As a sentimental mama of 4, I’ve learned over the years the importance of documenting motherhood. Whether you are expecting your first child, navigating the newborn stage, keeping up with toddlers or teens, each season comes sweetness as well as challenges. And each season of motherhood is worthy of documenting.
One of my favorite things about being a San Diego family photographer, is watching children grow over the years. It is always an honor to be asked to photograph families year after year. Some babies I have captured before they were even born as just a cute bump on their mama. Seeing babies turn into toddlers the next year and preschoolers the year after that is just so much fun! Documenting motherhood through professional photos is a beautiful way to savor your children growing throughout the years. You may think you will always remember your kids “this way”, but mama brain is real and so many stages can become a blur! I love looking back over the photos on my wall and on my mantel that tell the story of my children’s childhood.
I don’t know about you, but motherhood has been just as transformational for me as it has been for my kids. They have physically grown, but I’ve changed and shifted and molded into who they need me to be over the years. While photos can’t always visually show internal change, they can document who I was in each season of my children’s childhood.
I look back on photos of me wearing a baby and holding the hand of a toddler (or multiple toddlers!). Looking at those photos reminds me of how all-consuming that season was. I was a full-time stay at home mom deep in the trenches of motherhood. I was so in-love with my babies and completely exhausted, all at the same time! I look at photos of me with my kids as I exited the baby years. It reminds me of how much I clung to all of those “lasts”-last nursing sessions, last times wearing a baby, final nights of sleeping in a crib. And the season I’m in now–these “middle years” with all of my kids in elementary and middle school. The images I capture now are reminding me of just how fun it is getting to know the people my children are becoming.
I see the growth in me through the lens of my camera and others. I remember how frazzled I was with my first-born. I’m reminded of how much calmer I was the second time around. I see the look of joy and exhaustion as I parented 4 kids under the age of 5. I’m so grateful to be in these photos with my children; to be in images that speak to the fact that I was there and present, being shaped and transformed along the way.
This final benefit of documenting motherhood is perhaps my number one reason I find value in documenting motherhood. Mamas, motherhood is hard, right?? It will stretch you and grow you and bring you to your limits. And also–it is so incredibly beautiful and rewarding. If it wasn’t so, the world would be full of one child families! Despite the pain of childbirth we come back again (and sometimes again and again). The hard makes way for the good. The painful causes the joyful to be that much more illuminated.
I rarely look back at photos and remember the times I yelled and lost my mind. I don’t look at images of my kids in hard seasons and wish it never had happened. I look and I smile. I see their faces and remember their voices at that age. I pause, reflect, and think back on who they were then and who I was able to be for them. I sit in gratitude for how far we’ve come. Because motherhood is a journey, not a destination.
There are so many wonderful ways to document motherhood. iPhone pictures, journal writing, or professional photos. Motherhood is worthy of documenting from bump to birth, and toddlers to teens. Are you ready to document this season of motherhood you are in and capture moments that matter?