Photo Credit: Elle R Photography
On any given day, any of my long list of anxieties can take over my life at the drop of a hat... this has been my life as long as I have known it. Health anxiety has reared its ugly head since I had my kids, and nearly any news story or mention of death or chance of dying can trigger a deep rooted response in me and down I go, spiralling into a world of numbing fear and darkness I can't shake.
I know I am not alone. Millions of people suffer from mental health issues, and I know many moms especially, live with these debilitating illnesses.
Enter Covid 19 aka Corona Virus, and the widespread mass panic. Enter the new 'norm' for at least the foreseeable future of self isolating and social distancing to avoid this scary (and deadly) virus. On top of this, schools are now closed, parents are forced to stay home to care for and homeschool their children amidst the panic and chaos.
I think that most people (if not everyone) is feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
I have tried all week to be a 'good' mom, planning our days to include the recommended educational time, craft time, quiet time and finally, yes, some TV time. Trying to find a balance amongst the chaos has caused a huge deal of added stress. Every day ended and I felt utterly lost, sad and alone. Not only do I have my own anxieties to deal with, but now I see my children looking up to me, wondering why everything is suddenly different. Why can't they play with their friends? Why can't they go to school, or the park, or have a sleepover? Why can't they do anything they used to take for granted?
I find myself feeling guilty at the end of each day- guilty for the fact that my kids are missing out on a 'normal' life, guilty that they watched 2 hours straight of TV, guilty that I had ALL day but never got to the dishes... never got to the laundry, or all the other household chores that surely I SHOULD have done. Today, everything came crashing down on me like a ton of bricks.
I totally LOST it. I felt so GUILTY.
For the first time all week I chatted with some other mommas, cautiously shared my feelings and found out that they felt the same way I did. I KNOW I am not alone. My feelings of guilt had worn me down so much and I was so caught up in them that I couldn't breathe.
You know what I realized I really need right now? I really just needed someone to tell me that I was enough. I WANTED someone to tell me that I was enough. "YOU are enough". You are enough right now. YOU are enough for your children, regardless of not being able to find the perfect balance or answers OR have a plan for everything. YOU are what they need and YOU are doing the best you can.
I think if we can empower each other through this- if us moms can stick together and tell one another every day that "YOU are enough"- just maybe, little by little, day by day, we will feel less 'isolated' and alone in all of this. I realize it sounds so simple, but I truly believe that some simple words of encouragement could be just what a momma needs when she is ridden with guilt, and the world seems to be falling apart. I know that's what I needed today.
To work through some of my anxiety last night, I compiled a few of my favourite Kids and Animals images from the last couple years. Most of these have just sat on my hard drive but are too cute not to share :)
First, a bit about my thoughts right now (feel free to skip this and just scroll through the adorable pictures instead!):
I'm trying to avoid social media for the time being, as I have been having some extreme anxiety surrounding the scary things going on in the world. While I do think it is important to keep up on the facts around Covid 19 (corona virus), there is also a lot circulating the media that is untrue, and even some put out there it seems intended to create more widespread mass panic. We as a family are taking the recommendations to stay in, avoid crowds, and even avoiding get togethers with friends and family. I have also been quiet on my business page watching this all unfold, not 100% sure what measures to take. I have recently decided, that for the safety of my clients (esp newborns) and my own family, that I will not be taking any studio sessions on at this time. Having a daughter who requires hospital intervention every year due to a simple cold/flu bug because of her lung conditions is scary enough. With this new virus around that seems to attack the lungs, I am taking every precaution to limit our exposure, and in turn to protect her. I believe it is our social responsibility to protect others ( esp. the more vulnerable) now, by practising social distancing even at such an extreme level. I am surprised to see there are still a lot of individuals running businesses and working closely with people, newborns etc, however most non essential business are closing their doors (ie dental offices, massage centres etc.) which I think at this point is the right thing to do. Living with no income is hard... but living with a seriously sick baby, child, parent or spouse is even harder...
I hope these cuties can put a smile on your face!
A little Late, but I wanted to share a few pictures of the kids halloween costumes this year. For the last 4 years I have made their costumes, and this year I think was my favourite. When browsing through Pinterest, Dusten pointed to a picture of Edward Scissor Hands and said "I want to be that guy!" Boy was I excited, as growing up I remember watching that movie all the time. Aryanna chose two costumes: a wind up doll and then a deer (so she would be dressed warm for actual halloween night). The wind up doll turned out awesome if I do say so myself! haha
These kids loved getting into character for their costumes, and they sure made me feel proud. I think one day they will look back and think that it's pretty cool mom made their costumes, and they didn't look like anyone else out there.
I think Halloween is quite possibly one of my favourite times of year!
It was such a pleasure to visit this family's ranch just outside of Nanton for their family photo session. We had a beautiful evening with warm fall sunshine and lot's of smiles! Whenever I have a chance to capture family moments on camera in peoples element, I am a happy girl! Throw some horses into the mix and I cant stop smiling.
Thanks again for having me to your home you guys! It was such a pleasure.
Shannon and I knew each other from back in Ontario many moons ago! Fast forward and now her and Aaron are out in Calgary Alberta, and just welcomed baby number two. I got to photograph their sweet baby girl first, and now Mr. Logan.
They brought their pup for the session as well to my High River studio.
Welcome baby Logan, and congratulations to the Bacon Family!
Mr friends make the cutest babies! I have had the honour of photographing 4 of the Tutt's 5 little ones now! How crazy is that? After 4 girls, they recently welcomed their first baby boy!
We started in my High River studio for some posed newborn images, and then went over to their gorgeous high river home for some lifestyle images with the family.
Sweet Elias was a tad fussy, but we worked through it and ended up with some wonderful photos!
Congratulations again, Tutt family.
I had so much fun photographing this family in High River, for their fall family photoshoot. The outfits they chose coordinated so beautifully, and the soft colours helped them to stand out against the greens and yellows in the background.
I always try to direct my clients in ways that they look natural and candid, but don't feel lost in the process- I love the shots where they are interacting with one another, and the kids are having fun!
It's always a pleasure when other photographers ask me to photograph their families. Cristobel is not only an amazing woman, but her photography tells a story like no-one else. Her attention to detail and her play on light is incredible in everything she captures. It was truly an honour to photograph her family in Calgary for the second year in a row! Her kids are growing so fast, and they definitely made me work to keep up with them! The one thing I love about my job is that I get to live I the chaos and the beauty of the families I photograph... from tickle fights to hide and seek under a blanket, and everything in between. I can't wait to see these guys next year!
We met this lovely couple through friends out at Lake Koocanusa in British Columbia. At the time, Bell was expecting twins! The twins were born 4 days later and I was lucky enough to photograph Bell and Casey in their home in Calgary with their sweet new babies Crue and Lake. The babies were so tiny, and just loved being curled up together. As a newborn photographer, I am always humbled when I get to capture these fleeting moments for my clients. A huge thank you to my newborn photography assistant Amanda for the extra set of hands, and for capturing some of the nursery details for me!
I had the opportunity to document this beautiful couples maternity in their home :) These sessions are always so much fun! Isn't Danielle just stunning? I cannot wait to meet their baby in a few weeks.
Alicia Nicole Wopereis
Dedicated to both creating and capturing the beautiful moments in life. The moments that shape us, move us, and allow us to never forget.