it's been close to three weeks since school was done for the summer. i was worried about my work suffering; my vision being delayed once again. i was not looking forward to the time mothering would demand from my already too intense work schedule. how could i possibly do it all? do i need to give up one for the other? i felt panicked and wondered how my work and income would suffer as a result of time away.
balancing motherhood and work is tough for anyone. i work essentially four jobs. it gets tricky. timing, intention, energy, hard work, direction...it's all part of a successful livelihood. and for someone who is solely responsible for all of it, adding a child into the mix can feel incredibly overwhelming. and when you have my personality, doubly so.
i do things 110%. everything. from loving, to parenting, to working. it's how i live life. having to balance two very important things can get tricky. two very important things that demand equal amounts of time and energy. it's been a fearful thought as my business grows. how to do it all.
and then m and i started talking about adding another. was i done? no. not at all. but how could i? how could we? it seemed too scary to add something else to the mix of already demanding things. and as we have talked and discussed and weighed options and i've shed tears and laughed and fought back fears and overcame even more, we settled into summer.
she's home. she's home and dancing and prancing and singing around the house. she's asking for snacks and drinks and outings and playtime and stories and pushes on the swing and ball games and visits to the pond. and i realized that i had just completely absolutely let go.
the e-mails piled up (hundreds by the day). the clients had to wait a few more hours or even a day until i could respond thoughtfully. the editing got piled up for nighttime after she's gone to bed, when i'd really like to be curled up in m's arms half asleep myself. but i sit down and do it. because it's what i have to do. and i am always so grateful for it.
and we have our rhythm. our relaxed, anything goes summer rhthym. and as i make her yet another snack during the day, or pick up more toys, or read another story, i realize just how much i love it all. this is my life. this is what counts. this is what is meaningful. this is my chance. and i've always known that, i've just never figured out what to do with the rest of it. because you see...i'm not just a mother. i'm an artist, a photographer, a lover, and a friend on top of it. and sometimes it's hard to balance all of them. or feel like by devoting your time to one, doesn't take away from another.
m has said that artists lead seemingly selfish lives. because we need to make hard choices to do what we love and be ourselves. our work reflects our love, energy, skills, and desires. our work is who we are. the many other aspects of our lives we strive to fit seamlessly into it all. joining all the things we love into one great being.
and that being ebbs and flows, rises and falls together. as a whole. the little one is my soul, my love. my work is my soul, my love. m is my soul, my love. there is no way to separate them. i inhale and exhale them all together. it is only now that i can see the path to holding it all together.
it is easy. i let go.
i savor the moments like they are my last. whether i am running through a field of buttercups with my little one, editing photos from the beautiful wedding i just shot, or laying on the hammock in the arms of m. there is no feeling like i should be somewhere else or doing something else. i try hard not to worry about the work waiting for me, or think about when i might get to it. i simply am grateful for what i have now.
so i say to life...bring it on. i am open. i am so excited about what's next. my future. our future. and all it entails and holds. it will always require thought and time and energy and work and intention, but most of all, it will include love and happiness.
and for that, i am incredibly grateful. and i realize that i can handle all of it. because it's exactly what i would choose.