Only physically there... { Hendersonville NC Photographer}
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May 05, 2016
By Billie Mitchell
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It was a chilly October evening when I realized, “Oh my gosh! What happened? This can't be happening already!” It was senior night for my oldest son. I suddenly realized that I had missed the majority of his senior games. The games where he was getting to play football again, the game that he is so very passionate about, after he had to sit out the previous season due to medical reasons. The football season that we were so very grateful for when he was released to play again. There is just something about watching your child do something that they are so very passionate about. Something that makes him so very happy. And yet somehow, I had missed it.

I made the very real mistake of treating this last year like it was a dress rehearsal for my life. I spent so much time just being physically present. I was not mentally or emotionally present for the majority of my own family's life in the last couple of years. I came to this very sad realization when I was sitting at senior night of my son's football season last fall. I had been phsycially present at every single game he played in. As well as all of the games of my other 3 children. But I was just going through the motions. Rushing from one thing to the next. Squeezing in sessions where ever I could to accommodate everyone's schedules. And then I would also make it to my kids events, but I was only physically there. I wasn't fully taking in the experience of their childhood. I was thinking about everything else I needed to be doing. I was writing to do lists for work. I was checking my emails and responding to client texts. I was always distracted. All while my children were living their lives only a few yards away from me.

As I sat on those bleachers on senior night, I made the decision right then and there that I would not allow any more of my family life to slip by unnoticed. I was going to intentionally take control of my calendar, and figure out a way to organize my schedule in a way that accomodates my client needs, but also allows me adequate time to step away and also enjoy my family life. I think one of the biggest reasons I struggle with this soooo much is because I LOVE what I do soooo much. I adore my work. My clients. My art.


It is no small task to balance a family of 4 active kids and a growing business. I, like many woman and entrepreneurs, struggle with the word no. It's hard saying no when I really try very hard to make every one of my clients feel very special & loved. But I keep reminding myself that everytime I say yes to one thing, I have to say no to something else. In the past, the no's have all been mostly directed at my own children. Sadly. I've come to realize that if I want to continue growing my business, while also being fully present with my own family, no is a word that I'm going to have to implement sometimes.

I've struggled this year already with seperating work and family while trying to open a new studio, and welcoming all my new class of 2017 seniors. But I have reminded myself that this is just a temporary crazy. Once the studio is finished and functioning fully, I'll be able to have more evenings and weekends with my family again. Luckily for me, my two youngset, Cooper & Peyton, both love hanging out at the studio. Mostly due to the fact that there are always cookies and candy there, and lots of open space to run and play! So don't be surprised if you stop by and find a couple of little ones running around living life, while happily slurping a ring pop. :)

Thank you for allowing me to get this off of my chest today. This has been weighing on me for months. I've been working hard, and giving tons of thought, to being more intentional with my time. I know I'll still struggle, and am under no illusion of ever achieving perfect balance. I don't believe that there is such a thing as perfect balance. But I do believe that I could however find a little better balance than I've had in recent years.


I am sooooo very grateful for all of the amazing clients that I've had the privilege of working with and getting to know since we moved to North Carolina 4 years ago. It's such a joy for me to work with each of the girls, and a few guys, and doing my best to make at least a small difference in their lives. Hopefully empowering & encouraging them to also reach for their dreams, but to remember not to allow their life to slip by unnoticed while they are chasing those dreams.

North Henderson Football Student Section

North Henderson student section celebrating a big win of Hendersonville!

I'm looking so forward to working with the Class of 2017! I feel so blessed to be able to meet and get to know a new amazing group of girls each year. And I'm so excited for my new group of tween and teen girls also. I can't wait to see what 2016 brings. So many fun things planned in the coming months!!! Hopefully my new time management systems, combined with a little outsourcing, will enable me to enjoy this year a little more than last! :)


Much love friends.  And thank you for your unending support.




Leave a comment:
Yolanda - Thank you so much for putting yourself out there! You are speaking my truth and I am sure that of many other mompreneurs! All we can do is the best we can do. But realize we are so much better when we have our priorities properly aligned. Hugs and High Fives,
Karen McMinn - I love that my Aid Man is in there with Coop about to put his arm around his best buddy!!!! You are not alone in the struggle you describe. We only get this one's to living it!
Beth Bristol - At least you realized it. So many people, myself included, just go through the motions. We try to do the right thing, but mentally are shut out. I had a very similar revelation last year. I was sitting at Blake's volleyball game and someone else had to tell me that she was hurt. I had totally missed out and I was right there in the room. Just love the time you have to experience life with them.