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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Motherhood, Raw: The Mamas Project

Since starting this blog I have been so blessed to meet some amazing women that have inspired me and given me courage and strength in this journey I am now on as a mother. One of these ladies is a good friend of mine and contributor to The Pampered Baby, Jena. Through her I have also had the pleasure of meeting her best friend Sarah, collectively the two faces behind Pacific North Photography. I am proud and excited to announce a joint project that we'll be working on together celebrating Moms and exploring their honest journeys in motherhood: The Mamas Project. In these features we hope to share about the reality of motherhood. Not the glorified, photoshopped version, but the real version where we celebrate our post- baby bodies, the small wins each day, and share about what we can learn from each other rather than judging. Here's a sneak peak of The Mamas Project:

Motherhood, Raw
 It’s 5:45am, my 6 month old is wide awake, I am on the first of many coffees, and my husband and I have already bickered about how awful it is to have to wake up this early. 
Parenthood is tough. It’s like the ultimate battle, with the best prize, but a million different obstacles to overcome. I’m staring at our baby, as he crawls around the play room, and in walks my 2.5 year old.
                                N: “I awake, I slept of hockey.” 
                                Me: “You dreamt of hockey?”
                                N: “Ya, I slept of hockey.”
He cuddles up to me. Away washes the self pity and in floods a warm fuzzy sense of completion...for now. 
This is the everyday struggle and success of motherhood. A while back, Sarah and I introduced ourselves. We now want to share a bit about why candid, un-photoshopped, real life imagery is important to us. And at the centre of this, is a purpose and a project: The Mamas Project. 
One of the goals we aim to convey as a photography duo, is people in REAL life. 
We want to show what your family is like. We want to share stories of families and their journey. And we want to open an honest discussion about self love and self acceptance in the journey of motherhood. 
Have you heard of Raw Beauty Talks? [@rawbeautytalks on Instagram]. We love their campaign promoting a conversation about beauty, confidence, and self love. We love that the Raw Beauty Talks campaign is about moving away from altering media images, and showing people free of major post-production, and we choose to support their message because of PNP’s dedication to capturing honest moments. 
In the last three years, we have both been fortunate enough to become mothers. The gift of motherhood has been one of immense joy, but it has also been a personal struggle for each of us. And we aren’t the only ones. It has been a battle with our identifies, and how we see ourselves physically, emotionally and as a part of our greater communities.
Physically, our bodies were never perfect, but post-baby, they are further from the general consensus of perfection. Stretch marks, check. Loose skin, check. Varicose veins, check. The list goes on. STOP. We are not perfect, and we are starting to realize we don’t need to strive to be. We choose to say, there’s no need to air brush our images, you are beautiful and real and important, just as you are.  
We make a choice to TAKE CARE of our bodies, rather than compare. The changes to our bodies show the life we were lucky to give and that is a source of PRIDE. 
How we identify physically has changed, in some small and large ways, but how we identify mentally and emotionally has changed to an even greater degree. This transformation was in some ways even more difficult to digest. You have a baby, and not everyone immediately falls naturally into the role of motherhood. Taking maternity leave from the job you love and the purpose you once had is overwhelming. The nurse, accountant, lawyer, entrepreneur you once were, is replaced with a job that is rewarding at its core, but often exhausting and terrifying. 
And your new boss can’t verbally tell you how amazing you are, for the first two years. 
It’s the ultimate unknown. It is for many a struggle, a beautiful, life changing struggle. The ultimate act of selflessness, and learning to see that and putting what was your life before on hold to parent, is a battle of self worth versus self pity. 
We are learning to accept that motherhood in its own right, is a success. And less is more! It’s about the little things that make us a success. It’s a healthy meal on the table, a trip to the library, a morning of snuggles...these are all small successes. Putting motherhood ahead of your individual needs and dreams, or learning to incorporate motherhood into that dream, is a true success.
In being honest and showing self love to ourselves, and the people we photograph, we are honouring the children we have born.
We want to showcase these women, and explore their journeys in motherhood and their new definitions of success, so we can all learn from other mothers - those celebrating the small wins in the big picture. 
In a joint project with Pacific North Photography [@pacificnorthphotography on Instagram], we will be bringing you a monthly feature on inspiring moms. Stay tuned for our launch in June, with the big hearted and full of love, Kim. 
Images courtesy of Pacific North Photography
May posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting