The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

for now: capturing the fleeting moments + a giveaway

A few days after Sadie’s birth, our doula visited the house. I felt lost at sea as I lay in bed, recovering from 15 hours of labor that ended in an emergency C-section. I didn’t know how I was going to manage recovering from major surgery while keeping a newborn baby alive. It was all too much.

Our doula pulled a chair up to my bed, held my hand, and let me spill all of my dark thoughts out into the open. She nodded knowingly and then said something that has brought me comfort every day since.

She told me there are only two words I need to remember: “For now.” By adding those words to the end of every sentence, I would be reminded that everything is temporary, or as my mom always says to me, “This too shall pass.”

The first few months of motherhood were difficult, to say the least. And to be honest, I am still climbing out of the darkness. But those two words have stuck with me and bring me comfort when I need it most.

The baby won’t stop crying. For now.
The baby won’t stop laughing. For now.
The baby won’t go to sleep. For now.
The baby is sleeping through the night. For now.
I’m completely exhausted. For now.
I’m completely depressed. For now.
I’m putting my career on hold to be a stay-at-home mom. For now.

Once I started to come out of the fog, I realized that “for now” could be added to almost everything related to motherhood, not just the hard stuff. Time was ticking by and I felt like I was missing so much. I was so focused on the enormity of how much life had changed that I had lost sight of the small, fleeting moments of beauty.

And so I did what I have always done when I needed to be reminded of what mattered most: I picked up my camera.

I didn’t wait for the perfect moments when Sadie was all smiles and we all looked well rested. Instead, I decided to find beauty in the “for now” moments – when she was fussy, when she was sleeping, when she was playing in a pile of laundry, when she was giggling.

By far, my favorite photos of Sadie were taken on a particularly difficult evening. As my sleep-deprived husband calmly rocked our unhappy daughter late at night, with the light over the kitchen sink illuminating them, I saw it. Yes, there was light in the darkness. There was hope. There was beauty. Without my camera, I may not have seen it.

By reconnecting with my camera, I realized how fortunate I was and how amazing this tiny person was. I found gratitude in the eye of the storm and stepped through the darkness, one camera click at a time.

Giveaway

Slice of Life Project – Photography E-Course

I started using the term “Slice of Life” when I first discovered my love of photography. I realized that I didn’t have to look far to find beauty. Even amidst life’s day-to-day routines, amidst piles of laundry and lengthy to-do lists, there was beauty to be found. Photography has helped me focus on what matters most to me. And it can do the same for you.

In the e-course, you will dig beneath the surface of your everyday life with your trusty camera and unearth the beauty that has been there all along. Your photography will improve, but perhaps more importantly, you will see your world through the lens of gratitude. No photography experience required. Any kind of camera welcome (yes, even a camera phone!)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a spot in Darrah’s photography e-course, the Slice of Life Project. Special for The Creative Mama readers: enter discount code “CREATIVEMAMA” to receive 10% off your registration! The next session starts July 2 and runs six weeks. Registration and details here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Darrah Parker is a new mama to a sweet 7-month-old girl, a photographer, and a writer. Armed with her camera, she is on a constant search for the joy in everyday Slices of Life, beauty in the over-looked and under-appreciated, and magic in simple moments. She specializes in photographing babies, families, and artists of all types. She is on a mission to show you just how beautiful you are, whether through a photo session, her e-course, or on her blog. She enjoys spending time giggling with her baby girl, wandering Seattle’s finest farmer’s markets with her husband, and sipping lattes – always with a camera close at hand!

Find Darrah on Facebook

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Darrah’s blog

About Bree


Bree is the founder and writer of BakedBree.com, a recipe site that shares her love of cooking, baking, and entertaining with others. BakedBree.com launched in February of 2010 as a way to merge Bree’s love of photography with her love of food, and share both with friends and family. Currently, Bree lives in the suburbs of Washington DC with her husband and 3 children.

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  • Glorines

    Thanks for this opportunity. Maybe this course is what I need to re-connect with my camera and start taking pictures again.

  • http://twitter.com/lesleymyrick Lesley Myrick

    I’m not sure what I’m looking forward to photographing…I’m hoping that the magic will just be revealed as I start doing it more. :)

  • Joeyhanna

    My camera definitely helps me get through the tough days of parenting four boys under 7!

  • Andrea Merrigan

    I have been looking for a photography class to teach me how to STOP using the AUTO mode. I have had my wonderful camera for a year and still use AUTO. I learn much better in a class room/instruction setting then trying to learn it myself. This would be a great thing to win!

  • Jennifer B

    Sounds like a fabulous lesson in photography and gratitude – perfect!

  • Seamama75

    I would love to participate in Darrah’s class! Thank you for this opportunity. And thank you for sharing your story, Darrah. I will remember this…

  • Mgross2004

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a spot in the course. It sounds like an amazing opportunity!

  • amy (mamascout)

    i want to take this class with you so much!

    in understand fully the overwhelming nature of childbirth and early motherhood. my 1st was an emergency c section too (after 27 hours!) and my 3rd had such a hard time nursing that he was nearly starving the first week. i was close to psychotic from lack of sleep and hormones and taking care of 2 other children….

    • http://twitter.com/darrah_parker Darrah Parker

      Thanks for sharing your story, Amy. It helps to hear what other moms have gone through. We’re all in this together!

  • http://katy-bourne.com/ Katy

    Thanks for your honesty & optimism in the face of what was probably a tough story to tell. Motherhood is, among other things, hard. Big love.

    • http://twitter.com/darrah_parker Darrah Parker

      Thank you, Katy. Big love back at you.

  • mama_jenn

    It would be awesome to get a chance to do this course and I’m sure it would help me capture more special memories as I find the beauty in every day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508229576 Jennifer Crumrine-Dupont

    I would love to be able to see the beauty in everyday day. As it is, now I just see the clutter and the never ending to-do list.

    • http://twitter.com/darrah_parker Darrah Parker

      I know the feeling, Jennifer! In the class, we take photos of our clutter and to-do lists. It’s a whole lot more fun than the alternative! :)

  • Shachi Thakkar

    I would be thrilled to get a chance to do this course. Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Megandmagula

    I would love to participate in this e-class. I have 2 little ones at home and time is flying by, for now! :)

  • Stacy Marvin

    My beautiful baby girl who is changing every day before my eyes

  • anitas

    I love Darrah’s class and would be thrilled to participate!
    This summer I want to make the ordinary special and celebrate the everyday
    things that occur.

  • Christal Houghtelling

    I would love to get the chance to do this. I actually just did a blog post about telling the stories of everyday life.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jessicarwarfield Jessica Warfield

    Food!

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

  • Emily

    I find that I resist using my camera on a daily basis, so Slice of Life would motivate me to photograph more, and not save it just for the big things.

  • Kate Cunha

    This is very appropriate for me today, as I watch my husband make coffee with our three week old girl snuggled in a moby wrap, so that I can have a few minutes to eat a bowl of cereal. Thank you.

    • http://twitter.com/darrah_parker Darrah Parker

      I remember those days so well. It was miraculous if we were both able to eat a meal at the same time. I promise you it does get easier. Congratulations to you on the new baby! And remember, be gentle with yourself along the way.

  • Cocasta

    I would love to learn to be more appreciative of life through the every day lens! Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Chriss

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Peka

    My top everyday thing to shoot soon… my youngest son is turning 1 tomorrow! This is the last first birthday for us so we are definitely doing it up big! :)

  • Lisa Anderson

    What a beautiful message…I might have to start doing this…for now! ;o)

  • Heather :) :) :)

    I’m most looking forward to learning how to photograph people doing everyday things. I do lots of landscapes, but not a lot of people photos…so that’s something I look forward to doing. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  • Shara

    I think I look forward the most to taking pictures of my children while they are just being them. Reading, playing xbox, playing outside, painting, eating a snack. Seeing them in the little thing!

  • Nicole

    I would love to get more family shots

  • Nicole Voth

    The everyday minutiae of our family, beautifully.

  • Ellen Kauffman

    My kiddos, and the things that make everyday ‘everyday’!

  • Beth Hardinger

    I would love to capture everyday moments as beautifully as you! Looking forward to the class!

  • http://profiles.google.com/daveandsarah96 Sarah Thacker

    I’ve given my everything for my kids and I’d like to take a “Slice” back by learning more about something I love!

  • Kristen

    Great post, my oldest is 8 and I would rock him and rock him giving thanks no matter how stressful moments could be I was so grateful to have him to finally be a mom

  • http://profiles.google.com/danyellehutton Danyelle H

    I’d love to get better pictures of my kids.

  • http://twitter.com/Faith_Squared Faith Squared

    Beautifully said, Darrah. “For now” is a lovely mantra, for parenting and for life in general. Thank you for this post!

  • Terri

    After spending the last four months learning how to use my new camera, everything I can about exposure, Lightroom and Photoshop, its time to tap back into my creative side which feels it has become buried in the technical side! I look forward to taking pictures of everything from dirty dishes and folded laundry to my two furry dog children!

  • Jennifer

    My girls are 12 and 8, I remember. I am struggling now with the changes for my older daughter; middle school, puberty, social issues and loving and supporting her through all of this. I will take “for now” with me.
    Thank you.

  • Callie Callender

    I’m looking forward to taking pictures of my baby that will be here in about a month… until then I love all pictures of my dog!

  • Jen Precourt

    I understand those first few weeks so well. My daughter was born via an emergency c-section as well and I cried over EVERYTHING for weeks. I couldn’t wait to feel normal and start enjoying my precious little one. Thinking back on it now, it doesn’t seem so bad. At the time it was devastating! I love Darrah’s blog & work. She’s awesome!!

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  • Erika

    My boys! They are all so different in their own way and I’d love to capture their uniqueness!

  • raquel

    I can relate to the stages of life and hope each one I come out better.

  • Christy

    I was totally unprepared for the “baby blues” when my 2nd daughter was born, having had such an easy time with my first. I felt so alone and couldn’t talk to anyone about it, which just exacerbated the isolation.

  • http://profiles.google.com/stephaniediaz45 Stephanie Diaz

    Those first few months of life with a new baby are so tough. It’s so hard to see the
    “for now” and the temporary nature of things when you get caught up in that fog. I was so traumatized from my first child that I was afraid for how things would be with my second. Luckily, my second was a completely different experience but I did learn from my first that everything comes in stages and everything does pass.

  • Juey

    Our family of three! We have not so brand new almost 10 months old baby boy who’s literally changing in front of our eyes. And I am feeling quite inadequate with my photography skills.