with Paxson. Without thinking he basically told me that's how it should be. Well of course it is how it should be, but why do I feel so bad about it. I know I am a good mother, and although I don't always get it right, I'm trying and I have a happy and healthy baby to show for it.
The thing is that not only are my personal relationships taking a back-seat, but so is my business. For some reason that is even harder for me to accept. For so long Whitney Lin Photography was my baby, and now I need to trust that I have wonderful clients who will understand if it takes me a while longer to respond to emails, and to finish editing their session. I need to have faith that people have hired me because they love my work, and they will wait a little longer for their sneak peek because they think I'm worth it. I wish I truly thought like that all the time, but I don't. Honestly I have probably lost of few clients because I'm not as on top of it, but that is just something I have to live with. I told myself that this year I was going to slow down especially in regards to weddings, and now I am at the point where I have to tell people no. It is hard, but I know I won't regret the decision to spend as much time with my son as possible.
For now I am juggling, and trying to find some balance between being a mommy, wife, photographer, friend, dog owner, house cleaner, etc. I know that being able to stay at home with Pax is a luxury, and I am so grateful for that. However, I know that I can't do it all, and I need to stop being so hard on myself when I fail-let's use the word stumble instead. I know myself well enough to know that I can't and wont give up photography, and I know that all my work will get done, and it will be up to my standards because that is the type of person I am, so I just need to let go of the worry and self doubt. Easier said than done, but it needs to be something I work on because I don't have the time or energy for all the self hating and judgement I pass on myself. I saw a little mantra on pintrest or facebook or somewhere and it went something like- I have enough, I do enough, I am enough. I am so on board with the "I have enough" part...I don't need reminded of that because I am very blessed, and I don't ever want to take those blessings for granted, it is the doing and being enough part I have a tough time with. Ok...long post over and you know what, I feel better just getting it out there.
The below photos are from the shoot I did for Paxson's Valentine's day cards. A little late, but hey it is still February so I can feel ok about that. The photo at the top was taken by Kevin on Valentine's day. We found out we were expecting on Valentine's day 2012 so it seemed pretty amazing to be holding our little guy this year. SO much can happen and change in a year-it is pretty awesome!