Wednesday, May 19, 2010

{when words fail...}

Her name was Nancy and she came to visit me at our house just after Hudson was born. She had been a nurse for nearly her entire life and was exactly the face that I needed to see after the week that I had just experienced. She was gentle. Non-judgmental. Calm. She was all of the things that I wasn't at the time and she was there to tell me that everything would be alright.

I answered the door that morning in tears. It was my first day alone at the house with Hudson and the world looked very different to me at the time. She very graciously assured me that I was certainly not the first new mother to find herself in such a state. We sat down in our family room, Hudson asleep on the couch, and began to discuss what had triggered this onset of tears. She, of course, already knew because she had seen and heard it countless times before...but it was a first for me.

We sat and talked for nearly two hours. Mostly about the baby and motherhood but also just about life because our new baby had just become our life. As she quietly sat across from me, she began to ask about our future...the life that would inevitably build once this day of endless tears finally passed. That's when she asked me if I was planning on going back to work.

Work! What a strange concept that had become over time now that I was holding a tiny little person whose very survival was dependent on me. Wasn't I already in the midst of the most difficult work that I'd ever do? But I had also left another kind of "work"...the work that I had known for over a decade that didn't involve spit up and changing diapers. Then there was also my camera; the one thing that stood alone in this discussion...

I was planning on returning to my photography less than three short months after having Hudson. Certainly not with the same time consuming schedule that I would otherwise commit to but I was going back nonetheless. And I was excited for it. I had weddings and engagements and maternity shoots all set up; I was meeting with clients about bookings for 2011; I had classes and exhibits registered for, and all the while, it didn't feel like work.

As I began to hear the words come out of my mouth, I found myself defending my choice as though I was defending my honour because somehow, in the midst of our conversation, I had caught myself questioning whether or not this made me a bad mother; whether or not my desire for something beyond motherhood meant that I wasn't cut out to do it in the first place? But my nurse just sat there with the most compassionate of expressions on her face as she listened to me battle it out with the demons in my head.

Because here's the thing...

There are no words for how much I love my son and my husband. There are no words for how much I love being a wife and a mother. There are no words for how grateful I feel to have these men in my life. There are simply no words. And so I give. I give every single fiber of my being into loving this child and the amazing man that sleeps next to me every night. And there are no words for how much I love doing so. But being the woman that I am, I can lose myself in all of the giving. I'm notorious for it.

And so I need my camera to help me be me. I need it to help remind me of the person that I was before I became a wife and a mother. And though I wasn't a photographer before either of these things, I was a person who used her artistic side as her outlet; her passion as her therapy. I need to create in order to find my sense of balance; I need the time alone, behind my camera, to breathe and re-boot. I need to visit those places in myself that are not linked to my son or my husband because in a strange sort of way, I think that doing so helps me to be a better wife and a better mother.

Or at least I hope it does because this past weekend I went back to work; back to my photography; back to my business; back to creating and most importantly, back to building a better mother for this little guy...

I think that my nurse would approve!

1 comment:

Mary Marantz said...

This post....amazing!!