A few months back during a family session, the dad said to me: a woman’s brain is like a multi-dimensional spider web, as he gestures to his wife.
This is certainly true of a mother’s brain. So often she is thinking: which kid do I need to get dressed, what am I packing them for lunch, when will I squeeze in grocery time with the least amount of children, what am I making for dinner, did I feed them their vitamins, what activities and appointments do we have on deck today, all the while trying to beat the clock for the next thing on the list, and troubleshooting any changes that happen along the way. He admits that he couldn’t do that job half as well as she does, and that recognition is golden.
I know I have had days when I have felt rather solitary on this motherhood journey, at the end of my tether, ready to throw in the towel before the day’s done.
And then there are days when perspective hits me over the head. This happened to me most recently when I was photographing Kristie during her Day in the Life/newborn session. Life with two kids has only been a month long but Kristie had already seen her fill of craziness. In addition to the typical processing that is already going on in her head, the universe also served up scarlet fever, strep throat, a fungal infection, and a few other things that would have left me feeling incredibly vulnerable. There I was, photographing a brave and unwavering mother who took everything in stride, despite all the monkey wrenches thrown at her. So often having a newborn is all about them but this mother made every effort to fulfill her first born’s requests. With baby Rowan in a wrap, Kristie made pancakes with James, helped him with filling warm water in his tumbler, made sure he took his medicine and vitamins, and wanted to make him happy by taking him to his favourite place – I-K-E-A. As we were walking through the showrooms, she said to me, Let’s stop by the ball bin, it’s his favourite thing to jump into the box. Just watch James when he gets to the arrows on the ground, he is obsessed with them.
All the little details. That is what she chose to focus on. Not the craziness that has rained on her newborn parade. This is what changed my perspective.
Brene Brown’s Parenting manifesto speaks: “We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen and honouring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both.”.
This is how I see you Kristie – as someone who shows up despite it all. It takes a really special person to embrace all of life’s messes, but an incredible one to have the courage to let it all be photographed, just as it is. You are truly an inspiration my friend – thank you for sharing your life and letting yourself be seen.