What is a Mother?

I thought it would be fun to ask several of my friends to ask their children “what is a mother?” Here are a few of my favorite responses:

“you!” -said by many

“Someone that takes care of you” -age 6

“A role model” -age 12

“A loving and caring person” -age 10

“She is a person who loves you always (even before you were born) no matter how snotty you act.” -age 8

“Mothers love their children so when they grow up they can be strong. ” -age 4

“A mother is my mom who loves you, takes care of you, teaches you, who is nice, cleans, cooks, she loves me.” -age 10

“A mommy is someone who protects her children, and other ones too.” -age 6

“Someone who takes care of you and loves you” -age 7

“Someone who looks after you, takes care of you, who loves you. Deeply” -age 8

“A mother keeps me safe.” -age 8

“A mother is a person who keeps you safe in your darkest time. She gives you cuddles and she loves you no matter what, no matter what mistakes you do. A mother is the person i love the most.” -age 8

“She helps you when your toe is bloody” -age 3

“A mother loves you so much and she never breaks your heart. She gives you big kisses and big hugs. She teaches you to live happily and helps us.” -age 5

“A mother is a kind, loving lady who wants to take care of her children and make sure they have a good life and makes sure she never loses them.” -age 10

“Someone who takes care of her children and teaches them how to love one another.” -age 8

“Someone who loves and cares for their children. And it doesn’t even matter if it’s their own children or not.” -12

In all the responses I got only a few children said someone who had given birth/was pregnant. Let that sink in a minute. To these children all across the United States a mother is one thing. Love.

I have watched several of my friends and family deal with infertility, miscarriage, infant loss, or have simply not had the opportunity to marry and have children. These beautiful women are some of the most amazing mothers I know. I have watched my best friend snuggle my babies and I am completely serious when I say she is their second mommy. They adore her and I know her heart is full of love for them.

The world needs mothers. The world needs women who will nurture, lead, care for, and love the children around them. The title of Mother is the most noble one that we as women can embrace, and we don’t have to give birth to claim it.

I believe there is Nobility in Motherhood and I believe that the greatest success in life may be someone you raise, not something you do.

Do you believe it too? What do the children in your life say is a mother? I’d love to hear their answers in the comments!

Olivia- Documentary Newborn Photography

When I first started newborn photography I built up a stash of baskets, buckets, blankets, headbands, and many other props. I have a few photographers whose work I absolutely LOVE and I was determined to emulate. I found, however, that each session left me feeling completely drained both physically and emotionally. I couldn’t understand what the problem was. I love babies, and I love photography, so why didn’t I love photographing babies?

I then watched a class on Creative Live titled “Family Photography: Modern Storytelling“. In this class Kristin Bethman taught about using photojournalism to document real family life instead of doing the traditional posed portraits. Suddenly it clicked; I wasn’t enjoying my job because the props, blankets and excessive planning for the perfect lighting in the perfect scene just wasn’t me. I crave authentic intimate relationships. I am impulsive, not a planner. I love simplicity. I decided to get rid of all the props and only offer lifestyle/documentary sessions.

I have done my first few sessions in this style and it has been AMAZING!! A few weeks ago I photographed Olivia. Little Olivia was the perfect model and her family was incredible. Her father just glowed with pride and you could tell they were already the best of friends. Even though I didn’t know Olivia’s mother before photographing them I could see how motherhood had changed her. She was just in awe of this little creature who had been created inside her body. I left their home feeling renewed and invigorated by the time I spent with them. This is where I belong.

I would love to capture these special moments for your family as well. I want to help you celebrate the love and the adventures that happen in your every day moments. Life is messy. Walls are colored on, food is spilled, tears are shed, and it is beautiful. Please email me at emily@emilyjphoto.com to schedule your session.