There is no way to be a perfect mother,
and a million ways to be a good one.
These photos of 5 generations of mothers are mere copies of photocopies, their originals lost to the gods of posterity. In the first, I’m the screaming baby on my elegant mother’s lap and, in the second, I’m the chubby new mom showing off her firstborn to her 104 year old great grandmother. These thin slips of paper are priceless treasures, photography’s unrivaled power to bear witness to our journey of growth. I am thankful for the many women who have helped get me to where I am today with their love, example, and counterexample. It all works and it’s all good!
My grandma taught me that gratitude is the key to happiness, my myriad talents are worth exploring without apology, funny is in the irony, and today IS the special occasion for my best dishes. She taught me to be generous with praise towards myself when others can’t, to forgive and choose to put my attention on what I want more of.
My mom taught me to mind my own business and give advice only when asked, to celebrate myself instead of waiting for others to do so, to have my own money, to speak well of my husband and to be present for my kids. And if I can’t be the mother they want, that’s ok, too. One of life’s greatest gifts is that we all get the mother we need.
My aunts, my sister, my friends teach me the pleasures of love without obligation, to bring joy where I am and to welcome more of those who remind me of my fabulousness when I forget, to explore possibilities that thrill my heart, to respect other people’s choices because acceptance and breathing room feed the soul.
My daughter teaches me that no one’s ever too young to want to mother, no one’s ever too old for mothering, and no matter what else I do for my kids, I hope they see that in mothering myself they, too, are the first reliable guardians and mothers of their own happiness.
Happy Mom, Happy Wife, Happy Life!
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Let’s celebrate what you love about your life today!
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Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother