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My son is 10 months old this week. I look at him in awe and wonder every day. It’s true that having a child changes you – certain things that seemed important in the past are now irrelevant. My ambition and drive to succeed is not a selfish one, but is done for him. Every decision I now make is not just about how it will affect me, but also my son. Each morning I wake up to his beaming smile and I wonder why it took so long for him to come into our lives. I feel truly blessed that he chose me as his mother.
Motherhood took me by surprise. I read and tried to prepare myself in so many ways while I was pregnant, but no book or piece of advice could possibly prepare me for the overwhelming love you feel. My son makes me a better person. I have so much more love, patience, compassion, energy and a sense of purpose. I am a better artist. My photography has a new energy to it. I think the biggest thing about being a parent for my husband and I is that no matter how tired, exhausted or overwhelmed we might feel, we always say to each other before we go to bed that we can’t wait to see our little boy the next morning. It’s magic everyday.
This is Eleanor, our eldest daughter. Before she was born my wife had never held a baby. A few months before she gave birth, I made her hold my niece and she seemed pretty uncomfortable with the idea of babies and what to do with them. I had a moment of concern about her maternal instincts, until she became a mother. Turns out that she’s the best. The love, patience and kindness she has for our kids is inspiring to me. I married the right girl, my best friend. We have another daughter, Alma, and are expecting our third daughter in the New Year. Girls rule!
Leon Gabriel is now almost five months old but I don't remember how life was without him anymore. Being a mother is joyous, scary, exciting and basically the best thing that ever happened to me! Leon comes to most of my shoots – me and my partner call him an 'art director' as a joke, and I have started a small personal project trying to sneak him in and take a picture whenever I have a project. This one is from a commercial job when he was just two months old.
This is my experience of motherhood: paying attention, over and over, every single day. Everything is constantly shifting, and the weight (and occasional) wisdom of my own childhood experiences is what seems to inform the highs and lows the most. Though there are moments like this one, when who I am to my sons is much larger than the role of just mother, the love I feel for them is held in a wider space of simply being, and I can feel with gratitude how we are both completely held by it all.