An open letter to mums
I saw something similar on an American blogger’s site and it struck such a chord with me I felt I had to pen my own open letter to mums everywhere.
I see you…
I interact with mums all the time in this job with kids of all ages. I see you spending time and effort in the preparation for your photoshoot. Co-ordinating outfits, keeping those outfits clean, making sure the kids are fed and napped, begging your partner to co-operate. I see you, and I am really thankful for your effort as it helps me create memories you will want to cherish. The most rewarding part of my job is hearing about how much you love your pictures.
I hear you…
The hardest part of my job is hearing how hard you are on yourselves. All too often I hear things like:
“I need to lose some weight before I book a shoot”
“Please, photoshop me as much you can!”
“I couldn’t find anything that looked okay on me so I decided not to be in the shoot”
“I will love the pictures as long as I’m not in them!”
“I get so stressed out when it comes to pictures”
Here’s what I want to say to you
Mums – please give yourself some grace!
As an artist, I study you closely and I think you are beautiful. Absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful. But I think we are talking about two different definitions or beauty here. I’m not talking about your perfect outfit or body. What I see is the way you love your kids. Your patience with them and the way they look at you and giggle. That is so much more beautiful than perfect hair or makeup.
Sometimes they cling to you and don’t want you to put them down. You get frustrated but it’s okay. I love seeing how safe they feel in your arms and when they snuggle into you, it makes me melt (even if it does mess up your hair). Their drool on your top, of course, I can photoshop that, but should I? You’ll miss that one day, you know. They adore you.
No matter how hard you try, your photos will not be perfect. Life isn’t perfect and that is the beauty of photography – capturing the messiness of life in all its glory. Because messy or not, you’ll never get those moments again.
In ten years, I promise you will not look at these photos and wish you were skinnier. You will be looking at how little your baby is in your arms and wishing you could jump right back into that moment when they needed you so fiercely. You may even think how great you looked with fewer wrinkles and wish you could go back to that too!
In twenty years, when your kid is all grown up they will look back and cherish these pictures. They won’t care about the outfit or what you weighed but they’ll be grateful they’ll have something to remember what a great mum you were to them.
Someday you’ll be gone and your great, great, great grandchildren will see how much they resemble you and be thankful for the legacy you left. This for me is the true beauty of a photo (a subject dear to my heart, see previous blog post here).
So please, mums…
You literally made another human with that body of yours. Give yourself some grace. take the pictures, even when you don’t feel the best. Love the pictures, even when you don’t look your very best. You are more beautiful than you’ll ever know.