Nov 12 2014
My 4-year-old daughter comes up the stairs in our three-story home carrying a heavy pink basket filled with wooden toys. She stands in the door frame, smiling and proud of herself, waiting for me to notice how strong she is.
“Audrey, wow! Did you carry that all by yourself? You are so strong!” I say, ignoring the fact that she’s not supposed to bring those toys upstairs. I am too impressed with her. I’m not impressed that she’s strong. We’re all strong; we just forget about it sometimes.
Rather, I’m impressed that this is what she’s proud of. Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 6 2014
Two weeks and one day ago, I gave birth to my daughter. It was a pretty amazing experience, all the way up to the point when she was born. Then, while I was luckily distracted by holding my little girl skin-to-skin, I had a postpartum hemorrhage, eventually treated by a Pitocin drip, and some stitches.
With those two surprises on top of the exhausting work of giving birth, I was glad to spend those first two nights in the hospital. Knowing that help getting to the bathroom was just a call button away, that lactation consultants were at our beck and call, and that for a few hours each night a nurse was willing to “borrow” Penrose so my husband and I could get some uninterrupted sleep was precious. Suddenly, in addition to a child and all the accompanying emotion, stress, and responsibility, I also had a “peri care” routine and a drastically lower hemoglobin count to deal with.
But even as each trip to the bathroom revealed a new adventure in inconvenience and pain, I reveled in my post-baby body. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 30 2014
“Your body isn’t good enough.”
I won’t lie–I struggled through the first week of my exercise challenge. Last week, I sweated and grunted as I pushed myself to do the classes. I pushed myself to even attend the classes, let alone do all the exercises. I was exhausted by life: yelling babies, a husband stuck on a business trip due to weather, a series of colds that had transformed my house into a Kleenex burial ground.
But the worst part was getting to the classes, struggling, and having to watch my heavy image struggle in the mirrors that lined the classroom. I was definitely not “Most Likely to Succeed.” If, on the other hand, they had an award for “Fattest Girl in the Room,” it would be me. In a sea of Lululemon-outfitted, long and lean ex-athletes, I looked like a physical typo. I tried to avoid meeting my own eyes in the mirror, as though to say, “I don’t know her.”
“Your body isn’t good enough,” I told myself when my eyes involuntarily met my reflection. And it felt like a slap across the face and the heart. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 16 2013
Israeli-American photographer Elinor Carucci’s third photography book, released this past Setpember, is titled “Mother.” It’s an extremely beautiful, raw, and inspiring collection of photographs exploring Elinor’s pregnancy, birth, and the early childhood of her twins, Emmanuelle and Eden.
We got a chance to chat with the talented photographer on her inspiration for the book, what it was like to constantly photograph her children, and reconciling her career and her role as a parent. Want to get your hands on this beautiful book? Enter our giveaway at the bottom of this post.
What was your original inspiration for a book of photography about motherhood?
The inspiration was motherhood. It’s as simple as that. The surprising thing for me was how little was actually portrayed about motherhood in the arts and photography. I feel that we’ve seen a lot of perfect celebrity photographs, and even in the history of art, a lot of Madonna and child images that, in a way, show a certain aspect of motherhood but definitely don’t go deep into the complexity of what it is to be a mother, to be a father, to be a parent. The inspiration was the intensity and the richness of the emotions and feelings, the complexity of the relationships that I experienced as a mother, and how much they were intertwined with one another and happening almost side by side, how intense of an experience it is. It is beautiful and joyful and magical and difficult and scary and full of failures and successes. It’s really a microcosm of everything we experience and feel, all of the emotions we have at once. The inspiration was to try to depict it the way I felt it, which was very rich and complex. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 22 2013
1. Thriving on a nutritious diet consisting of homemade organic food? Check.
2. Perfectly coordinated outfit? Check.
3. Hair well coiffed and adorned with an accessory that flawlessly matches the ensemble? Check.
Oh how I wish that were MY checklist. It, however, belongs to my 11-month-old little girl. I always make sure she is well fed, perfectly groomed, and has any and everything she could want that is within my power to give her.
As for me, I’m lucky if I squeeze a shower in each day. After which, my hair is promptly twisted up into a clip and a bandana is worn to cover up the mess and the grays which have sprouted since her birth. On the rare occasion that my hair is worn down (If I will be away from my wee one who would only put my locks in her mouth), then the Sharpie comes out. Yes, I have covered my grays with a black Sharpie. I’m a classy broad. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 17 2013
It has happened. I swore it wouldn’t, but it has. I have a mommy uniform.
When I was expecting my first child, I promised myself I would never wear so-called mom jeans. You know, the kind spoofed on “Saturday Night Live,” with a light wash and high waist. My vow was more of one to stay committed to myself than to fashion, and yet I found my version of mom jeans in the form of workout clothes.
I first started to realize I was in an appearance rut in the spring, when my daughter–now 3-going-on-16 said, “What happened to your real eyes?” when I walked into the kitchen one morning wearing makeup.
I answered that I had applied some eyeliner and mascara and suppressed the urge to say, “Listen here, missy. Before you and your brother arrived on the scene, these were my real eyes. Every day.” Read the rest of this entry →
I never saw my mother naked.
Not even when I was a little girl.
With her clothes on, she was slender and supple. Her legs were shapely beneath black Gap stretch pants, and her breasts rode high underneath her cotton turtlenecks. She’d change with the door closed, and I knew better than to open the opaque glass door when she was showering.
She never wore bathing suits. Even when we went down to the lip of the sea where the waves licked our feet, she’d stand there in her leggings and a baggy t-shirt while my father and I would charge into the billows, our firm bodies buoyant in the waves.
I never saw the softness of her belly, or spider veins etching a life story on her thighs. I don’t know if her nipples were brown or pink or red or peach.
I never heard her use the “F” word. No, not that one. This one: Fat. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 23 2013
My daughter has jeans that fit… but I don’t.
We’ve been following along with Emily on her path to becoming a single mother by choice. Her daughter is now 6 weeks old.
Today I went shopping at Destination Maternity–again.
No, you didn’t read that wrong. Yes, I had my wonderful little baby girl six weeks ago. We’re having a great time getting to know one another. She is smiley, wiggly, and wonderful. She even sleeps for long chunks of time at night–knock on wood! But, she left me with a very stretched out uterus. In fact, my OB recently told me that I still have a 10 week sized uterus.
Big deal, so does Kate Middleton and she’s being photographed by paparazzi every day. Still, there is one thing that Kate and I don’t have in common. OK, fine, more than one thing! But, there is one difference that makes my experience of this still-pregnant-looking-body a more serious matter. I’m single. Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 19 2013
My father’s mother had two constants in her life. The first was coffee, several cups a day. The other was her girdle, which kept her looking as slim as she did when she was a nurse in the Navy, before she gave birth to four boys.
Exercise and diet fads came and went, but Bubbe had her girdle. We made fun, my sisters and I, until the unthinkable happened. I bought one, too.
It all happened so fast. It was a week before my younger sister’s wedding and I took a dress to be altered. As I adjusted the fabric around my hips, the dressmaker smiled and nodded at my mid-section, asking if I was pregnant. Nuh-uh. Nope.
Obviously, I sobbed when I got to my car.
It wasn’t so much that she misinterpreted the little pooch that’s stubbornly stuck with me after having two babies in two-and-a-half years. It was the swift blow to my confidence, previously on the upswing thanks to hitting the gym three times a week and on weekends.
So I did what any practical momma would do. Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 13 2013
My eyes were ready to take a giant lap around my forehead when I saw this headline in today’s New York Times style section: “Mommy Blog or a Glossy Fashion Magazine?”
I took a sip of my breakfast tea and prepared myself for a delicious hate-read of the story in which, I imagined, shiny-haired socialites would talk about their $3000 diaper bags and which pieces work best on their postpartum “cleansed” (starved) bodies.
Instead, I found that I liked what these fashionable mamas had to say. Julia Restoin Roitfeld, daughter of former French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld, said she had the idea for her blog Romy & The Bunnies after she had a baby and was struggling to feel attractive and fashionable. Read the rest of this entry →