When you become a Mom you go through a lot of changes. Your brain suddenly has 50 tabs open ALL.THE.TIME. You become a queen at multitasking. Your focus is suddenly directed on keeping a tiny human fed, cleaned and alive. It’s definitely not a bad thing. In fact, I loved it so much, I did it four times 😉 We love those tiny humans so much, that we don’t even think twice about focusing on our own needs and wants. But what if we did?…Becoming a mother at such a young age, I had to become an “adult” fast. I still had 2 years until I was even “legal.” But I had to take care of this new beautiful boy that chose me to be his Mommy. I’m not gonna lie and say its been a walk in the park, because its been hard. Real hard. But one important thing that I have learned being a Mama for these last 13+ years is that when you take the time to focus on yourself and the things that you love to do, it makes you a better Mom in the long run. Trust me, I know its hard to find time to do things for yourself when you are a Mom. It seems impossible to keep up with the never ending piles of laundry, the cooking, cleaning up all the spills and messes, the wiping of butts and running kids from playdates and extracurricular activities. But it is so important to focus on YOU too! Find the time and make it happen! I realize that this might seem unrealistic to most of you. But trust me, I have been there. As much as we love our tiny humans, they can really suck the life right out of you. Its so easy to get lost and forget who you are and what you like to do. Your children’s interests become your interests. Which is awesome, but don’t lose sight of your own interests in the process. Focusing on me has been hard. It is a journey that I am still trying to conquer. I made a resolution this New Year, that I would stop being so hard on myself. I am definitely my own worst critic. I want to be the best I can be at everything. With that being said, I am so very fortunate that my passion is my profession. I truly love capturing moments in time. It makes my heart so happy! And isn’t that what our children want? They want to see us happy too!!
So… there’s this contest that comes around once a year called the Shoot and Share Photo Contest. Last year at the time the contest was happening; I was in the process of switching my focus to newborn and maternity, so I opted not to enter. This year, I was kinda on the fence. It is SO hard to put yourself out there. My work is a little piece of me, and I was about to enter those precious little pieces amongst over 700,000 other images!! But I felt so compelled to enter! So with 2 hours left to submit, I went through my galleries and pulled 22 photos to enter into the contest. The maximum number of entries is 50. In hindsight, I wish I had decided to enter sooner, and gone all in, but there’s always next year! 😉 There was 25 categories to enter in, and I entered in 8 different categories. The voting for the contest is done completely anonymous. What I mean by that is, when you are voting, you are given four images of the same category with no artist name or any other info other than the image. You choose one of the four, and then the site loads another four images from another category. It goes on, and on, and on until you want to stop. Out of the 22 photos I entered, 9 of them received an award. NINE! 4 scored in the top 30%, 4 scored in the top 20%, and 1 image was a FINALIST!!!! I am over the moon excited!!! It might seem silly to some to be so excited over a silly contest. But it means so much more than an award on the top right corner of my images. It is incredibly gratifying to know that other people like this Paradise Valley newborn photographer’s work. To know that they saw something in my images that made them choose me! Entering this contest has been so good for me. Taking the time to focus on something that I am passionate about is so incredibly good for my soul. I want that for you too! Don’t you?
We all want our kids to grow up and be successful, right? Showing our children how easy it is to focus on a goal and achieve that goal, when we approach it with a positive attitude and mind. Here’s what I want you to do Mama’s…get a notepad and keep it handy over the week. I want you to write down 10 things to do/interests that make you happy. Once you have that list, I want you to do one thing off of it a week. No excuses. Don’t have time? Make the time. Do it for your kids, your husband, your family, your favorite Paradise Valley newborn photographer 😉 but most of all do it for YOU!
Here’s my images that received the finalist award and 20% & 30% awards! They are in order of how they placed in the competition. Thank you to my beautiful clients for allowing me to capture these precious moments for you!!!