Maternity leave. It was truly a wonderful thing for me. After I had Rhenner, I was so afraid I was going to lose the momentum that I had recently gained in my business, that I really took no time off. I was shooting sessions until I was about 38 weeks, which meant I was editing all the way up to his birth, and beyond. Then I started shooting again about 3 weeks after he was born….This meant that I literally did not sleep at all in the months following his birth. Not only was I up several times in the night with him, I wasn’t going to bed until after midnight just so I could edit and blog. Add that stress to postpartum hormones, a colic-y baby, and then winter a few months later, and you had one giant recipe for disaster. And that’s exactly what I was – a walking disaster.
I have a feeling that, had we not moved to Utah when we did, I likely would have done the same thing to myself. But since moving created a natural buffer, a period where I literally could not shoot for lack of booking anything, I was forced into a “real” maternity leave. And it’s been such a blessing for me! It was so nice to only have to worry about my family for those first two months, to truly give myself an adjustment period.
I shot my first wedding last weekend. I was incredibly nervous leading up to it – my first wedding after maternity leave, and my first Utah wedding. A lot was riding on this shoot! But afterwards, I felt so refreshed and revived! I felt a part of me and a part of my passion come back that had been lying dormant for the past few months. I’m excited to figure out my new balance – adding another baby, starting our homeschooling journey, and maintaining my home and relationship with my husband. ….Not to mention getting this baby weight off 🙂
Here’s what my maternity leave looked like:
Here is Mirabelle at one month old. The goal is to take a selfie with her at each month mark.
One month vs. two months old
A lot of people have been asking the same question: “SOOO how has it been adjusting to life with three kids???”
At first I didn’t know how to answer, and there question kind of confused me. I finally figured out why:
Because in the back of my head, I was thinking — “But they’re asking me the WRONG question!”
Adjusting to another kid in the family has felt pretty natural and seamless. Mostly because adding a second kid to our family was really hard on me and this time around I was prepared for anything and nothing at the same time, and I was okay with that. So while Mirabelle is not an “angel baby” she is also not as colic-y as Rhenner was. In my mind, she’s just a newborn. Typical newborn – crying a lot, not sleeping much, but with her sweet moments in between
No, it’s not been adjusting to three kids that’s got me down….it’s adjusting to life in Utah. Going from having a huge network of people close by that I could count on not only to watch my kids or bring me dinner, but just to have heart-to-heart conversations with or go on exploring adventures together. I went from an amazing group of friends to…..well, starting over. I took the kids to a nearby park with a huge sandpit in it and seeing Rhenner playing in the sand brought me to tears, because all I could think about was our fun summer adventures on the Bay in Maryland.
It’s been wonderful having family about an hour away. I love them dearly and cherish the fact that I get to spend more time with them now. But I also know I can’t rely on them for my only source of socialization! The nice thing about Facebook is it’s easy to find and join local groups. So, I’ve joined a few Mom groups, homeschooling groups, a running group and even a hiking group! We’ll see where it leads.
I’ve been the new kid before. I know these things take time. It will all work out.