June 11, 2012

The Summer Series - Jill Krause

I am thrilled to kick off my Summer Series with today's guest. I adore Jill. She is so honest. So real. So awesome. Getting to know her has been such a joy. And I'm not the only one who feels that way. Her popular blog, Baby Rabies, has endeared her to many. Jill tells it like it is. She opens up and shares all with her readers. Who love and respect her for it.

As wonderful as she is with words (and she is working on a book I am eager to read), Jill also has a passion for photography, and she has been working hard to hone her skills. One day not long ago SB saw a picture on FB of Jill's daughter and asked, "Who that cute baby?" She wanted to see more pics, and soon we were browsing through Jill's online photo albums. Hubby, who also has a passion for photography, came in and asked, "Who took those great pictures?" He was fascinated, and impressed.

So today I've asked Jill to talk a little bit about sharing the experience of motherhood through photography...

Telling Our Perfectly Imperfect Parenting Stories 

Mom blogging, parent blogging, blogging about our kids - it’s an idea that, when you look at all the years people have been parenting on this planet, is very new. We’re all still trying to navigate the waters, to figure out how to best use this medium to tell our story, and to figure out how or if we want to use this medium to connect with others.

For me, I’ve found blogging about motherhood to be tremendously freeing and reassuring. Reading other blogs and even comments on my own blog has made me feel less alone.

I enjoy sharing stories of my failures, my shortcomings, my anxieties, and my doubts on my blog because I’m always met with one, a few, or even hundreds of “me too!” reactions.

But if sharing a story about how sometimes I just want to become a family of nudists who always eat out because I’m so darn sick of doing dishes and laundry gets people saying “me too,” posting a picture of those dirty dishes that I refuse to do before I go to bed gets people screaming “ME TOO! I HATE DOING THE DISHES! Thank you for making me feel less lazy for being too tired to go to bed with a clean kitchen!”

Photography has become a natural extension of telling my motherhood story. Oh sure, I use it to capture those (rare) perfectly sunlit moments of my beautiful, clean children.

But I’ve also found a tremendous feeling of comfort in using it to share the less than perfect moments that more perfectly define what my motherhood looks and feels like.

It's these moments, these pictures, these stories that I feel bring mothers and parents together the most. We can blog all day long about the things we’re doing perfectly, the projects that are beautiful, the moments when our children are polished and well behaved. And there’s certainly a place for that in all of this. But to tell an always perfect story, to only show the highlight reel does a disservice to parenthood.

For better or worse, we have to acknowledge that blogging is allowing us to tell our parenting stories in a way the world has never seen before. I encourage you to make your story a real one, to share through both your words AND your pictures imperfections, conflict (even if just internal), struggles and setbacks. It will make the triumphs and polished moments even more beautiful.

Thank you so much, Jill! You have inspired me to strive to share the whole picture of my life as mom and writer. I greatly appreciate you sharing your talent and perspective on my own little corner of the blogosphere. 

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