Let it go, let it gooo-ooooo

Jing-9I’m so excited about this!

This summer and early autumn I spent every weekend shooting sessions. In every moment of my free time (free time is subjective, and as a mom, that means “time in which I used to sleep or eat”) I worked on editing and brainstorming how to improve everything I did – from technical research and practice, to calculating how much I need to charge to cover the cost of running a business, to taxes, to putting words into how passionately I feel that what I’m going is not just a luxury, but a vital necessity for stressed and tired parents.

In all, I spent about 35-45 hours a week working. On top of caring for two little boys all day without a sitter, trying to juggle laundry and meal planning and cooking and taking care of my health so I didn’t end up in the hospital like I did last spring (last spring’s close-call was my key motivator for getting back to work).

Mistakes were made, but overall I’m happier than I have been in, well, ever

I still had some worries about whether this would all work. And reservations up the wazoo. I’ve been working on letting go of the ‘have-it-all’ mentality, which has been the largest thing keeping me back.

The second largest roadblock? Just fear. Fear of rejection, fear that I’ll spend our retirement savings investing in a business that will never cover basic business costs- never mind a profit, fear that my Ultimate Long Term Plan to be an amazing role model for my boys will crash and burn, fear that my artwork just isn’t very good. Lately I’ve been developing a fear that I all of the clients who genuinely love my work are going to be my biggest weakness. It is SO HARD not to say “Oh you love this? Take it! For free! I like you and want you to enjoy it!”

Letting go of some mom-guilt

So, in the spirit of letting go of ‘Having it All’ and most importantly not feeling guilty about it. I’m going to follow through on the following:

  • Hire a housekeeper twice a month to get the cat hair off the counters and that gray film off the toilets – and not feel guilty about it.
  • Invest in regular, reliable childcare so I can take on more clients – even if the sitters make more than I do – and not feel guilty about it
  • Ask for help, patience, and allowances to make it easier for me to stay healthy – and not feel guilty about it.

I’m making this public because even though I feel squeamish and selfish for taking these steps. I wouldn’t flinch if one of my friends or clients needed the same exact thing. How hard would I jump at the chance to help my friends maintain sanity while they juggle work, families, and life? What are the odds that the kind and awesome people who love my work and love me would blame me for doing the same for myself?

What do you think? Reasonable or unreasonable, I’d love to hear from you. Even better, I would LOVE to hear the ‘selfish’ things you wish you had to make getting through the week.

I suspect all of us would be more comfortable making reasonable demands if we saw other parents doing it too.

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