Being in survival mode for over a year now has taken its toll on me. It had been over a year since I had done really anything that was just for fun and just for me. So when a local photographer asked if I wanted to model for a photoshoot with her, I jumped at the opportunity. There were so many things I should have been doing the day we shot these but I’m so glad I made this a priority because the camera helped me see myself in a different light.
Motherhood and age has undoubtedly changed me, as has this pandemic. But they have not robbed me of who I am.
In fact, these photos wouldn’t have been possible pre-motherhood because motherhood and age has made me more confident in myself in so many ways. My body may be softer but this body is so much stronger than I ever could have imagined before motherhood. It has endured so much and it has the stretch marks and scars to prove it.
I’ve suffered from imposter syndrome for so much of my life. But motherhood has given me authority and a sureness I hadn’t had before. I am wiser. I am stronger. While I am undoubtedly carrying too heavy of a load as so many mothers are, I am doing it because that’s what a mother does. We keep going because there’s no other choice and because there is nothing stronger than a mother’s love. Still, we need to prioritize ourselves more.
We need to do the things that bring us joy and take chances. We need those moments where we can tell ourselves, “You still got it, Mama.” Because the truth is you never lost it. It’s been there all along but you were too distracted by all you’re carrying for everyone else to see it.
Photography by: Christine Cruz Photography
Make-Up Artist: Caitlin Alyce