The Thief Of Joy

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March was a hard month for me. Parker turned 10 months old and has officially moved out of our room. I, somehow, made it through the dark, cold months of winter unscathed, but it seemed that seasonal depression caught up with me in the month of March.  Realizing that Parker is nearly a year old didn’t help.

I haven’t done the best job of documenting our life every day because I haven’t felt the desire to pick up my camera. Creatives go through these ruts. Being an artist is like riding a roller coaster. There are moments when I feel incredibly proud of my work. There are also days, sometimes weeks or months, when nothing I make is good enough; I can’t bring myself to look at the photos or edit them and every other aspect of my creative journey and business is also harshly criticized.

I love AND doubt my work. I think it is completely normal to do both. We all live in a world where we are able to view other people’s lives daily. Social media makes it easy to feel less than. Comparison is the thief of joy, and, let me tell you, it’s stolen mine more times than I can count.

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I’m telling you all of this because just like the life of a creative, being a parent can also feel like you’re on a roller coaster…in more ways than one.  Social media is a real beast in the life of a mother too. It’s so easy to get caught up in what other people are doing and forget that you have it pretty good too. It’s so easy to look at our friends’ latest happenings and wish that we had what they had.  Motherhood is hard enough without social media making us feel like we’re not doing enough.

I’ve made it my mission to show photos and tell stories of my real life so that other mothers feel like they’re not alone. I document the REAL lives of others so that they can view themselves the way the rest of the world sees them. We’re hardest on ourselves. It’s amazing what happens on the other side of my lens when a family goes about their day to day life and feels comfortable enough to be unapologetically themselves. It turns out, people really do love their own life just as much as they think they’d love someone else’s. I have emails, texts, and Facebook messages that go on and on explaining how happy my clients are with their photos. It has absolutely nothing to do with me, though. They love them because they’re photos that tell the story of their family. They aren’t cookie cutter images that look exactly like someone else’s.

So, as a mother and a creative, I am going to try harder to only compare myself to the person I was yesterday. I have a pretty good life. March was hard. I cried a lot. I put myself down a lot, but after looking at all of these photos and remembering the stories they tell, it doesn’t seem so bad afterall.

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