Saturday, April 18, 2015

"From My Perspective"

    I was blown away with the images shared for this week's theme and it was SO hard to choose my favorites.  This first theme on the blog was chosen as a way to ease mommies into getting into the pictures with their babies. Every shot is a self portrait, but also a view from their perspective. Enjoy these beautiful pictures while getting a unique glimpse into the life of a mother.



Hello Olivia Photography





   If you would like a chance to be featured on the blog, please visit our community page on Facebook and check out our latest theme. If you have any ideas on posts, or would like to contribute to one of our categories, please send an email with your submission to selfportraitsofmotherhood@gmail.com




"Dear Child..." By Tatiana


   Our first feature in a new series called "Dear Child..." . Thank you Tatiana for sharing this sweet picture and letter to your baby!



   "I got the idea to do (this picture) because just yesterday she started doing this. Holding onto me tightly before I lay her down for a nap. I wrote a letter to her future self after she did it for the first time yesterday and wanted a picture to go along with it."




   Here is the letter:

   To Kalani,

   I just laid you down for a nap. It was the hardest time I had laying you down in the 15 months that you have been on this earth. No, you weren't fighting me. No, you didn't run away. You hugged me. As I carried you up the stairs, you pulled me tight and laid your head on my shoulder. As I walked into the room, you laid there, quiet and still. I couldn't bear to put you down, so I just held you, rocking back and forth. I even walked over to the bathroom to look at the mirror to see if you had fallen asleep. You were still awake just embracing me and I was embracing the moment. I could feel your heart beating, and hear your breath. This is what bliss feels like. After a few minutes passed, I knew I had to put you down so you could get your rest, so I adjusted your blanket in the crib and laid you down. This is when you started crying, and it broke my heart. I walked out of the room calm and collected, but as I closed the door, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. Yes, I know this might sound silly. Why would I cry? You have fought sleep before. I have laid you down countless times and I don’t think I have ever cried. This time was different. I just felt so happy and loved by you and I didn't want that moment to end. I wanted to hold you forever, but I knew you needed a nap. Little moments like these are moments that define motherhood. Mothers make these choices that children (or the mothers themselves) do not like but know need to be done. I wanted to write this moment down so I could always remember and so you could know how I felt in this moment. A moment so sweet yet hard broke my heart in a way that is hard to understand. It isn’t like the heartbreak everyone goes through with relationships. One day, unfortunately, you will feel that kind of heartbreak I am sure. No, this heartbreak is different because it isn’t negative. It makes me stronger and makes me count all of my blessings. It makes me happy because it shows me how much you love me even though you can’t really tell me you do. Right now, you are asleep. You fell asleep in a little over five minutes which proves I know my baby. You will find I am right a lot. I hope one day you read this and it makes sense to you. I hope it shows you how a mother’s love works. It is complicated but so incredible. It is the deepest love I have ever known. I love you Kalani! I can’t wait until you wake up.

Love,
Mommy


By Tatiana Podraza  Little Panther Photography 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Musings of a Mother - Angela


   I'm so excited to welcome our first featured photographer, Angela from Yashanti photography!


   Nursing my son for eight months is something I never even imagined.Where I was brought up, breastfeeding was kind of a taboo you didn’t talk about it, and you chuckled if you saw anyone doing it. I was raised in a low-income family with a disabled mother who could never breastfeed. The doctors told her it was too dangerous. "Epilepsy and breastfeeding can never be safely done together." I can honestly just remember the amount of ignorance that was taught concerning breastfeeding and raising children. All of my friends were pregnant either in high school or right after and I can’t say that any of them breastfed. As a matter of fact, I am pretty confident in health class we were taught about formula and even programs like WIC that we would qualify for if a teen pregnancy occurred. “Why would I breastfeed if WIC gives me the formula for free?”



Self portraits of motherhood


   Unfortunately, this was the mentality I witnessed and still currently see taught in my community. Bashing others about breastfeeding is wrong, laughing at mothers nursing in public, disgusted in the sounds of the suckling, and whispering about mothers naturally nurturing their children has to stop. I have gotten a lot of backlash for breastfeeding my son from friends and family. The little jokes about nursing him until grade school or college are offensive. They hurt! Sadly, our community; our Country, is uneducated in the act of breastfeeding. I hope that in a few years breastfeeding is taught in schools and not snickered about in the halls. How is it that we can drink milk from a cow, but once we feed our own flesh, our own blood, and from our own body it is considered taboo? We need it to stop! We need to normalize it so that others can know it is so healthy for our little ones. I don’t plan to quit anytime soon, eight months and going strong!


   I will not stop because he is healthy, and this is beautiful.

   Angela Renee Yashanti Photography