My body... Strong, changing, dependable...
'When my little girl was a baby she would never want to be anywhere than on me or my partner, she was carried for every nap and anytime I couldn't be with her on the floor. She bed shared with us until it felt right for her to have her own bed. She was breastfed from birth, which was a challenge in itself as I had to have an emergency c-section and was away from her for her first few hours of life. But she waited to be fed by me and we fed until she was about 13 months old, when she weaned herself. My boy was also fed from birth, through tongue tie and whooping cough at 6 weeks old we pushed on. He also bed shared with us, and was always in the sling. These days he still spends a lot of time on my hip... he is so loving he is always there for kisses and cuddles.'
'My mother was never bothered by being seen, always the one in swimming pool changing rooms to just strip off. She always seemed to confident in her body and happy with herself. Not once was I ever shocked to see her without clothes, it was a normal thing in our house. She has a beautiful body, her sureness about herself always shone through, and if I could be as amazing as her after 5 children then would be over the moon.'
Who am I besides a mother? What makes me feel good and what gives me a sense of self?
'I feel I have less time to be bothered about the small stuff on the whole.
I feel as if these 'imperfections' I have now are for amazing purpose... Yet some days that's not enough reason to make me feel good, or to make me feel 'myself' again. Sometimes I feel a great sense of thanks to my body that I was able to create two amazing children... I am so grateful that my body is able to this and that I didn't experience many difficulties on the journey. But I am also left with a feeling of who am I for myself now? Who am I besides a mother? What makes me feel good and what gives me a sense of self?
I know they don't mind the dimples or the rolls, they just love the warmth and feel of my skin.
I'm aware that these questions will be forever lingering and forever changing and that my answers may come and go.
Sometimes I worry that I need to have all of these things figured out to be whole, strong woman for my children to see...
But deep down I know that as long as I am open to the journey, they can witness that and come along with me. I know they don't mind the dimples or the rolls, they just love the warmth and feel of my skin.'
Throughout our session, I witnessed Grace gradually open up and shed her self- conscious inhibitions. Slowly I saw her feeling liberated and free.... and it was so moving and beautiful.
I am so grateful to the women who trust me to make these images and share their stories. Please take a few moments to click the heart and leave a kind comment. It would mean a lot to both of us!