As a photographer + stay at home Momma of 4, I often get asked – how do you manage to do it all? And while I am nowhere near perfect, I thought I’d share how we’ve managed to make this work for our family!
My kiddos are between the ages of 1.5-13 so to say we are constantly running through all of the stages at once is definitely not an understatement. Currently in our life we are potty training our youngest, our son starts kindergarten in the fall, and our girls are going into their last years in elementary and middle school. Life changes so greatly all the time for us.
Being that I stay at home during the day, my typical day looks like this:
- get up in the morning, and depending on whether we have K or not (we share her with her Momma) leave by 7am
- drop off both girls at school between 7am and 8:15
- if I’ve remembered to make an appointment at the gym daycare, I head there for some me/sweat time. I honestly love the weight section
- whatever errands need running, be it grocery shopping, sending out client gifts, etc as they come up
- head home just in time for ‘quiet time’. This is where W goes into his room for quiet playtime while I get Charlie down for a nap
- nap time means do all the things as quick as possible! Lunch, laundry, dishes, prep dinner – or at least figure out what we may eat, do my hair and makeup if I am feeling it
- leave the house sometime between 2-3p depending on how many kiddos I’m picking up & head home.
- come home & make dinner and family time
- depending on the day of the week, either W has t-ball, Ava has choir practice or K has her church group
Now, I’d like to say that during all of that time I’m totally present with everyone, off my phone and not working – but in all honesty, that wouldn’t be the truth. However, it is something that I’ve been working on getting better at. Some days it’s hard to tear myself away from all the things that this business asks of me. But, luckily, Nick & I have finally figured out our groove with being able to get me in some serious work time to which I am SO grateful for.
You see, I know you know that being a stay at home Mom + wife in itself is a job, but being the photographer + accountant + marketing director + receptionist + etc to this business does require me to have dedicated time, just like any other job. So, I’ve found that I can take 2 of our slower days during the week and rock that out for about 8 hours of solid work time, which let me tell you what, has greatly reduced my stress level when it comes to my task list inside my head — oh, you have one of those too? Well, I’ll give you a little peek into what’s worked for us and I recommend taking a really good look at your schedule and planning around it!
I definitely need to preface this with, Nick is such a huge help at home with kids, chores and life in general, but guys, I’m a doer. One of those people who absolutely suck at delegating tasks to others because she prefers to do them all, I’m positive you’re not that person at all right?! It happened almost a month ago now when I had one of those moments, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about….that “Ihavesomanythingsonmyplatecanyoujusttakesomeplease?!” and it probably came out just like that too! So, once I was finally breathing at a normal pace again, we sat down to our calendar, which by the way we share on an app called TimeTree it’s THE best, and looked over our weekly schedule. Nick’s new work hours have him off of work each day by 2:30pm, which means on 2 days a week, currently Tuesday and Thursday unless life happens and things need to get moved around, I meet him at his work just before he’s off the clock and trade him vehicles. Mine has 2 of the 4 kids and he heads straight from work to get the big girls, and then home to resume the regular life. I head to my favorite Starbucks – you guys know who you are! – and I work undistracted until they close at 10pm! Yup, I sit my booty on the bench at Starbucks for about 7 hours straight and crank out the work.
And can I tell you a little secret? This has been my mental saving grace! Because now I’m not trying to edit my sessions during nap time, which always means that Charlie only naps for 17 & 1/2 minutes causing me to have to shove all of my work into any other gaps during my day thus neglecting my family and my responsibilities. And while I am still not perfect about tearing myself away from the work, I am getting better at it because I know that each week I will have dedicated time to get it done.
The truth of the matter is just like that tired old meme you see going around, you know that one that you’ve given your best eyeroll too – oh, you too? Ya, it’s the one that says “you make time for what’s important to you”. Ain’t that the truth. Because you do, you make time for what’s important to you. Whether that’s your relationship with God, your spouse, your children, your family, your job, your mental state, the way you feel about your self….you get the idea. And while my work day is a teeny-tiny piece to a much larger piece of the puzzle, it is an important one that helps this “get stuff done” kinda Mom breathe a breath of relief.
I know that these days are fleeting, I know they’re only little once, I know that everything will happen in God’s timing and I know that we are each given a gift that we are responsible for being good stewards of right now in this moment and that can be anything.
So, whatever you’re needing to make a plan for, I want to remind you that you don’t have to do all the tasks right now, they can wait until your working hours or work days. You are only one person, but if you want or need to get it done, open up that calendar girl, put it on your notepad or day planner and make those plans to help free up that mental space that is constantly worrying about when you’ll have time for ____________.