Money can't buy you happiness... but it can buy chocolate and coffee and really, what is the difference?

Oct 2, 2014

Hello October! See you soon, Thanksgiving and Halloween!! There is so much to look forward to in the coming weeks, but so much to fear as well.  It's evident each brisk morning... winter is fast approaching and I personally am not the least bit prepared for 6 months of bundling up and hibernating indoors.  Have you met my child? My constantly on the go, into everything child?! I envision what it will be like to spend every day cooped up in the house.  We might both go insane.  Mostly me. And oh, the mess this house shall become.  
I've been in a bit of a rut lately.  While there is absolutely nowhere that I'd rather be than home with my daughter, it's definitely no easy task to give up having my own income.  I like to browse Etsy and buy unnecessary things and treat myself to the occasional fancy coffee.... and maybe even get a haircut once every 6 months. Before I made the decision not to return to work we determined that it was financially feasible for me to stay home, but I knew that it would only be a matter of time before guilt set in.  I can't kiss my husband goodbye as he heads to work each morning and then proceed to spend all of his money.  I need my own income, even if it is only a small amount. Even if it's just enough to buy Ryan's Christmas presents without having to whip out his credit card for the purchase. 
Before I continue, allow me to state my disclaimer:  I understand that being a mother is a job in itself and that if I was working we'd still have to pay for childcare. I realize that spending the days with my baby is far more important than sipping lattes or online shopping. I respect all stay at home moms because this is a tough job, and if you are capable of setting your pride aside and accepting that you don't contribute to the family income, I commend you.   I'm not trying to offend anyone here, this is just the way that I feel about my personal situation.  My husband is supportive of me staying home and has never once complained about my lack of contribution.  
So I set about brainstorming ways to make an income that didn't sacrifice my ability to stay home with my daughter.  I could own a home based business, but all that says to me is multi-level marketing which is something that does not appeal to me in the least.  I could invent something, but so far nothing useful has come to mind and I don't have high hopes of this being my get rich quick scheme. I could get a casual part time job, but with my lack of qualifications I'd be settling for minimum wage and once childcare was factored in I'd basically be defeating the purpose.  
With all of this considered, I took to the basement in search of anything that I could list on Kijiji. I love Kijiji.  Unfortunately, my minimalistic ways and the fact that I've moved across the world twice mean that I own very little that I can actually get rid of. Ryan on the other hand, has boxes that have never been touched since we moved into our house nearly 3 years ago, but I can't just go selling all of his belongings.  
I'd nearly given up hope of having money to call my own, until it dawned on me. For years, people have been asking me to take photos and offering to pay me in exchange for my time.  I've always declined, comparing myself to my many talented photographer friends... and my husband.  I'm lightyears away from that level of talent, and it felt like a crime to take anyone's money.  I've taken many photos for friends and family over the years, but I've never took a dollar in return.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people purchase a camera and automatically label themselves as a photographer despite lack of knowledge or experience.  To charge people money would make me just as guilty. Yet despite the fact that there are so many photographers that could do better, people still asked me to take photos... so I obviously couldn't be that bad... could I?!  I'm finally willing to accept that while I may never be as talented as the photographers that I know, I've got a pretty decent grasp of what I'm doing with my camera and it is something that I actually really enjoy doing.  We all have to start somewhere, right?  
So with all of this said, I've finally started saying yes to the people who have asked for photos.  I spend my days taking photos of my own child (not to mention an insane amount of money spent on photo props since her birth) so why not of other kids as well?  I still refuse to label myself as a photographer, but if you'd like to fund my coffee addiction and buy my husband's Christmas gifts... and you don't mind my toddler tagging along... then yes, I will photograph your children for you. But not your wedding... never your wedding.  And if you don't want my photos, feel free to just send me your money anyways.  Just kidding. Kind of.  

And on an entirely different note, I am now the proud owner of an iPhone 6 (so now I really need the money) and I'm slightly obsessed with the time-lapse video feature. Here is my daughter, destroying the house at high speed. 

video

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