I’m going through all the photos I took this year. It’s not a ton because I spent almost the entire year either being pregnant (and nauseous, exhausted, and hospitalized for hypertension) or having a brand new baby (in and out of NICU). Two days after Anya came home from the hospital, I attempted newborn photos, which I’d always planned to do myself. Of course I hadn’t planned for her to be in NICU almost two weeks. I was wildly disappointed with the results I got. It was already going to be hard enough as I am NOT a newborn photographer. But what I managed left me deeply, deeply depressed.
Ryan and Grayson helped me out with the accompanying group shot I took weeks later. Another almost disaster. The day I took the above photo, the group shot ended up irreparable underexposed. I imagined a photo that would go above our mantel of all three children. The results I achieved were not mantel worthy. So what did I do? Well at first I definitely cried about it. I feel OK about this – women spend a lot of time postpartum crying about much less. I felt uncharacteristically moody and nothing could be done about it. So what did I do next? I REATTEMPTED. I waited a week, dressed my saints of sons in their match J Crew shirts, and fixed my light by replacing the damn battery.
This photo resulted. Also not perfect, but an immortalization of the first time my boys held their baby sister for a professional photo. I immediately printed it to canvas and hung it above our mantel. Truthfully I spent months imagining it, and maybe I shouldn’t have. I think as moms we are so hard on ourselves. A lot of us try to be such overachievers and perfectionists when it comes to our kids. (I practically melt down every time I attempt a birthday cake. Ironically, this year is the first I have ever felt I achieved something super amazing. Grayson wanted a zombie unicorn came and I freaking nailed it.)
I must remind myself almost constantly that perfection is not the goal. I can’t be, because you will end up disappointed a lot of the time. These photographs exist, and that is what matters. I will still love them years from now when these babies are way too big. I’m grateful for them. (The photos and the babies!)