I've really been struggling lately -- struggling at this whole work from home mom thing. As Ava gets older she gets more independent and while that has it's perks, it also means that she understands what's going on around her more and more. She sees her mommy on her phone and computer all the time but she's not old enough to understand what I'm actually doing.
I've worked my butt off to grow my blogs and it's all paying off but of course, this means more work for me to do. It's all good work, fun work and I am so lucky to have that but fun work is still work and it has to get done. And this mommy needs her sleep too!
I'm so incredibly proud of myself for all of this growth. To say that I started my own business on no budget, grew it from the ground up all on my own and am here today making an incredible living doing what I love while being home with my daughter, makes me so proud of myself. But no matter how much I love what I do, it's been hard lately. Really hard.
Being a work from home mom isn't easy. I've got dishes and cleaning and diaper changes and laundry and I've got photoshoots every week, photos to edit, blogs to write and emails to respond to. So many emails. Oh yeah, and I have a baby I want to spend every waking minute with so the struggle is real. It's very real.
I hate admitting this but I'm going to be totally honest --
Lately, I've had such a short fuse with Ava. I get caught up in what I'm doing and I just want to finish a single task before getting interrupted. I just want to spend two and a half more minutes without interruption so I can check one more thing off of my to do list and yet, those beautiful hazel eyes are looking up at me and that tiny little hand is grabbing mine to lead me to her room to play with her.
I’m in the middle of typing and I sigh and tell her, “Ava, mommy needs to work right now.” She whines and begs and I just need to finish this one last email, this one last set of photo edits, the last sentence of this blog post.
And in that moment, I get frustrated with her. I get frustrated with my tiny little innocent one-year-old baby girl who has no idea what I'm doing. She has no idea that I am working hard to make a living so I can give her all of the amazing things in life I want to give her. She doesn’t understand that I've got a bottomless pit to-do list and I just need one more minute. She doesn’t understand any of that because she's just a tiny, innocent one-year-old who just wants to play with her mama.
And when I shrug her off and huff and puff and tell her I can’t play right now, all she sees is that the other thing mommy is doing comes before her. She is not the priority in mommy’s life. It kills me to think that I've done this to her and man, it’s hard to work from home for this very reason. So I’ve really been struggling with that balance, the balance of work, Ava, home and my relationship with my husband. I’ll admit, I’ve raise my voice at her and I'm ashamed. Totally ashamed. “Ava, please give me just one more minute.” And in that instant, I knew I needed to change. I know I need to be more patient, more understanding, and more kind toward my innocent little one-year-old baby girl who just wants to spend time with her mommy.
I need to show her that she comes first in my life, before the dishes the cleaning and even my work. The dishes have no feelings and yet, I'm prioritizing them over her?
Any task can wait until tomorrow, any task can wait until she’s asleep. But in that moment, she’s depending on me. She’s depending on me to show her that she comes first in my life -- not getting a photoshoot set of images edited, not finishing loading the dishwasher, not cleaning the house or making the bed or getting through one last email. By stopping what I am doing when she needs me, I am showing her that she is first in my life. And every child deserves to know that.
If that means, I have to stay up all night long to get my work finished, I’ll do it. If that means I am not going to get the current task checked off my to-do list, as much as it kills me inside to leave something unfinished, I’ll do it. I’ll do it for her. I’ll do it to show her that Ava comes first in my life.
And the dishes can wait until tomorrow.
So that's my new goal as a mom: to show Ava that above all of those every day "things" I do, I'd drop everything in an instant to spend those precious moments with my beautiful baby girl.
Photos by Briana Lindsey Photography