Five months of juggling motherhood and entrepreneurship has taught me a lot of things, not the least of which is that there will be days when not a thing gets crossed off my professional checklist. Today has felt like one of those days—although if that was actually the case, this blog post would, admittedly, not exist. Some days, my little love will bounce away in his favorite chair and babble for the sake of hearing his own voice; he’ll nap on schedule and beam at me when we make eye contact. Other days, he’ll refuse to nap, demand that I hold him (while standing and bouncing) all day long, and cry with all of his might if I attempt to do otherwise. It’s days like this—when the balancing act seems completely untenable—that I must remind myself to breathe in, breathe out, and know how lucky I am to have the flexibility I do.

It’s a conversation I’ve been having since long before my son was even an idea—the question of work-life balance, of “leaning in,” of whether women can indeed have it all.  The rhetoric around (career) success and (personal) fulfillment in the context of motherhood continues to be a topic of concern now, as I volley between reluctantly breaking from my work schedule to give myself some much-needed mama-baby (or just mama) time, and feeling guilty for not paying my son enough attention as I attempt to get through my queue of professional to-dos. And for my circle of mama friends, it’s an ever-present dilemma. We talk about it over tea and nursing babies: the unimaginable weight of love and gratitude that comes with motherhood; the relief we sometimes feel to be returning back to work.

I don’t pretend to know the answers, or even think, quite frankly, that there are any that aren’t entirely specific to each mama out there. But I bring it up today because it’s something I think about every time I begin to edit a maternity or newborn session, like the one showcased below. Because we all experience it, in our own way, the struggle to be the best version of ourselves in all of our capacities. So here’s to you, mamas and expecting mamas alike, for doing your best every day, giving yourself the credit you’re due for your amazing accomplishments, and cutting yourself some slack when not everything goes as planned.

PS – Enjoy these sweet images of baby Sybil. If you’d like to see her in mama’s belly, too, you can find their maternity session here. xo