I am worthy of my own time, love, and attention.
I am confident in my decision making.
I am enough.
I became a mom 1379 days ago (give or take a few days). I was born again the day they laid that baby girl on my chest. Nothing in this world will ever compare to the sense of fulfillment I find in being a mother. Nothing.
She’s grown quite a bit since this day. I’ve grown quite a bit too. Motherhood is in my veins. It’s what keeps me up at night and wakes me with the sun each morning. It’s the reason behind nearly every decision I make throughout the day. Millions of decisions each year are all made with my children in mind.
(Most of those decisions are based on the color of cup I choose for each meal.)
Weeks after bringing Piper home from the hospital, I decided that I was ready for another baby. A couple years and thousands of dollars spent on fertility medication later, our son was born. And, although I was nervous about loving another child as fiercely as I love my first, he was welcomed into our family seamlessly. I didn’t think he would change me the way his sister did, but he’s proven me wrong since the day he was born. I am stronger, happier, and more myself because he is in my life. My children are my reason. They are my why.
I owe the start of my photography business to my daughter and the growth of my business to my son. Photography is a deep rooted passion of mine. The love I feel for my art is hard to understand unless you’re a creative yourself, but I can honestly tell you that I feel, with every fibre of my being, that photography is meant to be a big piece of my story. It gives me a voice. It lets me connect with other mothers. It lets me share about our infertility. It gives me a chance to express myself when I’m feeling anxious or depressed. It lets me relive some of my favorite memories.
I never imagined it would give me the ability to cook breakfast for my kids each morning or teach my daughter how to write her name. I didn’t know that I’d get to witness all of my son’s firsts and celebrate each time I hear him say a new word for the first time. I missed out on so much time with my daughter. I didn’t know photography was going to let me make some of that time up.
I’ve lived by the rules my whole life. Most decision I’ve ever made was made to make someone else happy. I was, and still am, a people pleaser. I say what I think other people want to hear, and I do what other people want to do. Since the day I became a mom, my priorities have shifted. It’s not that I don’t want to make other people happy anymore, it’s just that my kids come first. I’m not able to do the things I used to do, and I’m okay with that. I’ve lost friends, and I have gained friends.There are people who don’t support me. Slowly, but surely, I am learning to be okay with that too. For the first time in my life, I am doing what makes me happy.
A couple weeks ago, I resigned from my teaching position. Until this point, that’s been hard for me to say. Not because I didn’t think that was the best decision for my family and I, but because I know that I may lose friends and supporters. I know there are people close to me who think I’m crazy. Because I know being a SAHM/ business owner isn’t what our society deems normal. I know that there will be more people who ask me “what’s your real job?” when I tell them I’m a photographer. I’m working on answering, with unwavering confidence, “I am a mother and photographer. I document my family’s story and I give other families the chance to have theirs told for years to come.” Because of my children, I am the best version of myself. I am an entrepreneur, artist, storyteller, and teacher. I am the healthiest I’ve ever been. I am stronger than I’ve ever been. I am more confident, more authentic, and overall… just more. I’ve struggled with some inner turmoil over the thought of being enough, but this huge change in my life has eased some of that unrest, because I am not fighting against the plan that I feel God has laid out for me.
I am learning to really love the person I am becoming, and I am excited about where this journey will take me.
I am a mother. I am enough.
This is Artifact Motherhood; a collaboration of artists from around the world who have come together to share our stories of the joys and struggles of our journey. Through our writings and visual records, we want to create memories that are more than photographs with dates written on the back. These are the artifacts we are leaving behind for our children and for generations to come. Please check out Ann Bloom the next artist in our blog circle, and continue through all the artists until you get back to me!
Please visit Artifact Motherhood to view past issues.