The Modern Motherhood Series
A photo and interview series on motherhood in 2016
I want to be more vulnerable and raw with my photo storytelling and get to know women in my community on a deeper level. I want to photograph women in their homes, surrounded by their children. I want to document them in an honest, natural way, and capture them doing the things they normally do. I want to find the beauty in the routine, and capture the coziness of home. And I want to open up the conversation about motherhood.
Please get in touch if you are a mama in Nevada County and would like to be part of my series.
"I want them to be able to be confident and capable adults. The main way we can help them do that is by making sure they feel secure and loved always. I know so many people who struggle with anxiety, I’m lucky that I don’t, and I don’t want that for them...[I want them to] be able to go about their lives feeling comfortable in the their bodies and comfortable with their abilities and not feel like they have to worry about what everyone else thinks."
Click the photo above to see Alex's interview and the first segment in the series.
"He is an incredible father, incredible father. He reminds me of what my dad was like with me. My dad thought that the sun rose and set on me. I definitely see that is how he views Harper, which is so so so so good for my heart. He’s very intentional with Harper and I’m just so grateful that Harper gets the experience of having a dad who thinks she’s the raddest kid. How has our relationship changed? It’s gotten better for sure. We talked about that a lot when I was pregnant, about what the dynamic would be like. Kiddos can put a lot of strain on a relationship because it’s a whole new thing and you’re having to figure it out. We definitely had that in our minds that [the relationship between us] is number one because she benefits from that. It’s not like we’re putting her on the back burner, but we have to make sure we’re good and simultaneously love her like crazy."
Click the photo above to see Sarah's interview and the second segment in the series.
"The more that parents can talk about the challenges and how much their lives change, [the better]. I think we’re bombarded with idealized images of motherhood, how it’s beautiful and fulfilling, and if we don’t talk about how hard it is, then we all feel like we’re failures when we get to that place where we struggle. And we all struggle."
Click the photo above to see Kristen's interview and the third segment in the series.
"In our household there’s a lot more emotional authenticity. That isn’t something I blame my parents for at all, it’s just the way the world was. It was the eighties, they’d been raised in the fifties and sixties, it was pretty normal that there was a whole emotional life going on under the surface that was very different from what was happening in public. I’m not saying that I’m inviting my children to be privy to my private, personal life, but what I am saying is that my private, personal life and my public persona are pretty much the same thing. I’m not going to tell everyone the details of my sex life, but also, I wouldn’t be embarrassed to if it came up or it was relevant or if it was helpful information for someone else to have. With my kids—and I’m sure this is part of a larger social zeitgeist—there’s not that same sense that there’s this secret underlying something, and this is who we are in the world. There’s more harmony between those two worlds."
Click the photo above to see Suuzi's full interview and the fourth segment in the series.
"I love the connection of being on the same wavelength with [my children]. That does not happen constantly throughout the day for me, honestly. It’s that moment when I really drop in and am present and connecting, and eye contact and skin contact, both with the baby and with my older son as well. It’s a really heart-connected, magical time when I don’t feel like I’m being pulled on by other tasks around the house or work-related [obligations], it’s just connected, centered, connecting time. And there is such a deep connection that exists between mother and child, but as we’re living day to day and doing all the things that need to happen throughout the day—getting children ready, cooking, working, having conversations, arranging things—there are so many distractions that can take you away from being present. I find my favorite thing is when I’m conscientious of those moments, when we are looking at each other and I feel them in my brain and in my body, and that is just an energetic exchange back and forth. It’s electrifying. I want to make a bigger effort to experience that more throughout the day."
Click the photo above to see Wendy's full interview and the fifth segment in the series.
"One of the big reasons why we left New York was I wanted my children to have spontaneous interactions with nature and to experience life uncurated. In the city things are very structured, and [I wanted] to see things happen naturally in a natural environment. It’s been cool to see them get a little wild since we moved from New York. I think children are very sensitive to different energies in their environment. When we go to the beach one of my favorite things is to watch Lucette—the minute her feet touch the sand she’s completely transformed, she absorbs the energy of the ocean. She will run up and down the beach and she starts telling this story and she’s following the wind, and her body’s just like—it’s so beautiful to see someone so willing to be vulnerable and open to this magical force that the ocean is, and completely aware of it. It’s one of my favorite things. And when we go to the river, both of them are transformed and they get so into it. It’s inspiring to see how children can be so present. They’re not thinking about anything else. The only thing they’re thinking about is what’s in their hands or how the water feels on their feet, just the simple things that are right there happening then and now, and that’s been the most wonderful thing, and a beautiful reminder for me. Michael and I are always telling ourselves, be present, be focused, just enjoy now. As adults I think we’re trained to think about the future, and multitasking has overtaken everyone. [Children] are such a good example of being here now and just being alive and enjoying it."
Click the photo above to see April's full interview and the sixth installment in the series.
"I’m really open with my kids. There are different philosophies that people have about whether or not you should be friends with your kids—and I am definitely one of those parents that wants a friendship with my kids. I want a relationship where I know who they are outside of me being this authority figure in their lives. I bring a lot of openness and curiosity to the way that I mother and try to see them as whole beings that are not my property—they are people who came in that I get to spend my life with. It’s a little sinister but it’s also sort of an advantage in being a mother—that I can see the temporary-ness of all of this. And it makes every day really precious that I get to spend with them. I’m not sure if it’s fatalistic or realistic, I just know that this is short. There was a lot of tragedy in my life when I was young, so I have this sense that things can change really quickly. It’s a double-edged sword, but the benefit of it is appreciating things that you have right now because you know that they could change. Kids are massive teachers for that because they change so quickly right before your eyes. You can’t get attached to any thing for very long because then all of a sudden there’s something different and eventually they sprout their own wings and leave. I hope to build the kind of relationship with my girls that they will want to be around me by choice, as they become their own people, as we age. I fiercely love my kiddos, as all mamas do, and I tell them as much as I can. I am trying to be supportive of them exactly how they are, to encourage them to stretch and grow while also fostering the love and safety that will be their foundation as they move about in the world. "
Click the photo above to see Nikiya's full interview and the seventh installment in the series.