ON MOTHERHOOD + MOMENTS
As a photographer, it is in my nature to look for the perfect light. But like many other things in life, light is not always perfect. It changes with the seasons, the weather, and even the time of day. Because of this, I have had to train myself to look at light differently, to think about light differently. I have found that there is always light and I have been in awe of the beauty that I have been able to find at the most unexpected times and in the most unlikely of places, just by changing my way of thinking. Isn't this often how motherhood can be?
Being a mom of toddlers, my days can fluctuate greatly depending on the moods of my four littles or even my own mood. Some days we are killing it and some days my house is a mess, my baby was up 5 times, I haven't slept, I haven't showered, and I may have even relied on a bowl of peas as my food source for the day. My inner dialog often consists of phrases like, "when was the last time I brushed my teeth?" or "How long can I get away with wearing this shirt during the day...and to bed - a week? I'm totally pulling it off! " As moms, it is easy to get discouraged, some days we are going to feel like total failures, be overwhelmed, or exhausted. It's on those days, much like on the short gloomy days of our midwestern winters, we need to search for the light. Look for the small glimpse of light that reminds us we are doing great things.
Watch your baby smile as you enter the room. Let those little voices saying, "Mommy, I love you!" ring in your ears as you face the challenges of the day. Notice when your child makes the right choice when nobody is looking. See them when they are getting along and showing kindness. Praise them when they persevere. Look for the good. Look for the love. Look for the light in your day to day. Cherish these small moments, the moments of light, because our babies won't be little forever and these moments are what make all the challenges worth it.
It sounds so cliche to say this but in motherhood, the days are long but the years are short, and I want nothing more than to preserve these precious moments in time for you and your sweet babies. I wrote this during a time when we had just battled cancer with our oldest daughter and I was in the thick of newborn life with our son. Life was so good but my mama heart was still recovering from the challenges we had faced and man, was I tired. These are words that I never want to forget, though, because they got me through a really hard time and even more so, deepened my love for photography and cherishing the moments we have with our littles. When I photograph my own kids and my client's as well, I'm not looking for a forced smile. What I love to capture through my sessions are the moments in-between. The moments where you lean in kiss your little one's head or the moment where your older daughter snuggles in while you tell her a story that she had long forgotten or the moment when you are walking with your son and he reaches up to hold your hand or the laughter brought about by a tickle fight. These are closest to real life, these are the moments that are worth preserving.