Oh Joy

that juggling thing...
9 Dec 2013

Oh-joy-ruby-kiss

Last year I wrote a post about that juggle that we all have to do with work/life/family/everything else, and how I try to instill some semblance of balance in my life. A year later, I still believe in all those things I talked about, but boy...is this hard or what?

I'll be honest, guys, I'm exhausted. My life—both work and personal—has changed so much in the past year, and the juggle has gotten much harder. I've since taken on a staff (salaries to pay), a studio space (another rent to pay), a bunch of large projects coming out (which means I place more expectations on myself), and I have a toddler who needs and wants more from me in ways that I love, but also make me feel more torn.

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We have part-time child-care so I'm basically a part-time stay-at-home mom with a full-time business. And that math doesn't really work out, so it ends up that I'm working around the clock, in the evenings when Ruby is in bed, on weekends during naps, and and pretty much anytime she's asleep. Bob and I rarely get to hang out by ourselves just doing nothing, except for when we have date night outs, and then I usually come home afterward and work some more. It's a constant juggle and shifting of priorities. I take Ruby to gymnastics class, to the playground, and to play dates, while checking in with my team at the office, designing projects, planning and concepting our next photo or video shoot, and responding to emails. Sometimes my head just feels like it might explode. I feel guilty that I have to leave work to get home to Ruby, I feel guilty when a project doesn't turn out 100% like I wanted it to because I couldn't stay longer and make it better, I feel guilty when I start an argument with Bob because I'm taking my stress out on him, I feel guilty when I make a crappy meal for my family because I was too busy with something else to think about dinner until 20 minutes before it had to be served, I feel guilty when I can't see my friends as often because I want to spend that time with my family.

I just feel guilty all the time.

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I find myself envious of my friends who can be full-time stay-at-home moms and who don't have to rush to their computer to work the second their kids are in bed. I also find myself jealous of those who go off to a job where they work 9-5, and then can leave work at work and come home to 100% personal time. I find myself jealous of my friends who don't have kids and wonder what the heck I spent my time doing pre-baby, because I had so much more time that I didn't take advantage of. The grass is always greener, I suppose. I know that I need to work, that I want to work, and that my creative brain thrives off doing so many things. I also know that my daughter will only be little for so long, and I am lucky to get to spend the extra time with her that I do. But that doesn't make it any easier.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I get asked all the time how I do it all, and I just had to say that I don't. I try my best, I ask for help, I choose my battles, I love the people in my life as much as I can—sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail—but mostly, I am still just figuring it out.

UPDATE: Thank you so much to everyone for you kind comments...I was really scared to write this post but happy to see it resonated with so many. I want to let you know that even if I don't get to respond to all of you, I have read each and every comment and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

{Thanks to Sydney for inspiring this post. Top photo by Bob Cho, middle photo by Bonnie Tsang, bottom photo by Rachel Thurston.}

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