Sometimes you have to call in a professional photographer

I am terrible at selfies, as the above picture shows. There is something about a selfie on my own where I have a hint of ‘serial killer’ about me. Or selfies with others’ where I’m either mucking about or only half in the frame.

I’m not even good at photos when someone else is behind the camera. There’s something about trying to look natural that makes me look either idiotic or that I’ve been carved from wood.

Sometimes I get to work with an awesome photographer whose photographs have shown me that it really is worth saving up and paying a professional to get at least one decent snap of the family.

Decision made. Before the kids stop being cute or get too old for family photos we’re booking in and hoping they behave themselves so we can get at least one good photo of us.

Living in 2 houses is hard

My partner and I don’t live together. Our houses are 20 mins away which is a manageable distance until it’s late in the day (rush hour can change the 20 minute journey to close to an hour), one of us needs something from the other house, we’re down to one car between us and the kids mean we need to be in the house with them.

This week with my partner’s parents visiting, we gave them his flat to stay in and my partner bundled in with us for the week. whilst it means waiting for one more person in the queue for the bathroom, having him here for the week meant that we had everything we needed in one place. There was always someone around keeping an eye on the kids and I never realised how tidy he is until repeatedly walking into rooms and finding them tidier than when I left them.

Going back to 2 houses is going to be hard. Mainly because it means we both have to be more organised than we have been for the last week. Whilst it means that my house will invariably be less tidy, the plus side is it’s one less person using the bathroom in the morning.

If something’s not working for you, change it

This one comes off the back of speaking to my friend. I won’t go into too much detail but we’ve been discussing her work and how often (in my past and her present) we’ve stay with companies or in a position that’s no longer working for us. So often we feel misguided loyalty regarding our jobs, rather than realising that they’ve paid us for a job we’ve done well.

Whilst she’s still in a quandary regarding her own job, it reaffirmed for me that ditching my old job and flying solo, whilst sometimes terrifying, was so the right decision for me.

Working for myself can be hard but it is also liberating, affirming and a great opportunity for me and the people I work with. Every work day is so much better than my old work days of the 9 – 5, business is going great and it also works for my family. Double win.

It’s great when clients are technically advanced, until it’s not

One of my favourite services I offer is website reviews where I review a website, suggest changes, sometimes meet with the client to help them wireframe their layouts then leave them to it.

The great thing about this is the client is getting expert advice but can also use their own skills to keep costs down and keep them on top of changes to their website. The problem with coding is that WordPress can lull you into a false sense of security when editing sites. Working with WordPress is often a baptism of fire. Yet once you’ve got it, you’ve got it and a quick post on a forum will help to untangle any issues you’re having.

The same cannot be said for plugins and other software that integrates with WordPress. What can seem a simple task of editing a contact form can cause a stream of problems. A lot of this week has been spent debugging third party software and ensuring everything’s working as it should be on a site. The moral of the story: edit WordPress yourself but please at least let your web developer know when you’re about to edit API integrations so we can give advice on how to handle it, rather than have the changes break parts of the website.

Meeting in-laws isn’t so scary

Last week I wrote about the feelings around meeting my partner’s parents for the first time. I was nervous as, being a bit further along in life than when you meet in-laws for the first time (often in your early 20s) there’s nothing but you, that you’re bringing to the table. This time round there’s me, two (mostly) delightful children and a crazy dog. With fingers crossed that the children would behave themselves (they mostly did) and the dog wouldn’t be doing rude things to his bed in-front of them (he did) we pushed forward. Guess what? they’re normal, lovely people who embraced our family, went on day trips with the kids and hopefully, enjoyed being a part of our everyday lives. They have now gone home for a well deserved break and to mentally steel themselves before the 5 of us descend on them for a week in the summer.