As a Seattle Mother Baby Photographer, I get to photograph many single moms by choice. I would like to introduce my Mother of the Month for January. Please meet Marygrace and Lottie. I think you will be inspired by her energy and thoughtfulness.
- Tell me a little bit about yourself and your decision to have Charlotte. Was it an easy process?
I have always given 100% of myself to my job, and also to my family and friends. I loved my political career and moved all over the country working on campaigns in numerous states, including President Obama’s campaign, and ended up working for President Obama in DC. Once I left the administration to join a political consulting firm, I was shocked to realize that I was now 33 years old and was missing out on what I always thought I would be, which is a mother. I spent the year really thinking about what I wanted, and I knew I wanted to have a baby, even if it meant doing it on my own. I spent another year researching and planning and preparing my family and friends for the fact that I was going to try to have a baby. I found a fertility clinic in DC, (I commuted there for work monthly) a cryo bank in CA, and put my plan into motion. I was pregnant by February, 2015! Best decision I have ever made.
- What is your secret to be a happy single parent? OR how can you inspire other women thinking about having a child on their own?
I don’t really have a secret to being happy as a single parent, but I have a few thoughts on this. I believe in making your own happiness. I don’t rely on Charlotte to be my only source of happiness. She makes me incredibly joyful, but I have to be happy first, on my own, because it would be a lot of pressure on her to have her be the only thing that makes me happy. I love to read, I love my friends and family, and I love work! In order to be a happy and successful single parent, I make sure that I do things that make me happy and sane, in order to give Charlotte the happy and functional mother she deserves. It does mean that I only get to read a few chapters at night before I collapse into my much needed (but limited) sleep, but those few chapters help make me feel like the person I was before I had a baby. I have learned to have a deep bench of baby-sitters! You never know when you will get sick, or when you need a two hour break to put on make up and have coffee out with a friend…worth the money when you are going crazy! I wanted to have a baby more than I have ever wanted anything in the whole world, but the amount of work and reality of it took me to my knees at the beginning. I found my footing, and it still is the best thing I have ever decided to do!
- Do you have a nugget of wisdom on how you want to guide this little person in the world?
I went into this decision knowing that there is one thing I want to bring to the table as far as parenting…and that is PATIENCE. I wanted to remain patient and calm, whether it was 3:00 AM and Charlotte was a newborn non-stop crying, or whether it is Charlotte saying “nooooooooo” to literally everything I say to her in 24 hours (which was yesterday by the way!!). I want to be patient and calm in the way that I handle the situation. I have to remind myself that every day (or every hour like I did yesterday!) but I do think that it has helped Charlotte and I as team as we learn together. I want to teach her empathy and kindness, which is daunting, but are the most important qualities that I want her to learn and have. I am still learning how to teach that, but she is helping me become a better person in the process!
- Tell me about why you decided to hire a Mother Baby Photographer to take photographs, and why you trusted me to take these special photos.
I carefully budgeted my first year as a parent, and I didn’t add in funds to get professional photos of Charlotte, or of Charlotte and myself. I figured it was not worth it, and I would have plenty of pictures that I would take with my Iphone. Well…one year in and it is a HUGE regret I have. I don’t have wonderful photos of my girl as a baby, I have fine ones, but nothing great. Also, our family photos of both of us are all selfies!
I decided that before 2017, I was going to do photos of the two of us. I had in mind what I didn’t want, and knew that what I wanted to see when I look back at this moment in time, was us interacting. I wanted to catch glimpses of what our snuggle time looks like now, in real photos. I have not lost the baby weight, my hair has not grown back to its pre-pregnancy healthy length, and I certainly don’t have time for a blow-out, but that is what I wanted.
I want to remember what is was really like! Jennifer was referred to me by a friend, and with just one look at her website, I knew she was the photographer I wanted to take pictures of us.
The black and white pictures were real, and beautiful and I instantly knew. After my consultation call with Jennifer, I was even more convinced I was making the right decision. It was like we had been friends before, and were just catching up. She made me feel at ease, which I knew would make Lottie feel at ease. I was actually looking forward to the shoot day, and I was right. We had fun, we laughed (even when Charlotte cried one time!) and I felt so comfortable with Jennifer.
The photos are PERFECT. Exactly what I wanted, and I get teary looking at them sometimes because they the perfect moment-in-time. I will always treasure them.
To read more essays from other mothers featured, please visit our Mother of the Month archives.
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