Disclaimer: I write from my perspective. I am not right or wrong. Your opinions may be different and that is wonderful! Feel free to share how your thoughts are the same or different in a way that is loving and respectful!!
Before I got pregnant, I promised myself that I wouldn’t be “one of those women” that abandons all sense of self for the pursuit of motherhood. This idea was so prevalent in my mind, that I even made a note about it in my journal earlier this spring. I jotted down what I was afraid of and what I was excited for as I made progress toward my goal of being a photographer. The final fear in the column was “I will change my goals if I have children.”
I previously belonged to the school of thought that you develop goals and then you do whatever possible to achieve them. Sounds good, right? The fault in this logic is that it doesn’t allow any accommodation for life…for the fact that rarely do your interests, needs, and passions remain stagnant. Life changes. Therefore, why do we beat ourselves up when our goals need to be modified to fit those changes?
Late last year, around my 31st birthday, I decided it was time to focus on what makes me happy. Not on what I think should make me happy. Not the things that I think I am supposed to care about. But the things that actually make me happy…give me purpose…and light me up. Photography was that. So, I set to work making it happen. I declared to the world that I would officially launch Reece and Rose Photography in January 2019 and have spent this past year working for another photographer, taking classes and attending workshops, and doing my own photo shoots even when I was certain I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I had started developing content for my website and had finally narrowed down two formats that I was interested in. Everything was right on track.
And then I got pregnant.
Long story short: my priorities have shifted. Not in a bad way…in a way that feels perfectly natural. When January comes, I will be 26 weeks pregnant. I have made myself swear that I will use my third trimester wisely. I will not travel as much. I will rest, while there is still rest to be had. I will spend that time intentionally with my husband. I will nest uncontrollably. I will cuddle in the living room with a big fire and three dogs. I will read and write. I will take pictures for pleasure, to be kept for myself. That is what I want for my third trimester. It is such a privilege to be able to do that!! If I get pregnant again, I will already have one child running around…in addition to our motley crew of three dogs . I will never have the chance to enjoy pregnancy in this way again.
There is also the financial part of my brain that can’t justify new camera equipment right now. We have a little one to prepare for and a bulkier savings account would give me peace of mind. Not to mention the cost of maintaining a website when I realistically won’t be taking on any new clients until the fall. It all costs money…and that is something that feels intensely more valuable once small humans enter the equation.
Does this all sound like a giant excuse? Maybe. But it is my truth. I have no idea how parenthood is going to impact me. I may decide that I want to focus on paying off our debts so that I can pursue part-time employment or no employment. Becoming a parent may send my creativity into overdrive and leave me craving a type of work that isn’t bound by four walls and a crappy office desk. Our pregnancy may not go as planned and extra time will need to be dedicated to areas of our lives previously unthought of. There is so much that I cannot control right now. The when and how of my business…that is completely within my control. So, I am controlling what I can and creating more space in my life for a graceful transition into motherhood.
At this time, I am unsure of when I will officially launch the business. That uncertainty feels right…feels appropriate. The uncertainty doesn’t feel permanent, either. In fact, I’m not sure uncertainty is the right adjective. I actually feel quite certain about this. Now isn’t the time for me to start my business while also working a full time job and maintaining my position with Sharon Elizabeth Photography. Are there women that do it? Absolutely! I’m not saying that no one can do it. Nor am I arguing that you shouldn’t. I’m just stating what feels right for me today. Recognizing that what felt right a year ago has changed…because my life is changing…and my priorities are changing.
I have started re-reading “Cultivate What Matters” by Lara Casey. I read this book last year and it really helped me get a grasp on what I valued and what I wanted to make a priority in my life. I think that bringing it back out will help me reevaluate how I want to focus my time and energy for 2019. It may look different but that doesn’t mean it will be wrong.