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AIBU (kind of) I feel hopeless

(48 Posts)
FrenchRuby Sun 18-Sep-11 14:47:19

I love being a mum, I love my kids but I don't want to be a housewife. Everytime one of my friends (that I haven't seen for a while) asks me what I'm up to I have to say 'Nothing much, Im a SAHM' and I get a kind of pitying look from them then have to listen while they talk about how awesome uni is or how much fun they're having at their job or their plans to go around the world.
I want to be a photographer, I've done a few things for people here and there but nothing big. My problem is I have zero confidence in what Im doing, people say my photos are good but I just think it's luck that they've come out ok. I've had people ask me to take photos of their families and stuff and I nearly always say no because I think what if I fuck it up or they don't come out ok?
I want to go to uni to learn it properly and do a photography degree but then I realise I have 3 GCSEs and no A Levels then DH says he is dead set against our youngest (5 months) being put into any sort of childcare until she's at least two and even then we probably couldn't afford it. So then I get really down and think well just forget about it.
And then I think Im hugely selfish and unreasonable because I feel like Im doing nothing with my life when actually I have 2 lovely children.
Sorry for the moan.

notherdaynotherdollar Sun 18-Sep-11 14:50:10

so none of your friends have dead end jobs that they hate and dread going to on a Sunday evening, or how tired they are trying to fit in working with looking after kids or who secretly envy you having the good fortune to be able to look after your old child and know 100% that they are being cared for properly.


MrsGaff Sun 18-Sep-11 14:50:31

Have you had a look at what courses your local college offer? I know mine offers a photography course at night school, two hours a week. Ok it's not a degree but it's a start, a bit of a confidence builder, and a bit if something for YOU which it sounds like you need!

FrenchRuby Sun 18-Sep-11 14:54:02

I have one other friend with a child and she is doing her dream job and loving it. I really admire her (and am so jealous) the rest are at uni/travelling.
MrsGaff They do a city and guilds at my local college but it's just so expensive. Im trying to save up to do that but it just seems to far off.

MainlyMaynie Sun 18-Sep-11 14:54:38

The OU does a short photography course, which you could do when you have time and then use towards uni admission.

FrenchRuby Sun 18-Sep-11 14:55:23

mainlymaynie I've done that one smile I loved it. I wish they did a longer one.

mousesma Sun 18-Sep-11 15:00:04

Yes I second doing an evening class also the next time someone asks you to take pictures of their family say yes, even if you don't charge them it gives you a chance to build your portfolio up and build your confidence.

What type of photographer do you want to be? I'm not an expert in the field but certainly if you wanted to set yourself up as a self employed family or event photographer you don't need a degree but you do need lots and lots of practice and to build your portfolio.

FrenchRuby Sun 18-Sep-11 15:02:04

Im not sure, I've done a bit of everything and I love it all.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 18-Sep-11 15:04:44

YANBU.... First thing to sort out is your DH. It's all very well being 'dead set against' childcare when you're slowly dying inside. Your self-esteem sounds rather low.... of course it's not just 'luck' that your photography came out well!! Having an unsupportive DH stamping all over your dreams doesn't help there either. Make plans, get yourself on a course, ignore Mr 'It'll Never Work' and book the childcare. Life isn't a rehearsal...

KathyImLost Sun 18-Sep-11 15:09:58

I second mousesma, say yes to doing photos for families that ask you. If you don't feel comfortable charging then don't, just say you'd like to use any shots in your portfolio. If you do end up applying to go to uni you will need a portfolio anyway.

It'll give you something to talk about next time you're asked what you've been up to, too!

One thing I've learnt, these past few years being self employed, is that you are what you say you are. If you introduce yourself as a photographer, then you're a photographer. Stop feeling like a fraud. Start doing stuff. It's hard with a baby but not impossible. Get busy.

pinkdelight Sun 18-Sep-11 15:11:00

Agree that you probably don't need a degree. Experience will build up your confidence (and your bank balance!) much better. And as a mature student, I'd be surprised if a college refused you cos of your GCSEs. As long as you can pay for the course and are keen, no doubt they'd be happy to have you. Good luck!

FrenchRuby Sun 18-Sep-11 15:11:46

He's not unsupportive, just panicky about us not being able to afford to pay the bills, he's a natural worrier.
But even if we could I don't think I could get into uni, I have rubbish qualifications. I know that my local college does gcse maths for free so I think I could try and do that but it's getting to the classes because DH works late most days and never on the same days each week.

FrenchRuby Sun 18-Sep-11 15:13:03

Sorry I posted that before the other replies. I have a portfolio of stuff I've already done but Im just really critical and I don't think it's good enough.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 18-Sep-11 15:15:24

You're already spending far too long outlining reasons why it won't work..... That's the low self-esteem talking. If you want things to happen, you have to become an objection-handler and not an objection-maker. As Barack Obama would say "YES WE CAN!". First find the course that will help you become a photographer.... talk to the people about what a mature student has to have by way of qualifications. You never know, Maths GCSE might not be necessary

KathyImLost Sun 18-Sep-11 15:17:00

It's hard to judge your own work. Have you joined photography forums & flickr groups? You can get a lot of feedback there.

Also, research some of your favourite photographers. You'll probably find a lot of them don't have degrees.

FrenchRuby Sun 18-Sep-11 15:18:22

I have a flickr but I only put my music photography on there. It's the only photos Im actually quite confident about

LineRunner Sun 18-Sep-11 15:18:29

There was a good piece in Friday's 'Work' section of the Guardian about someone who is a photographer and who wants to work professionally as a photographer. If you can't find it online PM me if you want and I'll send you the section. It makes the point that 'a bit of everything' is necessary to help run an agency or a studio!

Please do not die inside. You can love having two lovely children and be a professional or a creative person also.

knittedbreast Sun 18-Sep-11 15:21:49

you should do an alevel photography course. much cheaper and itl whet your appetite.

can i see some of your pics? my dad used to be a photographer and im ok at it too! (you wouldnt buy my pics mind, theres just no thumbs over the screen!)

MainlyMaynie Sun 18-Sep-11 15:22:55

Could you do another OU course? Something like intro to humanities, as the art stuff may be useful for you? You might be able to get funding for it too.

nenevomito Sun 18-Sep-11 15:24:28

Don't discount HE yet FrenchRuby. There are options open to you like doing a foundation degree or an access to HE course. These are brilliant if you are a mature student or its been a while since you studied.

FrenchRuby Sun 18-Sep-11 15:24:40

knittedbreast I'll send you a link in a pm (that's the messsage poster button right? Im still a bit new to MN)

ArtyFartyPants Sun 18-Sep-11 15:29:02

I'm a mature student (27) and I'm starting uni tomorrow doing an degree in Fine Art. I know that fine art include photography, and all I took was my portfolio, and I only applied two weeks ago. So I never had to go through all the ucas mush that the 18/19yr olds had to. I have no A levels or GCSE's (having been a rebel when I was at school), so have faith in your work. I never thought my work was amazing but it's actually gained me a placement straight to the second year of the degree. I'm also a mum and there's lots of grants available for parents that a full time students. Student finance will pay for your childcare and you don't pay your loans back until your earning a certain amount. There's a parents allowance grant that you dont pay back and uni's pay out grants for parents with financial difficulties too.
Have faith in yourself and the work you create, go for your dreams! smile

FrenchRuby Sun 18-Sep-11 15:30:30

Artyfartypants How did you go about applying?

ChippingIn Sun 18-Sep-11 15:30:59

Cognito - I hate to correct you - but wasn't it 'Bob the Builder' that said that??


Ruby - you have had some good advice. I can really only second that.

I can understand your DH not wanting your youngest in fulltime childcare if you have always discussed you being a SAHP. Could he be the SAHP while you go to work?

I think you need to talk to him, to explain how hard you are feeling 'only' being a SAHP and he needs to get on board with finding a way around this.

As for the GCSE maths (or another course) can't you get a babysitter?

I agree with the others who are saying 'just get out there and do it!!' take photos at every given opportunity - now it's all digital it's not even expensive to do so!

Join a camera club (babysitter if DH can't be relied on)
Take up anyone who asks you to take photos (unless it's a wedding, what does it matter if they aren't perfect - you can redo them!!)

Why not put a few on your profile smile

ChippingIn Sun 18-Sep-11 15:31:45

Please PM me the link too smile (Yes, it is the message poster button)

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