“How do you do it all?” This is a question I am asked daily… And I have all the right responses, “I’m really good at delegating time!” I’m not. “My husband is so helpful and supportive!” He is. Or I laugh the question off with the good ‘ol, “dry shampoo” excuse. And while dry shampoo can save me a good twenty minutes for three (okay, maybe four) days, it is not a cure-all.
The fact is, I don’t do it all. Not even close. Some days my child goes to bed unbathed, we order take-out (again), we run out of toothpaste because I couldn’t make it to the store, and it’s 11pm before I realize I haven’t talked to my husband all day. My to-do list is never done.
I’m a stay-at-home-working-mom; my office is in our kitchen and in between snack time, playtime and toddler tantrums, I work. I’m not complaining, I am happy to able to spend this extra time with my little man, but someone or something always gets shorted. Either I feel like I didn’t do enough work and the bed never got made, or I feel guilty for being on my phone at all hours of the night when I should be spending quality time with my husband. And forget about self-care, I’m lucky if I get to pee without a tiny person shouting at me or trying to sit in my lap…
I love being a mom. I truly do. All the cheesy things they tell you when you’re pregnant resonate even more than I could have imagined. When I get unprompted hugs, or hear the giggles from playing peek-a-boo, or see my son’s face light up when “Daddy’s home!” I melt. Literal butter on a hot piece of toast melting. But it’s hard. It’s hard if you work. It’s hard if you stay home. It’s hard if you work AT home. It’s hard because every single thought you have when you become a mother is about this tiny person you created. It’s hard because you want to give your baby the best life, and you want them to be the happiest, and you want them to reach milestones on-time, and you want them to eat something other than applesauce and chicken nuggets, and you don’t ever want them to get hurt or feel pain. So you try and do it all, plus a little more. Try to do all of this AND keep the house in order AND love your husband as much as you did before there were three of you AND work.
It’s. Not. Possible.
Dear Moms, none of us have it all together. None of us “do it all.” Not even the Instagram moms that make looks like we do. Behind every picture where my child is smiling are 145 of a meltdown. Leggings, Starbucks and dry shampoo will not help you complete your to-do list… Just love that little baby as much as you can; they don’t care if the bed isn’t made, or if the pantry isn’t color coordinated… And have a good grandmother on standby for when you want to pee alone. I’m so thankful for ours every day.” Whitney, Mother
“I have had the honor of photographing Whitney’s baby shower, her son’s newborn photos and now these precious images with her mom, Karen, and her sweet son, Bo. Being a small part of capturing their journey has been so wonderful. Whitney and her mom are both amazing and hard-working mothers who have such a special relationship. They are the best of friends, and I really love seeing how they are taking on this new season of life side by side. Their relationship shows that the love of a mother grows stronger with each passing day, (especially when their babies have babies) and I feel that these images celebrate that.
Motherhood is truly a work of art to me. Each mother is so different in the way she creates, loves and grows her family, but there’s a unifying quality in all of us. That just makes spending time with these mamas such a joy for me. The fleeting moments in motherhood escape us more quickly that we can comprehend. Being able to set these moments still and help preserve their stories is such an honor.” Rachel, Photographer