The most important statement we want to make at MNAC is how challenging and rewarding the journey of motherhood can be. While everyone's path is different, we all equally have struggles. Even though you will know many other moms in your life, it can feel very lonely. Being authentic in your role as a mom is as difficult as it can be rewarding.
That's why I love Bri.
Aloha, Bri! Tell us about your daughter!
I think like most parents, every age so far has been my favorite age. With my daughter, in particular, with each year she becomes kinder, funnier, smarter and stronger. I have to stop myself sometimes and remember that she is only 6 years old because she carries a wisdom and spirit of a much older age. Although she is an old soul, her playfulness and sense of adventure are right where they should be, a six year old.
I cherish every moment with her because unlike most moms, I don’t have the honor of being a part of her daily all year long so we both make the most of the time we have and because our time is more limited than we’d both like, we both experience an excitement to be with each other that can’t be expressed in words.
I hold these years so close to my heart, while she is young and unencumbered and carefree, and can only hope that the years ahead continue to be my new favorite age of hers. These annual photoshoots are so important in creating a benchmark each year for both of us to look back on and reflect on each precious memory as we both get older.
We know Mom Shaming is a real problem, have you been the target?
Mom shaming….. yikes
I can say that I’ve experienced this for sure. Unfortunately, I am a mom that only has seasonal custody (which is a story of its own merit) and that comes with a lot of judgement, questions and assumptions from people. These symptoms don’t just come from strangers, they come from family, close friends and it causes friendships to turn into estrangements. As if making the choices I make as a parent/mom/human being aren’t hard enough, it somehow weighs heavier to bear the criticism of others. If I could share any advice to other moms experiencing shaming for choices they make for themselves and their families it would be this... Stay true to you.
No matter how close someone is to you, they don’t live in your head and your heart and it’s not your obligation to explain yourself to anyone and even more importantly, it is not anybody’s right to cast their need for their approval. As long as you are at peace with yourself and know that in your own truth you are doing what is best for your family and your own wellbeing, than absolutely no outside influence matters and it has to be shaken off.
We can’t control other people’s thoughts and actions all we can control is how we deal with them. So choose happiness. A happy parent is (in my opinion) the best parent.
Photos: Photography by Kerri Cooper