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.
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.
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!
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