get born is seeking honest portraits from parents, that is, photographs showing the crappy bits of parenting instead of just all the lovely bits we tend to record in photos. I have mixed feelings about the photographs of kids having meltdowns because those photos tend to make me feel a little sad, and almost intrusive looking at them, but I love these photos of tired, bored parents. Love them.
This project was, in part, inspired by this piece from Claire Bidwell Smith in The Huffington Post:
What I don’t take photos of is my husband and me bickering at 5 a.m. because our oldest has awoken from a nightmare and the baby is stirring and we’re both sleep-deprived and stretched too thin. I don’t take photos of the two of us taking turns bouncing a colicky infant around our living room at 9:30 p.m. for the sixth night in a row, after the toddler has finally gone to bed and we’re both exhausted. I don’t take photos of the bottles of wine I eye greedily throughout my day, hungry to take the edge off this stressful time in my life. I don’t display the envy I feel for my friends who don’t have kids, my friends who are enjoying summers at the beach and traveling to visit friends and family.
I also don’t take photos of my fleshy postpartum body that makes me turn away from the mirror every day, scolding myself for not sticking better to my diet. And I certainly don’t take pictures of our sorrowful bank account, the very one that leaves me crying in heaves once a month as we struggle to make rent and pay preschool dues. I can’t take pictures of how frustrated I feel to not be writing, to barely have time to respond to emails or to help friends with projects. I don’t know how to capture the anxiety I feel about how my husband and I will make it through our girls’ early years and survive happy and romantically attached. I can’t show you the moments in which I feel worried about my career, my future books or about when and how I’ll ever find time to write again.
Ohmygod, how much I like really honest conversations about parenting and long-term relationships and balancing work and family. In fact, I have a whole category on this blog dedicated to parenting meltdowns.