For me, motherhood is like buying a super expensive DSLR camera and realizing you prefer Polaroids.
Immediately produced memories that are tangible. They are a little sloppy. Slightly discoloured. They aren't perfectly planned with time to review exposures.
The truth is, I wanted to be a photographer. I had the dark room planned out, the camera bought, the internship lined up. However, much like in motherhood, I'm an amateur at best. I'd consider myself, at this point, a hobby mom. I'm not great at taking it seriously, but I know professional work when I see it. At times, I lack vision, organization, and follow through, but sometimes: I'm fun. Efficient enough. Making do.
I was supposed to be better at this.
Somewhere between point and shoot, I lost it. Frame by frame of trying to catch my breath, I think I have it. I'm figuring out: I don't. Activities, trips, crafts, games, pre-planned meals, bedtimes ON time. Pinterest pages of parenting blogs I haven't read, homemade toys and experiments I visioned, but haven't attempted. Piles of laundry. Disorganized closets and mismatched socks. I was supposed to be better at this.
It turns out that much of the photography we see in print and online is photoshopped. With each click and drag, imperfections have been brushed out, and the finished product is perfection. I'm not that artist. I make my work quickly and shake the images produced with rushed hope. Balance is hard.
I will keep taking my moments as they come, and hoping I have it together enough to make a sweet memory or two. To have enough "remember whens," and less "I forget." One day, I'll learn how to do more than point and shoot and plan on the fly. For now, selfies will do.
Jackie Anger is a London, Ontario doula, a mama to an amazing toddler, a community advocate, and a lover of coffee.