By Ashley Manley on | No Comments
Almost a year ago, I was having a rough time with momming. One kid was sick, then the other, then both. My husband was traveling more for work, so I was stuck on this strange battlefield alone. And, possibly even worse, it was bitterly cold, meaning we were trapped inside.
I felt hopeless. I was uninspired and exhausted.
It was also during this time that I was off social media, which would have been my go-to distraction when I was up in the middle of the night, praying for the Tylenol to kick in. So on these nights, I just laid there. Tired and hopeless and often teary that I wasn’t going to survive it.
One sleepless night, I asked myself, “what do I need? What would make this better?” And I laid there for what felt like a bajillion hours thinking about that, and finally it landed on me, heavy like an elephant on my chest, I needed to laugh.
I needed to not be grumpy and tired and short-tempered, I needed to laugh at this season I was in. I needed to take a deep breath and remember that I’m not the only one in the trenches, unshowered and disheveled. I’m not the only parent living on goldfish and peanut butter sandwich crusts and cold chicken nuggets.
And in the middle of the night, I started laughing. Laughing at how toxic the diapers were I changed 88 times a day. Laughing at the insanity of how many times a day I sweep the floors and fold the laundry yet it never seems to end. Laughing at how mind-numbing playtime can be and how disastrous pinterest projects can turn out. I just laughed.
The next day, I grabbed my camera, a little less tired and a little more inspired. I found a way to make myself laugh at the ridiculousness of this season. And once again, photography proved to me the saving grace I needed.
The collection Looks Like / Feels Like: a Funny Look at Motherhood was shot over the next few days. And while I know the project didn’t cause an upswing on the sleep patterns of our family, finally we all slept…all night.
And just like that, the season I didn’t think I was going to survive…I survived. Sometimes in the sleepless nights of our hardest hours, we get the most inspiration.