The search for child care for Ellie escalated a long cycle of chaos that had engulfed my life since pre-conception. (More later on fertility issues.)
When Ellie was merely 6 weeks old, my do-it-all former Studio Manager, Francie, left JKP and is now traveling the world. I had planned to take maternity leave for one month, and 3 more months with a highly-reduced shooting schedule. Ahh, the best laid plans.
Covering shoots for two people and caring for current and potential clients was only the beginning. I also spent time writing new employee ads, posting them, interviewing, all while pumping breast milk (while talking on the phone to clients! “What’s that sound”). Twice per day Kathy brought Ellie to the studio, or Tim brought Elle to longer shoots for breast feeding.
Meanwhile I was in the midst of going 90% digital, (I can’t give up my Hasselblad!) and being forced to find a new photo lab. I was climbing the steep digital and PhotoShop learning curve and researching new processes, products and labs, when I made the crazy but inevitable decision to buy new gear and computers. I usually find new gear exploration fun and exciting. But this time, sleep deprivation and craving to spend more time with Ellie exacerbated my stressed system resulting in– you guessed it: an abstract painting of utter CHAOS!
Thank goodness for First Weeks. In addition to the soothing environment, I found our babysitter, Kathy, when her sister-in-law brought her to a First Weeks meeting. (More on First Weeks and Ann Keepler to come). I saw Kathy across the room, read her body language and thankfully trusted my first instincts (though I did check references!). Kathy helped me spot the bright light of dawn, and provided a welcomed sense of calm. She’s been with us ever since July of ’04.
You’re the best, Kathy!