Despite what diaper commercials and well-meaning passerby at the grocery store have told me, I do not cherish every moment of motherhood. I don’t know how anyone could, because in between moments of joy—witnessing the funny things my kids say, the things they are learning, the people they are becoming—there is endless bickering, whining, meltdowns, meal refusals, bedtime battles, and on and on.
I’m glad that more “momfluencers” are acknowledging that the “cherish every moment” advice is BS. And that all it does is make moms feel more unnecessary guilt, like we’re doing something wrong for not loving every moment when it’s very clear that some moments are not lovable.
Reminder: you’re a good mom even if you find motherhood challenging sometimes. Or a lot of the time.
It doesn’t mean that you’re going to wake up one day full of regret that you didn’t cherish every moment. Someday a lot of those challenging moments will fade away (except for the ones that make a good story, like the time your toddler shoplifted a bottle of hairspray), and a lot of the good ones will stick with you.
There is one thing that can make me think that I enjoyed every moment. Photos.
I’m lucky that my husband is great at remembering to take pictures, and telling me to get in them now and then. Every year I make a family yearbook with a photo design tool, and we all sit down with the books from time to time to look back on our best memories.
For me, photos encourage gratitude. For example, 2020 was a tough year for obvious reasons. But when I look at our yearbook from 2020, I’m reminded that we still managed to get out and do a lot of fun road trips and outdoor adventures as a family. I can look back on that year and shift my perspective to remember all the good stuff that happened, instead of all the anxiety and challenges.
Photos also help me remember my kids exactly as they were at that moment.
One of the most bittersweet aspects of parenting is the fact that your child is constantly changing; you turn around one day and there’s a new person in front of you. A photo is like a tiny time capsule that captures a version of your child that only exists for a short while.
We have professional family photos taken every year, and for me it’s a worthwhile investment. We usually do a quick session and the main goal is usually to get a good photo of all four of us, rather than photos of my kids individually.
That’s why I was excited to try a different type of photography session with Heirloom Vignette Portraits by Noëlle Westcott Photography.
The heirloom session was all about celebrating each of my kids’ personalities in a beautiful portrait, not just getting a decent photo of everyone smiling that we can use for a holiday card. Noëlle of Noëlle Westcott Photography worked so hard to make it a fun experience for my kids, and she was able to capture their unique smiles and expressions to create portraits that reflect their authentic selves. What a gift.
Not only did Noëlle make it fun for my kids, but the session was quick and breezy for me too. Usually a photo session is a stressful event; I have to plan out coordinating outfits for everyone and then rush around in a frantic sweat on the day of trying to get everyone ready. For our full heirloom session, I preselected outfits to borrow from Noëlle’s heirloom closet that is full of gorgeous, classic outfits. My kids changed when we arrived, and since the portrait was only from the waist up they stayed in their PJ pants and beloved Crocs.
Each photo in our online gallery was perfectly retouched down to the last detail. We chose our favorite portrait of each child (not an easy task!) and received two stunning fine art prints that now hang in our home. I have thousands of photos on my phone, so many that even the great ones get buried, but these heirloom portraits from Noëlle Westcott Photography are truly works of art meant to be printed and displayed.
I may not cherish every moment of motherhood, but I do cherish these portraits.
I can be rushing around, wishing I could fast-forward the challenging parts of my day, but when I walk by those heirloom portraits I pause. Time freezes for a second and I appreciate who my children were at the moment they were taken. I know there are many moments I’ll forget (or maybe won’t even care to remember), but I’m so grateful to have this one to look back on.
For all Heirloom Portrait packages offered by Noëlle Westcott Photography and current pricing, please click HERE.