Why I Do What I Do

I never questioned what I would do with my life when I had kids.

It was always just a given that I would become a stay-at-home-mom.

My mom was always around growing up. She went to class parties, did the PTA thing, softball games, you name it. She was always a presence in my life and in my sisters life. I knew that when I had kids of my own that I wanted to be the same way.

I wanted to be a part of everything. Bake cookies and brownies for the bake sale. Haul kids back and forth to soccer/football/whatever practice. Be at dance recitals. Sell Girl Scout Cookies. All of those things were on my little black agenda book for parenting, and I never had intention of doing it differently. My girlfriend and I used to joke in college that we were only there to get our MRS (as in Mrs. Courtney Kirkland…) degree so that we could settle down and have kids.

But, then something happened.

I actually did become a parent.

And for a while that was enough.

Until it wasn’t anymore.

I had postpartum depression pretty bad when Little Man was born. I had no energy, had no excitement, had no drive to do anything. I didn’t want to go anywhere. Didn’t want to do anything. Just wanted to sit. And truthfully, I didn’t even really want to do that because after the first six or eight weeks of a colicky baby who never slept, I really just wanted to run away.

But, then I started blogging.

And blogging led to designing and redesigning my blog to keep up with those fabulously pretty blogs that I followed.

And then blogging led to photography and my attempts to learn how to make my photos look like the ones that  admired and swooned over so much.

And now here I am.

A business owner specializing in Graphic Design and Photography.

I never knew that this is where I’d end up. Or even that this is where I wanted to end up.

There came a point not too long ago when I realized that no matter how much I love my son, being a mom just isn’t enough for me.

That while I enjoy every single activity and every single play date and all of the fun things that come with being a mom, I needed something for me. I need something for me. I need a break from refilling juice cups, playing cars and trains, and listening to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I need creativity. I need energy. I need passion for something other than my family.

And that’s what I’ve been blessed enough to find.

And that, in itself…is why I do what I do.

Why I design…

Why I photograph…

Why I parent…

Because the parenting…the motherhood…the being around and with my son spending my time loving on him and taking care of him…

Makes me want everything else.

Looking to up your photography skills? Make sure you check out the weekly series Move to Manual hosted by myself and Amy Earle. Don’t forget to enter the Camera Strap Giveaway going on right now through March 1!




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  1. says

    Hmm – this is a hard one for me. Because I L-O-V-E being a Mom. In fact, as I began to grow up and watch my passions develop, I realized that being a Mom was what I was called to be. So I find doing a lot of other things extremely exhausting. I have a hard time managing everything else, but I do it because I have to. And then, those little things that I am really, deeply, secretly passionate about, don’t have room to grow, or even begin. So out of everything I do, I am passionate about Mothering. But maybe that is just because everything else I do (apart from blogging – which I am having a hard time carving time out for) isn’t what I am actually passionate about.

  2. says

    I think this post speaks the heart of so many SAHMs. We all want to do the best for our children but we also need to find a way to continuous grow as an individual. It’s a difficult balance but so important to have an outlet for creativity and just some basic “me” time. I think we are all a better Moms when we take time for myself.

  3. says

    This is so perfectly stated Courtney. I feel the same about blogging and beginning my social media career. It is through parenting and staying home with my children that I have truly found all the things that I love to do. Who knew we could learn so much about ourselves by never leaving the house?

  4. says

    Reading your post, I am inspired by how blogging helped bring you out of a dark place and into a bright and promising future! I don’t have personal experience with postpartum depression, but I’m sure it is a dark and scary place to be! I am so glad that blogging and aspiring to learn about design and photography has led you to where you are now! I feel the same way about my experience with blogging and networking with other fabulous moms!

  5. says

    I love your photos in this post! And I am definitely hope to “Move to Manual” once I can get a SLR and move on from my point and shoot!

  6. says

    I never had hobbies before I stayed home… I worked 60+ hours a week. Now even though I work more hours – I find the time to do creative things. Non-mommy things. It is so important I think.

  7. says

    I love that you realized this about yourself! I wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle being a SAHM but I love it! I hate it when a SAHM thinks a Mom that works shouldn’t or when people who work think that I shouldn’t stay home. It’s just so important to figure out what works for you! How awesome that you’ve found something that allows you to still exercise that business minded part and still get to spend tons of time with your sweet son! Being a military mommy is hard too so whatever makes it easier on us I am all for!! I wish I could find a little something I could do from home….still working on that 🙂

    • says

      Keep brainstorming!! I am in 100% support of business mommy’s and momprenuers. I think society places too much emphasis on working outside of the home and not enough on doing what you can do from where you are. 🙂 Let me know when you find that “something” that sparks your creativity! I’d love to help support your new venture!

  8. says

    Totally love this! Very well put. Different circumstances, but the same general story on how I arrived at graphic design, too. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  9. says

    These are cute shots…I love his big smile up a Daddy! 🙂 It’s hard to find the balance, isn’t it? I’m still working on it that’s for sure.

    • says

      Yes. Balance. I don’t think I’m even close to finding that. When I work, I feel like I am not spending enough time with my family. When I spend time with my family, I feel like I’m neglecting clients who are paying me to work for them. It’s a headache. But, I take it a day at the time and just hope I make it through without dropping everything I’m juggling!

  10. says

    Wow, I can totally relate in that, while being a mom is fulfilling, I have to do something else too! Mine are still little and busy, so it is hard to carve out time for quilting and sewing, but I need to do it and it is so fulfilling! Thanks for this great post.

    • says

      Thank you, Jennie! Noah is three and a half so I understand the busyness thing. He can entertain himself for a while, but there’s still a lot that he can’t do. Which means lots of time running back and forth for my help. 🙂 It sure helps keep me sane though (work that is).

  11. says

    I hear you. About the being a mum. About it being enough. About it being not what you were hoping it would be. About ppd. I had it too. Blogging came in late, but I agree with the creative outlet. Though I swore never to blog for whatever reason, here I am….in a therapy of sorts 🙂 Think of what’s true. Often our emotions aren’t the best judge of things. Oh, nd keep up the good work! —great blogsite.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Gerty! 🙂 I never thought that I’d blog either. But it proved to be much, much cheaper than paying someone for therapy. LOL I’m happy that you’ve found your way over here and I’m really looking forward to continuing to get to know you!

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