kristen's motherhood story
I wanted to create a session that captured this moment of motherhood in all its forms - this all encompassing, messy, chaotic, busy, yet beautiful and fleeting moment of life. To document all the intangible things that define motherhood for us and how we experience it. This is Kristen’s story.
Kind, warm and beautiful, Kristen is the kind of person who wears motherhood like it fits just right. Mother of three year old twins and a three month old baby, she has a way of making all the chaos so beautiful.
Before the shoot, I asked Kristen a few questions to make sure I captured her experience of motherhood as she sees it.
How would you describe yourself as a mother?
I have been worn down a bit lately haha. The twins turned next level naughty when they turned three and had a new sibling. They also have started getting more physical with each other, so it's not my favorite parenting phase right now. Although my newborn is a total dream baby and I adore having her around, there is a lot of enforcing limits and pushing through my frustrations to try to reset the energy in the house with the older two. But I have had a few lovely days sprinkled in again lately so there is hope! I try to be present, to spend one on one time with each kid, and to make them laugh with me a lot. I definitely want them to know that they are loved and I want to be a mom that will get in there and play on the ground with my kids. I hope my kids will be kind, adventurous, curious, brave, and make the world better than they found it, so I hope I can demonstrate how to do that through my actions and life.
How has motherhood changed you?
Motherhood has made me a better person for sure, though has also rocked my self esteem at times when I'm rehashing the day with my husband and felt like I had more negative than positive interactions with my kids. Those days are pretty depressing. But I also recognize the privilege I have to know my kids intimately better than anyone else in the world and know their nuances, catch their quirky funny learning and see the scientist side of their brains in action. I've only been at this for 3 years but know enough now to never expect any phase to last forever and once you've finally hacked a problem, another will shoot up :) but there are many many beautiful moments in between the messes, tears, and chaos.
What is your biggest challenge as a mother?
The times 5-10 of the same huge mess or spitting or hitting or peeing on the floor or whatever the naughty/pushing limits behavior is. I can handle times 1-3 okay but those later times when they DEFINITELY know and are choosing to rebel, those are my hardest times right now.
What is your favourite thing about being a mother?
Making eye contact connection and through their smile feeling the spark of love and acknowledgment, watching them while they are sleeping, tickling my kids, and any sort of cuddle. The purity of my newborn. There are a lot of things.
What goals do you set for yourself?
I think just a general "try my hardest" goal. I'm always brainstorming trying to kid-hack sleep or behavior so I'm constantly trying to be better and some days I royally fail but I generally know I'm trying my hardest. Trying my hardest while also adding in that some days I'm really tired and some days I'm going to definitely walk away from them for a bit before I lose my mind and I think all of that is totally fine, I'm not into mom guilt.
What is the toughest part of your day?
From 4-6pm usually. The baby is frequently fussy during that time and I'm trying to get dinner going and let the twins be bored for a bit. Luckily have help here (which is amazing) but that time of day is always a bit crazy.
What are you most proud of in your journey as a mama?
I'm proud of the bond my kids have with each other already. The twin bond is powerful and so fun to watch and luckily they truly love each other and the baby. I'm also impressed that I've been able to keep them all alive :) I've had a few stints of single parenting and have done it enough to be SUPER grateful for a great partner as well.
How has Malaysia shaped your motherhood experience?
Malaysia is such a dream place to raise kids. There are so many activities that are much cheaper than they would be in the US and I feel like I can give my kids the ideal childhood I would want to give them (well besides maybe playing with cousins and grandparents a lot), but lots of outdoor time, (not much time for screens), lots of animal encounter options, lots of exploring and some great friends. It's a dream.