Changing Hats

We were invited by one of the venues we’ve worked with to be the preferred photographer at an open house for brides who are planning their weddings. We loved the folks at this venue, so we were excited about this, and we’re hoping to work with some of the great couples we met there. (There’s me, looking friendly, and not realizing when I chose my outfit that I would coordinate with the wall color!)


This Bridal Showcase was held on a Thursday evening, after a full day of homeschooling for me. After we’d set up our little table, I updated my twitter status with this:

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I love it all, but sometimes it really is hard wearing so many different hats. I never know what to list as my occupation: Wife, Mama, Homeschooler, Photographer, Writer, Blogger, Adoption Advocate… and that’s not even touching on any volunteer positions at church, etc!

This dilemma is not exclusive to my life. We all wear different hats sometimes. From mommyof-toddlers to wife who uses grown-up words. From office manager to mommy when you come home. Work-at-home moms have to switch gears mentally, maybe when the kids are napping, in order to get work done. Our husbands have to switch gears mentally, too, from office guy to family man. Some “hats” require more effort to switch to and from than others, but it’s a challenge just the same.

I’ve been asked how I handle this challenge. The answer is that I still struggle, but I’m learning.

Prayer is essential! One of my frequent prayers is that I will be able to prioritize my schedule the way God wants me to. Wife and Mama have to come above all the other jobs, but I also must set an example of following through with what I have committed to do elsewhere. Time alone with God helps me keep sane, which is totally necessary when I’m doing all this multiple hat-wearing.

Our children see that we have lives outside of our immediate family — and they see that we order our priorities in a way that means family comes first. They see us say no to many things we’d like to do, and they hear us talk through which ones are most important. This means that when we veto one of the activities they want to do, they know we do the same thing to ourselves, too. It takes all of us working together to create family time.

What about you? How do you effectively manage your own “hat switching”?

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  1. says

    I am the Queen of Many Hats. :)

    But I am much like you, my faith is what is at the center of everything. My husband and I both keep family as a priority and then everything else sort of falls in line behind that. As one role lessens…another grows. I always know when I am out of balance and need to start saying no to things….it is a constant balancing act. Enjoyed reading your post.

  2. says

    I could have written your post… almost! There are few of your hats I would need to leave out and add a few of my own but wife, mommy, homeschooler, and photographer would still be in there! I am thankful I found your blog on the homeschool hop because I am about to enter a busy season for photography while keeping all the other plates in the air too :) I am thankful for a God who sustains, provides and will grant me the desires of my heart as I am seeking him! Great encouraging post! Best of luck to you!!

  3. says

    Nuts and bolts are addressed by a calendar for writing/blogging; a notebook filled with a crazy system that includes Post-Its and a checklist; and a planner for school.

    To be honest, I’ve just jettisoned some things that I felt were too heavy for my schedule. That felt really bold–to say “no.” If you don’t set limits, then–as I discovered–the nurturing/restorative activities are the first to get shelved.

  4. says

    I second the need for some sort of centering practice. I do a lot of running and prayer every week. I’m sure that if I didn’t then I would go absolutely crazy from all the activities going on every day.

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