A little personal vulnerability here — I've begun going through a structured process this year where I've gotten to peel back the layers of my life, all the way down to my childhood, reflecting on how the influence of people and happenings of my life have shaped me for the good and for the bad. I do this in a group-setting, hearing stories about how others have been shaped as well. It's a safe place, yet one in which you can't help but compare and draw conclusions about why we turned out healthy or broken in various areas of our lives.
In this process, there is a lot of reflection about your parent's influence, especially in the first few years of your life. I won't get too deep into any of that, but in light of Mother's Day I'm feeling very grateful for the fact that my mom was nurturing and present during my formative years. While my dad was away working his job during the day, my mom juggled being a freelance graphic designer and running a daycare center out of our house so that she could raise me and my sister (um, technically that's 3 jobs...). My sister and I had the ideal set-up — being consistently socialized with kids of all ages (it felt like we had a huge collection of siblings to play with every day), yet the two of us got to have our parent's focused attention when all the kids went home with their own families.
Our lives weren't perfect, but I now see how my mom structured her life so that we could be sufficiently provided and cared for. Being a mother is a big deal that I have so much respect for. If I hear anyone ever put the word "just" before "being a stay-at-home-mom", I want to remind you that you arguably have the most important job of all time. By bringing a child into this world, you are dropping a stone into the water, creating a ripple effect that will touch the world.
Additionally, in honor of Mother's Day, I want to highlight one of my long-time friends and soon-to-be mother of 2. Laura is one of those fully-devoted, hard working mommas that I regard highly. Below is a little shoot I did with her and her beautiful, expanding family.