Working from Home

Posted by  | Saturday, April 3, 2010  at 4:21 PM  

Hello! My name is Katie Laird. I’m 27 and I’m a photographer. My wonderful sister-in-law Margaret asked me to share a little about my life as a working mom. 15 months ago, my husband (Dave) and I welcomed a beautiful little girl into this world. (at home, just like her cousins!) She is such a blessing to us, and we are so thankful for this little gift God has given us.

About 6 years ago, Dave and I started our own photography business. We started out with his sister’s senior pictures, and today we do all kinds of photography-from weddings to business head shots. We are able to primarily run the business out of our home. However, it takes about 10 to 15 hours a week in the off-season and about 20-30 hours a week during the busy season for me to stay on top of the tasks and jobs we have. (Dave no longer works at home with me; he is a Graphic Designer at a print shop in town)

Growing up my mom ran a beauty shop out of our house, so she was able to stay home with us, but also earn an income. We started the photography business with this type of set up in mind. I would be able to stay home and still earn an income.

My daily schedule is jam packed from the second my feet hit the floor in the morning until I fall exhausted into bed at night. It's a struggle some days to juggle being the wife I need to be, giving Brianna the attention she needs, keeping up with the needs of my clients, and some days, my pets are so needy I want to just get rid of them. I do a lot of my work during nap time. Thankfully, Brianna still takes 2 naps every day. I know I will have to redo my entire day when she drops her morning nap, but for now, we have found a routine that works:

7:30am: I get up and shower and sometimes have a chance to get started on working for the day

8:30 to 9:00am: Brianna wakes up (She has been a GREAT sleeper since day one!)

9:00 to 10:30am: Breakfast and play for a little bit

10:30/11:00am: Brianna lays back down for a nap, I head to the office and start work for the day

12:00/12:30: Brianna wakes up

12:30: Lunch

1:00 to about 1:30ish: I do “house things” – dishes, laundry, cleaning etc.

1:30 to 2:30: Brianna and Mommy time. If she wants to dance, we dance, if she wants to draw, we draw, if she wants to pick up sticks in the front yard and throw them, we do that. I make sure we do whatever she wants, and I don’t answer my phone or do any other work during this time

2:30 to 4:30: Brianna naps and I work some more. I also do my quiet time at this time

4:30 to 5:00: I start working on dinner; Brianna eats a snack and plays

5:30: Dave gets home and we generally eat shortly after that

After dinner, we do “family stuff.” Take a walk, play in the yard etc.

7:30/8:00: Brianna goes to bed.

After Brianna is in bed, some nights I have to go back to work, but I try not to do that. I like to save this time for me and Dave. Sometimes we work out together, sometimes we just sit and talk, and sometimes we just lounge on the couch and watch TV.

I admit some days are over before I know it, and I look back and realize I didn't take any time to just sit, and be quiet, and be alone with God. Everyone needs a little "me and God" time every day, and some days, I just don't get that. I hate that it happens.

But I'm working on that. I'm working on realizing that clients won't hate me if I tell them their pictures will be ready on Tuesday, and in fact I get them ready on Wednesday. I'm finding out that the dishes CAN wait until after Brianna is in bed. Believe it or not, Julia Child's ghost won't come haunt me at night for cooking a frozen pizza for dinner sometimes. Martha Stuart's police have yet to knock on my door and hand me a citation for not having craft time every day with Brianna. I tend to get so wrapped up in what I think is "expected" of me as a mom in this century, that I forget to just sit back and realize that I need to spend time trying to please God, not man.

Is this an ideal situation? No. To be honest, I’d rather be simply a stay at home mom with nothing more on my plate than keeping a clean house and raising a child. But we need the income from the business to survive. So I have tried to find the best balance that I can between all of my duties. Some days, I just want to scream, other days, I LOVE it. Being a mom brings enough challenges with it, that’s for sure, but I am thankful that God has helped me handle the extra stress of running a business on top of those challenges. Time will tell if this is the right path for us, but for now, we feel like God has provided a way for me to earn income, but also stay home with Brianna. Because I set my own schedule, I am still able to do a lot of things that other stay at home mom’s do. We go to a play group once a week, we have a zoo membership and we go to parks and the library on occasion. I want to make sure that being a mom to Brianna is WAY ahead of owning a business. I am thankful that God has helped me find that balance.

3 comments:

KC said...

What does your daughter do while you are doing work stuff? My son sticks to me like glue. He thinks when I sit down at the computer, it is his time to look at pictures of babies :)

Katie said...

Dear KC,
I do most of my office work during nap time, however, some days I'm not quite done when she wakes up. I have a bunch of toys in the office for her to play with. When she gets tired of that, I turn to Youtube :) She will usually watch 2 or 3 5 min videos before she gets bored, and by that time, I try to finish up my work. There are some days that I simply can't put her down (ie-when she's sick, or tired and just wants held) On those days, I don't try to work while she's awake. She is generally an easy kid and just goes with the flow. I really am so thankful for that. I know if God should give us another one, my whole day will drastically change!

ChezDeshotels said...

Katie,

Thank you so much for sharing your story I also work from home as a photographer/party planner as well as run a boutique. My sisters and I have 2 companies Once Upon a Party where we plan princess parties etc... I do all the photography and then we have Faux Posh Boutique where we sell all things little girly:) Anyway we stay busy but I so appreciate what you said about expectations of being a mom and what God asks of us and I am a super organized planner that puts hard expections on myself as a mom. Thank you for reminding me how to focus all of my roles

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