Hello friends! Since this is a slower time of year for me, I decided to work on a personal project and I'm so excited to share this series with you. Moms have a dear place in my heart, and I wanted to work with some local mamas on this project.
I'm involved with a local group for moms, and one of their hashtags for this year is #thisismotherhood. I loved that line so much, and have been honored to be a part of a group of moms who embrace their differences, embrace each other, accept each other just as they are, and our group is really a non-judgmental place for moms to get together. I reached out in my group to see if anyone would be interested in sharing part of their motherhood journey, and I was blown away with the responses I got. I have been able to start meeting with the moms who I'll be working with, and I get to sit down with them for an hour, take some photos, and listen to them share. It's been so beautiful and such an honor for me.
Because I'm sharing parts of the stories of different women who have voluntarily sat down with me, I'd ask that you approach reading these posts with respect and an understanding that these stories are sacred. Please honor this space. The moms I'm interviewing all have a unique and different story of their journey to motherhood. No two will be alike, and that is so beautiful to me. Please honor these women and listen to their story free of judgement, assumptions, or negativity. We deal with enough of that already, right?
Please accept these stories as parts of the bigger picture of being a mother and being human, and recognize how rich that makes this world. Thank you for taking the time to read and listen.
With much love,
"I'm originally from a small town in Illinois but all of my family is from the Indianapolis area, so Indy always felt like home to me. I came here to finish my Psychology degree but God had other plans. ;) I live in Fishers and I have two kids, Lilly who is almost 4 and Elijah who is 10 months. I stay at home with them and have my own photography business, Awakening Photography. And we're a big board game playing family."
Lindsey was so down to earth and relaxed as I interviewed her. She let me get a sneak peek into her life, and I loved how real she was, from wearing her comfy clothes, to letting me see her house in all it’s kid-made-mess glory (who here can relate?!), to being so honest and open in her answers. She made me feel right at home as I sat on the couch listening to her talk, and I think you’ll really enjoy hearing her story below!
Tell me a little bit about your journey to motherhood.
“My journey into motherhood, as far as birth, was probably one of the most terrifying things ever. I was pregnant with my first, and I almost bled to death - I had placenta previa and didn’t know it and I had to go in for an emergency c-section. We had to rush to the hospital, I hadn’t felt my daughter move, and when we got to the hospital they had to go right away. I was bleeding and they couldn’t find the source of bleeding, and never did, so I also had to get a D&C after delivery, and they even told me there was a possibility of having a hysterectomy. I was freshly 21 at this time too. And I was literally thrown into all of it. I delivered 4 weeks early, and we didn’t even have the nursery put together, things like that. It was hard bonding at the beginning, and we still butt heads a lot even now. She had some breathing issues, so she had to go to the NICU and I had to go to the ICU. I didn’t get to see her for the first two days at all except for pictures and it was rough. So my journey to motherhood was a real rollercoaster.”
What is one of the things you love the most about being a mother?
“Just having fun with life, you know. Instead of everything being so serious. When you’re playing with your kids, it’s just fun, instead of focusing on all the stress of the world.”
What has been one of the hardest things about being a mother?
“Probably just adapting to everything. It’s a whole new world. It’s a challenge in everything. You go from all about you to all about them. Like nothing is about you anymore. Which is good though! You learn to completely change your mind about everything, just the way you think. It’s kind of crazy.”
How do you maintain a sense of who you were before you had kids?
“I love photography, so anytime I have a spare moment, I’m working on setting up shoots, browsing Pinterest for inspiration. Just finding what you love, and continuing to pursue it even with kids. Life doesn’t stop just because you have kids. Like I said before - it’s about adapting when you have kids.”
What is something that makes your motherhood story unique?
“I don’t know - that’s a hard one. Probably my journey to motherhood makes my story unique.”
What is one of your biggest dreams that has yet to be realized?
“I’ve thought a lot recently, and I have really felt a call to leadership with women. In whatever way that is. I’m just waiting for the opportunity, and I don’t know what that means, but I know that’s the way the Lord is calling me at some point. And obviously, I’m a mom right now, so there’s not a lot I can do right now, but I think that’s the excitement of it though, waiting to see what God’s plan is for your life.”
What would you say to your younger pre-motherhood self now if you could?
“Forget everything you know. It’s not at all what people try and make it out to be. You’re the perfect mother until you have kids. All those things you worry about? It doesn’t matter. They’re alive, they’re happy.”
In what ways has motherhood changed you?
“Just looking outside myself. All those don’t matter anymore - what people think of me, my image, constantly worrying about being super skinny and things like that. Of course everyone wants to look their best, but it doesn’t consume me anymore and I’m so much happier because of that. I’d rather live life serving others, I realize that now, instead of it being all about me and what the world thinks of me.”
What’s something you wish all mothers would truly take to heart?
“When I make a new friend, I want them to come over when my house is messy. If we’re going to be good friends, then my house is going to messy. We always think that every mom is judging us for everything we do or say, but in all reality, they’re not. I mean, our kids are alive, and they’re happy, like I said before.”
What is one thing you expected to be true about motherhood but turned out to be different?
“How easy it was to live life before kids. It’s a challenge, every day. You’re molding them, so you’re responsible for everything they do and say. So you try to make them good people, but they’re still they’re own person.”
What’s something about motherhood that you wish everyone would be honest about but maybe not many people talk about?
“Pregnancy. Everyone says pregnancy is the greatest time. For me, it sucks. I hate being pregnant. That’s the one I was ashamed telling people, and then one of my friends said it, and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, me too!’ It’s the worst time ever. I was nauseous with my first for a long time. I was so young, and a stick, so I think it was really hard on my body and I had a lot of pain. With my second, he was just a big baby and that made it uncomfortable.”
What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten about being a mother?
“One thing that will always stick with me is when I was pregnant and it felt overwhelming, my mom said ‘Just keep in mind this is the greatest, most important thing you will ever do.’”
What is your favorite way to wind down after a long day with your kids?
“I’m really into my shows, but that sounds really lazy. :) Netflix and chill, or editing photos. It’s something I really enjoy doing, so it doesn’t always feel like work.”
Tell me one thing you love about yourself as a mother?
“It’s good of you to put that in there, but I don’t know. I guess that I’m more laid back.”
Lindsey then asked me how *I* would answer, and I had a hard time telling her. I think this question is good for any parent to at least think on. It’s not always easy to focus on what we do well, so take a minute and think through for yourself.
Tell me one thing that scares you about being a mother?
“Scarring them for life. It seems like everyone is scarred in some way from their parents, so I’m like ‘ok how will I ruin them now?’”
What would you do if you had a whole day to yourself?
“SLEEP. I would totally sleep. Sleep or walk around Target with a cup of coffee. I’ve done that before.”
Who has been your biggest inspiration/mentor/go-to someone as you have journeyed through motherhood?
"I would say my other mom friends."
What are ways you find time for yourself?
"Naptime and after bedtime."
How do you describe #thisismotherhood in your own words?
“This is real life mom-hood here. Nothing is perfect, I guess. We’re just all doing our own thing and getting by every day. That’s all you can do.”
What makes motherhood beautiful to you?
“It seems like it would be an easy question. I mean, there are so many wonderful things about being a mom. Just that it makes you grow as a person, you know.”
Thank you SO MUCH to Lindsey for sharing part of her story. I hope you could soak in her heart as you read through her words. She didn't mince words when she told me her story and it was really amazing to hear. I love it dearly when people are just so real, and Lindsey wasn't afraid to share the hard parts along with the beautiful parts. She is an incredible woman and mama, and I feel so honored to be able to share part of her story here!
Be on the lookout for the next motherhood session as I continue with this series!