Motherhood

Ep 100. Balancing Life as a Mom and Photographer

balance
I'm Ashley!

My mission at The Purpose Gathering is to help driven momtogs like you level up, so you can build a sustainable business AND a fulfilling family life. I do that through authentic brand photography for mompreneurs and my signature program for mom photographers: Side Hustler to CEO.

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Ever wondered how to find balance as a mom and a business owner?

As a mom, and a photographer, it can often feel like everything is vying for our attention and it’s really hard to find that balance.

In my opinion, there’s no true balance, because that would mean that every single part of your life is getting the same amount of your attention and that’s just not always possible. Today, I am so excited to chat with you about this very important topic that I think a lot of moms are wondering about and that is how to find balance.

Sometimes your business is going to need more from you and your family is going to need more from you.

Sometimes you’re going to need to take a pause and dedicate more time to getting yourself healthy.

So even though this perfect balance isn’t achievable, I still feel like the sense of balance, this idea of feeling balanced, is achievable.

Whenever I’m asked how I juggle motherhood and my photography business, I always have about four key strategies or key pieces that fit into this finding balance. I also realize there are going to be areas you struggle with more and I have a very robust, complimentary episode list located at the bottom of this blog, so that you can dive deeper on whichever topic you need to once you’re finished reading. So, let’s dive right into the four key strategies that will help you to find balance.

Strategy #1: Become Self-Aware

I really want you to begin to advocate for what you need. I say this often on my podcast, but if you don’t prioritize your self-care, no one else will. Check out the episode list below where I’m going to link a bunch of self-care episodes for you in case you’re struggling with that. I think as moms, not even business owners in general, but just as moms, we instantly scoff at the word self-care. 

Being a mom is selfless, taking care of myself is selfish.

We start to have all of these messages that we’re sending ourselves about self-care. The one thing that really has stuck out for me is that if I don’t take the time to take care of myself first, I really don’t have anything left to give to people. I am the worst version of myself. I’m not the kind of person that I want to be and that’s because I’m not prioritizing my self care.

So, stop and think to yourself, am I taking care of myself well? If you can’t answer that question, there needs to be some self-reflection here. Set aside time to really think about this, work on this and advocate for what you need in order to be the best version of you. So that you’re giving your best to everyone else.

One thing that’s really important to me is to prioritize my time with God.

If you listen to my podcast at all, for any length of time, you know that my faith is super important to me and it’s what keeps me going. It’s actually what inspired The Purpose Gathering in the first place. I find that when I don’t prioritize my time with God, there’s a huge difference in my attitude. There’s a huge difference in how I’m able to show up and perform. This is just something that I know I need in my life in order to be centered. In order to be who it is that I was created to be.

Secondly, I think it’s super important to prioritize rest. This has really been difficult for me as I am the type of person who just loves to be productive all the time. When I think about prioritizing rest, it feels really lazy to me.

It feels really unproductive, and so it goes against everything that I really want to achieve.

What I’ve noticed is that when I take the time to prioritize this rest, I am way more energized to get the things done that are most important to me. If you struggle with rest, I encourage you to set aside little pockets, even just 15 minutes a day for rest time. Start small if you haven’t started to incorporate this into your daily routine, and then you can work your way up.

Strategy #2: Give your Kids What they Need First

When I say give your kids what they need first, that doesn’t mean first above your needs. What that means is as early on in the day as you can, or the first interaction that you have with your child, you should be thinking about what they need. I think that there are four things your children need the most from you.

  1. Number one, a hands-free mama. Where you’re putting down your phone while you’re interacting with your children and really showing them that you love and care.

  2. Number two, positive control. Where children have some sense of control and autonomy over who they are.

  3. Number three is positive attention, giving your children that dedicated one-on-one special time where they are feeling super connected to you.

  4. Lastly, number four, which is boundaries and routines. There has to be boundaries in place and children need boundaries so that they know what’s expected of them. But then also giving them routines. Kids love routines and it really helps to give them, again, that sense of control for knowing these are the things that are expected.

Strategy #3: Having a Solid Plan

Having a solid plan is so important and until I realized this, my life was always chaotic. I never had a sense of direction as to when am I going to sit down and work. Working in the most random pockets of time. I was always feeling super stressed and then annoyed when my kids would bug me. I was so resentful towards them because I never had a protected time that I could work. So having a solid plan is going to be the game changer for you.

When you’re actually setting aside time to work, and then actually knowing what you’re going to work on, your life is just going to feel so much more put together.

It is really important to have this solid plan. Know when you’re going to work and what is it that you’re working on. I think it’s also important that you build a margin in your schedule. So basically, leaving whitespace in your schedule, where maybe you can catch up on things, or maybe where you just do nothing at all. I think this margin is super important to have because without it, you will often always feel behind. You will just always feel stressed because you have things stacked way too close together.

Strategy #4: Get Creative

I think as a mom and a business owner, it’s really crucial that you are flexible. Be creative in your strategy and think outside the box on how you’re going to get things done. It’s important that you also get really good at expecting and handling disruptions and distractions. It’s sort of inevitable as a mom to be interrupted. Instead of being annoyed by it, just expect it, roll with the punches and have a more fun, childlike personality.

I’m not saying allow your kids to totally stop you, but just know that it’s going to happen and when it happens, just be firm on those boundaries.

Whatever the case may be, get really creative on setting those boundaries. But also be thinking about your children and what they need as well. Because when our kids start to fight back, and they’re not getting their needs met, and we’re not getting our needs met, if we start to be controlling over our children, it’s just going to cause a battle. So, if we’re able to see it from their perspective a little bit, and we’re able to compromise together, get creative and be flexible, it’ll be so much easier to bring our kids on board into what we’re doing, and to expect more from them.

When they’re in the toddler stage, it’s really hard. You have to get creative and understand that you’re not going to necessarily get that focused work time all the time. You just have to learn how to be okay with it being noisy. Be okay with it being a little distracting.

ACTION STEPS

I hope that you will try some of the strategies.

  • Become self-aware
  • Give your kids what they need first
  • Have a solid plan
  • Get creative!
  • Check out those complimentary episodes below. (That’s where I have several episodes on parenting and I also have a few on productivity and self-care as well)
  • Add those episodes to your queue

There’s also the Productivity With Purpose masterclass you can access at thepurposegathering.com/productivity. I am so excited for you to find more of this feeling of balance. You can definitely be an incredible mom and an incredible business owner at the same time. It’s going to take some time, some dedication, and some really strict boundaries. But I know that you can do it.

As always, Mama I am here rooting for you and you are not alone on this journey.

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My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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