There’s a reason the saying, “It takes a village.” is a thing when it comes to having kids. Because we aren’t meant to do it alone.
My first year after I resigned from teaching I tried to fit a lot of my work on my photography business into nap time. In theory, it seemed like a good idea. It would be a solid 1-2 hours of work twice a day. But in reality it was anything but.
Nap time is notoriously unreliable. Often by the time I would sit down and start cranking something out, the buzz of the monitor would alert me to a shorter than usual nap, and even worse at times, no nap at all. I would mark 1-2 items off my to-do list, but it would grow by 3-4. And while I’m a night owl and didn’t mind working after Hudson went to bed, with a wakeup time of 6 a.m. I was exhausted.
My business was growing, but having resigned from teaching, I considered myself a stay at home mom first, and a business owner second. And while my kids always have been and always will be my first priority, I knew that if I wanted to grow Kate Dye Photography to the vision I had in my mind that something had to give.
Yet I was afraid to ask for help. Because in my mind that somehow meant I was failing as a mother.
So if there’s one thing and one thing only you take away from my experience let it be this:
I sat down with Tyler and told him we needed to come up with a plan for him to take over full parenting duties for a set number of hours in the evening and on weekends, where I could be alone to work. I also asked my mother-in-law (who I’m lucky enough to have always lived close by to) to take Hudson twice a week for a few hours.
I know everyone’s situation is different, but to grow a business while you have little kids at home, you are going to need help. Whether it’s from a spouse, a grandparent, a babysitter, a mother’s helper, preschool a few mornings a week, etc., you must carve out set chunks of time that are solely meant for running your business. Not for housework, not for running errands, not for appointments, but just for business.
Oh and one more thing. When your partner watches your child, it is not “babysitting.” It is parenting. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen in Facebook groups, women saying how overwhelmed they are with business because they’re at home full time with the kids, and in the next sentence saying they “can’t” leave their kids with their husband because they feel bad or he won’t be able to handle it. You should not feel bad. And yes, he 100% can handle it. And even if he truly “can’t”, he will figure it out. It’s 2020, and there’s this thing called Google.
So friend, please know this. You aren’t meant to do it all. You’ve been fed this idea that women should be able to handle kids and work simultaneously with grace, but doing it all by yourself isn’t some badge of honor. It’s insanity. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to accept it. And most of all, don’t be afraid to want it.
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