Tell us a bit about yourself. What does a typical day in your life look like?
I’m a 24-year-old wedding and lifestyle photographer, married to my best friend and a first-time mama to the sweetest 5-month-old baby boy. Between these things, I've been stretched in every direction over the past few months. It’s been challenging, but overwhelmingly beautiful as well.
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely road, especially when you’re also a first-time mom working from home. I’ve had to learn to lean on my village. We’re lucky to have an amazing family – they've been the biggest blessing during this season of our lives and have allowed me to keep pursuing my passions.
As a full-time photographer, my schedule looks different each week. Generally, my weekends are filled with weddings and shoots and my weeks are spent focusing on post-production and admin-related tasks, with the occasional sunset shoot here and there.
Although I thrive on structure and ticking tasks off a to-do list, I’ve had to surrender to the fact that working from home with a baby means every day looks different. Over the past month, I’ve implemented a loose routine for Ezra, which has benefitted both of us. On a “good” day, I’ll spend time with him while he's awake and schedule my work during his naps. This has helped me to be fully present with what I’m doing instead of thinking of work when I'm playing with him and vice versa.
When my husband Aiden gets home from work, we spend time together as a family. If the weather's good, the guys sometimes tag along with me to my sunset shoots for some quality outdoor time.
When you’re out on a photoshoot, how do you make sure Ezra has everything he needs?
Because I’m exclusively breastfeeding, I always worry about whether Ezra will have enough milk while I’m shooting – especially because my days often stretch longer than 10 hours. Having a routine has helped in this regard as it gives me an idea of how many feeds he has on average every day so I can make sure I have enough milk pumped.
In the lead-up to a wedding, I try to fit in at least one pumping session per day, usually after his morning feed, to build up a freezer stash for the time I’ll be away. We spent our first night away from Ezra last month to shoot a wedding in Robertson. It was tough on my mama’s heart but I was also so incredibly proud of myself packing up his frozen milk to send with him.
When I’m working on a long photo shoot or wedding, it’s often difficult to stick to a pumping schedule since the timing of every shoot is so different. I try my best to pump at least once every 4 hours or fit in shorter, more frequent pump sessions if I can. This helps protect my milk supply and build up a stash for the next wedding or shoot.
Luckily, other than having enough milk, I’m never overly stressed about him because his grandparents love and spoil him to bits whenever they’re on babysitting duty.
Is there anything you’ve found challenging about motherhood that you didn't think much about before becoming a mom?
The unseen mental load that comes with being a mom is something I didn't expect – the constant to-do lists, anxieties, mom guilt, and stress. Motherhood can sometimes be overwhelming and difficult to explain to someone who isn’t in a similar season of life. It can consume you, but I’ve realized that it’s so important to find pockets of time to fill your cup and do things that bring you joy, which then allows you to pour back into your family and be the best mom, wife, and business owner you can be. It’s not always easy to focus on yourself as a new mom, but it’s necessary. Moms truly deserve more credit!
You shared with us that Ezra had oral restrictions and struggled to bottle feed, but succeeded with the Difrax S-Bottle. Can you tell us more about this and how you’re navigating it?
Ezra was around 10 weeks old when we discovered he had a tongue and lip tie that was causing digestive issues and lots of discomfort for both of us. His oral restrictions caused him to swallow lots of air while breastfeeding. We tried a few bottles from popular brands to try and reduce the amount of air he was swallowing when feeding, but they made the situation even worse.
I came across the Difrax S-Bottle at a baby expo earlier this year and was fascinated by its unique anti-colic system and beautiful design. From the first time we used the bottle, we immediately noticed a difference. Ezra swallowed noticeably less air and wasn’t choking or gagging while feeding. Since then, we’ve had his tongue tie released and he’s doing much better. We’re still loving our Difrax S-Bottles – it’s now the only bottle we use. The S-Bottle has made transitioning between breast and bottle super easy while also reducing the discomfort Ezra experiences after feeding. Seeing your baby in pain is so heartbreaking as a mom, so I'm grateful to see him flashing his gummy smile more. And I know that he will comfortably and happily drink from his S-Bottles when I’m away for work.