Alice Park Photography » Blog

Diary of a Stay-At-Home-Working Mom

It’s 9:30pm Thursday evening, and my work day is just beginning.

I just finished cleaning the mess at the kitchen table my toddler made while attempting to feed himself beans, homemade Chinese pork buns and zucchini. And then there was the mess in the kitchen from me making the beans, homemade Chinese pork buns and zucchini. Not to mention the mess in every other square inch of the house that resulted from this destructive, caveman-like creature who moves form one toy to the next like he’s high on life (which he is).

It’s been a long and exhausting day of moving, moving, moving. We’re up at the crack of dawn, and every new inanimate object or picture is the opportunity to teach my toddler something new. There’s a lot of “Moooooooos” and “Quack Quack’s,” a lot of “Where’s your feet, Lyon?” and “The wheels on the bus go round and round..” Lots of stimulation, of movement and music, of reading and listening, of teaching and guidance, and of being *present* for my 19-month-old. Sometimes it’s so exhausting, I count the minutes until it’s nap time and I finally get to shut down my “mommy brain” and do some work for my businesses. Oh, I feel guilty for saying that!

It’s hard. It’s so hard… I thought that the more independent these little ones got, the easier it would get. But it’s actually quite the contrary. They need us in different ways now, and it’s even more important that we’re present for them… Small as their adorable heads are, they are absorbing everything around them like a sponge, and if we’re not 100% there to help steer this newfound curiousity, we lose, and then they lose. Right?

And so now, while he slumbers – my work day begins. I’m off to researching infrastructures with our web developers about making NAPCP faster, more accessible, and at the top of every search engine. I’m answering the 354 emails that I missed while being with my toddler today. I’m prepping for our next Image Competition & finding ways to improve the process and experience for all of the entrants and judges involved. I’m reaching out to vendors, packing orders, folding laundry, planning photographer retreats, designing Christmas cards, scrubbing crayon marks off the walls, proofing clients, fixing printers, balancing Quickbooks, tying pretty ribbons on print boxes, signing matted prints, ordering inventory and supplies, calibrating cameras, creating client contracts, invoicing, and so on, and so on. I know I’m not saving the world, but It’s December 6th and the weight on my photographer’s shoulders is heavy. Christmas is just around the corner, and I need my adrenaline to take me 19 more days.

As I sit here and journal about my day, I step back and shake my head at my disgruntled words and tone. Why the heck am I complaining about my day? I know so many moms who would love to fill my shoes and wear my many hats. This is the life that I chose and I have a beautiful little boy snoozing *just waiting* to start his exciting new day tomorrow.

I whole-heartedly believe that being a mom is the toughest job in the world. It’s hard. It really is… Our days are filled with second-guessing our decisions for what’s best for our children, of playing Cowboys & Indians with such thrill and excitement despite our 4 hours of sleep the night before, of feeling guilty for turning on the TV for five minutes of peace, of building racetracks out of paper towel rolls and leftover shipping supplies, of disciplining (and bribing) when need be, of repeating ourselves a thousand times to know we’ll have to do it all over again the next day. And of looking into our child’s eyes and feeling our hearts filled with the greatest love there is.

Life is grand for me, and I truly know it.  I worked my ass off my entire life preparing for this role, and every time I fight the disgruntled, sleep-deprived voice – I look at my boy and I thank God for the opportunity to be his mom….

For all of your stay-at-home-working moms out there who love your children to pieces, you are awesome. 🙂

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