Hustling With Belly
Some of you are familiar with the initial struggles of our pregnancy journey. For those that aren't, you can catch up on our story here. Today's post is a bit of an update I suppose--I've been wanting to confess and share the struggles of hustling with this growing belly. I want to make it clear that my intentions for sharing personal struggles is not to complain or hold a virtual pity party. Rather, I share these stories with you to be completely authentic in my journey as a female photographer + entrepreneur. I've always felt that putting a spotlight on my successes were equally as important as exposing my failures, the hard work, ugly work, and un-glamourous side of this hustle.
Pre-pregnancy, I thought I had it all figured out. I prepared a detailed mental proposal of how I was going to conduct my business as I entered into motherhood. The universal recommendation of "taking it easy" was not going to be an option. I'd continue my 7 to 4. I'd fill my YouTube channel with endless 'How-To" videos. My Facebook Live Tip Tuesday's would increase my social media visibility. Back-to-back 8-hour weddings? No problem. Continue to network like ever before. And fit a healthy balance of fitness and nutrition between it all. It was the perfect business + pregnancy plan. My greatest pride by the end of this pregnancy would be saying, "I did it all." Cue the chuckles from all mothers + expecting mothers...
In my first trimester, morning sickness hit me like a ton of bricks. I intentionally slept more than I would stay awake. The couch, reality shows, and murder documentaries became my best friend. Business endeavors was the last thing, if ever a thing, that was on my mind. I had to cancel meetings, book time, friend time, happy hours, gym time--all gone. And my greatest fear became a reality--I lost my passion, my drive, and love for photography. Worst of all, I started to question whether I wanted to carry on with the pregnancy. My plans turned against me. I felt defeated. I felt lost. I felt like a complete, outright failure as a business women and a mother.
Five months into the pregnancy, I'm happy to share that my nausea has diminished for the most part. I've slowly regained my energy. The passion for photography and my business that I once thought had left me indefinitely returned back into my arms and I've been squeezing the hell out of it ever since. Physically seeing and feeling my growing and kicking belly also allowed me to wholly embrace the beginnings of motherhood without feeling any sense of guilt.
My experience taught me to accept and embrace this new business plan--far from the one I had originally formulated. As I enter the beginning of the many stages of motherhood, I've learned that my business will never be the same. I've learned to be more forgiving of myself, that it's more than okay to pause and take a step back. I've learned to push forward despite the difficulties. I've learned that nothing is more important and precious to me than this baby girl.
Now my greatest pride by the end of this pregnancy and as I continued forward finding the right balance between work and baby, will be saying, "I didn't quit." And my friend, I hope you never do either.