Reflections on motherhood

Yesterday’s workshop at Chester Art Centre with Kate Inglis gave me lots of food for thought regarding self-portraiture as a means of meditating on particular emotions, and on photography & storytelling.

Here I am trying to capture my reflection on motherhood and what it means to me. I think I started getting the process of making a self-portrait, but am still really working on how to get to the depth of emotions.



Raggedy Ann has been with me since birth, or at the very least my first few days of life. Looking at her stitched up neckline, her ratty clothing and her floppy arms reminds me of how much love my mother shared with me. Her expressions of love in the little things (and big things) she did for us, including rescuing my raggedy doll from a heartless purge attempt by someone after a move. 😉

Raggedy Ann


I have a small collection of things that remind me of mom & Nanny that I keep handy for when I need their comforting maternal love. Placed on a shelf next to my reading chair. Sometimes I need only glance in that direction, while others I cling to that little bear trying to breathe in the essence of those two amazing women.

Mothers breathe life into their children, mold them and guide them, nurturing their very being. Only mothers seem able to see right into the soul and really know who their children are. There is an ability from early on to distinguish bits of personality that may be nurtured but never stamped out. Through a mother’s love children become people in the wholest sense of the word.

Soul of a Child



Out of focus, but not in a blurry sort of way

I’ve been really struggling lately with keeping focus. Of course, I feel like I’d hardly found it to begin with. Sometimes I wonder if one decision in life could have made all the difference and perhaps changed the direction I have taken, leading to a more focused life. A part of me believes I still would have found my way to where I am right now regardless of the path, but could a different path have allowed me a less painful journey? One that might have afforded me the ability to focus better?

Perhaps not, perhaps it’s just in my make-up. Or perhaps it’s motherhood? Although, I’m quite certain this started long before I became a mom. I will soon be celebrating a decade of motherhood. And I have been flitting from idea to idea, project to project, school to job, job to school, even home to home for almost my entire adulthood. Perhaps it’s just the product of my childhood: growing up the daughter of an RCMP member, grand-daughter of two air force members, moving from posting to posting never calling one specific place “home”. Our family are all gypsies, perhaps I’m just no good at putting down roots.

There are a few things in my life that do keep me grounded, they are my spouse and my children.

My children are my world. We plan our lives around them, while knowing that we must have time for ourselves and activities just for me. But I try to take advantage of every opportunity we can to be together. I took a part-time job that would allow me to be home with them more. Our weekend plans always involve family-focused activities when the girls are at home. We go swimming or we take bike rides, we have movie nights and play board games.  We read together.  Sometimes we plan family outings to farms with u-picks, and sometimes we choose to relax without any plans at all.

Their bonus dad is my significant other, my spouse, my partner in life, my best friend. When we met we shared all of our extra curricular activities (like cycling, running and swimming), now we support one another in those efforts, and our time together is more often spent relaxing at home while the girlies are in bed. Lately we’ve been spending a lot of time exploring our options to make a move into a home that will improve our quality of life in the areas that are most important to us. A lakefront property in an area where we can run and cycle and just plain enjoy the out-of-doors together even more.

So, while they keep me grounded, the rest of me is in the clouds constantly rising and falling, uncertain of the weather down below.

Maybe it’s just me. I had been coping better for a while. Now I’ve begun to feel very low about the physical pain I’ve been experiencing again (still), and the effect that’s had on the sleep that I had just finally gotten under control (mostly). I’d been watching sappy movies all evening on the weekend while catching up on laundry. The movies made me cry, something I rarely do while watching films – especially silly chick flicks.

I keep reading about how to make the most of life, hoping something will jump out at me. And little bits and pieces do and have, so I make incremental changes, but part of me wants to make a huge leap! Am I really ready?

When did you know know it was time to make a significant change in your life?