I follow a mommy blog called “Mommy Shorts” written by a NYC working mom. She was recently featured on another blog called Well Rounded in which a photographer followed her family around all morning, taking pictures to document what a morning looks like for this working mom. After the feature ran, Ilana (aka Mommy Shorts) received some comments about how her life seemed perfect in these snapshots and how people wished that their lives were so joyful. How they felt that her morning was unrealistic and not representative of a real working mom’s life. Ilana then made a response post about these comments.
She talked about how she, too, was surprised by how beautifully the pictures turned out. She was expecting for them to turn out more…chaotic. And I think that we can all relate to that. My mornings are not what I would describe as beautiful. Typically I wake up, look at the clock, think “it is wayyyy too early” and then try to force myself to go back to sleep before my son wakes up. When I actually do manage to fall asleep again, my son wakes up, throws himself on me — sometimes prying my eyes open. Time to get up. Some mornings I had been up most of the night doing work (or trying to fall asleep), so I am grouchy and exhausted. The morning is usually (as Mommy Shorts described) chaotic. Trying to use the restroom without Christian climbing into my lap. Throwing together breakfast. Stepping over and on toys. Trying to find the things I need for the day. Figuring out what we are going to do for the day. Realizing that I have not eaten since lunch the previous day. Christian gobbling down his food, mine, and then requesting more. Trying to remember if I have any homework due that day. Debating whether I should bother getting dressed or doing my hair. Trying to find a clean pair of jeans that do not have any holes in them. Realizing that I ran out of toilet tissue last night right after Christian dumps what I swear is a record breaking #2 in the toilet. Pure. Chaos.
So I can understand those comments about how perfect and calm Mommy Shorts’ morning looked. I felt the same way. But as I read her response post I realized that there is probably more beauty in my mornings than I realize. For one, the fact that I actually have the chance to go back to sleep instead of having to get up early each morning for work. The huge smile that I am greeted with whenever I finally decide to open my eyes and look at my son. The happy “hey!” that he squeals at me when I sit up and say “Good morning, Stinkbutt”. The hugs and kisses. The laughs. The times that he goes and gets a book from his bookshelf for me to read. When he runs to draw on his easel when we walk into the living room. When he insists on helping me crack eggs or stir pancake batter. The sheer abandon with which he devours fruit, juices dribbling down his chubby cheeks. There is beauty in the chaos. We just have to open our eyes and find it. Then appreciate it.
Ilana feels the same way. In fact, she is offering to have a photographer visit 3 other NYC-area moms and document their mornings so that they, too, can find the beauty in the chaos. Feel free to check out her post for more info on this and to follow her to learn about the results of this photo project. In the meantime, take some time each morning to look for those beautiful moments with your family. 🙂