It’s Moms week around here – and I am INCREDIBLY fortunate to have a job that allows me to meet, work with, get to know and learn from so many incredible fellow Moms. It’s a part of this “gig” that I never envisioned impacting me the way it has. It has certainly inspired my writing… but it has caused me to look at my responsibility as a photographer to not just deliver “great” pictures… but to deliver a picture that you can look at on those “I’m-a-crappy-Mom” days and make it really hard to believe what you’re telling yourself.
I was looking through some of the pictures from this last year (below) of some really beautiful, incredible Moms I’ve worked with. I have a special place for each of them in my heart, and have learned something different from each of them.
And when you look at the incredible love, joy and authenticity in these images… it’s hard to believe that each one of these Moms at some point has probably told herself that she’s not there enough for her kids…. that she works too much or that she doesn’t work enough… that she’s not creative enough to come up with new things to do with them… that she isn’t a “fun” Mom… that she loses her patience more than she holds on to it… that she isn’t “as good at” being a Mom as the next person… that she’s not absolutely beautiful.
And I can guarantee you that most of you would respond to her with something encouraging and uplifting – to remind her that we all deal with similar things.
And if that’s the case… let me ask you this:
WHYYYYYYY aren’t we giving ourselves the same advice? WHYYYY aren’t we encouraging and uplifting ourselves and instead self-shaming about our bad moments? WHYYY is it so hard for us to believe that we are damn good moms?
We all have bad days. We all have moments that we’re not proud of. We all at some point didn’t take our kid to that Santa breakfast that every other Mom on Facebook did. We all lose our patience. We all look at our phones too much. We all have guilt if we work. We all have guilt if we don’t work. All of our kids have taken something from another kid on the playground. All of us have been “that” parent with “that” kid who acted out in front of an entire check out line.
But you know what? We’ve all had some pretty incredible parenting moments too. The kisses. The hugs. The I-love-yous. Why have all of those things lost their value in our hearts to only be taken over by the guilt for all of the things we feel we’re not?
The reality is… they have. And because of that… if there is a single gift that I can give to you this mother’s day… it would be a mandatory challenge to be a self-bashing slasher…. and go and look at yourself in that mirror and tell yourself that you’re frickin amazing… and BELIEVE it.
BELIEVE that you are an incredible role model in your kids’ lives… and that that maybe… just maybe… the fact that you even care and evaluate how good of a job you’re doing as a parent stands for something. And that your kisses, your hugs, your “I love yous” and your mere presence – no matter how long or how little during the day – has so much more long-lasting impact than that totally-age-normal tantrum they had today that has made you question your entire ability to be a parent.
Can we focus on that? Because you are all so awesome. SO AWESOME. You are beautiful. You are such rockstars. You are amazing role models. And whatever authenticity you bring to the table as a mother… is the best thing that you can give. You are not just good enough… you are amazing.
And I have the pictures to prove it…
All of my love (and self-bashing slashing) to all of you on this Mother’s Day. I’m lucky to know you.