I think a lot of us embark upon the idea of parenthood in an idealistic way. We read books and blog and we talk to others about their experiences so that we can better prepare for what is to come.
Then when our baby arrives, we get thrown from ideal to real in 0-100 right quick. We are in the trenches learning, troubleshooting, failing. And that last part is what really breaks the spirit. The doubt and uncertainty begin to creep in, a little at first, and then bursting through the door fast, eventually leading to questions like, “Am I doing everything I can for my baby?”, “Am I a good parent?”, “Am I a good mother?”.
Sometimes good needs to be good enough.
Here is what I have learnt as a mother to two and as a photographer documenting a variety of families: as long as our efforts are paired with best intentions, the outcomes do not need to be perfect or measured against some general standard. We need to tell ourselves that for the most part, it is good enough. Maybe it seems like succumbing to a lower standard, but I see it as survival. We need to survive the day to day, and in order to do that, we need to revel in the small successes.
Kids are fed, check.
Kids are happy, check.
House is functioning, check.
We are all healthy, check.
There is laughter, check.
Short list right? See? It’s not that hard. Saying good enough to a lot of things is practicing gratitude. And this is what Eran Jayne Photography does. During the hours that I spent with her family, there was so much celebration of the little things. Henry’s art and his favourite costume, preserving pumpkin seeds, holding on to Grandma Jan’s mixer, the good [enough] circle of stars at the base of cupcakes, a mac and cheese lunch, a patched together flower pot, having smarties on a car ride home after a weekly piano lesson.
Most of all, she practices gratitude in the Vancouver community by changing the mindset of mothers from Good to Good enough for oneself through her Good Mother Project. Everyone’s journey to becoming a mother is different, and there aren’t enough stories of how hard it can be, and Eran is working to change that. She is mine and a lot of mothers’ hero in her advocacy work.
Thank you Eran and Justin for having me experience your family’s story on this beautiful fall day. I hope this session will always show you how you embrace the little things and see them with gratitude!
Felicia is a Vancouver Documentary Photographer who wants to tell the story of everyday people and celebrate their mundane equally with their milestones. Contact her to find your family’s edition of birth or life story for your visual diary! To follow more of Felicia’s work, connect over at @feliciachangphoto on Instagram.