i also wanted to share a letter i wrote wishing my fellow tml'rs a happy birthday. friends are so important but women helping, guiding and supporting other women is the greatest gift.
happy birthday the maternal lens.
Four years ago this past December I became a mother for the first time. Five years ago this May I lost my own mother. My pregnancy was bittersweet to say the least, not being able to share it with my own mother but being completely thrilled at the new life growing inside me. During this time I left a career I had been at for over ten years, got married (yes I was 5 mos pregnant for anyone calculating!), and I started my own business selling loose leaf tea in a tea house my husband and I had set up shop in. my life had turned upside down and it wasn’t until after the dust had settled, my babe firmly planted in my arms, my tea business growing and me playing the part of wife and mother that I stumbled upon a website.
I’m sure a lot of you know the feeling – it’s late at night, you are in a dark house dimly lit with the glow of your computer screen. Baby sleeping (finally), a bit of peace, alone time. It was at a moment like this that I discovered an online community of moms – cafemom to be exact. What intrigued me the most was that there were other women out there in the world going through exactly what I was going through who had the same passion I did. The passion I speak of is photography. I haven’t mentioned that until now because it was there on that website that my slow burning embers turned into a huge flame. I’ve always loved photography but it wasn’t until the birth of my daughter Annie that I was hooked. I had met many women in the sub community on cafemom in the form of photography groups. It was here I had a platform to show off my art, to be encouraged and inspired on a daily basis.
The four women I met almost four years ago on that website are my fellow Maternal Lens partners - Megan, Shannon, Jennifer and Sarah. Somehow, through the power of the internet and the cosmos, we were drawn to each other like magnets. We had so much in common. We were mothers. We were photographers. We were friends. We chatted online daily. We launched our businesses at the same time, we cheered each other from the cyber sidelines, we encouraged, supported and inspired each other. It was during these powerful and delightful moments that The Maternal Lens was born. We knew we had something special to share with other photographers, other mothers, other friends.
I don’t think I have told these wonderful ladies how much they truly mean to me. how in some of the darkest times of my life they were beacons of hope. Their words of encouragement when I felt like I couldn’t breathe from missing my mom, have meant more to me than words could ever express. How jumping off into that big pool of starting a photography business was made less scary with them by my side. The advice on this crazy ride called motherhood helped me from going insane. But above all the best F word there is. Friendship.
Megan, Shannon, Jennifer and Sarah, I adore you. I love you. I am honored to be associated with you. you are so near and dear to me and I look forward to what our next year together will bring. You are all amazing women, amazing photographers, amazing mothers and amazing friends. You are cherished. By me.