Monday, 8 December 2014

36/52 : Lucy

52 Portraits : The Motherhood series.

When Ollie (4) and Harry (2) were born, both boys immediately stopped crying when they were placed on Lucy's chest. Upon hearing her voice, they opened their eyes and stared intently back at their mother. This instant knowing caught Lucy by surprise, the bond of motherhood recognised immediately, forever seared into her memory.

As a girl, Lucy would often daydream about her future children. She grew up in a very loving and nurturing household. A strong maternal influence from her mother and grandmother and close bonds within her immediate and extended family. Her eyes light up when she talks about them. There was never any question in her mind about one day creating a family of her own but with her mother always having championed the importance of independence, education and travel before settling down, Lucy took her advice to heart. First completing a social work degree, followed by work as a nanny during a two year stint in London then retraining as a primary teacher upon returning to Australia.

Lucy met her husband Matt in England and together they settled in Sydney. They loved the inner city lifestyle, but when Harry arrived they made the decision to simplify and move their young family to the country. A move that brought them back to the community that Lucy grew up in and where many of her family still reside. Having family and support nearby as they resettle and renovate their dream family home has been a huge benefit. Her boys are enjoying close relationships with their grandparents and extended family, just as she did growing up. 

Hearing from readers never gets tired. It's still a thrill to know people read your blog and find your work meaningful. When Lucy first reached out to me she had such kind words of encouragement, I was truly touched. Then a little while later, a lovely twist of fate meant I found myself in her neighbourhood and graciously welcomed into her beautiful home. I absolutely loved getting to know Lucy and her family. She is down to earth, passionate, funny and generous. She's an affectionate and thoughtful mother to her boys, listening to their unique personalities and needs. Her biggest piece of advice being to enjoy your children. Motherhood is riddled with guilt, trying to meet expectations can be overwhelming. She has enjoyed reading to her boys every day since they were born, stopping to simply enjoy them and focusing on the positive has been incredibly liberating.

Participating in the Portraits series project led by Jodi at Practising Simplicity. You can view all of my portraits from 2013/14 by clicking on the 52 Portrait Series links in the right sidebar of this page.


Belinda x

Sunday, 2 November 2014

35/52 : Vesna


52 Portraits : The Motherhood series.

As you can see, Vesna has a smile that can light up a room. She’s gracious and has a great sense of humour. She also carries a fierce determination. Something she attests to the influence of her mother Sonia. Despite having faced a great deal of adversity in her life, Sonia has always found the strength, resilience and willingness to overcome and be there for her children. Vesna is passionate about her family and considers herself ’the luckiest person on earth' to have them.

As Vesna told me about her journey to motherhood, the lessons about the effects of stress, there was so much that I could relate to. Trying to do it all, meeting expectations, getting the job done. The catch is trying do it all, without acknowledgement that your whole body has to share the load. It’s not just about mental fortitude, the physical impacts can be both alarming and humbling. 

In keeping an open mind, doing alot of independent research and making educated decisions on what path was right for her, Vesna and her husband Russell were overjoyed to welcome their first child, a son Levi almost a year ago. She describes the moment of being embraced by her husband whilst holding their newborn son as an overwhelming feeling of unconditional love that she'll never forget.

Participating in the 52 Portraits series project led by Jodi at Practising Simplicity. You can view all of my portraits from 2013/14 by clicking on the 52 Portrait Series links in the right sidebar of this page.

Belinda x

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Radio Silence


Goodness me, it's been a while.

Sorry for the radio silence. I actually can’t believe it's been two months since my last post. The initial reason for the hiatus was a three week trip to the US. I had been trying desperately to have have some motherhood portraits lined up before I left so that the series would publish on schedule each week whilst I was away. But shoots fell through and plans changed at the last minute and when I finally let go of the pressure I was placing on myself, I realised that I needed a break from it all anyway.

The motherhood portrait series has been such a wonderful project for me. I’m grateful for the stories that I have been able to share. Honest portraits of women offering their unique and collective perspectives has made the series so rewarding. It's been the creative discipline I needed this year, a welcome distraction from bigger worries. But it’s certainly been alot more work than I originally anticipated, hence the lack of personal blog posts this year.

I feel like it's been an age since I had a conversation with you guys. I miss it. So I’m going to try and find a balance. I’ll continue to post regular motherhood portraits to finish what I started, but the weekly pace just isn’t sustainable for me anymore. I’d like some breathing room to simply write, take photos for the love of it and explore other creative ideas. 

I have more beautiful motherhood portraits to share with you and I’ll share more of what’s been happening around here too. In the meantime, thank you so much for your patience and support. It means the world to me.

Belinda x

Monday, 25 August 2014

34/52 : Louise


52 Portraits - the Motherhood series. 
A portrait to celebrate motherhood, once a week, every week, in 2014.

Louise and Tim are parents to Jack (almost 16), Eilish (13) and Tom (11). It wasn’t so long ago that the house was a blur of toys and sight words with Lou describing those early years as a bit like treading water. Motherhood was busy work in meeting the needs of three young children. As the kids have grown, they continue to develop their individual personalities and test boundaries but these days they're much more able to interact and help out. Life is busy with friends, family and community activities, school eisteddfods and choosing HSC subjects. Lou continues to encourage and guide them in what they want out of life, often enjoying her role as taxi driver as it gives them a chance to connect without distractions.

Louise and I were in her kitchen chatting over a beautiful pot of green tea when her kids arrived home from school. Between ravenous bites of sticky finger bun and school news were pirouettes across the kitchen floor and hugs for their mum. I think I must have been particularly shy/moody teenager, I remember stopping only for pleasantries before making a beeline for my room if ever my parents friends were over. Instead, they each offered smiles and chatter, confident, articulate and lovely to be around.

All three children are creative in their own ways and the house is always filled with music. In rare moments of down time, Louise also loves to create. Starting out with scrap booking, she has since moved into mixed media and photography. She literally has canvases piling up her in craft/dining room, creating more pieces than she knows what to do with! Lou has also recently returned to university to further her nursing credentials. She dreams of one day working in developing countries supporting mothers and children in health care and education. Lou feels a new chapter in motherhood approaching. Despite sometimes wanting to press pause, with life so full, she knows to cherish each stage as it comes and goes.

Participating in the 52 Portraits series project led by Jodi at Practising Simplicity. You can view all of my portraits from 2013/14 by clicking on the 52 Portrait Series links in the right sidebar of this page.

Belinda x
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