We get up with the sun nearly every morning, I serve breakfast, clean up, and get ready for the day. Errands, tutoring, school, speech, and homeschool lessons have taken up nearly every drop of mental energy I have each day, but I started this year with a list of goals for self improvement, self love, and self preservation and I’m giving myself permission to not feel guilty about that. Last year broke me, so I want to spend the time I have now on growth- mentally, physically, and creatively. I just want to spend the year making myself proud.
Our afternoons and evenings are just as busy- lunch time, nap time, clean, make dinner, and get ready for bed. But in between all those things during the day, I’m making time for me.
Mothering in the time of Covid had me feeling lost. I was in constant state of survival mode that was chipping away, rapidly, at the foundation of who I am outside of being “mom”. I’ve made it a habit to exercise daily, make self portraits weekly, sign myself up for courses I’ve been wanting to take, and meet with a therapist.
Right now, while I work out cramming 87 things within the brief 10 hours of sunlight we get each day, my time documenting our lives has taken a back seat. Eventually, picking up my camera to preserve daily moments will be added to that list. It’s incredibly important to me.
I’ve made very few personal images this year so far while I focus on growth, but the ones I have made seem to have even more meaning to me right now than previous years while I was documenting behind the mask of motherhood as my only title.
“I hope love
feel like good music.
Songs that do not
reject the valley,
but are carved out
of its muddy
admist all of it:
you are seen.”
-Morgan Harper Nichols
This is part of ARTIFACT MOTHERHOOD – a project shared with other female artists who are documenting our journeys as mothers and creating memories for our children through our photographs and words. Go next to the wonderful artist Min to read her post in our blog circle.
I am almost in tears because your words genuinely give me HOPE! Something I dearly need at the moment. These times during covid strip you down to new vunerablities. I can’t help but cling on to the idea that suffering will aways bring a sense of greater wisdom and clarity in the end. From reading, it sounds like you are coming out on the other side my sweet friend. I am REALLY looking forward to seeing what makes you proud this year. My prayer for you is that you keep going and don’t look back.
This is an emotional and honest read. Thank you for reminding me, us, that we’re not alone. This past year has been intense, with moments of inspiration and as ever, some hope. You have shared incredible images and words right here to sum up the beauty and despair, I’m grateful to you. x
You really inspired me with this! It made me so happy to read how you’re doing all these things for you. You are an incredible woman.
You are one of the people I most admire in our online community of mothers and artists. Your inner resolve and strength to improve and grow while also always seeking for meaning and deeper connection with your art never ceases to amaze me. I’m so proud of you, Lauren.
This has been so hard on mothers. You’re an example to us all, and your kids and a reminder to put on our own oxygen masks first, because without that it falls apart. Thank you for sharing, thank you for keeping growing
Reading your powerful and inspiring words, paired with your exquisite photographs is such a joy. It feels like a sort of group therapy session hearing everyone’s very honest and raw voices coming through the words. Your struggles last year and your resolve to always keep going and to improve yourself is really really heartwarming and inspiring. I know I say this to your every time but I honestly adore your work so so much. I WISH we lived in the same country because I have a sneaky suspicion we’d be great friends in real life.