Orange County Family Photographer. Mom Power
When a woman takes that first step into motherhood, a very big change occurs in her being. Her goals, dreams, and visions of herself immediately and forever- shift. Those who say otherwise are lying. We make rooms in our hearts for those we love, and when our very own baby comes to live, the entire heart is re-shaped to acommodate all the love and joy, shock and tenderness, and everything EVERYTHING motherhood represents. I say with complete honesty, that motherhood is both draining and hauntingly beautiful at the same time.
Mothers are the shadows that move silently between scenes, the supporters, the open arms of comfort and oftentimes, these shadows are overlooked. Unthanked.
Mothers are the givers, who despite it all– need to give of herself every moment of every day, and attempt to do this all while wearing her brightest smile.
Mothers are the ones who pack the lunches, silently curse the traffic lights, and always feel just a little behind, and a little guilty. Not good enough.
But you are. And you’re enough. You even look beautiful and strong doing it.
It’s amazing to me, that some of you don’t see it that way. How beautiful you shine, and just how magically you mother. Secret, quick-passing moments stolen from a session where it’s just a parent and his/her child are becoming my favorites. I’d like to think that I’d rescued this moment, this touching scene between mom and child from being erased by poor memory or a busy life.
Because mom is inherently beautiful. Not 20 pounds lighter, not after your tummy tuck, right now. It’s not just your child that thinks so either, although hearing it from the mouths of babes is just so sweet, right?
I was laying with my almost 3 year old daughter yesterday and she had roused from her sleep, gently caressed my face (the way only a 3 year old with barely enough hand control can- she slap/caressed/stroked unevenly) then with both hands on either side of my face told me, “I’m just looking at your beautiful face.” And, in that instant, all I felt was a deep pounding love course through my veins. Because I knew she was only partly talking about my physical beauty. It was her own way of saying she sees me, she feels me- my love for her, and she thanked me for it.
I know that if my daughter thought I was beautiful then every daughter must feel the same way.
But it’s a shame that most moms don’t know this.
That’s why portraits are so important. But don’t do it for the children. Do it for yourself. The 10 lbs too heavy you who is busy running out of the door with coffee splashing in the mornings screaming at the kids to “hurry”. It’s not actually the grinning cheesy perfectly sitting portraits that I’m referring to here, but rather those stolen moments. Because under the hustle and bustle of motherhood, there exists so much love, and tenderness. There is so much growing to do, and learning and applying things learned, and YOU get to be there to witness all of this. You’ll be the one they run to with a skinned knee, crocodile tears washing down their faces– the end of the world if there is any actual blood.
And YOU get to hold him until his world feels better again. Safe.
Looking back at my own childhood with my own mother- who I assure you, is the most beautiful woman in the whole wide world, I cannot for the life of me, think of a single image of just her and I, as a girl — sharing a moment. Not one. And that makes me feel so sad. When I was growing up we didn’t have money for frivolities such as photography. In all fairness, I don’t think anyone around me did either. We did do a few “glamor shots” aka, fuzzy weird lighting shots at the mall, and that was it. I did not have a settled childhood where kids grew up in the same neighborhood and knew each other from kindergarten to high school prom. I was moved to a new school almost every. single. year. There were many reasons my parents did this, and whatever they were, I don’t believe the benefits outweighed the developmental and emotional weight I carried from never feeling like I belonged anywhere. Stability is such a strong builder of confidence. Yet through it all, I felt secure with my family. But I don’t have many images to show for all of this.
Imagery is so important.
It is my wish that every mom reading this sits a little bit taller, is a little bit more thankful for her life and those of her littles, and nods her head in agreement to the fact that she IS beautiful. The way she is, right now.
Find time to intentionally document the moments. As beautifully as you possibly can. These will be the moments your children flip through as they’re compiling wedding slideshows, or as your grandchildren’s chubby fingers almost rip out pages. Keep your memories protected, so you have plenty of time to cherish them.