Some of this entry is hard for me to write, mostly because I am about to share things that are deeply personal. So please bear with me as I get all of this out!
I received an inquiry from a potential client regarding availability in a particular month. Unfortunately, I book out several months in advance and I informed her that I did not have space for her. I was taken aback by her response when she accused me of being unprofessional and promptly hung up on me.
The truth is though, I don’t want to turn away clients, especially expectant Mommies.
If she had been patient with me and listened, I might of told her I could wait list her in the event that one of my Mommies went early or late (as they often do).
I wish she had known why I can’t take on extra clients.
If she had let me, I might have told her how heartbroken I was when I found out that our oldest daughter had not told me about an optional school project because she knew I “wouldn’t have time” to help her with it.
If she had let me, I probably would have confessed that when my son took the first three steps he has ever taken, I was looking away because I was stressed out about getting sets together for the newborn session I had the next morning.
If she had been patient with me, I would have told her that I felt that my success in business was coming at the expense of my very own children. I felt like I was missing too much. I was not enjoying things, had stopped volunteering at the school, was saying “no” to field trips more often because of my insane schedule and barking orders at these tiny little humans who love me and are really just looking for a few minutes of my undivided attention without a screen in front of my face or a phone in my hand.
A decision had to be made, the way that all decisions do, so when our Christmas Vacation rolled around and I came home needing a holiday from my holiday, I drew a line in the sand. I went from 6 (sometimes more in the summer) sessions per week to 2. It was more than manageable. It means that my clients get the best of both worlds. I feel like I am able to provide them with more of my undivided attention and foster our relationship without feeling rushed or stressed about what’s next.
At the same time, my children get their mother.
The best part? This:
We finally went away for a mini-holiday last weekend and I actually enjoyed myself. I smiled and laughed a lot. I flew a kite with our middle baby and blew giant bubbles with our oldest. I packed our tiniest human into the Ergo and took a long walk up the beach with him and we both watched the sun sink into the Pacific Ocean. My husband built a bonfire and I just sat, watching.
I watched our two girls snuggle together on a log with a blanket wrapped around themselves. I pushed the hair out of middle baby’s face and tucked it behind her ear. She looked over at me, smiled and said “I Love You Mom”. I knew in that small moment that I had made the right decision for my family, my business and myself.
I am stressed less and I can do more. I stopped putting off getting fit and cleaned up my family’s eating habits. I limited Facebook time to once per day, and only 10 minutes at a time. I lay on the living room floor in the middle of the afternoon and let our toddler crawl all over me and give me kisses. I stopped yelling. I can go for lunch with my best friend. I can walk 5 miles. I read books (when was the last time I did that??) and actually have time to take photographs of my own children.
Every day that goes by is an opportunity. To me, slowing down is capitalizing on that opportunity. I needed to do it, and my children and husband needed me to do it too.
It isn’t often that I end up turning down a new client. Please believe me when I say that it doesn’t mean that I don’t want you as a client, it is quite the opposite.
What it does mean, is that I am doing what I hope you will do with your new little one once they arrive. Be there.