So today I posted a massive shout out to all mums to start a conversation. A conversation about being visible as women.
The original post was across two instagram posts but thanks to no word restrictions when blogging I’ve put them both together here. As a baby photographer I meet so many mums who don’t want to get in the photo. If this is you then please spare a few minutes….
original posts: @beautiful_little_moments_photo
I want to talk a little bit about us mums. It’s hard isn’t it. I mean sure it’s hard being a mum (mum guilt, peeing alone, getting a shower in peace). But that’s not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about how we feel being us after becoming a mum. How it feels to maybe not quite look and feel the us that we were pre-baby.
I know how different I feel. I also know how often I’d rather not be in a photograph and it’s why you’ve not seen my face much on here before. And I know how often many of you don’t want to be in the photographs too. It happens a lot and that’s why I want to talk about it.
Sure there are mums who bounce right back after having a baby and look amazing all over social media. And it can make us think and feel that we have fallen short in some way when we compare ourselves to the glamorous ladies on their beautiful insta grids.
But the thing is I see more of the mums who don’t want to be photographed. They’re the majority. And it makes me feel a bit sad that there are so many of us not wanting to be in the photograph because we don’t feel like we fit into the small narrow definition of what women “should” look like.
But we’re the majority. We just don’t see each other. Because we’re not on any photos anywhere and we’re even less likely to be posting ourselves all over social media.
And here’s the thing, if we continue this trend our children will grow up believing that’s the only way women can look too. And view their themselves through the same lens of either looking like or not looking like the narrow spectrum of what we see in the media.
The truth is when I think about some of my favourite women in the world they didn’t visually fit the mould either. And I loved and respected them so very much. I believe our children will hopefully feel the same way about us too. So why not celebrate all women, all us flipping wonderful amazing women and make a stand and get in the photo. The more of the majority we see the more normal we all become and then more women will feel like they have a place and a space to be seen both online and in the real world.
When your children grow up they will want to see pictures of you together, see the memories of their family throughout their childhood. To see all that they are and where they came from.
I can tell you just how much because my mum threw away all our family photos. I have just a few that survived and I would so love to have more.
I don’t remember that much of my early childhood years and I’d love to have those childhood memories to look at. To see my mum the way she was. The mother who I thought was perfect, the woman I looked up to most as I formed my opinions of the world.
After all my genetics tell me I’m likely to look the same, I’d love to see just how much we looked the same but the message my mum unconsciously gave to me throwing out those photographs (and I’m certain she didn’t mean to) was I didn’t like how I looked so I would rather that no one ever saw.
But the point… I her daughter have grown up to look exactly the same…. What we do and how we act gives our children a way stronger message than all our kind words of love and support.
I for one want to give my daughter a different message. I want her to feel like she can be who she is and not have to hide, to have a space in the world and a voice to go with it.
So give your children the gift of childhood memories and most importantly be in them ❤️
I’m posting this thanks to the amazing @ray_dodd who’s an incredible human being and whose visibility course I’m doing at the mo. Her thing is motherhood and business and she has some incredible things to say. Well worth checking her out!
I also want to shout out to the wonderful OneofMany community where the wonderful @drjoannamartin has created a space for women to flourish. And another shout out to the lovely @DrHelenEades who has helped me enourmously on my journey to where I stand now.