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Thursday, April 24, 2014

My 3 Year Old's Photography Skills

This morning I sat down to clean up my iPhone pictures and I found many recent photos my almost 3 year old has been taking when she has my iPhone. Many of these shots involve images of her feet, especially as she sits in the car or shots of the shopping cart at Target. Usually, my instinct is to delete these, but today, I felt I had to keep them and file them away into her own special folder. 

Perhaps I am going through that thing you do when this is your last kid and you take it all in. I don't want to let go of any of these tiny moments because they are growing fast and soon, that image of a tiny foot becomes something else. She will not just be taking pictures of anything she sees for the fun of pushing that little button and hearing the sound of the click. Her photos will become focused on her toys and her little adventures which then turn into pictures of her friends and her bigger adventures. Sure there will be selfies along the way and new photo trends that I can not bear to consider. Rather than think about how fast childhood is and how we will lose these last few baby/toddler moments very soon, I will simply rejoice and enjoy the 25 photos of her feet that I will find on my iPhone the next time I am cleaning up my photos.

Pictures of Feet

 

Selfies and Other Artistic Views of a Toddler's World

 

 

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why I have embraced being at home and not in the office

Why I have embraced being at home and not in the office 

In early 2012, I launched HarpersLove with the idea that I could create my ideal world; take care of my kids full time and create a business that was fun and hopefully profitable. At that point of my life, I was looking for a dramatic change from where my life had been. The corporate world was my home and I embraced it a bit much with all the drama and passion that goes into creating a career. I had two little ones and a new home (+ new long commute that seemed rather time wasting). On paper, I had it all. In reality, I was absolutely not happy and not fulfilled. 

The decision to leave the corporate world was not mine but the decision to not go back was completely mine but one that I struggle with to this day. At the end of the 2011, I lost a job, my first time ever and felt like a total failure. Over the course of the next months, I struggled with being home and trying to cope with a new flesh wound that I did not see coming. I kept my kids in day care for part of the day so I could focus on finding a job, starting a business or just whatever. After four months I realized what I really wanted was to be home with my little ones and try this HarpersLove thing out. My husband was fine with it but of course the financial decision was a concern and continues to be one. 

Flash forward two years and I feel happy, content and ok with where I am. I definitely would not say I am successful professionally but that is fine, I am taking a back seat for a little longer. Who cares? Right. Well I think it is time that more women become comfortable with this role that we grew up despising or being critical of. You know, be a professional, independent woman and all will be great. WRONG! 

The issue is when you focus on a career, you have to focus on more than just the job. The lifestyle of a professional is not what it used to be. Long hours at the office, travel, constant reminders of your professional priorities and somewhere in between all of this, you are supposed to have a life (i.e. raise normal, healthy children or find a husband for you single ladies). The more I read, the more news I see … I am reminded about how hard it is to have it all. Especially mothers. I feel so horrible for working moms and all the obstacles they need to go through to try to keep it all together. I know many women who work would much rather be home or reduce hours at work but for financial reasons, they must work. I feel horrible because there are limited options for these women who have successful careers and slowing down professionally would be disastrous. 

On the other hand, being at home is not easy but without a doubt, I am a much happier woman for choosing this lifestyle. What being at home with young kids teaches you is that you can do anything you set your mind to and no person can poo-poo your ideas, except maybe your kids. I have tried so many new adventures for myself because I have some extra time (yes, you can and must find time for yourself). 

I have met many women in these last 2 years who have various backgrounds, age groups, you name it and all struggle with the work or not to work question. They are completely fabulous women and mothers. They are all simply amazing. This decision is not one that our parents struggled with as much but our generation has something kind of awesome that the previous one lacked; options. Whether it is our education, our previous professional experiences or our financial independence, we have options that can make it easier to do what we truly want to do today.

Let’s celebrate moms who work hard and take of their families on all levels rather than point out why being a working mom vs. a stay at home mom is worse or better or whatever. We all have to do what is best for our families as well as what is the healthiest for us as mothers. 

I am sure my status as a stay at home is limited to maybe another year or two tops, but I am enjoying every moment with my kids because their childhood is moving forward and so must I. I struggle every day to figure out what I want to do. Maybe get my PHD and become a business management professor? Maybe I will take up Zumba on a full time basis and become an instructor? Maybe I will go back to the corporate world and become a junior manager at a small advertising agency? Or perhaps, I can actually make HarpersLove my full time job and then teach one Zumba class a week and teach a local college business class too? Did I mention I also want to be an artist?

Michelle,

CEO of HarpersLove

 

 

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