Last year brought so many revelations about how I want to live my life. We were so busy. I mean couldn’t see straight, didn’t know what day it was, why is life passing us by kind of busy. We had some goals (like moving, rebranding and launching a workshop) that required that level of busyness to make them happen. Pile all of that on top of raising a toddler and we were WORN OUT. It was exciting, amazing, and exhausting all at the same time. It was what we need to do, and I’d do it all over again if I had to, but going into 2016 we knew we couldn’t keep living that way. We started thinking about where we need to take our lives.
A few weeks ago I wrote about creating a personal purpose. This has been one of the most FREEING revelations I’ve every had. Deciding that our personal goal in life is to create memories as a family has completely changed the way we operate. We broke down what we needed to make that happen and it came to two things: time and money. Thankfully for us, money is the easy half. We don’t have much debt and can operate off of a pretty small monthly budget. We’re not millionaires (maybe one day, right!), but we make enough to live without that stress hanging over our heads. And every single day, I’m SO thankful for that!!! It’s one of the reasons I launched Darling. I want other women to experience the freedom that can come with build a creative business that helps provide for the family! It’s liberating to know that if you need to you can go out and make extra money for your family!
The hard part for us was time. Time is one of the only things in life that you can’t make more of. You can’t buy it, exchange it, multiply it. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, and you can’t get it back. To us, time is THE most valuable thing we have. So at the end of 2015, we started analyzing what eats our time. The biggest thing was Kyle’s job. We love his company, the benefits and the way they treat their employees, so quitting wasn’t what we wanted for him, but we needed a change. His job required 2-3 days of travel a week, usually at least 1 night gone a week with the other days being 12-15 hour day trips. He was exhausted, I felt like a single mom half the time, and Ada missed her Dad. It wasn’t fair to any of us. That’s when we heard about an opening for a local sales position, with NO TRAVEL!!! He immediately called his boss, put his name in the hat, and thank you Jesus, got the job a week later. He started in January, and our life has completely changed! He’s done most days by 4:30 or 5, and we actually have a life again. We go running, we bike, play with Ada, I actually cook!, we have dinner with friends and the laundry is getting folded on a more regular basis!
That was the first half of our time hurdle. The other half was office work for me. Up until a few month ago, working from home with Ada has been a breeze. She has been such a good self entertainer, and I was able to get most of my work done during working hours (if you’re in the newborn/working from home phase, read this post about how I made it all work!) But then she dropped her morning nap, started wanting more attention, and I was left with only 2 hours of afternoon nap time to get things done. I was feeling guilty that I couldn’t give her the attention she needed, and at the same time feeling guilty that I wasn’t staying on top of my work. I saw this coming last year, which is why I started outsourcing my editing. So that chuck of time was off my plate, but something else had to give. I want time with Ada, but I want quality time. Not attention divided time where I’m pulled multiple directions and nothing has my full attention.
So as of today, we have started with a part time nanny. Ok, not quite a nanny, it’s my sister, but still it’s help. She’s going to help me out a few mornings a week with Ada, and that makes my heart SO happy!!! I was having a hard time imagining hiring a stranger to watch her. It broke my heart to think I wouldn’t get that time with her when someone else would. But I don’t feel that way about my sister. I feel like they’re both getting bonding time, and I think it’s going to be so special for them!
This is only a temporary solution as my sister will eventually have other work duties calling her away, so I’m prepping myself for the day I have to hire outside help. For now, I’m soaking in the extra office time, fully relaxed knowing she’s having fun and in good hands. My goal is to have all of my work done by the time she wakes up from her afternoon nap, so I can focus on her for the rest of the day (when I don’t have a shoot of course)! Already, I feel such a burden lifted!!! With my extra time, I’m going to start blogging more about the systems I have in place for my business that allow me to have a life outside of work! Get ready people, productive A.J. is coming for you!