Finding Light. As I entered my son's room to wake him up from his morning nap, I noticed that there were broken segments of light scattered across the side of his crib. I had never seen the sun do this in his room before and it just intrigued me; made me want to capture it. I viewed it as an opportunity to document a stirring image of my young son sleeping, so I went to get my camera. Much to my surprise, what started as a small moment of beauty in seeing this sunlight turned into so much more. What I ended up documenting was something that happens most days, something that somewhere along the way I had stopped noticing - my son waking up from his nap to his big sister. I saw their love and joy as they noticed each other and began interacting and what started as me capturing a literal moment of light turned into me capturing a small moment of the light and beauty that can be found in motherhood.
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 season, the weather, and even the time of day. Because of this, I have trained 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 two littles or even my own mood. Some days my house is a mess, my baby was up 5 times and 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 kids' teeth, when was the last time I brushed MY teeth?" or "I wonder how long that poop was hiding in his diaper because I sure didn't smell it!?" 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! " or "What is this on my pants?! A booger!? Oh well." or "I hope we don't get the flu this year, I would really hate to have to catch puke in my hand again." or "Why are these tiny humans so obsessed with me!?! Can't I just pee alone once in a while!"
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 you you are doing great things. Watch your baby smile as you enter the room. Let those little voices saying, "Mommy, you are my best friend!" ring in your ears as you face the challenges of the day. Notice when your child makes the right choice when nobody is looking. Remember the time your child first sincerely apologized to you without any prompting and it melted your heart. 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 joy. Look for the light in your day to day, in the most unlikely of places, however small it might be, however long it lasts and use it to see the beauty that is this crazy journey we call motherhood. Cherish these small moments, the "moments of light", because our babies won't be babies forever and these moments are what make all the challenges worth it.
I am so thankful that my job is to capture these moments for others. If you are at all interested in investing in and documenting your own family's story, I would love if you'd take a moment to learn more about my Story Telling Sessions or contact me directly.