Melanie Napier Photography took these amazing lifestyle images of B and I, and I'm still fawning over each one. They're so special to me because they earmark a time in our lives when a big change happened - when I started staying at home with B. Honesty ahead, folks. There's such a wide range of mothers that work, stay at home, or create a balance of the two. So many don't have a choice in staying home, and so many of us also choose to work. Motherhood is full of sacrifice no matter what path you take. I find it especially helpful to read about others' journeys in this work/motherhood balance, so I felt it was only fair that I share my own story.
Let me just begin with this: I never expected to enjoy work - there I said it. In my early years of college, I envisioned doing something extremely creative and hands-on (a.k.a. zero computers involved). I wanted to be elbows-deep in paint and charcoal, working in a messy studio with zero screens around me. And then I found a passion for photography, and computers were a natural progression of that. After college, I realized that my favorite kind of work was graphic design and web design, and it became a big, big part of my world. I didn't suck at talking clients through processes and ideas, and finding solutions for all kinds of needs through design was totally my jam. I would literally dream in pixels, enough said.
I have seen God's hand in many, many specific ways throughout my life, but one in particular has been my career. He has provided some outstanding opportunities throughout the years, and looking back I can see an incredible path of Him leading me to better things with each setback and opportunity. My last job was a clear example. God brought me that opportunity at a time when I could not have needed it more. I needed a positive distraction, better pay and benefits, and eventually the flexibility to move to Wichita and work from home. It even provided incredible maternity leave - all blessings beyond my sight at the time when I accepted the job. These were also blessings that were hard to walk away from when B came along on our path.
We had B, and everything changed. Suddenly, all those concepts that I used to love thinking through became a lot more difficult to care about. Projects felt like burdens to carry instead of mountains to climb. The best part of my job was the perk of getting to work from home, but I was still in a very corporate job setting, and only saw snippets of B throughout the day, usually at my wit's end with work stresses and deadlines hanging over my head.
While I was in the same house as B, I was constantly aching to be with her instead of working at a computer or listening in on conference calls. It hit me the hardest when I was asked to travel for work in December, around the same time we realized B was transitioning to one nap a day. The combination of having to travel for a job that I was no longer passionate about, and knowing B was getting old enough for morning activities that I wouldn't get to be a part of was too much. I hit that breaking point hard. It was time to take a step back and figure out a new plan. I put in my two weeks notice while on the work trip (best to do these things in person when you're halfway across the country typically!) and here we are.
These days I'm balancing B in the mornings (she and I are loving all the play dates, park trips, and even a weekly music class) with part-time work in the afternoons/evenings after B's asleep for the family business. In many ways, it's a lot busier than my working days, but I feel like I can breathe again. My house is 10x messier now that Lolly/my mom isn't here daily, and that's just a fact of reality. It's also come with some lifestyle changes, I won't lie! I've been making conscious efforts to budget in the most cost-effective ways, and if you've been following me on Instagram Stories you now know I'm a converted ALDI fan. I've been cooking at home a lot more, and although the dishes never end, this has been such a good change for us three. You may have also noticed more sponsored posts popping up on social media and the blog. My weekend naptime hustle is starting to pay off! This blog is still such a creative outlet for me - I love that this space is a place that A.) Brings in a little extra income, but also B.) Gives me a place to share, be creative, and jot down important moments in our life. A big hug and thank you if you enjoy following along - I love blogging and sharing this space with all of you.
In short, I am loving being home with B. It's been an adjustment, and will continue to be an adjustment, but it's been so, so good.