I really am trying to be a present mother; however, it proves to be a big challenge when my phone never stops dinging, we are continually rushing to the next sporting event, and late work meetings keep popping up on my calendar. This fast-paced life became a fast moving train that I was just a passenger on. It was a blur in front of my eyes, and I couldn’t slow it down. I found that almost every time one of my kids would call for me, my reply to them was “one more moment” or “let me just finish this…”. I would think:
After I do the dishes, then quickly throw a load of laundry in, then makes lunches for tomorrow, THEN I will sit down and spend time with them.
I was always waiting to be ‘caught’ up before I sat down with my three children.
If you are a mother, it is no secret what I am about to say. You will NEVER be caught up. There will always be dirty dishes. There will always be mountains of laundry. I know I am preaching to the choir; however, knowing this was not enough. I always trying to get through my checklist before sitting down with my kids. This was never possible for me until photography came into my life.
Photography helped me be a more present mother in these three ways:
1)I See the World at Their Level
How can you understand what your kids are seeing and feeling when you are standing 3 feet above them? You are looking at the grass that needs to be cut, the car needs to be washed, and your nosy neighbor who is peaking out of their windows with judgmental looks because your children are not dressed in warm-enough coats.
Even when I was “spending time” with my kids, that is where my mind would race off to. Until I started to get passionate about photography. First, my goal of getting down on their level was to get a better image, but I got so much more. I got perspective into what they were actually seeing and feeling.
On this particular day, my oldest son dug up a bunch of worms. Me- I am not a big fan of the wet, wiggly monsters. However, when I got down to take this picture below, we started talking and checking out the worms. He showed me the different sizes and made me guess how many he could hold in his hands. We played like that for about an hour.
Or this day when my daughter wanted to ‘splash in puddles like Peppa Pig’. I originally thought it would be fun to bring out my camera and get a few shots with the splashing water. I ended up putting down my camera and took a few leaps in myself!
2) I Stopped Fretting About Messes
As much as I try to hide it by biting my lip when I see the blocks dumped out, I am a self-diagnosed neat freak. Messes make me cringe. Let me tell you – this is not a good quality of a mother!
When I got my camera, I wanted to capture images of my kids just being kids. It turns out, this was exactly the treatment I needed. I didn’t care so much about the messes. I realized that life for them was less about a clean house, and more about them being free and experiencing childhood. I started to love watching them doing things that made them who they were– no matter what the level of clean up was needed after.
Let them run through the sprinkler with clothes on, get covered in ice cream, or dive into a mud puddle. The messes can be erased, but the memories will never be.
3) We Take Advantages of More Life Experiences
I do more activities with my kids now that I am passionate about photography.
Yes, that sounds silly; however, I admit that there have been a couple of activities I have brought my kids to with the primary thought “these will be fun pictures”. Maybe I wouldn’t go apple picking TWICE a year if it didn’t produce adorable pictures. HOWEVER, the way I see it is that no one is hurt with that mindset. My kids get to turn off fortnite and experience fun activities, while I get to enjoy spending quality time with them AND doing a hobby I am passionate about. Win-Win, the way I see it!
If my hobby gets us out to experience the world more, I am all for it!
Get out and do something you have never down before. Go to a strawberry field, a new park, a hike in the woods. Trust me, you will not regret that decision.
Photography is Life
Thanks to my hobby, I truly enjoy watching my kids just be kids. I think we understand each other a little more when I can get down and relate to what they are experiencing. Whether you have a DSLR or you are just using your cell phone camera, try to use it to capture their experiences.
I guarantee your perspective will be changed along the way!
If interested, here is the lens I use:
- How to Teach Spirituality to Kids of All Ages
- How to Deal with Intrusive Thoughts as a Mom
- Resting is NOT an Act of Laziness, It’s Actually Productive
- 6 Ways to Raise a Critical Thinker and Why it’s the Parent’s Job
- 5 Reasons Why You Failed at Gentle Parenting
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