Come on September, you can do it!

Am I being somewhat misguided with my belief that at some point I will have everything under control?! And that this will then mean that I have the freedom to blog regularly, drive my business skywards and parent in a way that would suggest that I have got this?! Or … is this the norm? I feel overwhelmed by all of it right now, trying to work, being a parent and being a wife. Not in a ‘woe is me’ way, more of a ‘how on earth do I do it all/what is the method’ way!

I started September with such gusto, perhaps too much?! I blame the Virgo in me. If you read any of my previous blogs there is a definite tone of ‘if only I had more time’ to them. Building a business and shocking the world talked about juggling it all and, if I am to be completely honest, when I wrote that it was a little tongue in cheek. I had yet to meet September, I did not know what juggling actually meant.

A busy mother, motherhood

On a parenting note let me quash that belief that when your child starts school you will be drowning in free time to Instastyle business plan. It is a myth. It does not happen. Your time suddenly becomes dedicated to ferrying people to various locations, when you are at home yes, you do have free time however this new free time is simply the same time you had before MINUS two people trailing your every move and undoing your every task. It is a better time yes … and it leaves you with approximately 20 minutes freedom before it is time to pick someone up!

Yes, I have been known to sit on the sofa with either my laptop or phone in hand in a vain attempt at working. This isn’t the time to do it either as this is when my partner in crime aka my husband is here. I don’t want to sit and go through the intricacies of both of our days or look lovingly at one another however I have noticed an enormous difference when sitting watching something together and actually doing that. Not dual screening, that doesn’t work. I was shocked at the lovely feeling I had when we both watched a film together, no phones or laptops in sight. It felt like we had truly done something together, how awful is that?!

So, back to the planning and reorganising of life. Both children are now settled into their new establishments. The puppy is a little easier to manage (that was a battle in itself! I felt so guilty about taking time out to walk the dog rather than to be working, either in the house or on the business!). Then I realised that this could actually become a multi tasking Self Care session. I am being deadly serious here too because I truly believe in this whilst previously also finding it nigh on impossible to put it into practice. For me, this now works. I am out of the house, I am exercising, there are no screens and the dog is being exercised as well as squeezed. That’s some planning right there and it just happened, naturally. Not with yet another list in a beautiful notebook. It wasn’t the way that others do it either. My planning and reorganising now is about doing. At this stage in life it appears to be the only way and I cannot believe that I haven’t accepted this before.

Children are not robots, recipes or reports. They are beings, they are unpredictable. Parenting is exactly the same, it is unpredictable so for the time being I will “unpredictably” build my business and manage my household.

This is most certainly more a parenting blog than a photography one today and that is something that I have tried to avoid … and I have no idea why for I am both. I am not a victim of parenthood though!  I am grabbing that by the same unorganised balls as I am my business! No wine memes, no bitterness and no hippiness. Just a work hard and play hard attitude to it.

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Kate Stoddart-Scott Photography is on it’s way people, it’s on it’s way!

P.S. Yes, I am quite anti people being glued to screens at the moment which is a tad ironic considering I am writing this for others to glue themselves to a screen. Ah, what IS the answer?! And what is the right balance?!

Getting out of the comfort zone, in so many ways.

This weekend I took some photographs for my in laws and for The National Garden Scheme, not something that was in the business plan three months ago! Of course I was happy to take photographs for the in laws however I truly thought that it would be in the ‘dutiful daughter in law’ capacity rather than the ‘aspiring portrait photographer’ one. Wow, I got that wrong!

I am still very much in setting up mode for Kate Stoddart-Scott Photography and have yet to form a definitive list of what it is that I photograph and specialise in. This weekend has made it’s way into the business plan, it showed me that it isn’t what I photograph, it is who it is for.

People are my passion and not because I want to photograph them, it is because I like them! Getting to know someone, finding out what makes them tick, occasionally getting it wrong … these are all wonderful life experiences that when combined they provide you with a sensory overload. I have always been a creative person, I trained at Ballymaloe Cookery School after completing my degree. I thoroughly enjoyed my degree, I just didn’t get the creative kick I needed from it and at the time that I was filling in my UCAS form the creative service industries weren’t ‘promoted’ in perhaps the same way as some other industries. I was a cook, I worked in both commercial kitchens (at which point I called myself a chef!) and then I worked in my own kitchen running a catering company. I met people, I listened to what they wanted and I created it.

Photography was always there and I have no idea why I never considered it as a career. Perhaps it is as simple as I viewed it as my hobby and wanted to continue enjoying it rather than feeling pressured by it. When I announced to those closest to me my plans to start a photography business (not before completing my six month course with Training byLumiere BIG difference between thinking you can take photographs and being taught by the pros!) I immediately felt pressured. I found myself leaving my camera behind at times when I would have taken it with me. The confidence and conviction I had in making the decision to do this was gone. Why? I felt, and still feel, like I have yet to earn my stripes in the photography world.

Every job that I now do, be it for family or clients is another stripe. It is another interaction with a human, also known as a person. It is listening and hearing to what the memory is, before it has happened. And what of the comfort zone? Well, I am out of that every single time that I take a photograph because I am putting myself into someone else’s. This weekend – the flowers, the gardens and the people; those are the comfort zone  of my in laws and they wanted a memory of the day that they welcomed over six hundred people into their gardens, for charity.

On top of that, this is my first foray back into work after having my children. Initially I felt like I had so much to prove. I hadn’t had a salary for over four years AND I was only just getting to know myself again after working my socks off at being a mummy. What better time to have a second career then when you haven’t had one for four years, chipper idea.

I will always be a mummy and I will always work my socks off. I’m enjoying escaping that comfort zone too from time to time however not as much as I am enjoying it when I hear the children ask me if I am going to work or telling someone that I am a photographer.

All of these moments, these experiences, they are me.  So, let me know what you want me to photograph! Me and my newfound comfort blanket (my Nikon D500) are great listeners and just at the beginning of what feels like a pretty good journey!

 

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