Motherhood, man, you think you know what you are getting yourself into and then bam! It is nothing like you expected. I never wanted kids, I was never a kid person, but then I turned about 25 and that baby fever hit me like a ton of bricks. I instantly wanted and could think about nothing else. We tried, we lost, we tried again and then I finally got my girl I had been waiting for. So here I am thinking I have everything I want, a baby to snuggle, my husband by my side, cute baby clothes and a cradle next to the bed. “I’ve got this” I thought…
Ha! I look back now and just giggle. This motherhood thing is so much harder than it looks. Forget sleepless nights and spitup, the real struggle comes into play when you are trying to find where the hell you ended up in this mess of itty bitty clothing, a house strewn with toys, a constant brigade of crumbs (so many crumbs, do they eveeeerrrrrrr end?!?!), trying to split your attention between your partner, your child (or children), your job, your friends, your family, your home, your bills, your appointments, your partners appointments, your kids schedule…
Notice in that long list of things…not once did I mention YOU? Yeah ladies, this is the real shit right here. Motherhood is hard. Like really, really, really hard. Sure it is marvelous and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, but that doesn’t negate how hard it is. Like, why can we not talk about how hard being a mom is without someone assuming that means that we don’t like to be a mom? Really? No. I love my kid, I talk about her all the time, but dear lord, is it ok if I focus on myself a little bit?
I always tell my husband, Justin, my biggest fear is to teach my daughter that life ends when you become a mom, that you don’t matter anymore and that everyone else does, and especially your kid. I call bullshit. You still matter, you have to matter. Especially when you have kids. You have to show them that there is a life to keep living and that they are an incredible addition to it and give your life a whole new meaning. You have to show them you still care to exist. That once in a while, that mom bun is worth replacing with curls or a blow out, That the yoga pants and flip flops can be replaced with a slinky dress or sexy lingerie, and that underneath the mom the woman still exists.
You don’t need my permission, but you have it anyway. Be you. Find you. Celebrate you.
Rachel found me through a professional photographers group I am a member of. I am always wicked nervous when I have to photograph another photographer because I know they are seeing and judging it all, the lighting, the editing, the process…Even more nervous when they are a really good photographer. Rachel wasn’t like that though. It was pretty awesome. She came in with a respect for the process, but more than that, respect for the art and the experience, and she let that photographer side of her go to just exist as the sexy woman she is in the moment. It was pretty awesome to be a part of that process. One of the things we talked about alot during the getting ready part of her process was how hard it is to be a mom. Rachel has a little one just like I do and is a hardcore hustling working mama on top of that. She had reached that place where she was looking to find herself again. I had asked her to share a little bit about her journey and experience and here is what she had to say:
“Once you have a child you and your world change in so many ways. You’re a mom to a beautiful little baby, and to that baby you are their world. You become selfless and give up your every need to satisfy and soothe your baby.. you are up countless nights, you work harder than ever to provide and give your baby everything they need.. you get frustrated, you learn to balance motherhood, relationships, friends, and work, and you never fully figure it out. you never pee alone again, every day you are guessing on what to do, or if your decisions are right, all while continuing to hold that little bundle of joy in your arms. I was 22 when I became a mom, I was in a less than ideal relationship and was completely lost. That first year of motherhood was the most difficult year of my life.. A year after I had my child and my body went back to somewhat how it was before.. I looked in the mirror naked and loved my body for giving me this beautiful baby, and at the same time become upset for it looking as it did.. in my eyes my body was ruined. Nothing was back where it was.. my tummy would never be the same again.. I struggled with this for a long time and I would be lying if I said I still didn’t. I finally decided that I need images of myself to have around my home that made me feel amazing.. images that I would see and feel proud of.. images my daughter would see that would make her feel as though her mom loves her body, and she should love hers too. As women we are surrounded with body shaming in all forms. I want my daughter to love and embrace her body, and I Knew in order to teach her this I must first love and embrace my own. It took me a long time to find a boudoir photographer that was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted someone who empowers women and supports women in loving themselves as they are. A photographer that photographs real women with real bodies who have curves and want to show them off. A photographer that would make me feel like I was stunning, and rocked the shoot! I wanted to feel empowered.. and confident, and sexy again. When I found Lindsay’s work I immediately fell in love. Her talents are exceptional and she is the best of the best in boudoir photography. Being a photographer my self I was very selective, I knew she was going to be the artist to photograph me! I went into the shoot with high expectations that Lindsay far exceeded! Erin did my makeup flawlessly, and Lindsay posed my body perfectly. I felt so comfortable from the second I walked in the door! During my shoot I felt like the most beautiful woman in the world. My flaws didn’t cross my mind, and I felt like I rocked the shoot.. Lindsay makes you feel empowered, loves with her whole heart, encourages and supports women to be who they are and feel sexy the whole way! I can now go into my room and see the pieces of art work that were created.. by my body.. I feel sexy, confident, and like a whole new person. My daughter is now being taught to love yourself as you are and be confident in yourself always. I will forever be grateful for Lindsay and Erin for making me feel and look as gorgeous as I do in these images. These are images that I will have for a lifetime and the experience I gained and how I now feel about myself is something that I will hold close to my heart for many years to come!”