It has been a couple weeks now since we celebrated the new year. I have been reflecting and thinking of writing a post about my top moments and the “good feels” but I thought I would take a few minutes to be honest about this past year and how it has stretched me and challenged me as a photographer, wife and mom.
In my town, Fort St. John, it is not unusual to get married around 20 and have kids around 22; some of your jaws are dropping right now so feel free to close them. Why would I start with that you might ask? Because that is me! I know half the people that are reading this would think that is bonkers and the other half are probably fellow mamas, I love you both! Being a wife and mom are first and second in my life and being a photographer is third. This past year though, it came first a lot. It is one of my pitfalls that I must admit to. I am the personality type that has a really hard time saying no. I love serving people and seeing growth in my business. It is so hard in this generation with social media and ad marketing, not feeling like you are lesser than all the others out there. I can honestly say this year I have never felt so much pressure to be constantly booking sessions as well as constantly posting on social media. That seems to be the measuring stick for success in this day and age. Your Instagram must be filled with photos with at least 100 likes to feel like your someone. Also, your follower number must be way up there because I mean, your no one with a small follower base. I found myself checking these things on the daily and stressing about it. How could I be a wife and mom as well as work basically a full-time job. Recently I have been talking with lots of moms that are questioning how it is possible to do it all; have a business, have a healthy marriage and be a present parent, I mean there are tons of them on Instagram! Can I be honest? Like, really honest? I have had so many moments this year of questioning why I don’t have over 1000 followers as well as am I even good at what I do because my weekends aren’t always full? I busted my butt this past year trying to achieve something that wasn’t planned for me to achieve. God works in mysterious ways and He knows I am a fighter and will bring me through hardship till I am exhausted. After a year of pushing and striving because I wanted to be the best, I was there, exhausted.
You are probably thinking, okay Hope, what is the one thing you learned because there seems to be a lot going on here. This is it, my BIGGEST lesson that I have learnt this year is, it’s OKAY to GROW SLOW. I don’t think you guys heard that, it’s okay, to grow slow. Honestly this is a really hard thing for me to say and do but can you hold me to it? My goal this year is still to grow but slow it down. This last year I tripled my income and that is a huge success for me, but things were affected by it. That is why I am saying I need to slow down. I need to get some sleep. I need to spend more time with friends and discipling others. I don’t want to be money hungry I want to be hungry for a healthy marriage and family. If you are a mom and/or a small business owner can I just say, I hear you and I feel your stress. We want so badly to beat the competition and to be on the top. But it is okay to take a step back and slow it down. It will come, it might take a bit longer to get to those goals, but you’ll get there. Let’s all take a step back and thankful for the growth that has happened and move forward knowing that it’s okay, it’s okay to grow slow.