I have never been overly interested in maternity photos. The countless pictures of young women looking pensive as they stand in a field of sunflowers and rub their swollen bellies seem cliche and boring to me. Last pregnancy, I had Nikola snap a few photos of me doing yoga in the sea garden simply because that is what I did throughout pregnancy and I thought I should have some photos of me pregnant.
However, this time around, I found some maternity photos that I thought were fun and exciting. They were of a girl dressed in the pin-up style, hanging little goth/punk onesies in the background as she cared for her current toddler. It was adorable. So I began to search for alternative maternity photos and realized that this is really a thing. Maternity photos do not have to be a pensive woman considering her bump as her husband kisses it.
In general, these alternative maternity photo shoots still fall into one of several cliches:
- Goth mom in flowing black.
- Pin up/punk mom with a Rosie the riveter style.
- Sexy mom in tight, revealing clothing.
- Glam mom who still has a sense of fashion even though she is pregnant.
- And as subset of the glam mom, the business mom, juggling work and pregnancy.
So in the end, these photos still end up very symbolic and representative as opposed to a candid encapsulation of what pregnancy is.
It causes me to reflect on what motherhood is to me. Now that I have a toddler, I have an idea of actually living motherhood as opposed to just thinking about what my ideal motherhood would look like.
For the most part, my suspicions have been confirmed: I am not overly “maternal” in the classic sense of the word. I am not a natural nurturer. I am not super into choosing clothes for my kiddo (although I do love cute/alternative items), I am not the most “granola” mom as in I allow my son to eat different things and he spends time on his tablet almost every day. I have never been super into baby accessories- although I do love baby wearing. I am not big into cooking or cleaning or playing. I definitely do not curate my son’s life.
But I still think that, for the most part, I am a good mom. I love my son to pieces. We have a very unique and loving relationship. He trusts and loves me and I do get to introduce him to new experiences. I just don’t fit nicely into one of the mom-boxes.
Motherhood, to me, is not something I strive for or desire. It is mornings in bed with my little boy. It is brushing his teeth and almost crying because he resists going to sleep so hard. It is frustrated afternoons. It is lovely little walks to the park. It is a series of very simple, basic moments that are not exactly photogenic.
Besides the mom-boxes, I don’t have much of a personal style these days, not even a look that I could exaggerate into a symbolic representation of myself. So I am at a loss for what a maternity photo shoot would look like for me. I would love some inspiration or ideas.
At the moment I am thinking something in a sand pit at a local park, as I seem to be one of the very few moms who allows their kid to use the sand pit in Bulgaria. It would also fit a series I have been doing of Peatuk at various parks all around Europe.