This post has been brewing in my head for a few months now. I’ve been wanting to put into words how starting my photography business has actually helped me let go of something I think most moms struggle with, mom guilt. As mothers we want to make sure everyone is taken care of and everyone has what they need, and a lot of times that means putting ourselves last. When we do spend the time and money on ourselves sometimes there is a feeling of guilt that comes along. We think about those precious resources and how they could be used to help our kids instead. I’ve been there too and I’m here to say you don’t always have to feel bad.
About a year ago I decided I really wanted to buy a nice camera. I really wanted to learn how to shoot in manual, where I could tell the camera exactly what I wanted it to do. I needed a dslr to do this, and I knew that meant spending more. I really debated about it. How could I justify spending hundreds of dollars on something that was just for me? Sure if one of my kids needed something I had no problem buying it. Ballet classes, or new shoes, expensive formula when my youngest had a milk allergy, sure, no problem. But for me? I wasn’t so sure. And that’s when I knew it was the mom guilt that was keeping me from doing it. I let it go and spent the money and it turned out it was the best decision I’ve made in a long time for not only myself but also my family.
That camera ended up fueling a passion inside of me. A passion for photography and it opened this door of creativity that had been shut for such a long time! Raising two littles took a lot of time and a lot of my energy. I told myself if I am spending this much on a camera I am going to learn how to use it, and I did! I took it everywhere, yeah I was that mom at the park with her big camera snapping photos of her kids on the swings. I couldn’t put it down, and I ended up starting my own photography business.
This business has been such a blessing! Not only for me but my family also. I’ve been able to contribute financially for the first time in five years. We’ve been able to use my photography money for birthday parties and Christmas gifts and even another camera! Yup, I just upgraded to a new camera and this time I had zero guilt about spending so much on a camera, and this one cost about three times more than my original one!
The reason I had zero guilt over buying my next camera was because I had let go of that voice inside me that says it’s wrong to think about myself or put myself first sometimes. As a mom we are so used to doing for others, it’s our nature. And while a lot of times that’s how it should be, I’ve learned in the times I have done for myself it ends up being a good thing for my kids as well. Because I took that risk and bought the nice camera and nurtured that passion of mine, I was able to pay for Sleeping Beauty to come to my daughter’s birthday party, and that was such an amazing thing!
So I’m here to tell you it’s time let go of the mom guilt. Sometimes we need to do something for ourselves. Sometimes we need to go on a run, or walk, or have a girl’s night out. Whatever that looks like to you, whatever brings you joy or rest, do it. Because in the end it will end up helping your kids and your family. I’ve always loved that saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” It’s so true, especially in motherhood. I’m so happy I bought that first camera and gave myself permission to go after my passion of photography, because doing that one thing for myself has brought me so much joy and it has really made me a better mom.