Personal Projects, Learning Curves & Staying Creatively Fulfilled
I am a stay-at-home mom. We chose for me to stay at home and raise our girls. I went to college for too many years (2.5 years at jr. college and 5 years at SJSU). I graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Animation/Illustration from SJSU and have worked for big names like Disney Interactive and Shutterfly. I worked all over the SF Bay Area from San Jose to San Francisco. I had creative fulfillment, coworkers and managers that I loved and, equally as important: a paycheck.
But life changes. Priorities change. Stephen and I wanted a family, and like...pretty much everyone who ever had kids, you have no idea how much they will change your life until they're put in your arms (or laid on your chest because you're numb from the armpits down from your c-section). My first thought when I was told I was having twins was "I'm never going to get to back to work." See, I wanted to go back to work. I never saw myself as the stay-at-home-mom. I wanted to be the career mom! The mom that could do "it all" and have "it all". Ha!
Hadley & Lyra burst into my life in an overwhelming, sweeping, life changing, world altering way...and I couldn't get enough of them. I went back to work when they were 4 mos old, and although they were at a great day care with a woman we grew to think of as family, I wanted to be home. Work was also inconsistent. I was working contracts (and getting a taste of sahm life in between them) and no full-time work was coming my way. Studios were closing left and right. I worked 4 contracts with Tiny Prints/Shutterfly. Half my income paid for child care (two infants is $$$). The Bay Area was becoming unlivable.
In December of 2016 we sold our house in the Santa Cruz Mountains and moved "back home" to the Sacramento area. We wanted to stay close to family but also afford for me to stay home with the girls. But... I have a college diploma... I am an artist... I love my kids.. but what about me? How can I stay creative? How can I use my degree? How can I feel... purpose outside of caring for my children?
Photography. I had taken a film photography course in college (not digital) and always owned 'point & shoot' cameras growing up. I even loved disposable cameras. I got an entry level DSLR in the Christmas of 2015 and ran with it, investing in online courses, offering cheap sessions to friends and family in order to get experience (thank you, thank you). And last November, I decided to become 'too legit to quit' and registered Megan Rae Misson Photography as an official business.
I love shooting families, kids, fresh 48 sessions are my favorite, but it's the personal projects and are freeing...that are the most creatively fulfilling. My kids are hardly ever cooperative (even though it may look the opposite) but they also teach me to embrace all the moments, not just the 'perfect' ones. They teach me to be scappy, to think on my toes and to search for solutions. And the days are long, and the years are short. Finding time to work personal projects into our days sometimes seems impossible.
Purpose isn't linear. Raising our children is obviously meaningful, but continuing to foster my creativity is self-care. I am not just a stay-at-home-mom (no sahm is). I am a photographer, artist, illustrator, content creator, designer, seamstress, booger wiping, booboo kissing, toddler raising mom. Now, smile!
Megan here! I'm a photographer, graphic artist, sushi lover, and mom to twin girls. These are my musings.