Every year for Mother’s Day we honour the beautiful mothers both in front of my camera and in my life. But this year in celebration of mothers, I wanted to do something a little different. This year I photographed three mothers and invited them to share one part of their motherhood journey.
There were no guidelines other than an approximate number of words. It didn’t have to be about a certain time period and it didn’t need to be either happy or sad, it just needed to be authentic.
Each of their stories brought tears to my eyes.
Nothing could prepare me for the onslaught of caring for a colicky baby. The incessant hours and hours of “purple crying”, the feeling of helplessness, the complete and utter exhaustion. It was quite simply, awful. I felt my strong semblance of who I was (or who I thought I was) slip away in that painful time of fog and tears. – Jen
When I photograph your family it’s generally a happy time. Everyone is well-dressed, we’ve set aside an hour or two where there’s nowhere else you need to be and the entire goal of our time together is to get beautiful emotion-filled images of your family at it’s best.
Even though there were always people around, I was consumed by loneliness and the bigness of this responsibility. I felt like I was on this journey alone with my son. While my husband was an active and hands-on father, there were times at 3am or 3pm where it’s you and only you, bumbling your way through. – Holly
But I fully realize – and I hope that you, as the person viewing those portraits realizes too – that just because that moment I photographed is good, doesn’t mean every moment has been.
For all of us moms, we obviously know that having kids is everything but easy. From the conception to the delivery to the guessing phase, nothing about it is easy, even more so when sleep deprived.
Nonetheless, I wanted to feel like it was easy, just like my mom. After all, having the chance to create, love and care for a wonderful little human being is such a privilege – I needed it to be a positive and beautiful thing. Lots about parenting is instinctive, yet maintaining proper balance was (and still is) a real challenge for me. I couldn’t help but ask myself “how did my parents do this?”. – Vanessa
No matter how beautiful or fit or well-dressed the family you see on your screen is, every mother in those photographs struggles. Every mother has moments where they’re not sure how to make things better, or even if they will get better.
The past six years of being a parent has been nothing and everything what I expected it to be. It has been more – more hard, more overwhelming, more emotional, more hilarious, and more proud. – Holly
This Mother’s Day I hope you have some beautiful moments with your family. But if things feel hard right now, know you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. It will get better.
I have now accepted that yes, I love being a mother. I absolutely love it. But I love my job too. I love my board work, my volunteer committees, my running, my reading, my power women conferences and dinners. I love my girl time. I love my alone time. – Jen
After the cards have been opened, brunch has been eaten and the celebrations are winding down, I hope you make some time to recharge in whatever way feels best for you.
I soon came to realize that I was a better mom, a better wife and had more self-respect when I allowed myself some precious “me-time”. I felt more grounded, powerful, mindful and in turn, more balanced. I became more loving and grateful, less frazzled.
Happy Mother’s Day.