Kirsten

Since entering into motherhood I've felt all kinds of emotions. From euphoric joy to complete failure. The rollercoaster of emotions slowed when Harper turned about seven months. I still have my moments, believe me, but for the most part I feel like I got this. Not that I will have all the answers or do it all right, more that I'm capable of keeping my joy however the day goes. A general rhythm of sorts fell into place, I felt like I could read more of Harper's cues and I was actually remembering to brush my teeth. (Can I get an AMEN?)

Around this time I started daydreaming about how I could work photography back into my lifestyle. (MAJOR kudos to the moms who go right back to work at 2 months.) I was kicking myself for not having kept up with clientele and a blogging routine because it felt as though I was at square one again. After racking my brain for a bit, I realized what I wanted my first series back to be about: motherhood. (Duh, right?) And even more, encouraging moms who were in the same little rut as me: merging motherhood with other life goals and dreams. I threw it out there to this lovely little Mama Hang I'm a part of and I was so encouraged by the response. So here's the first Ma in this series. I will release a new one every Sunday.

This is Kirsten, who just recently entered into this beautiful journey. I loved reading her answers to the pre-shoot questions and she was such a blast photographing. How cute is her little Lu?

Tell me a little about your lifestyle.

My hubs, Sean, and I live in a little developing neighborhood on the west side of Nashville - we chose to live here A) because we like a little diversity and B) It's what we could afford! ha. Both of us have worked in the music/entertainment industry for most of our adult lives. I'm a freelance hair & makeup artist and he's done everything from booking agent to working with tech companies as a consultant. We both LOVE to travel. It's one of our forefront priorities. Our first 2 years of marriage we went everywhere we could, even through my 3rd trimester we were bouncing around the country (and Mexico! Twice.) Our beautiful Lucienne came to be with us this past December and life has been so lovely, hard, tiring and fulfilling ever since. Being a mother has been the most transformative event in my life, next to marriage! I have never been so patient or loving and I owe that to my daughter!! Hah.

I often struggle to reconcile dreams that I had pre-motherhood with post-motherhood. What are you wrestling to find time for?

I am a writer in every sense of the word. I absorb the written word, I communicate best through writing versus verbally. I have huge emotional/spiritual revelations when I just sit down and write --it's just the way my brain is wired! I started a blog about a year ago as a vehicle to express some of this internal dialogue, but it's become more of a "beauty blog" than I planned for. Because that is my job and what I know best (identity-- hello!) that has been what is easiest to create content around... but there is a huge part of me that feels entirely unfulfilled because I haven't been writing about what I want to write about: Life. Relationships. Motherhood. Marriage. But the lie that I keep hearing is "Why would anyone want to listen to what you have to say about those things?? You're a makeup artist. Stick to what people look to you for." I would love to figure out a way to incorporate my life experience (lots) and all that I learn daily into my writing. Lord, please help. Thanks, Kirsten.

We know there's few things more vulnerable than birthing a baby, whatever way you did; or the embarrassing moment you unexpectedly let-down and were covered in your own breastmilk. All in the name and beauty of raising a child. Share a funny or honest or sobering moment when something happened that put you way outside your comfort zone.

We had a homebirth... so I was completely expecting to be bare, raw and vulnerable in every sense, I had mentally prepared for the immodesty of child birth. I can't say that I have had any funny/embarrassing moments, but if we are talking about being outside of our comfort zone... I think my response would have to be ANY time my child cries in public. In the past I have (shamefully) judged so many mothers for their screaming child in the grocery store that I now have a complex when it comes to my own baby! I seriously have to work through it each time and remind myself that "babies cry, I'm still a good mom even if my little girl is crying at the top of her lungs in Trader Joes and who cares if anyone is bothered by it. She has a voice and it deserves to be heard" :)

I am not going to look back fondly at how clean my house was. I will, however, think back to the precious and fleeting time I had with my first born angel of a daughter.

Expectation vs. Reality: Share a time when these were awfully unbalanced.

This is something that I learned verrrry early on. I have (always had) a very high standard for which I like my home to be kept: tidy, clean floors, clean bathrooms, laundry done, beds made, dishes in the DISHWASHER not the sink, etc.. If there was mess anywhere in the house it would cause my body to respond stressfully, so I have become accustomed to a super clean environment. WELL! Let me tell you that all that changed when I had Lucienne. I realized that the days where I expected to have my house in the kind of order it was in before baby, I was the most stressed, agitated and grumpy. But on the days where I faced reality- that it just wasn't going to happen- I had the most fun and low stress days with my little love. I enjoyed her instead of resenting her missing her nap when I wanted to get the laundry folded or the floors mopped. I am also learning this: in 15 years I am not going to look back fondly at how clean my house was. I will, however, think back to the precious and fleeting time I had with my first born angel of a daughter. That's what I try to remember every day.

What do you hope your children know about you? and/or What do you hope to impart to your children?

That modest is hottest. :) But seriously, I think the one thing that would have changed my upbringing for the better would have been to know that my parents valued what I had to say. That my thoughts, feelings and desires were important and unique. I want Lucienne to know that she is heard and respected and valued for everything she is. I want to encourage her dreams listen to her fears and empower her to find her voice early in life!

What have you done in the past week that you are proud of? 

I have been SO social!! Well, for me ;) I generally tend to be an introvert, but something about having a baby has made me want to live life more fully, with people. I want to bring her around our friends and show her what it means to have community and genuine friendships. I get so excited for an opportunity to bring her around friends, old and new.


One of the first things Kirsten said when she arrived was that she wanted a photo of Lu wearing a pair of adorable heart-shaped sunglasses. Somehow we missed that shot, but she's got them hooked to her jacket in this one and I kind of love it. She's a stylist and writer with a sweet baby girl; this photo, heart-shaped sunglasses and all, seems to sum that up.

Hope you enjoyed the first of many posts in this series, check back every Sunday to be inspired by a new Ma.

Ma Dreams is a project I started this year (2015) after having a creative craving that I felt like I couldn't quench. As a recent first-time mom I've found it extremely hard to find time for the things I love in addition to my sweet babe. I guessed that most moms feel the same. To brings us together and remind Ma's of their dreams too I started this series. Read more here: Ma Dreams.