Welcome to Artifact Motherhood. This is a collaboration of artists from around the world who have come together to share our stories of the joys and struggles in our journeys. Through our writings and photographs, we want to create memories that are more than photographs with dates written on the back. These are the artifacts we are leaving behind for our children and for generations to come.
On January 1, 2019 I started a project. I had taken a year off from committing myself to any photography projects but instead of feeling refreshed I felt surprisingly uninspired and bored without a creative endeavor to commit to. So I chose a 365 project on something that is near and dear to my heart – our girls. I grew up with my single mom and my sister, so I was slightly thrilled when my youngest was born and I saw that she was a girl. I know girls. I know sisters. A vast majority of my best childhood moments are with my sister. From the day to day moments in our apartment playing ‘dreamphone’ together or making prank calls (one that resulted in a police officer coming, eek!), or our weekly trips to our grandparents house and summers essentially living on the beaches of Lake Michigan. I know the road bumps to expect with the teen years, and I know the bond that grows stronger as adults even if life is wild & you don’t talk every day. I’ve always felt so excited to re-live that through the eyes of my girls. This is for them.
I’ve discovered a few things while doing this project. First and foremost, you girls are each others favorite playmates. I love to sit back and listen to you play – I hear worlds of make believe and hilarious narratives that I really should write down. Many days you run into disagreements on the narrative, but you almost always problem solve together (even if it’s with a little help from mom and dad).
I’ve found that you are both are at your happiest in nature. Whether that’s on our property, in the mountains, on the water, or in National Parks you two are seem to be at your most content. It never fails that you both find signs of fairies together, or pick up a stick that leads some sort of make believe adventure.
Capturing both of your day to day moments has been a favorite of mine. It is then that I see the comfort and sense of home that you two have with one another. You feel safe together – which means we see so many ups, and a few downs too. We let down our guards to those we feel most safe with, and that’s expected. But with those unavoidable sibling spats the two of you learn so much. Empathy. Collaboration. Problem-solving. The list goes on and on.
On that same note, you two are such great protectors of one another. You stick up for one another constantly, and you care for your furry siblings with just as much love. I’m inspired by you both daily. Keep this up as you grow old together.
The last quarter of this project has been harder for me to keep up with. While the two of you entered for first year in school together, I started a new chapter in my career path. This led to so many changes – some good, some hard. I’ve worked more than I have in the other years since I began this motherhood journey – yet with this new chapter I see you both every single night, and every single weekend. A novelty I didn’t use to have as a floor RN. More time with the two of you is always a perk. I didn’t quite make it the entire 365 days, but I’m okay with that. Because finishing what you started, even if it’s not perfect, is a lesson I want to instill on the two of you. You’ll run into more difficult chapters – be there for one another, my girls.
I made a little video of the entire year, if you so feel inclined to watch. My girls watched it tonight and I asked them to tell me their favorite shots. They yelled “that one, that one, that one, that one!” over and over again with a vast majority of the photos. It made the headache of daily shooting completely worth it. 😉