JTSTDFcoverIt’s 5:15 am on a Tuesday and while most still have a few hours left of glorious sleep left in their cycle, I rip myself from mine to get to my desk to get a jump start on answering questions for the photography class I am teaching before the two-year-old wakes up and it all goes to shit. I pray (literally) as I creep down the hall to my office that it will be one of ‘those’ mornings when I get bonus time (i.e. she sleeps until 6:30 am) which would also not only get me some work time in, but afford me a shower (!!) and a chance to open up the house downstairs so I can start my day on a good note. But no, apparently this morning was another one of ‘those’ mornings. So as I answered the first question from my class, at 5:25 am (yup, a whopping 10 minutes later!) a screech of ‘mommmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa’ rips through the house. That screech is the constant reminder that signals another day of having zero control over my life/work. Let the daily hustle, the struggle of the juggle and the full on ‘pivoting’ begin.

Working from home and running a business is not for the weak. My story? I got married later in life. Well, by most standards that is… I was in my mid-30’s coming off a great career in advertising followed by a stint in mortgages and then after my first child was freelancing at a startup parenting site. There’s always pros and cons to doing these mega life changes later in life. My pro is I got to do a lot of living before suburbia called, but the con? I’m fucking old. OK, well not old, but older-er and as I sit here and type, I have a 2-year- old that my 46-year- old self-has to manage and it’s a lot harder than managing a 2-year- old in my 30’s when I had my first girl.

As tough as knew the whole balance act would be working from home, after having my first child, I knew one thing for sure: I wanted nothing to do with corporate America anymore. Cue the hustle.

After studying film photography after hours while still in the corporate world, and always having it as my go-to hobby, I decided I wanted to see if I could make a business of it. I had marketing and advertising experience from my former career and even started a business before: BabyHipWear: Hip clothes for your hip kids. After my first was diagnosed with hip dysplasia there were no clothing companies offering clothing to fit over her full body harness. I have a hustlers brain and by nature, if there’s a problem, well, I have that fix it kind of mentality so I thought ‘what the freak? I will start a clothing line!’ So I did without knowing how to sew a hem. But more on that for a later blog post.

The difference was that business was a labor of love, and I had no intention of it being a money-making venture and, well, I needed money. My husband reacted exactly the same way I would if he came to me saying he was ‘done’ with the NYC corporate grind and wanted to embark on something new. ‘Prove you can make money with it. You have 3 months.’  So, I did. I launched my photography business in 2009 and thus the journey of this hustling wife, momma, and now 3-time business owner began.

A question I get from friends and those that follow my work is ’how do you do it all with balance?’ Folks, I don’t. The plates I juggle in the air come crashing down all around me on a near daily basis, and dependent upon my workload/sleep (or lack thereof) and childcare responsibilities for that particular day, I either dodge the plate or it smacks me straight in the head.

I don’t believe balance in life exists quite frankly, and we, especially as women, put way too much pressure on ourselves to be the wonder woman society loves to highlight. So I take the pressure off myself as much as I can through insanely amazing girlfriends and yoga. I try and embrace the mantra ‘I can only control what I can control’; and lord knows that isn’t a helluva lot.  Though I don’t believe there can be a perfect balance, I do believe in doing things for you in the self-care realm. A lot. WITHOUT GUILT. For example, yoga gives me hope I can at least even out while on the mat without having a complete and utter mental breakdown.

That said, I am so NOT an ‘everything is fine’ kind of person. If you ask, I will tell. The Daily Feels is now my place to share with you what works for me as an entrepreneur/mom/wife, and most importantly what doesn’t work. Because that makes for some serious belly laughing at my expense, I promise you.

All will be told to you with raw honesty, humor and compassion. For we all are managing our own hustle, whatever that hustle may be.

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