Spilling into my lap is complete beauty and endless inspiration. Spending this past year writing alongside Jenna as we shared our lives during our time as Sakura Bloom Sling Diarists gave me the opportunity to learn her inside and out. Her family and the energy each photograph captures is unlike anything i’ve ever seen.
She is peaceful and full of grace.
A mother. A woman.
Jenna shares what it means to be the woman behind mother.
Beyond being a mother, beyond the daily task of raising my kids, I am suppose to have some other identity. I’ve searched, I’ve thought, I’ve tried. Right now, in the throws of mothering four young ragamuffins, I can’t find her. I don’t know who that woman is or even who she’s suppose to be.
Have I lost myself in motherhood? Have I done what we should try so hard not to do?
Day in, and day out, I wear this title – Mother.
I wear it on my face with my tired eyes, my limp hair, my eyebrows needing some attention. The lack of time spent on myself evident. The time instead spent on french braids, wiping dirty faces and kissing squishy cheeks. My lips smiling, singing, praising and teaching. Hiding any sign of weeping because I haven’t slept in months.
I wear it on my shoulders. You can see the cotton wrap carefully swathed around each shoulder and baby bum, jiggling, patting to avoid tears and praying for sleep. But what you can’t see is the worry of our finances, the task of raising grateful, responsible human beings. And always the hope that I am doing enough.
I wear it on my tummy. Where I carried my four babies. Where they grew. Where they were made. The first months of their lives. In me. Never the same again, but proud of my body and it’s ability, it’s strength.
I wear it on my breasts. Nourishing my babies the best that I can, the best that I know how. After we finish nursing, these breast won’t be the same. These battle scars of motherhood, are what are me.
I wear it on my back. Bending, chasing, wrestling, hugging, picking up and carrying. Not just kids, but the laundry, the groceries and we all know those floors don’t wash themselves. My back is the foundation of this family and I’d give my shirt off it for anyone of them.
I wear motherhood like it’s my skin. Every fibre in my body. The air I breathe. Not by choice. But right now, while they are small, I am a mother. And this title, I wear it proud.
One day I will have more time for the woman behind mother, and I look forward to that. These long days and short years will shape me. When I have more time I will be someone, my own, but I even then, I will always be a mother.
Sometimes we just need to breathe it in.
You can find Jenna and her beautiful family on Instagram.