Honesty, Art, and Motherhood

Carla: I’m about to make your day so much better. My friend Sarah has started a project that you have to see for yourselves–365 days of motherhood as seen through her camera. Her project is called Art and Motherhood and you need to take a look.

Now here’s what makes this so incredible. Sarah is an award-winning photographer. She is also one of the most honest, transparent people I know. That means the pictures she’s taking are the real deal. They are beautiful, heartbreaking, funny, hopeful, stark, and sometimes literally naked. She doesn’t gloss over the realities of motherhood or family life. Sometimes there are tears–and not just from the kids. Sometimes there are messes. Sometimes there is laughter. Sometimes there is just work.

But this project isn’t just about the photos. It’s about Sarah. This photo-journal is her effort to keep her creative spirit alive in the middle of her life as a mom. It’s a way of keeping the best parts of herself from withering under the weight of responsibility. I love that about her and I think you will too.

Caryn: Of course, I love everything about this. Well, except for today’s photo. I had to click away quickly. It represents all of the kid-neediness I am overwhelmed with at this moment and I just couldn’t deal. But the other ones are wonderful. I’m sure if I go back to today’s photo later—when my kids are reading or playing quietly—I will also love it.

But what I really loved was this sentence on her “About” page about why she’s doing this: “I want to be successful at both without waiting until I’m fifty, have an empty nest and find myself at a community ed class saying ‘I used to really like photography and now I’d like to get back into it.’”

Amen, sister. It’s why we do what we do too. I hope you ALL have something you love to do, are great at, and are succeeding at while you are being a great mom.

Carla: And if you don’t, it’s time to figure out what that something might be. We die inside if we don’t have a dream, something that we’re passionate about, something that keeps us connected to the core of who we are created to be. It might even be being a great mom.

I think a big part of what touches me about what Sarah is doing is that she has paid attention to what gives her life and she’s not letting go of it. That’s what I want for myself, for my friends, for my kids. It’s far too easy to let it slip away.

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