It's not easy to write your own truth.
It's honest, real and raw - the bare, naked reality of the moment.
Becoming a mother changed my life.
And yes, its a million and one, beautiful moments. I generally write about those.
But in the middle of that lovely carnival of fun and riot of color, there is that one dark, frightening ride, that people tend to walk past and pretend isn't there because no one really likes it. But it's there all right. And it’s scary.
So here it is. My honest attempt at telling you my truth. As messed up and beautiful and cluttered and crazy, as only the truth can be.
It's the reality that I'm beginning to understand a lot of new mothers face. Where you're almost always sleep deprived. Nights of constant rising, rocking and feeding, take their toll. Times when you hold a crying baby in your arms, in complete and utter despair, wondering how on earth you'll ever be able to figure out the problem. Worried that you'll do something wrong and your mind races at break-neck speed, to the unthinkable. Moments spent watching a sleeping angel - will you be able to do right by this little person? Dealing with the personal guilt of having to go to work, leaving your baby at home. Work pressure which has always been manageable, but suddenly, coupled with the new 'I'm a Mom' phase in your life - it's all too much. A solid kick in the stomach.
You read about hormonal changes that take place when your baby is born. You never think it could happen to you. But it does. It may not be extreme, but it's there.
The fire breathing dragon; that is the baby belly. There are tons of ways to lose it, but not enough available hours in your day to make it happen. You read all the right online articles, spout all the motivational speeches to yourself that you can – and you suddenly have that moment where you think, “Man, who am I kidding?”
You know you have the unconditional love and support of your family and friends. You constantly pinch yourself to remember that. But unfortunately, this is a battle you fight on your own. This is your Goliath.
It's a struggle to remember who you are in the middle of everything. In a matter of months, you're not so sure anymore and you give it everything you've got to hold on to some semblance of normalcy, that part of you that can hopefully rise above all the uninvited drama.
No, these are not excuses. It’s just the truth. People who know us well, will know how many times we’ve said in the last few months, as new parents – that people need to talk about the stuff that happens when a couple moves on to this stage of their lives. It’s beautiful and life altering and you forget the pain, they say.
I agree for the most part. It is beautiful and life altering. But there is pain. There is pressure. Nervousness, anxiety, fear, anger, misery – that all comes too, in varying doses. Call a spade a spade. It helps sometimes.
The good news?
It passes. Quicker than you realize. You’re not the only one. Ask for help. From family; above all.
To all the moms out there who’ve gone through any or all of the above…I feel you.
And it’s normal. Hang in there. It’ll pass.
A soul sister of mine (she’s my Pink Chili) recently quit her job to follow her passion. To say they're good at their craft is an understatement. They're constantly learning, experimenting, brain-storming. They call themselves Candid Kama Photography.
They're currently working on a relatively new concept for this market - a unique twist on glamour. Though it's just at fledgling stage - we've discussed its ears off. She asked me if I would let them practice on me for a bit. I agreed.
So there I was. After a full day’s work, sans any kind of make-up.
In my full, tired, dark circled, wobbly baby tummy, spotty faced, hair falling, glory.
I realized how naked I subconsciously felt during the shoot. In that white, photographers light, all the bad bits that I was carefully hiding, were suddenly out in the open, flat on the table for everyone to see.
It was only later, when I saw some of their shots - that the reality of what we had just done - actually hit home.
It started out as just helping a friend. Practice Posing.
But here's the thing. On the other side of the lens was a new mother. An exhausted, worried, new mother, convinced that all her 101 bad bits which all decided to show themselves at this same time in her life, make her look and feel ugly, un-pretty and undesirable. Who feels unattractive and old, all in a matter of months. And completely out of her comfort zone with all this serious posing.
But the camera whirred and my Pink Chili smiled and turned the camera image for me to see ... I felt a little light turn on in my head and heart. I saw just a few images...but I saw 'me' again. And I slowly let go of my inhibitions and relaxed.
I realized it was more than posing. These girls reminded me of who I was on the inside. And that though I couldn't see it because of the little cloud of gloom that seemed to effortlessly follow me around these days, invisible to all human eyes except my own - there I was.
Just Rose. Only me and my truth. My happy.
It was my Hallelujah moment. That affirmation, that the beautiful part of me that I've been fighting to hold on to - is there. Silently, joyously, waiting to be picked up, dusted and worn again. And I found it again because I subconsciously trusted a friend with the naked truth.
When we spoke about it later - I realized that as a subject and a photographer - it may have been just a project.
But for me and her - the images were more. It was her...but it was me. Soul sisters took on a whole new meaning right there.
I remembered to be thankful for the person God made me. And I remembered to be thankful for the angels that He constantly sends, to remind me of who that person is.
I am thankful for my Ara, who still thinks I am beautiful; in spite of all my insecurities right now. Love.
This is a big year for us. And I’m learning to cut myself just a little bit of slack. We’re getting there - slowly but surely. It’s a huge pot, with a lot in to cook…and when I have trouble blending it all, I’m learning to trust the hands that firmly, hold my own.
Even when it is the tiny hand of our little Princess.