Happy Mother’s Day! We get one day a year where our children show us their hand drawn cards and handmade gifts, and say “I love you” a lot. This year, my girls even cleaned up their bedroom and playroom because I asked them. At this rate, I want every day to be Mother’s Day, because truth be told, a lot of the rest of the days feel hard and long. Gentle reminders turn to nagging, which leads to yelling, only to culminate into swearing and simultaneous meltdowns. Ugly mommy shows up promptly around 5 pm and rushes everyone through dinner and off to bed.
And then the guilt. Hot and viscous, coursing through my veins. This mothering shit is hard. It is a steep learning curve right out of the gates and it is a daily exercise of giving and giving, then giving some more.
But I know I am not alone. I see it with the families I photograph. Moms work their asses off to hold their no’s, implement discipline, comfort stormy hearts, set aside their mom hat and put on a fun one, and offer guiding hands and loving words. I feel these women’s frustration, anger, worry, heartache, laughter, pride, love, and tenderness. I sense their uncertainty in the parenting path and I recognize that when they do fail, they rise up and do it all over again.
I bottle it up for them, and for me. Their stories teach me how to mother and try new ways to see what may work for my family. In sharing their mothering lives, they have made me, and undoubtedly many other women, feel less alone in this role that swings wildly between vulnerability and empowerment. Together, they provide solace in the universality of real motherhood.
So to these mothers on this Mother’s Day, I am filled with gratitude for you. For opening up your homes, for having the courage to show up and be seen, for having your life stories memorialized this way. You are all my muses.