Such a good mother, what a good baby!

Innate gratitude and pure joy sanctify good motherhood. For some the consumption is cushioned by sweet coos and smell of new baby, and devotion is upheld by self-sacrifice. For others, the dogma of good motherhood is brutally isolating. The haze of hormones, exhaustion and seclusion devours the sense of self. Entrapped and detached, time is long between first farts and first smiles. The true fatigue is in the continual re-framing of success and defeat. It’s lonely and guilt-ridden. Failures are frequent and unrelenting, good and should are suffocating. Shame and guilt settle in along with thoughts of “What have I done?” A good mom would never!

What I perceived as a reaction to parenthood in the midst of a pandemic unfolded as a grappling with motherhood. To flounder and fall short is a part of it- perhaps even normal. These images are a reflection of my solitude and the struggle for self-compassion.

More to come.