Two years ago one of my bestest friends in the entire world had a baby, but I couldn’t join her in Sweden until baby was already 3 weeks old. This is why I asked Minna (an amazing fellow documentary family photographer in Stockholm) to go take Fresh 48 pictures for her.
Fast-forward to a few days after Minna had been there to take pictures, she shared one of the pictures on Facebook – with my friend’s approval of course. The picture shows my friend nursing while the father is feeding her a piece of toast. There were a lot of supporting comments celebrating and embracing the image that shows what life can be like for a new parent, while a couple others were not quite so positive.
Actually – they were appalled that motherhood was portrayed online as anything but perfect and blissful – which everyone knows motherhood is not 100% of the time. They were upset that this woman dared to let her photographer show such a vulnerable picture on social media. Someone said the picture might as well be of her sitting on the toilet.
I think we often read into images what we have ourselves learned or experienced – maybe these women had extra hard times during the newborn phase and want to just forget it. Maybe they’ve grown up having to be perfect all the time, or been taught that vulnerability is a weakness. The funny thing is, the look of “vulnerability” on my friend’s face that bothered this women so much, was actually my friend giving her partner a look like “Dude, don’t shove that toast in so fast, I have a baby on my boob here!”
This brings to light just how important it is for us women to stick together, to share in our experiences, and to support each other. To not feel like everything around us has to be perfect for us to be enough. The real moments are what connect all of us as human beings. I don’t have kids yet, but seeing how other women crush parenthood makes me think I can do it, too.
There was one woman who said that the mother in the picture is clearly already doing an amazing job as well as being a complete badass at motherhood. And I think that’s something everyone needs to hear.
You are doing an amazing job. You are a badass.
Happy Mother’s Day!