One thing is VERY important for me to share with other aspiring mamas, adopting mamas, expectant and current mamas.. and that is: this is a trial and error situation you're entering. You can love kids to the moon and back, but when they're born, you have to learn how to calm that kid down and meet their needs. Everything will figure itself out, but you must give it time! Don't beat yourself up! The biggest lesson I openly share in the beginning stages is that my husband, no matter HOW sweet he was, was kind of lazy. We didn't realize until Cammy was born that I was not only doing almost the entire share of the household work and duties, but that we never even REALIZED that! And we considered ourselves to be in a very egalitarian relationship...but that doesn't add up! We really struggled the first six months. I was so miserable and we bickered left and right! Finally-- I told him, I'm running a business, tending to a baby AND cleaning TOO MUCH! You have to step up! After that? SO MUCH BETTER. When he stepped up and took helping out like with the dishes, laundry, trash, etc seriously...our relationship improved and he felt better about himself!
But then..fast forward a couple years later and we couldn't explain the rough patch we had re-entered. He was doing dishes, he was helping with laundry and such..so it wasn't that. Why in the world were we always feeling so.....drained.....so alone and distant from each other? It was so simple, and it was in my hands the whole time. I didn't see it until I had a big revelation! I was working TOO MUCH on the weekends! As a wedding photographer, I am already shooting several Saturdays (and sometimes others, but mostly Saturdays) during the year. So why in the world was I booking engagements, bridals and other sessions on the other OPEN Saturdays and on sacred family Sundays?! I felt like I owed that to my clients...but what about OUR LIFE? When would I see my family? I made a hard decision, but it sure changed our ENTIRE lives! I now no longer shoot on Sundays or Saturdays off unless a wedding is scheduled. My clients are SO gracious, they're so respectful and understanding! They admire my honoring being a good mother above all and that means two little girls having BOTH parents with them on the weekends, and a stronger family bond overall!
Everyone's dynamic will look different...but here's my main point. Please, schedule time for your relationships with your husband and children like you would a work shift-- SHOW UP for it, take it seriously. If you have to block it out in your planner, do it! People tend to feel pent up and become resentful when they are being neglected and it can destroy beautiful things, so make time for those you love!!! Nothing else is worth those moments you can make and the time you can never get back! :)
Editor's Note: Amanda recently started a monthly newsletter called Boss Ladies & Babies, for anyone who is trying to juggle both a business and children! You can sign up for it here.
Click here to see more marriage advice from Beyond the Big Day.
Hey there! My name is Amanda Hedgepeth and I'm a wedding photographer living in the sunny salt-aired Outer Banks in North Carolina! I have two daughters, Ellie is 1, Cammy is 3, and I'm married to the sweetest nerd and kindest soul I've ever met! I'm entering my fifth year with my business and the unique thing about our story is that my business AND family grew at the same time, as in, I was pregnant (and didn't know quite yet) during the first wedding of my career until the last a few weeks before delivery that year. Then I balanced with a new baby the second year, then the third year brought another pregnancy upon us and during the fourth year, I had a new baby, a toddler and a booming business! We travel as a family to mama's events whether it's weddings or speaking engagements and we wouldn't have it any other way. Our family is a tribe and we make the best out of every day!
Website | Facebook | Instagram