In an age where social media and technology provide us with constant opportunities to take and retake photos, add filters, edit flaws and present an often unrealistic image of ourselves and our lives as mothers, we set out to create a series of real-life motherhood moments – without the filters, without the edits, but with all the beauty.
This is Jenn & Lindsay
In her words:
We are a two mom family to an energetic and inquisitive 5 year old. It’s such a cliché, but she has forced us to reflect on what kind of humans we want to be – and on a daily basis she reminds me/us that I don’t need to slam the door, or stomp my feet, or yell to get what I need. We just need to love each other, and listen, and try new things, and trust. It’s so simple.
What is your biggest challenge or concern as a mother?
Setting a good example! We want Bowen to learn by being surrounded by amazing women and men, and reliable role models. We want her to witness the gruelling work it takes to be really good at something. We want her to push for success and feel the high of exhilaration, but also have failures, and learn to dig herself out of the low times. We aspire for her to be an energetic self-starter, and judicious critical thinker… which means, WE want to be all that, too.
How has your experience as a mother shaped the way you experience the world and/or shaped your life?
(Jenn) She has made me braver. I can’t expect her to try new things, unless I try too, and I can’t teach her without learning. My expectations for HER, have become my expectations for MYSELF: consistently respectful, disciplined, and deliberate. She has slowed me down out of a ‘tizzy’ and inspired me to be more grounded – a 10 min walk with a tiny human quite literally involves stopping to ‘smell the flowers’ … often every single one of them.
Having a kid has redefined my world view: current events and politics matter; how you fuel and rest your body, and what you expect out of yourself really matters; how you relate to other sentient beings matters. Even how you structure your day around work, play, and rest is somehow a life lesson. There have been a lot of “why” questions in the last few years, and having to answer them has made me more accountable for why I do what I do, and why I don’t do the rest.
What makes you a good mother?
We are realistic. Bowen doesn’t have to be perfect, she just has to do her best. And her “best” might vary from day to day, but if she gives it her 100%, that’s good enough. We listen to her and include her in planning and directing our day to day activities. She is an active participant in her life, and an important part of our family team!
Anything else you’d like us to know?
Bowen is a 5 year old girl of a two-mom family that split when she was 3, and regrouped into two two-mom families. We share her time equally, and celebrate occasions together, and overlap our time with her seamlessly. Essentially, Bowen has 4 moms. It’s unique and cool and fun and tough and frustrating all at the same time. We all love her to bits, and can’t wait to see how she turns out!
To view a selection of Motherhood: Unfiltered photographs in person, you can visit The Birch Tree in Ladner during their regular office hours.