Lauren Poss is the owner of Lolly Poss Photography. She and her husband, Justin, have been married for 10 years. They have three children: Taylor (8), Emmy Kate (6), and Bowen (2).
WP: First off, I’d like to welcome you to the Wiregrass Parents family as our new cover photographer. You’ve been a Children and Family Photographer for years. How would you say your experiences as a parent have impacted your photography?
LP: Besides knowing how to roll with the poop and pee and spit-up that happens? Haha! As a parent, I know how to handle tiny newborns as I fold them into different poses and positions, and I know when their cries mean they’re hungry versus when they have tummy gas. I know what time of day most toddlers will be happiest and what time of day they’ll be hangry and grumpy and ready for a nap. I know all of the latest toddler tunes and Kidz Bop songs and all about JoJo Siwa to get kids engaged and comfortable during their sessions. I know how sometimes mom and dad forget about each other while being so consumed with the kids, and that pulling them aside for a minute to get a couple shots of just the two of them will be so appreciated in the end.
WP: You are the brains behind “Business Buddies,” a campaign that connects local businesses with children who have Down Syndrome. What would you say is the most rewarding thing about working with these special needs kids?
LP: Last year my son and I got to visit my oldest daughter’s class for Down Syndrome Day and got the chance to share with them all about our Business Buddies project. I told them how his portrait was hanging in one of our local restaurants and that the next time they stopped in they should look for it. A couple weeks later I was back volunteering for another event, and SO MANY of the kids came running up to me to tell me they saw Bowen’s portrait and they got to tell their parents all about him and how cute he was! That was the moment I knew that what I was doing was really making a difference. It’s a way to break the ice a little and helps initiate conversations with these amazing kids and their families.
WP: Your son has Down Syndrome, putting him in the higher-risk category for Covid-19. How has your family been handling his health safety?
LP: We went pretty hardcore at the beginning of quarantine – no one in or out of the house except for emergencies. This past November, Bowen contracted a cold virus that suddenly turned into a life-threatening case of pneumonia. He had to be air-lifted to Children’s in Birmingham and spent a week in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Knowing just how devastating a simple cold ended up being for him, we knew we couldn’t take any risks with a virus as strong and unknown as Covid-19. Thankfully, his team of doctors have been working together wonderfully and we’re exploring every option we can to keep him as healthy as possible, and we’ve been able to loosen our restrictions over the last couple of months. We now see family regularly and have begun visiting with a handful of friends, and finally starting to bring Bowen with us on quick trips out of the house. We’re very thankful he’s remained healthy so far this spring!
WP: School is starting back this month, and things will look a lot different for students. Will your girls be back in the classroom or do you plan on doing distance learning, and why?
LP: That’s a loaded question for us, as I know it is for a lot of others as well. I actually homeschooled my oldest a few years ago and had a great experience, but now that we have three kids, and I am working full time from home, attempting to homeschool with a two year old on the loose is quite a daunting prospect! Our girls are very healthy and are desperate to return to school and to their friends. But we’ve just gotten word in the last couple of weeks that in addition to Down Syndrome, Bowen also has a separate immuno-deficiency, and his immunologist has recommended we keep our girls home to limit the transfer of school germs into the house. At this point, we’re still weighing the risks and discussing what we feel will be best.
WP: Speaking of school, with homework and extracurricular activities, life can get crazy. Do you have any time management and/or organizational hacks that make things run more smoothly?
I am a firm believer in limiting what’s on your plate before things become too hectic. We’ve done extracurricular activities in the past, and they have tons of merit, but sometimes it’s okay to just stay home, too.
LP: We are planning to take the first few months of school off to just focus on getting into a routine. I try not to worry about what everyone else is doing and just do what works best for us. And sometimes, that’s just not doing anything for a little while!
WP: With three kids, a husband, and your own business to run, busy is just a part of life. How do you make sure you don’t burn out?
LP: My husband is a HUGE help and is all-around just amazing! I’ve also been able to start having my teenage niece come over a few times a week to watch the kids so I can get some work done. I’ve also taken this time to really look at my business and make some decisions to help manage it more efficiently.
WP: What advice would you give new moms?
LP: Read the articles, ask the experts, sit and think and pray about all the options, and then close your eyes and follow your gut. There is no way to be a perfect mom and a thousand ways to be an amazing one! Also, it’s okay to change your mind. Make the best decision you can for today without worrying whether it will change tomorrow. If it does, just go with the flow. Nothing has to be set in stone!