Family Photographers RI, CT, MA. Dear Moms: You’re Not Alone

Maternity, newborn, family and wedding photographers in RI, CT, MA

Massart Photography captures nursing images in Rhode Island

Being a mother isn’t easy. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been a mom before or if this is your first go. It makes no difference if you bottle feed or breastfeed, cloth diaper, let your kid eat Cheerios off the floor, hover or let your kids run in the wild. Motherhood is hard. And lately, it’s been on my mind to share something with you all because so often we feel like we’re alone in this journey. That we’re the only ones struggling or sleep deprived. That we’re the only ones who don’t know right from left all of a sudden (can I forget my keys at daycare drop off one more time??!) or how to help that tiny little human we brought into the world.  So let me tell you a little story…  mother to mother.

We post so many photos of our family on social media, appearing to have our crap together so it was no different when photographing nursing images but the truth is, nursing hasn’t been easy for me. With our first son, Knox, I decided after some stomach issues on his part that nursing just wasn’t going to be the best option for us. We started formula feeding and never looked back.  Fast forward to having Lex. This baby is literally the happiest kid  I’ve ever seen. But, like his brother, he also had stomach issues when it came to my breastmilk; cow’s milk allergy is no joke (no I’m not the cow even if I feel like it at times!) Thankfully our pediatrician helped us figure it out (Dr. Clare McMillan at East Greenwich Pediatrics is AH-MAZING) and with a lot of dietary changes (I miss dairy so much I could cry!), persistence at pumping, and some amazing (and expensive, blech!) formula to supplement, everything got straightened out and out little guy is happy again.

Keeping all of that in mind… After chatting with one of our friends who we’ve photographed for years, she asked if I was planning to take any portraits to commemorate our breastfeeding journey. If I’m being honest, I hadn’t even thought about something like that! But then I realized why not? This has been a huge part of our lives and journey for the last few months. So I started to think more and more about documenting our story.

I had my semi-annual hair appointment with the amazing Salon Sapphire and since a field not far from our home was in perfect bloom, Seth got the boys and a gown from our studio and we rushed over. We had minutes to spare but I was so happy – I was going to get my dreamy, bohemian family portrait to celebrate this journey with my two boys! It was going to be GREAT!

Beautiful, right? HA! Life has a way of smacking you in the face. It was not a perfect moment by any means. The bugs were out of control… Knox wanted to pull on Lex’s swaddle non-stop… Lex didn’t want to nurse and was, in fact, hitting me in the chest with his head. Isn’t that life (and being a mom) for you? Something we planned out, hoping it would be great and perfect… but, nope, nothing works the way it’s supposed to. Anyone feel me on that? Despite everything going wrong, I still love the pictures we got in the field.

Later on, we were at home during a late night dinner with the boys. It’s a night – you know the ones. Lex refused to nurse for… really no reason at all. Knox was refusing watermelon, or anything nutritious, per usual. And me? Motherhood was just smacking me in the face all over again. The exhaustion, the confusion, the frustration and questioning moments. I was pumping with my amazing Freemie pump because, well, I had to. And that’s real life. That’s what our day looks like. We decided to snap a picture. And you know what? I love it just as much as the one in the field.

I love all of these images because they are what motherhood is all about. It’s about being exhausted and confused and not knowing if what you’re doing is right. It’s about struggling with nursing and supplementing and not knowing if that’s normal (spoiler alert: it absolutely is!). Motherhood feels so isolating some days. It feels like you’re all alone and struggling by yourself. It feels like no one else could understand what’s happening or even care. But I want you to know that you’re not alone. All of us, each mother out there, we’re in this together in a very special way. Motherhood is like no other gift but damn, if it isn’t hard.

Mommas out there, no matter what your journey is like (breastfeeding or otherwise), never forget that you are not alone. I understand the chaos. I understand the exhaustion. I understand the guilt and frustration. I understand how it feels to question every single thing you do as a parent and a mother. We’re all in this together – and no one out there has it all together, despite our perfect facebook family portraits, no matter how we make it seem.

Side note: Dads. I know it’s no walk in the park for you either but since you don’t have tatas, this one is for the ladies!

XOXO,
Audrey & Seth

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