This photo was shot in the midst a recent photo shoot for Dr. Hubs. It was my job to keep him happy, lighten the mood, keep the conversation going so he didn’t get too serious/bored. I was dressed nicely with my hair and makeup done in case we had time to snap a few shots for Real Plastic Wife, or if we felt inclined to take a shot as a couple. But truth be told, I was so tired. I could barely rally to keep his mood up let alone mine.
But this shot catches it all. Pregnancy is hard. Marriage is hard. Running a business is hard. Motherhood is hard. Being a woman is hard. In that moment I was truly captured. All the months of hard work, thinking, late nights, early mornings with the kids, running errands, trying to look like I keep all my SugarHoneyIcedTea together. In that moment when the photographer turned around and saw me sitting there, pressed the shutter and boom. Real.
This pregnancy hasn’t been all roses. Nausea, weight loss, a few health struggles that set me back on staying healthy for baby have really made it hard. I’ve been battling insomnia for weeks…often I’m in bed early but can’t fall asleep until 1/2am. Then the kids wake me up around 7:30/8…So I barely feel rested. Caffeine isn’t an option really…I’m allowed one cup of coffee a day but because of nausea I’m happy with getting half a cup of heavily sugared coffee down in the morning. At the end of a day I put my varicose vein covered legs up and generally can’t function beyond a few words. I’m honestly exhausted despite ‘slowing down’, delegating huge parts of my job and getting almost full time helps with the kids.
And marriage. Where do I start with that one? When we got married I knew he was in residency to become a plastic surgeon but I didn’t entirely know what that entailed. Now almost 15 years later, I’m amazed. Shocked really. We’ve made it through the residency, additional years of fellowship training, a couple of job changes and starting a private practice. Somehow we’ve survived two kids (and are about to embark on the third to outnumber us). A handful of cross country moves, house renovations, and of course our most recent renovation a 7,000 sq ft office. I don’t know how the hell he puts up with my constant state of ‘overwhelmed’.
I could never lie to you and say that any of what we do is easy. Do we strive to keep our lives as simple as possible, yes. But in the end, the form of medicine Dr. Hubs practices and the industry which our business is centered is not an easy one. Every patient matters, every staff member makes a difference. Each day is a new challenge. We can’t take our eyes off the details or the bigger picture for a second. The same goes for our kids. We keep them close, we want opportunities for them we didn’t have ourselves. But we also want them to enjoy their childhoods right now. It’s a delicate balance that we can’t lose sight of for a minute.
All this and so much more is in this photo to me. Actually the photographer sent it to me two days later and I was floored. It’s a stunning portrait, but more then anything she captured that moment in time that I hope I don’t repeat in the future. I’m not complaining, I’m just stating a fact: life is hard. Everyone struggles. Everyone wishes for more or dreams of the future. Everyone is human and has limitations…including me.
Do you have a photo of yourself that really captures your spirit in the moment?