There’s no doubt that becoming a mother changes you. Of course, there are physical changes that happen to your body before and after becoming a mother. Then, there are the changes to your regular routines both through pregnancy and then even more drastic after giving birth. There are mental and emotional changes that occur, however, that can be seen on the outside if you are looking carefully enough. Lithuanian photographer Vaida Razmislavičė decided to capture this change on film with her project Becoming Mothers. These are the beautiful shots that came out of it.
Becoming Mothers By Vaida Razmislavičė
If you are a mom, you probably remember yourself and your life both before and after having children. While most moms are very happy and excited to be a mom, the changes you go through can be overwhelming. In the immediate, your body has changed. Sleepless nights cause you to see bags under your eyes that weren’t there before and you spend less and less time on your own self. Many moms don’t even really recognize themselves anymore. Razmislavičė, however, noticed the beauty in the way moms take on motherhood. This is what her project Becoming Mothers, where she photographed women before and after becoming a mom, captures.
Straight To Curly
“I always observe people’s eyes,” she wrote on Instagram. “I have noticed, how the gaze of woman changes when she becomes a mother. I’ve got an idea to show this photographically by two portraits: one during pregnancy, and one after giving birth. The idea was to go beyond traditional pregnancy photography, and focus on the face and eyes.”
Blonde To Red
“When a woman becomes a mother, they connect with their natural part, their intuition increases, they know things they never knew before.” writes Vaida.
The Change Is In The Eyes
The big but still subtle difference Vaida noticed was in these women’s eyes. There was something different about it that a careful observer will see.
“woman’s eyes change, they become deeper, wiser.“
The All-Consuming Job
Being a mom is a really tough job. Suddenly, you’ve got this tiny, helpless human in your home that you are responsible for. Their care – meeting both their physical and emotional needs – completely takes over your life. Often moms get so caught up in the daily grind of being a mother that they lose themselves and some of the little joys.
“with modern values in the background, these awakened strengths fades, women get carried away by routine, they lose connection with the meaningful.“
A Huge Change
Becoming a mother is a massive change in every part of your life. This change is permanent, too. Ask any grandmother or great-grandmother and they will tell you. No matter old you get and how grown and independent your kids are, they are still your children. You still care for them, worry about them, and love them the same way you did when you first held them in your arms.
“The goal of this project is to capture the daughter-to-mother transformation and the tremendous change of woman’s inner quality, in times when motherhood (and woman as a womb of humankind) is increasingly depreciated.”
Motherhood Is Sacred
As society has moved forward, more and more importance has been placed on career, and parenting is viewed more as a side-gig. In fact, if your answer to “what do you do” is “I’m a mom”, many people will even look down on you. For some reason, being a mom has lost its value. Despite all of this, moms are under immense pressure to be perfect. Feed their kids the right foods, dress them well, do and say the right things always to raise well-rounded, smart, kind, perfect humans.
“The two portraits would be a reminder to women about something sacred, something outside the commonness, something forgotten.“
The First Baby Is Always When The Biggest Change Happens
It’s not surprising that the biggest change is seen when a mom becomes a mom for the first time. It is a huge life change and everything is new. You are very much learning on the job. While second, third, fourth, and beyond babies still bring many changes and lessons with them, you are more prepared for them. Your experience makes everything just a little less scary.
“Target group has been selected based on one condition – women had to expect their firstborn,” Vaida wrote. “One portrait on pregnancy (left), second one when woman became mother (right).”
The Changes Can Be Incredible
In becoming mothers, women do tend to “lose” certain aspects of themselves and their lives. Spontaneity and freedom to go wherever and do whatever is the biggest of those. That being said, many of the changes are incredible, and mothers feel like they have finally become who they were meant to be.
“In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.” — Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn
You Don’t Have To Be Perfect
One of the hardest things for moms, especially first-time ones, is letting go of perfection. Your new life with your baby is not going to be Pinterest-perfect. It is not going to be the way you see it depicted on Instagram or in baby product commercials. Instead, it’s a daily grind where you are just trying to do your best. Some days, all you can do is make it to the end of the day, and that’s okay too.
“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” — Jill Churchill
Worth Every Second
There are really hard months, days, weeks, and moments of being a mom. At the end of it though, it is an incredible gift. Your children bring you a joy that is worth every sacrifice- your body, your former life, your sleep, and your tears.
“[Motherhood is] the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary—it’s an act of infinite optimism.” — Gilda Radner
Always On Your Mind
As already mentioned, once a mother, always a mother. You are always thinking about the well-being of your children. Even when they’re with a trusted sitter or family member, your kids are in the back of your mind. You can’t help it – your brain is wired to always be in mother-bear mode, from now until forever.
“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”— Sophia Loren
Mothers Have Profound Impact On Their Kids
Beyond giving them some of your DNA, you have a huge impact on their personalities and who they are. In nature versus nurture, you’ve got both sides covered.
“The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation.”— James E. Faust
Being a mom is a busy job. You are constantly planning, reviewing, worrying, and wondering. It takes a lot of time and intuition and, frankly, getting rid of things that no longer matter.
“Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.” — Meryl Streep
You Realize What’s Truly Important
Becoming a mom puts a lot of things in perspective for you. Perhaps you let go of the need to appear “perfect” in public. Maybe you realize that having a 100% spotless home isn’t completely necessary. You might just learn to laugh at yourself a little more. Things that used to seem like a big deal simply no longer are.
“Motherhood has relaxed me in many ways. You learn to deal with crisis. I’ve become a juggler, I suppose. It’s all a big circus, and nobody who knows me believes I can manage, but sometimes I do.” — Jane Seymour
Motherhood Is Humbling
Motherhood is the ultimate act of selflessness. You used to be the most important person in your world, now you have this tiny human that supersedes all of that. Their food, sleep, baths, clothes, happiness, everything is more important than your own.
“The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.” — Jessica Lange
You’ve Got More In You Than You Knew
Motherhood brings a lot of self-discovery. While you are raising and learning more about your children, you end up learning a lot about yourself along the way.
“Motherhood is wonderful, but it’s also hard work. It’s the logistics more than anything. You discover you have reserves of energy you didn’t know you had.” — Deborah Mailman.