Not something I necessarily saw in my future when I had my son 3 ½ years ago. I had a feeling the shift from my more than full time dream job to stay-at-home mom was going to be a little bit challenging but you really can't be fully prepared for it. I remember scoffing at the girls growing up that wanted to be a mom when they were older. I didn't see it as a lofty goal or something to aspire to, more just something that happened. It wasn't until I was in my 20's that I began to desire motherhood. Deeply desire even. God was working on my heart and revealing how a life serving at home could be a fulfilling dream as well.
I should explain that my job before husband and kids was a horse trainer and riding instructor. I mean, I was riding ponies for a living, not much can beat that. After meeting and marrying my (military) husband, we soon got sent to the East Coast. We decided that would be as good a time as any to start a family. I was absolutely unprepared for motherhood. Newborn motherhood to be specific. I want to be able to "fix" things and sometimes there's just no "fixing" a baby that won't stop crying.
I was also unprepared for God removing horses from my life. It became pretty apparent that was what was happening and I finally gave in and stopped fighting it. Years later I realized that without removing that from my life, I wouldn't have found photography. About a year after my son was born I was taking photography clients and being so fulfilled by it. After a year of being booked solid, I realized this could be a great business possibility and I was loving the flexibility it gave me to be home with my son.
Fast forward 2 more years and I have a baby girl and we have been moved back to the PNW (my heart). God also provided a house FIVE MINUTES from the barn so as well as having a thriving photography business, I also have the added distraction of ponies just down the street. I've gone from feeling alone and isolated at home with a baby to being spread too thin and taking on too much.
Something a photography mentor once said that has stuck with me is:
"every time you say no to a client or commitment, you are saying yes to your family."
That hit me hard. I don't like to say no. I like to help people, serve people. But when I realized that meant I was saying no to the people that meant the most to me, I liked that less.
Do I have this figured out? Nope. But I am making better decisions for me and my kids. I'm being pickier about the clients I take on, the commitments we say yes to. Spending more time at home and not rushing around all the time. I don't think there is ever a perfect balance or a way to "do it all" but more of an ebb and flow. The fall is my busy season and I will work a little more then usual, but then I will take all of December off and keep things slow through the winter.
How do you balance passion and work while still being there for your family? I feel like this is something we can take on together and keep each other accountable. Let's keep the discussion going because having a village is so much more enriching then being alone in this.
I'm the photographer/owner at Whitney Coudray Photography. I specialize in family photography and have a passion for the adventurous family that loves the outdoors. Wife to Aaron, mom to Eli (3) and Chloe (7 months). Currently residing in Poulsbo, WA. My hobbies are my work, horseback riding and photography to keep me busy and fulfilled. I love most food - Vietnamese and pasta are two favorites. Aaron and I have a plan to get to Europe by our 10 year anniversary and I daydream about wandering the streets of Italy almost daily.