Having It All or Just Doing Two Things


I have neglected my blog of late and that’s mostly due to being pregnant.  It’s not that my head is already full of parenting dilemmas – which pushchair to by? To swaddle or not to swaddle? My brain is still firmly focused on photography. The arrival of another member of the family looms large as a clear cut deadline for getting my work done, in particular – my book published, while I still can.

This lack of writing is due to many things, tiredness and lack of motivation in early pregnancy, concentrating on the work that really needs to get done, but I blame it mostly on a lack of caffeine. Caffeine has always been my friend when I need to write. Of course I can still write, but its not as much fun. I’m less sparky – its more like hard work.

With the role of being a new mum again on the horizon, mixed with the excitement, contentment and anticipation is a sadness. As I know that my work will stop. I know this from experience with child number 1. I know that when you care for a totally dependant human being that it is all consuming. There isn’t the space left in your brain for the creative thought necessary for making decent photographs. When my daughter was 18months old she started to go to a childminder one day a week. This gave me some thinking time and only then did I get any ideas for my work. My work gradually got stronger and more prolific as she went onto nursery and then school.

I will still be able to get on with the office based work and setting up the Photo Bristol network. That doesn’t require the same kind of thinking. But the work.. the ideas… and making photographs will go. I’ll miss that.

I’ve always disliked the phrase “Having It All”. I’m not greedy. I don’t want it all. I want two things and they are to have a family and make photographs, because if I can’t do those things I am only half of what I am. I don’t buy into this picture of perfect parenting that I see all around me. As with all the good things in life having a baby is full of mixed emotions. I already love this baby, but I will miss my work. I live in hope of a baby that sleeps and an extended 1 day a week paternity leave.


  1. I love Miriam Gonzales’ comment on having it all – “I don’t want to have it all, I just want to have what men have” – the ability to have a job, have kids, have a house and not have to choose between them all. I am still living in the hope of a baby that sleeps and some extended paternity leave ; )

  2. Congratulations on your wonderful news Kirsty ; ) And congratulations on another super blog piece too! #talent

  3. Great news for you and the family Kirsty. I so sympathise with what you’re describing and did some work on this myself (a shock to realise it was 26 years ago!); here’s a link to a post about it – there are two pieces that might resonate with you, the first was called Limitations and the second Journeys, set in Totterdown territory that will be familiar to you! So much came out of this work, and that time – it was really valuable in all sorts of ways. http://lizmilner.wordpress.com/2000/03/05/womens-photography-group-projects/

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