The photos are truly beautiful.
So beautiful, that when I posted about the feature on my facebook page, a lot of people said (politely and respectfully) that I was painting an unrealistic picture of what a working mom's morning actually looks like.
"I mean no offense, but I think your life is not typical of a working mom. I get up at 5:30am. My daughters get up at 6. By 8 they are at school and daycare and I and my husband are at work… I am not sure [leaving for work at 9am] is representative of the majority of working moms." -Amanda
That's fair. I think my morning is typical of a working mom from NYC. What we lack in square footage, we make up for with our lack of commute.
"Is your house always that neat or was that a photo-cleaning day? My house looks like the Toys-R-Us elves threw up in every corner and the laundry fairy forgot her shift." -Heather
The piles of crap littering my apartment appear to be artfully cropped out. And yes, I cleaned up before the photographer came over. Wouldn't everybody?
"I only have one kid, but in the morning you will find me in a bathrobe making coffee with paper towel handmade filters, because we forgot to buy real ones AGAIN. My daughter in her underpants checking out her butt in the mirror and then running away giggling. My husband, half awake, mixing half and half and water in our cereal because (you guessed it) we forgot to buy the milk…AGAIN. Your pictures are what I WANT my life to look like." -Ilona
Honestly, if I saw my pictures, I would feel the same way. The pictures don't reflect what I think my life looks like either.
Here's the thing. When Well Rounded NY told me they were sending over Raquel Bianca to document my morning, I was really nervous about it. In my mind, my mornings are not beautiful. They are hectic and stressful and very often unpleasant.
The kids wake us up too early, my husband and I pawn off the kids on eachother as we negotiate who gets to take a shower, Mazzy screams for unacceptable breakfast foods, Harlow cries for someone to hold her, and I snap at someone at least twice.
Did I mention the hair brushing tantrums? BECAUSE THEY HAPPEN EVERY MORNING.
Besides the fact that I had everyone dressed and ready for the photographer when she came over (as I think most people would), the morning went pretty much as always.
Mazzy climbed all over us, argued over her shoe options, threw a soccer ball at my face, begged for dessert at breakfast and ripped toys away from Harlow. Harlow pooped, squirmed out of my grasp during a diaper change and cried every time I tried to put her down to check my email.
Yes, I know, I am lucky to have a nice apartment, two cute kids, a decent looking husband and a nanny who relieves the stress of dropping kids off at daycare. But I was convinced these candid photos would come out horribly, proving once and for all that I have no idea what I'm doing.
Raquel insisted they would be beautiful. I thought Raquel was full of shit.
When she finally sent me the photos, I was shocked. I looked through them over and over again. I showed them to anyone who would look. I realize now that I am so proud of them because they reveal something about my mornings I did not know.
They are, in fact, beautiful.
Whatever chaos is going on in my home or in my head is not reflected in a still shot. You can't hear whining kids or impatient parents. It's almost like putting an opera song over a car chase. Everything slows down and you see things completely different.
Then I started thinking— it's probably not just me. I bet most moms have mornings that are beautiful. They've just never had someone come over to document so they can see them in that light.
So. Today, I'm announcing a photo project— a collaboration with Raquel Bianca, the photographer who took these pictures.
We are willing to bet that we can select three moms at random (having no idea what your home or your family looks like), come over to photograph your morning, and then surprise you with its beauty.
If you are interested (and live in or around NYC), please leave a comment below describing your morning with your general location.
We are going to photograph four moms total. The fourth mom will be Ilona (who happens to hail from Queens), who left the comment below:
"I know it's hard to show the 'grey' moments. God knows, nobody wants to pick up the camera when the baby is screaming for an hour. With that said, there is 5% of women in the world that can relate to your photos. The rest might be thinking 'What the fuck am I doing wrong?' I just wish the visual expectations were not so high."
Raquel and I would like to prove that JUST MAYBE— it's not the visual expectation that is set too high, but instead, the self-visualization that is way too low.
That's the goal, anyway.
UPDATE: Congrats to our winners— Ilona from Queens, J from Brooklyn, Annie from Maplewood NJ, Teresa from the Upper West Side and Borami from Hoboken. Look for an email from me shortly!
To join the Mommy Shorts facebook page, click here.