Being a mum is tough. There is no getting around it and making motherhood sound like a walk through the park, it is not. There are days when you feel like your tiny little army you created yourself is going to drive you mad. There are days when you really wish you could go to toilet by yourself... :) Just for five minutes.
Running your own business is tough too. It is a lot harder than it looks. Trying to combine the two can sometimes feel like it is too much, but the rewards from both of them make it worth it and so much more. The kids can drive you crazy all day and then you go to get something from the shops, it rains, it is a horrible day and you reach down to take your child's hand and their little warm hand fits into yours so beautifully that it makes you want to stop the time and just enjoy the feeling. A feeling of complete and utter happiness. Moments when your little girl tells you she wants to be like you when she grows up. Moments when your almost teenager wants one more cuddle and kiss before bed time and tells you you are the best mummy in the world. Those moments are what it is all about...
While watching Cinderella (the most recent version) with my little lady for the 11th time I got thinking about the mum's dying words to Ella: "Have courage and be kind." Being kind is not that hard when you really try, at least I don't find it too hard :) Of course there are days when being kind does not come easy, we all have them. The courage one is harder I think. What does it mean to have courage? Taking a step in the right direction? Quitting your job and following your dream? I hope that these count :) because that is exactly what I have done.
Those are rather major steps, having courage can mean very little things.
We all have them, a day when you wake up and just feel ugly and fat. You feel like you don't want to go out, you don't want to do anything at all. Well a book I have recently read suggests taking these days head on. Greet the day with freshly washed hair, with painting your nails a new colour, with that new item of clothing you were saving for a special occasion. The fat day will not go away, but it will not seem half as bad.
It has been proven that even if you feel really bad, you can trick your brain into being happier. All you need to do is smile. Try it, it does work. The muscles around your mouth send a message to your brain that you are smiling and brain somehow makes you feel better.
If you want to take this one step further try smiling whilst walking down the street. You will be surprised but you are quite likely going to get a few smiles back from random strangers and it is a great feeling!
Ok, this might be out of your comfort zone completely but try complimenting someone you don't know. I have tried this and it leaves you with a great feeling. My latest one was in a supermarket, I saw a man in a high visibility jacket with bold black writing on the back which read: "No, I don't f*ing work here!" It made me giggle. So I plucked up courage, went up to him and simply said: " I love your jacket, it is so funny!" We got chatting for a moment and he told me about the reasons for the writing, how he got fed up of being mistaken for a police man and many other things. I left the supermarket with a big smile on my face. It does not cost anything, you might make someone's day and you will feel happier too.
Following your dreams:
For over a year I have been contemplating giving up my part time job, a guaranteed income, to follow my dream of doing photography full time. Well, I finally plucked up the courage, handed my notice in over a month ago and last week was my last day. I was scared. Really, really scared. But I was also really excited. And it is a great feeling. I love photography. I love meeting new people. I love taking photos of babies, kids, families. I have been complimented on my patience with the little ones, I have been called baby whisperer and I always and foremost care about my clients having an enjoyable experience. A lot of my clients come back to me and recommend me to their friends. That to me is the greatest reward. I get to watch little ones grow, I get to be there for the big events in peoples' lives and I would not change it for the world now. Best of all, I get to be there at the school drop off and pick up. I don't panic about school holidays, I know I can attend a sharing assembly and take my kids to their clubs. I have to give up some of my weekends, some of my evenings but it does not bother me as doing something you love does not feel like work :) If I never took the step to follow my dream I would not have found all of this out.
P.S. Since leaving my part time job I booked two weddings to photograph for next year and my calendar is getting pretty busy with bookings into the summer. I think the universe is trying to show me that having courage does pay :D