What my older children have taught me – Photographer Camden
As a newborn and family photographer in Camden, I know I am so lucky that I get to see newborns regularly and toddlers and small children and I get to hang out with them and have conversations and laugh and play, I get to hold you Bons and get to spend just a few hours in that beautiful newborn bubble with their parents I’m so blessed.
Doing this I get to be taken back to when my children were small and I get to see and realise just how far my family has come.
It does make me reminisce and think back to when my children were babies and toddlers I do miss that stage it seem to be going slow when I was there living it but now it seems to have gone in a flash and it’s just a distant memory.
It is much easier now having children but I can’t say there is anything I wouldn’t give to go back to that time for even just one day when my children were babies.
It was such a beautiful time such an eye-opening miraculous time and children make every day things seems super special and amazing.
Now everyone says to be sure to soak up this time as it flies so fast, and to be honest I did take the time and I did soak up everything. But then again I have to be honest and say I would do things differently, not that I have regrets, but I do wish I had done more to absorb the daily life, and just be just be with my family.
I would memorise every move my unborn maybe need I would stop and feel my unborn child’s movements and hick ups, I would soak up every newborn detail every day, I would play more with them I will do more things that they want to do, I would have more crazy conversations with them, I would do ‘nothing’ with them more, I will let them sleep on my chest more, hold their tiny face in my hands, stare into their eyes and just feel the love
I know for all of this to occur something usually has to give, especially if you are a working Mum, usually household jobs, cooking, cleaning etc… Household jobs never end, you will most likely never stop doing them even when your kids have moved out but your kids will move out.
It can be really stressful and tough looking after our little ones, and I would often find myself saying “I can’t wait until they’re older, I can’t wait until they can dress themselves, I can’t wait until they can walk, or it will be so much easier when they can put themselves in the car” but I had to stop and think that I was wishing their lives away, I was wishing this time away and robbing myself of one of the most wondrous times in our lives. For them and me.
I now have a 10-year-old and a 14-year-old, my baby days are gone, my toddler days are gone… That is until the grand kids arrive, until then I am so lucky that I get to spend just a few hours a day with your little treasures that walk the earth. This is a huge blessing being a photographer in Camden.
While I understand the need to absorb all of the tiny details from the beautiful baby days, hindsight has taught me that I now need to apply this technique to the tween and teen days.
Today is what is important. Tomorrow can wait and yesterday can’t be changed, so I focus and I soak up every little treasure that happens today.. Even the ugly, I pull the good out of it, I find the positives and I keep them in my head, in photographs, and in my heart.
I think the most significant factor that my teens have taught me is not to worry. We need to remove the worry in order to appreciate the joys we have in front of us.
They have taught me that having a messy house isn’t the end of the world. In all honestly, we know with kids we will tidy the house and that afternoon all of our work will be undone.
They have taught me that they need to be parented differently, and sometimes one child needs to be parented more than the other, they need to be treated as part of the family group but also as individuals and their struggles and triumphs need to be addressed and celebrated in different ways also.
My teen has taught me that I miss being able to scoop them up and kiss them better if they hurt, now they hide it from their mates and most of what I say usually has a contradicting comment that I need to supersede in order to maintain my status of knowing all the answers. I miss being able to surprise and delight them so easily with silly games like popping a balloon or having them in hysterics because I would walk into a wall and fall down dramatically… yes the Academy Award goes to me!
As I increase in my parenting experience I am learning that there is a fine line between responsible parenting and letting my children make their own decisions.
I am learning to let go, to let them fall. I’m learning that I do not need to have control over every single aspect of their lives and every decision they make. This needs to occur in order to let them think for themselves and discover the pros and cons of their decisions.
My teen is teaching me to stand back, to listen, to her to hear her out, and to let her start making her own choices and start treading her own path in life. In this process I learn to not judge, to not override, to accept her choices her decisions, sometimes with only asking for a small amount of reasoning just so she can justify the decision herself.
It really is a fine line and I can feel the tension loosening, I can feel the cord wanting to break which makes me want to hold on tighter and pull her even closer, but I catch myself and say; no you need to let her go, she needs to stand on her own two feet, which goes against absolutely every instinct that I have conditioned myself to trust for the last 12-13 years.
Karen is a portrait photographer servicing all areas in Macarthur and surrounds of Camden.
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Karen Ashcroft Photographer Camden