You blink and you miss it (A personal post)

On August 20th 2013 my beautiful baby girl was placed in my arms. She is devine, she is the happiest of babies, a true delight. I am lucky.

Its now though time I make a confession. A week ago my baby hit the 6 month mark. I know people say that they can’t tell you where 6 months have gone, heck, I have even said it myself numerous times, but I really can’t tell you what has happened in the last 6 months. My baby has grown, she is amazing, she is hitting all her milestones, as is her awesome older brother, but I missed it.

A few weeks ago I went to the doctor with suspected mastitis. I felt terrible, couldn’t get myself out of bed. Had major trouble functioning. Actually to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t functioning.

The doctor ruled out mastitis and and sat me down to give me the hard truth. What I was suffering from was exhaustion. Pure and simple and if I didn’t slow the hell down I was going to fall down. He really wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t already know. I felt it, I got through the day to day, but barely. I did everything at about 25%, and some things less than that. I was forgetful, moody, not even slightly patient with my self, kids or husband.

I was being a sub standard mother, friend, daughter, sister and most of all wife. I was putting everything into taking photos of everyone else’s beautiful families but I was just going through the motions in all other aspects of my life, so self involved but not even giving the things I was focusing on 100%. Friends had babies, bought houses, had birthdays, I missed it. I wasn’t there. I didn’t show them how happy I was for them, I didn’t show them the same enthusiasm they showed to me when all those exciting things happened to me. I have felt friendships slipping. They don’t tell me, bless them, they smile when I apologise, tell me its fine, but I know its not.

I am writing this confession of sorts because so many people tell me they don’t know how I do what i do, as in work the hours I work, and function. My standard reply is that I am lucky I am not one of those people that need a huge amount of sleep. I totally believed it coming out of my own mouth. Its not true. I know that now.  I think its important to be honest in that respect. Its hard  to raise babies and work, we  judge ourselves and measure ourselves against other mothers and its nice to know that others feel the same way you do.

I went back to work seven days after having Pippa and I worked up until the day before. Out of necessity and because I am truly passionate about my job. I love it, I love recording peoples special memories. I don’t want to give it up, I will not give it up. But I have had to find a balance. I have the most beautiful, amazing, compassionate and understanding clients. I am so lucky. They have stuck with me through thick and thin i don’t think I can ever truly express how grateful I am everyday to have them. This is so true of my family and friends also.

I guess I am writing this post to remind people of how important it is to look after yourselves. To appreciate your little people, your families and your friends. Life is too short and it goes by in an instant. Don’t miss it. Don’t let life and money worries get in the way of whats truly important. Life is back on track these days and I am taking the time to make sure that I am present in every minute. Its what the people I love deserve. Its what my clients deserve. Its what I deserve.

Jayne Cohen - March 5, 2014 - 2:36 pm

It’s a hard lesson to learn Erin, but thank you so much for sharing your journey! I too felt like that with my first child. It took my second to come along to realise that actually, I can’t do it all. My goal for 2014 is to ‘let go’ more often, and slow down and enjoy. Hope you can keep that balance too! J

Candice Tapp - March 5, 2014 - 8:57 pm

It takes courage to be honest with yourself and to share those words Erin. You are an amazing woman in so many ways. You always need to look after you so that you can be everything you want to be. So thankful to have you as my friend and to have had you photograph some of the most important moments in my life. xx

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