I recently had the opportunity to submit a post to the popular website, Motherly. I sat down and began to write, and I was so inspired by the moms I encounter every single day who, like me, are doing their best to navigate the crazy road we call parenthood. If you’re like me, days pass, weeks pass, a whole year passes, and I didn’t even see it coming. It can be hard to schedule in the time to pause and capture the here and now. I’m tired. I’m not as thin as I’d like to be. My hair needs to be freshened up. But life gets moving and it will pass us by if we don’t stop and make time. And all we have are memories. What an incredible gift to have our memories captured in the form of a photograph to look back on and soak up.
I’ve seen how children (my own, included) respond to seeing their loved ones in photographs. Their beautiful mom and dad are the unstoppable super-heroes in their story. They don’t see weight, hair color, or tired eyes. They see the people who love them in return and a snapshot in time that is a sweet memory to them. Having photos around your home helps you and your family revisit a moment in time. You notice the sweet dimpled cheeks and the baby-fat on their pudgy little hands, but they notice you. Perfect, beautiful, you.
With each passing photo session I do, I see how important it is to stop making excuses about why we aren’t good enough to appear in photographs, but instead, embrace the beauty of a moment in time and capture memories along the way. I love looking back on family photos and seeing how we’ve changed over the years, and let’s be honest, some seasons have a sweeter memory than others. But I’m grateful for them all.
I wrote this with so many different types of families in mind, but in this case, I am especially inspired by moms. If you are a mom, each day you deny yourself for the good of your family. Your family and friends find great worth in the person you are to them. You are so beautiful right now and you are so deserving of having memories frozen in time to look back on. Don’t put it off. You’ll be glad you didn’t.
I hope you enjoy reading my Motherly post as much as I enjoyed writing it.
You just went through 48 hours of labor—your body went through an iron man and you became a new version of a woman you never dreamed you could be.
You are overcome with emotions, holding a new precious being you are now responsible for. You don’t feel at all like the previous version of yourself, the woman you left at home before the trip to the hospital—you’re new, different and indescribably emotional.
I see you. I see your beautiful body. I see the beautiful expression on your face when you gaze down at your new baby. I see the emotions on your face when you gaze at your partner. I see you feeling self conscious in all of the imperfections that childbirth leaves you with—I see you—and you’re beautiful.
You work 60 hours a week out of the house. You have a high executive job that is demanding and exhausting and takes all of your time and energy. You come home after a long day, and if you make it home by dinner, you have to muster up enough energy to feed, bathe and put your children to bed. You try your best to engage with them about their day and be positive and perky and upbeat, but you are really exhausted and often sidetracked.
I see you. I see you trying to juggle everything. I see you constantly having “mom guilt” about how much you work and how many obligations you have with your career. I see you doing your best, because that is really all you can do. I see you trying to get in every possible minute of the day with your kids so that they know you love them. I see you constantly having mixed emotions, trying to put on a million hats. I see you—and you’re beautiful.
You just had your third baby a year and a half ago and for some reason, this last time around the baby weight is just not coming off. You’re 20 pounds away from where you ideally would like to be and as much as you try to eat right and find time to workout, you’re a mom of three kids and you just can’t prioritize yourself like you used to.
I see you. I see you giving everything you can to the ones you love. I see you constantly putting others before yourself. I see you skipping the gym so that your oldest can go to karate practice. I see you—and you’re beautiful.
Your husband travels all the time and you’re constantly the one at home, keeping your family afloat. You might have some help here and there, but it is all on you to make sure the family stays running.
You start your day with someone needing you and end your day with someone needing you. You don’t have a single minute during the day that is your own. When you’re not feeding, bathing, dressing, cleaning or changing your children, you are picking up the house, running errands, driving them to and from their activities, cooking for them and helping them with their homework.
I see you. I see you skipping yet another haircut. I see you wearing “active wear” again even though you aren’t working out. I see you wanting a manicure and needing a wine date with a friend. I see you—and you’re beautiful.
No matter what stage of motherhood you’re in or what motherhood looks like for you the one constant is that you are beautiful.
As a photographer, I often hear people tell me things like “I want to book photos but I need to lose 15 pounds first” or “I want family photos, but my husband travels too much” or “I really think family photos are a great idea, but I think I’ll just do it of the kids this year.”
Your kids don’t see flaws. They don’t see weight, they don’t see stress or exhaustion, they don’t see your nails unpainted or hair undone. Your kids don’t see anything but love, warmth, comfort and the constant.
You’re launching your kids into the future of independence. All of those messy milestones that happen to get them there are beautiful moments that become a blip in time if you don’t document your days.
Your kids deserve to see and remember just how loved they are and just how beautiful the woman who made all of those memories possible is. So let yourself be seen even when you don’t feel like the best version of yourself. Make time for memories. Because you will never regret having photos to look back on.