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10 on 10 July 2012

My days are so jam packed full of the mundane. Washing, folding, school lunches, vacuuming, cooking, educating, checking off To Do Lists. I try hard to fit in exercise every day, not to mention running 2 businesses. My husband works away, so its just me and the kids for most of the time. Some days, all I wish for in the entire universe is to pee by myself or drink a whole cup of tea in one sitting. Some mornings I wake up and before I’ve even opened my eyes, I think “I can’t wait until its bed time again”. I’m not the only one. In fact, I’ve no doubt just described nearly everyone I know.

Recently, I started to feel a little resentful of the way I was spending my days. My kids are little and they see me as an extension of themselves. In their eyes, its my sole purpose in life to cater to their every need. Food is put in front of them at roughly the same time every day. Their drawers fill up magically everyday with clean, folded clothes. They have healthy lunches packed for them and plenty of beautiful books to choose from for me to read to them. They adore me, and tell me a million times a day. I know they are happy because they run and smile and laugh. But, as yet, they are not very good at being grateful or thankful. I started to feel like I had lost myself somewhere, and didn’t know who I was without my kids.

Then, just last week, I watched as Lily, who’s 4, got herself ready for her shower, turned the water on, made sure it was the right “lovely & warm” temperature (with my supervision, of course), washed herself, turned off the water, dried herself, picked out and got in her pyjamas, got her favourite book from next to her bed and settle into the couch to quietly read it. All by herself. I didn’t have to help once. I can’t remember when that happened? When did she start doing that? I suddenly became very conscious of the old cliché of how fast time was flying.

I heard a saying the other day that I keep coming back to: “The days are so long, but the years are so short”

I don’t want future El to look back on today and only remember the mundane chaos. Because, if I’m honest with myself, I love the chaos. I created this chaos. And its full to the brim and over flowing with love and laughter. Thats what I want future El to remember. Harry learning to read and proudly ticking off his book list every day. Lily painting her nails. Darcy trying to master the two footed jump on the trampoline. And the mess. The never-ending mess.  These things are too easily lost amongst the bedlam.

So. To remind myself that these days are the ones I will look back on with pride and love, not with exhaustion and resent, I thought I would tackle a 10 on 1o Project this year, inspired by one of my favourite photographers, Molly Flanagan. I really want to document a whole year in my hectic life, but time constrains don’t allow for a photo a day I’m afraid. A 10 on 10 suits me. Essentially, it involves taking 10 photos on the 10th of each month (funnily, like the name suggests 😉 ) of our day, however boring and mundane. Roughly one photo an hour, for the duration of the day. For although my life is a whirlwind, I really am grateful for the love that surrounds me everyday, however unruly. I want to embrace the pandemonium! I don’t want to look back in 20 years time and only remember the key moments. I want to remember the value I placed on conversations at breakfast, putting on slippers, the tanties at dinner time.

So here is the first entry. It was the darkest, rainiest, and gloomiest of days. And Yes, my house is messy. Always. I apologise in advance if you decide to follow along with me.

If you want to participate along with me, let me know, as I’d love to follow along with you! Comment below and share this post, as I’m sure there are other tired but happy mums out there who maybe need a little reminder that if you look for happiness and love amidst the chaos, you’re sure to find it.



  • Christine - Oh goodness. Love the project, love the words, love the sentiment, love the images. But you lie: your house is NOT always messy!!!!! :) :) Can’t wait ton see next months entry. :)ReplyCancel

  • Tasj - awesomely perfectly gorgeous!!ReplyCancel

  • Kristy Franklin - El, your words are beautiful! Being a mum is so hard but it is so nice to know that other mums have the same feelings and thoughts about motherhood. You take such amazing photos. You should be so proud of your beautiful family.ReplyCancel

  • Lea Forbes - Oh I am so in!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Absolutely love the idea of this project! You write so well El! Agree with Christine, looking forward to next months blog xReplyCancel

  • louise - Thankyou xxx Loved it!ReplyCancel

  • Lyndall - Oh your words are music to my ears after the day I have had. You write of the SAHM’s daily lament and song of joy. I will certainly be following your project.
    And your house looks superb…dont put so much pressure on yourself. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Cathie Hall - What a great idea! I think I might join you in it too, starting next month. Your children are beautiful and your house looks pretty darn clean to me 😉
    The days can be long, but so precious. xReplyCancel

  • Kate Goldsby - I love this idea. You did describe my life! but i, like you, are trying to highlight the good bits, amongst the chaos.

    i might so take this up!ReplyCancel

  • Renee Robertson - As I was reading your entry, I was thinking ‘this is totally me’. Thankyou for validating my daily struggle- the struggle I choose and the struggle I love! Last year I completed a Project 346 ( a photo taken each day of the year but started late) and this year I started it again. It has beaten me though. There’s just not enough hours in a day for this busy Mumma.
    I’ll take on this challenge- thankyou. It’s far more achievable for me at this point in time.
    I look forward to following your photo story too.

  • Gemma Higgins-Sears - Brilliant idea!!! Bt since I’ve missed the 10th, I might go a different date 😉
    Love this… :)
    That watching tv one is awesome!! (I think it’s tv?!)ReplyCancel

  • Sharon Mallin - I love these images, and also your motivation for starting this project.

    I am also doing this project (and loving it). We are away on holidays this week, so I’ll blog my July pics next week. Am looking forward to following your journey.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Mills - My hands up El, I’ll follow. What a beautifully written post, I look forward to the journey.ReplyCancel

  • Jody - Oh El – you wrote just as I feel – like you are inside my mind. I’m sure many mums feel this way. I heard that quote a few years back on a bleek parentling day – a queen tanti chucking 18 months old and 5 month pregnant – I needed to hear that quote that day. My children are now 7 and 5 and the years are short – I wished the first 5 to rush past almost run, now I’m grateful for them and I wish them to slow down. It’s funny how they change you and challenge you. I’m so very excited to join in 10 on 10 – August it is xx Thank you for inspiring me xxxReplyCancel

  • Angie Baxter - Fabulous!! I often can’t wait until bedtime – so true! Can’t wait to play along. xxReplyCancel

  • Jessica Henry - El, your just amazing!!! The photos really are beautiful and I just love the honest, raw way you write. Your a talented women and your children are really beautiful. I know how you feel, when they are little it is so busy and you think it will never end. I only have my kids 50% now plus they are all at school and I miss them so much. I am however finding my creative side again, I think “Jess” is starting to emerge again :)
    I look forward to following this photographic journey with you xxReplyCancel

  • Julia - I love these…I love that you have so many books!!! and I love how neat your house is…
    definitely looking forward to more!!ReplyCancel

  • camilla duffy - Wow – what a great idea! Im going to try it (is that OK??) i might even start now and call it 12 on 12 because its the 12th and i want to start NOW!!!!!!!
    p.s – your house is tidy! wait till you see mine!ReplyCancel

  • Sally Hicks - El, bravo… reading your words was like reading my thoughts. I’ve been trying to think of a similar project for myself… I’ll be watching with anticipation and might even try something myselfReplyCancel

  • Alyssa - Whenever I read your posts, I always feel like we are sitting down and having a good old chat and a laugh. You have a beautiful way with words. And of course a beautiful way with imagery…so excited to follow this and not have to wait til Jan for the photo a day to start again :)
    Your everyday looks like the best way to live! xReplyCancel

  • Michele - You do write very well and I would to say in the last 8 months that’s probably the first thing I have read in its entirety …. That’s between the washing, dishwasher, nappies (and I can smell one that needs some assistance now)…….

    YEP we r gonna do 10 ….

    Any reason touring the camera out :)ReplyCancel

  • Maryann Watterson - I stand and applaud you, El! I too love your words, passion, photos…everything!! The last 5.5 months have been an absolute blur for me, especially the start, and am so thankful you captured the twins in the early days so I can look back to help me remember that crazy time of my life. This project is a wonderful idea and I think I may have to give it a go too.ReplyCancel

  • amanda - Very gorgeous captures. Good luck with the project, great idea.ReplyCancel

  • Abigail - Love this idea El! I would love to do the 365 project but like you I am hectic.always and I know I would not finish it and feel bad about that. So this is a perfect alternative. I love the way you capture your busy life so beautifully, I can only hope to try and do the same. Thanks again for inspiring me and good luck with your 10 on 10 I cant wait to see your next installment!ReplyCancel

  • Jess - no words just LOVE!! and lots of it!ReplyCancel

  • Jess - no words just LOVE and lots of it!!! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Maryann - So looking forward to your next 10 on 10!ReplyCancel

  • {10 on 10 project ~ august 2012} » rowe timson photography - […] last month a friend, el hogan, shared a blog post of her new 10 on 10 project and asked friends to join here so here we go… […]ReplyCancel

  • Renee Bell - lovely!!!
    11 on the 11th for us :)ReplyCancel

  • 10 on 10 August 2012 » El Hogan Photography - […] the 2nd instalment of my 10 on 10 Project. I had a huge, massive response to the 1st one, with lots and lots of people jumping on board for August, so I can’t wait to share some of […]ReplyCancel

  • Em - I definitely want to do this in September, just wish I’d found it earlier in the month. It will tie in nicely with my gratitude journal to combat my PND. Thanks for the great idea.ReplyCancel

  • 15 on 15 | Fat Mum Slim | Photography Project | fat mum slim - […] found this from a friend, who found it from another friend. A photo project, where once a month you take a day {usually the 10th but I discovered it too late} […]ReplyCancel

  • Lili Sulastri Zainal abidin - I found your site via chantelle’s blog post. I find this project to be really appealing and I really want to give this project a shot.
    I really like your post because being a mum myself, I understand your sentiment. Really awesome. Thanks for sharing.


  • Melisa - I have just found this via Mamamia on Facebook. If I didn’t know you had written this, I would have thought I had written it myself. I love the idea of 10 on 10 and feel that I MUST participate. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • A change in direction……. » El Hogan Photography - […] was blown away by the huge response I had to my blog post of why I wanted to participate in the 12 month personal project, 10 on 10, that it was like this […]ReplyCancel

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