There are so many things we say to ourselves before we have kids that you think back on and shake your head. I’m not a crazy organized person, but I do love uncluttered space. I still look longing at several mama’s on Instagram and their always seemingly perfect spaces, uncluttered, clean, and bright. How do they do it!? To much clutter in my own space begins to bleed into my head and edgy feelings start coming out. I just feel unnerved. Before kids I could never understand how a house could become so cluttered and messy. I mean, why do kids have to have so many toys! Oh the irony.
Even after Delilah was born, I felt I had control. The toys were at bay 90% of the time. I could even clean and unclutter when I needed too.
Then Crosby was born, and for awhile I could keep up. THEN, he learned to crawl. And my once somewhat organized house became chaos.
I find it funny that our issues as humans are magnified by our children. Somehow they know exactly what baggage we need to work on and get rid of. After Crosby’s birthday, the toys have grown exponentially and a simple declutter is not the issue. Crosby loves taking everything out and throwing it, which as a 12 month old, he’s just exploring. But, oh my, I can’t keep up!
I once prided myself on having an organized house. It maybe wasn’t spotless, but at least it was organized. But as with everything along this mamahood journey, my pride is thrown under the bus.
Is a clean and organized home really that important in the grand scheme of things?
Or is reading books, snuggling, playing hide and seek, and having tickle fights more important? Will my kids remember me playing with them, or cleaning the house? What will I regret in 20 years, not having a clean house or playing with my kids at this age more? The answer seems crystal clear.
I want my friends to come over and flop on the couch while the kids run off and play. I want her to see I’m struggling just as she is. I want to focus on sharing stories and life instead of judgement. I want to walk into her house and know I’m not alone in this struggle. I don’t want to hide behind a mask of perfection. I want a sisterhood of mama friends that all embrace the crazy ups and downs that is motherhood. Lucky, I do have that.
I’ve been experimenting with self portraits of motherhood and each time I attempted, it never comes out how I want. My own motherhood doesn’t look how I want it to look. Or maybe how I always thought it should look. And I’m not even sure what I thought it should look like!
But here’s the thing, after photographing so many other mamas I’m figuring out, it never looks like you think it should. We expect perfection most of the time, the world expects perfection. And mamahood is anything BUT perfect. It’s messy, chaotic, stressful, and yes even a bumblefuck. (Thank you Amy Yetman for that perfect word!) We are all so busy chasing perfection, we’re missing the whole point.
Motherhood isn’t perfect, but it is stunningly beautiful!
I can’t wait for life to look perfect before I photograph this season of life. I can’t wait for all the house projects to be done (or even wait for the miles of trim work to be done). I can’t wait until I get my post baby body back. For every excuse I come up with, life is passing me by. My kids are getting older and their childhood is speedy by. What happens if I wait….
What they’ll see in 20 years is not what I see in this moment.
I’m challenging myself, I hope you do to, to stop striving for perfection and embrace the already stunning beauty right in front of me.
xoxo – Rachael
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