in the thick of it

Jillian came a little sooner than expected. We were delighted! But it was, in a sense, unplanned. Thank goodness Cooper was the best behaved 6 month old that ever existed, because baby number two was on the way and suddenly the phrase "two under two" was on my mind everyday.  

I started asking everyone I knew who had kids close together about their experience. What was it like? Did you lose your mind and find yourself without a shower for 4 days straight? Most of the women I asked said, "the first three years is a blur," or "get your sleep now!" Even, "HA! Two under two? You're not going to know what hit you."

But one comment stood out among the rest, in a good way. It came from the mother of one of my close friends; a woman who I totally want to be when I grow up. She said, 

"It will be busy, but one day you'll look back and realize that
 you were in the thick of it, even when you didn't know it."

It's been almost a year since those words first hit my heart. I've applied them to so many experiences from my life, and handed them out to others who might be needing them. 

I think everyone can relate to the feeling of looking back and realizing that what you were doing was hard, while recognizing that it didn't last forever.

I know now that I was in the thick of it when I agreed to do a Groupon within four months of starting my business. In the 6 hours that the Groupon ad was live, I sold 406 one-hour photo sessions. I remember so vividly the combination of laughing and crying I did that day... Laughing when I thought of the cheque that Groupon would be sending me, and how it allowed me to leave my day job. Crying when I read the comments from other photographers on a Facebook group that they didn't think I was a part of. Reading that my sale was "literally taking food out of [their] kids' mouths," and that I would surely "be flipping burgers in 6 months because I would make more money doing that than ever being a photographer..." 

I was in the thick of it. 

I thought the 386 sessions that were redeemed would last forever. I thought I would be shooting 21 shoots a week for the rest of time. That's how it felt at least... Little did I know I was accumulating about 5 years worth of experience that would propel me towards the price point and the success that I was dreaming of for my business. 

And when I have a particularly challenging morning with the babies (think "listening ears" for the older one and spit-up for the little one), it feels like we will be living in baby world forever. This is the thick of it...but it's also the time I will cherish the most when my babies grow up and start to live their own lives. Someday they won't want to sit on my lap and do puzzles or read books all afternoon. And I'll look back to this time and think, "that was hard." But really it was so, so good. 

Just like the days of shooting 21 sessions a week. All those days I hustled for my new business...they were so good! I was chasing after a dream and slowly but surely getting closer and closer to it with each shoot. 

I'm posting this today in case one of my readers needs a little reminder that this is the tough stuff. Maybe you're in the thick of it. Maybe you need to cut yourself a little slack or give yourself some appreciation. Maybe you need to share these words with someone who's going through a tough time. 

Either way, I hope those words find meaning in your heart, too.   

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