Today my 2010 begins anew. Forget January and all its mess. Today I begin again, and on the right foot this time. Many changes are taking effect today, including my resignation of Manager of the Universe. ;) Apparently, I had taken that title on all by myself, without thinking to ask Him for it in the first place. And what I found out (the hard way), what this: that particular job was never mine, nor was the position ever open to begin with. It was already filled, thankfully, by Someone much more clever and wise than I am, or ever thought I was. I've realized, finally, that I do not have to "do it all myself" for my work to be valid and important. I do not have to be all things to all people, nor do folks probably even expect that of me. I am allowed to have help in raising my children (in addition to my husband, I mean!). It's okay that Lila has a wonderful, loving babysitter throughout the day or goes to a trustworthy, enriching in-home daycare instead of being attached to my hip all day long. (Although I do think she was learning Photoshop from all the time she spent on my lap here in front of my monitor!) She will learn from her new experiences and most likely have a blast with the other kids in the meantime. And that is certainly more valuable than having a stressed-out mama who is trying to stretch herself to the limit and do it all for her.
I'm allowed to have help in running my business. I can delegate and teach someone else to do some of the things I do, and my business might just blossom from the extra freedom (and time!) I will have to be more creative. It's okay for me to let go of my need for control and let other people assist with certain things. I do not need to do it all alone in order to be a wonderful Mama, the perfect wife, an amazing photographer or ideal sister/daughter/granddaughter/friend.
So if you think that I'm less of a photographer if your prints are ultimately matted and wrapped by an assistant instead of by me personally, or that my husband (God love him) delivers your print order to your home (or takes it to the post office for me)... or if you think that I'm not as dedicated of a mother if my 5-year-old is in Kindergarten and I still don't have my 19-month old here at home with me every day (truthfully, I'm getting a lot more accomplished while she's off learning and playing, and I still have some sanity left when the "witching hour" rolls around). If you think I must be a terrible wife if my husband regularly eats take-out for dinner rather than a home-cooked meal every night, well, then, that's okay with me. Really, it is. Because miraculously, that man of mine still loves me, take-out boxes and all. My two children still think I hung the moon (until they become teenagers, perhaps?), and my imagery might even get better now that a little more of my creative spirit is being rejuvenated. I may continually have to battle my old self-reliant ways, or in Lila's words, my ache to proudly say, "I do dat! I deed eet!" All by myself.
Today, I begin again. I am immediately demoting myself to the position of simply "a super woman". But not necessarily "Super Woman". And I'm okay with that. There is no decrease in benefits, I've discovered ~ only more of them.
Whew! That felt good. :)
I know I'm not alone in this place in my life. Maybe just a little behind ~ or ahead of ~ some of you. Have any of you mothers, photographers, wives, friends out there ever felt the way I'm feeling now? What did you do to create less stress on your family, and yourself, to make everything balance out? I'd love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments section! xo
ETA: Even if you don't have tips and tricks, you're certainly welcome to add your thoughts here! Even commiserate if you need to! I have loved reading every one of your comments ~ so many of you have touched my heart and made me tear up while reading your sweet uplifting words. Thank you so very much for validating my feelings and letting me know that I was not alone in this crazy way of thinking. You've all certainly blessed my day! xoxo, Stacey