APPRECIATING ROUTINES (AND BOREDOM) OF PARENTHOOD
A gazillion times. What do you think how often you put socks on naked feet, hats on Baby’s head, sun lotion onto octopuses and tooth paste onto giraffes? I won’t mention diapers! There are about 6.000 diaper changes happening in the first two years of a child!
Photographing families over an extended period of time means documenting a string of activities. The activities themselves are highly repetitive and so are the necessary tasks around them. Like putting socks and hats onto baby before going outside. So that they can pull them off 3 seconds later.
Modern couples are used to a level of intellectual stimulation all the time. With babies and children, you aren’t using the same parts of our brains. It’s not unrewarding or boring exactly – that would be unkind to the children. Focusing one’s attention on child games and kid-oriented activities can simply be wearying and the very act of taking care of a child can be draining on many levels – emotionally, cognitively, and psychologically. Add sleep deprivation and all you are up to is making sure that you survive and everybody has a pulse by the end of the day.
You’ve read Peppa Pig 15 times in a row, played ‘shop’ for an hour, waited 25 minutes for a two-year-old to dress herself… this stuff is supposed to be fun! Children require specific (and sometimes bizarre) rituals to get them to eat, stop crying, or fall asleep. Remember – you are having FUN! It is frankly unnatural to question such rewarding pleasures. Oh? You do? Well, you are not alone and there is nothing bad about it.
All parents I photograph loose it sooner or later (more or less elegantly). In every family there is this one sock (- insert your favorite pain point here -) that pushes them over the edge. And they feel horrible, especially in front of the camera. Don’t. I will photograph through it as gently as possibly. At the end of the day, ploughing through, showing grit and a huge smile 2 minutes later shows that you care. That you love. That’s why we are here.
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