The MILB — Mother I’d Like To Be

I’d like to introduce my friend Karen, the photographer of the above hero photo I’m using for this blog. Before Karen and I knew each other as friends, I knew her only as the head designer of the agency I worked for. She was the kind of person who could pull off funky hats, patterned leggings and yellow sunglasses. I was terrified of her because I desperately wanted her to like me.

Here’s the other thing I knew about Karen: she seemed to genuinely enjoy being a mother. Parenthood had in no way diminished her value as a designer (or a human being, for that matter). She would start conversations with inconcievable phrases like, “I had the best weekend ever! I was home with the kids and…”

I had other friends with kids. But those friends had left the city, moved to the suburbs and were never to be seen… alive… again. Just kidding. They’d resurface every now and then to invite me to a Smurfs theme-party, a 2–3 hour torturous alcohol-free event, at their sprawling, soulless homes. I’d leave convinced that remaining childless was the best decision I’d ever made.

But Karen was different. I saw her at a company party, one baby strapped to her chest and the other chasing the boss’s puppy around the garden. That gave Karen the freedom to scarf down a cheeseburger with one hand and wash it down with a glass of red wine with the other.

This is my MILB, I realized — the Mother I Wanted To Be.

Now that I am a mother myself, I still rely on Karen to point out the simple joys of motherhood to me (beyond the obvious joys of coloring and playdo). That’s why I am such a big fan of her photo series, which (to my highly uneducated artistic eye) explores the beauty of the vast and overwhelming role of parenthood.

I plan to be using a lot of her photographs for this publication. So don’t come here for the useless insights. Come for the awesome images!