I knew that becoming a mother would be a big change in my life, but I didn’t truly understand the full extent of it until it happened. Some of it, people try to warn you about in advance, but to me it always came across in a soft, half-joking kind of way. Why didn’t someone sit me down with a serious face and say, “You will not get a full night’s sleep in the foreseeable future, you won’t care if someone sees you without mascara, and forget about leaving the house after 6pm. No, really. For real.” ??
I love sleep. I basically started working for myself so I could sleep in and never work before 10am (okay, more like 11). If I got less than 10 hours of sleep, I wondered how I would make it through the day. OH, how things have changed. I discovered that I can somehow manage to survive on just a few hours of sleep at night, or sometimes barely any sleep at all in those early days. “Sleep when the baby sleeps,” they said. HA! If I did that I would never eat, shower, have clean clothes and diapers for the baby, or especially in my case – work! Being self-employed has it’s appeal, but unfortunately there is no paid mat leave for me, so I started working again quite early. Not at full pace (even now), but enough to try to stay afloat and keep my mind occupied with more than just sleep schedules and feedings.
- Privacy and Personal Appearance
My whole family was in the room with me while I was using the double breast pump in the hospital, I feed Isaac in front of pretty much anyone, and I often wear pajamas all day long. Neighbours may have caught a glimpse of me reaching out the door to the mailbox wearing a robe, or a nursing bra, on more than one occasion. At this point (almost 7 months) I will attempt to put on something without spit-up on it if I’m leaving the house, but if friends or family are coming to our place, all bets (and maybe my shirt) are off.
- Priorities Change
I no longer care about missing out on weekend parties or trips. We still get out occasionally, more so during the day, but we try to keep Isaac’s schedule fairly consistent these days, and we’re usually too exhausted to do much once he’s in bed anyway, so I’d much rather be home to feed him, get him in his jammies, read a story, and put him down for the night. I love our bedtime routine and that quiet time with him. And watching him sleep on the video monitor is better than any tv show. (Is that creepy? I don’t care, he’s adorable.)
I have also decided not to photograph weddings in 2017, in order to spend our weekends and more time together as a family. There is a ton of pre and post-wedding work involved too, it’s not just about the 8-10 hours of photography on a Saturday, so I hope this will allow me to spend more quality time with my little guy, and he won’t just know me as “that lady that’s always on her computer.” ;)
I will still be photographing maternity, newborn, and family sessions though, because I do love my job!