Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Multi-taskin' Mamas : {The Vintage Doll} : The Life of a Model Mom

I'm super excited to announce a new blog series I am doing called Multi-taskin' Mamas. I was trying to think of a way to share stories of other moms. Working moms, stay-at-home-moms and working-from-home-moms all sharing their stories about how the heck they juggle it all. So we can feel comfort in hearing the stories of other mamas who bust their tails and somehow get it all done at the end of the day, not knowing if they are doing it all right at all. So we can support one another by empathizing versus judging and casting our mommy guilts on one another.

I can't think of a better person to start off this series of Multi-taskin' Mamas than my sweet friend Emily otherwise known as The Vintage Doll. I have watched her grow as a pinup model and mama over the last couple of years. She is one of the few pinup gals who I have met and gotten to know exclusively online, but I am fairly certain that if we got a chance to rendezvous, we would have a blast. So I asked The Vintage Doll to be my first ever guest blogger, so us fellow mamas (and admirers- she has PLENTY!) can get an insight on what it's like to be a model and a mom. Without further adieu...  

The Life of a Model Mom by The Vintage Doll 

The modeling industry is a very hard job to be involved in, but an even harder job is being a mom. Take them both on at the same time, and you have your hands full to say the least.

The modeling/fashion world was always something I seemed to have a strong knowledge in. It's what I knew without even trying. I never wanted to be the girl in front of the camera but the one taking the beautiful photos I admired so often in the pages of the magazines I so intensely studied. My shy, self conscious nature would never allow my mind to consider being a model. No matter how many times I was told "You should totally model," I never saw myself as the type.

At the age of sixteen, I discovered the rockabilly culture. Never in my life have I fallen in love with something so much. When I discovered classic car magazines and the beautiful pinup models who graced the pages, I was done for. I yearned to embrace the style and confidence that the pinups I so admired did.

I wanted to embrace the culture that stole my heart from the very beginning. Not for the strong outward style, but because it felt like who I was always meant to be..... But could I do it? Five years went by, and not a day without studying the pinup culture. I was married and had just had my first son. I could no longer deny the pull at my heart to do something that had grown so important to me.

I decided to make the full transition to not only the pinup life style but to also start my career in pinup modeling. I wanted to do something for myself that I enjoyed. My son wasn't quite one yet so I knew that what I did do had to be workable with my schedule with a small baby - because no matter what he would always come first.

So, I decided to start a thing called a Facebook account and make a "fan page" -- which still sounds silly to me to have fans. I wanted to use it to network with pinup brands and magazines and have a place to store my photos. I needed photos to start my page with, so I got dressed in the only rockabilly pinup clothing I had (cuffed jeans and a white tank top), propped my camera up on my son's walker, set the timer, and ran for my couch to pose. The photo I captured at that moment truly made up my mind that I wanted to pursue pinup modeling. To this day is one of my favorite shots.

After a while I started doing actual photo shoots here and there and networking with other pinup brands and websites for features and sharing my work. I am a mother first, and my personal dream will never come before my children. Modeling is an extremely hard job to break into and actually make a name for yourself. Then, you throw being a full time mom on top of that, and at times it feels impossible. I can't tell you how many offers, jobs, features and tv spots I have turned down because I won't leave my kids.

My kids are very small, and right now, they need my time more than anything. It took me a long time to figure out how to balance both jobs. Once I did that it was a lot easier to do both. I have been modeling now for almost four years. In those four years, I have had another little boy, become a single mom (which I am still trying to adjust to), become internationally published in amazing pinup magazines, had countless features, am a brand model for many pinup and rockabilly style companies, have a youtube channel teaching the pinup style, and have a following of over 400,000 people who are the most amazing support anyone could have.

 I didn't gain the success in what I do overnight, and it was in no way handed to me. I had to work extremely hard for what I have accomplished in the pinup community. I had to learn that it was ok for me to do something that I love like modeling and still be a good mom. It's all about balance. You can be a mother and be accomplished in your career. You just have to learn that your duties as a mother can't suffer in turn of having a career. That was my biggest focus. Not allowing my children to ever come second to my own wants and dreams, because they deserve better than that.

My passions will always be there, but the memories I can miss out on putting my focus towards my own interests are irreplaceable, and I won't risk losing those. Find a balance in work and your children. Set limits and work hours. That was the most important thing for me to do --- set a time for my work that didn't intervene in the time in which my children needed me... which let's face it -- is most of the time!! Here and there, I only take jobs that are close to home, and most of my work and photo shoots I do myself with my kids right next to me. If it's really something you want, you can have the best of both worlds. Especially with how easy things are these days with computers and smart phones. You can run your whole empire from the palm of your hand while sitting on the floor playing with your kids.

There will always be those moments where you think it has to be one or the other because situations come up where it seems impossible for the two lives to mesh, but that's when you truly see how strong you are -- to find a way to overcome them.

If I would have given up in the beginning, when it seemed like I couldn't be both a mom and a model, I would have missed out on so much. Not just a successful modeling career, but learning and growing as a confident and strong woman. Learning about who I am as a mother and what I can do to better myself for my boys. That I am a voice and source of inspiration for others who are looking for someone to support them and tell them they are worth it and they can do anything they want.

So far both being a mom and a model have been amazing journeys and have both given me so much. Mostly, learning about who I am meant to be in this world and that I am strong and can do anything I put my heart into. Through hard moments, moments that make me cry, moments that break me down, my boys are always there for me. That's why the balance is so important.

Find The Vintage Doll on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/theonlyvintagedoll
and on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/user/theonlyvintagedoll

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