The Sweetest Mother and Daughter | Seattle Family Photography
Jessica and Penelope - A sweet and Cuddly Motherhood Session
Spending time with Jessica and Penelope allowed me some peace of mind. They were just this perfect little duo. In these photos when it looks like it is the two of them in their own world, it absolutely was. I felt in that moment that if I only ever had Rufus, it would be so special in its own way. On the other hand, I immediately wanted a sassy, snuggly, precocious little girl of my own. Jessica was a winner of my motherhood session giveaway and I could not have been happier. I love what Jessica says in her interview about how hard it is! Haha. It just is so much MORE than I could have imagined. When you are so invested on being the best mother you can be, it takes every ounce of energy and love, not to mention time, that you have. Here is Jessica and Nellie’s Seattle studio mother-daughter photo session and Jessica’s thoughts on motherhood:
Jessica’s thoughts on having an only child, and giving herself over to motherhood
Where did you grow up and how would you describe your upbringing?
I’m a true PNW girl I was raised in Lake Stevens, Washington. I grew up in a loving christian home. My parents divorced when I was four years old but they were both present and a big part of my life. I have two older brothers and one younger sister so most of my memories include playing and fighting. (what siblings do best) Both sides of my families are large and we spent a lot of time with them, so being together was always the best.
Tell us about your family, where you live now, and how you spend your days:
I currently reside in Mount Vernon, Washington with my husband Henry & our six year old Penelope. I work part-time as a Dental Assistant and just recently left my office of 7 years and have never been happier with my decision. My husband Henry is a Respiratory Therapist and he works nights so the weekends are dedicated to spending time together as a family. We love to go to go on bike rides, go to the movies, explore new places, or spend all day playing Mario Party..(don’t judge us) Family is very important to us so we usually are spending time with them during our free time also.
Did you always want to be a mother?
I wanted to be a mom my whole life, I couldn’t wait. I remember sitting in church as a young girl and drawing pictures of my future family, I had all my kids names picked out. I would hope and wish and pray that I would get to be a mother someday. It has always been the one thing I knew I wanted most in life.. I could never imagine living a life without being called mama.
There is such an identity shift after having a child- in what ways did becoming a mother change the way you see yourself?
After giving birth my priorities changed, I was not important anymore.. my needs did not matter. I never felt like I lost myself, I just knew I was becoming who I was meant to be. I was not just Jessicaanymore, I was Penelope’s mother and the most important thing was making sure she was fed and nurtured.
What excites you the most about being a mother?
Just about everything.... I have enjoyed every moment so far. I just love enjoying all the small & big things and cannot wait to see who she grows up to be. I hope we will always be close and she will always confide in me.
What keeps you up at night?
Well besides the netflix series I’m currently watching...my mind is always wandering and worrying, I’m always asking myself.. “Was I a good mom today”? “Did I play enough with her”? “ How could I be a better mom”?
Do you have a good support system?
When I was pregnant I joined a facebook group of women who were all due the same month.. almost 7 years later and I’m still a part of it and have built strong relationships with a lot of these mothers. They are always my go to when I just need some insight.
Penelope is six now, what is she into these days?
Penelope is very much a girly-girl.. she loves wearing dresses, loves playing barbies, loves to color and create things. You can find her purse filled with “little trinkets” and chapstick. She is very much a mamas girl and always wants to be cuddled up next to me and have me playing with her. She loves kindergarten, and working on her new moves in gymnastics class. There is no where else she would rather be than home though.
What are the biggest challenges you are facing as a mother at this point in time?
Am I being the best mom that i can be? Am i spending enough one on one time with her? Did she noticed that I spent the entire day cleaning, and cooking, and taking care of my own things and I didn’t help her build her legos? The older she gets the harder it becomes in my opinion.. she is very aware of everything. I just want her to know that everyday I try my best and I want to be the best mother that I can.
Raising a daughter who is strong-willed is VERY challenging. It is my responsibility as her mother to help set her up for success. I have never done this before, I have no idea what I’m doing. I just hope that we can help each other and maybe one day I’ll know i did a good job and it was all worth it.
Only child- Was the plan always just one kid? Do you get questioned about it a lot? Do you have any reasons you think it is awesome and/or any concerns?
I always saw myself with a big family.. I grew up with 3 siblings a lots of cousins so naturally I thought I would have at least 3 kids. I knew right after Penelope was born that I wanted one more... some things don’t always turn out the way you want and thats ok. It has taken me a few years to come to terms with only having one child but I am more than ok with that now. I think no matter how many children I have I will always miss that baby stage.. sleepless nights, nursing 24/7, the endless snuggles. Penelope is so independent and honestly… It sounds exhausting having to start all over. Of course, when she says she “wished she had someone to play with,” it breaks my heart. I’m not an only child though so I don’t know what its like to yearn for a sibling. I just hope that when she is older she wont be alone. That’s my biggest worry. (I relate SO much to this entire paragraph)
What have you found to be the biggest difference between your expectations for motherhood and the reality?
Honestly, It is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Some people just make it looks so easy and the truth is that it is challenging. I thought it would get easier the older she gets but man do I wish she was that little baby again… the one who wouldn’t talk back to me.
What advice would you give a mother about to have her first child?
Being a mother is the scariest & most exciting thing you will ever do in your life. Somedays will be very hard and challenging at times. Just remember that it is going to be ok eventually. Every stage is a season, just enjoy every little moment because it sure goes by fast.
Thanks again, Jessica!