I recently watched a Tik Tok that spoke to me on a soul level. I had had a really hard day with the kids, and crawled into bed that evening physically and emotionally exhausted. I opened Tik Tok and began mindlessly scrolling, as I find myself doing many nights before bed, hoping for a laugh and maybe some home renovations in under 60 seconds. What I got instead was a perspective that changed my life forever.
It changed my life forever
Perhaps you've seen the Tik Tok video I'm speaking of, but if you haven't, it was a mom sharing her #1 trick for the hard days; and now I use it all the time. What she says is this:
"On hard days, I pretend I'm a time traveller. I pretend I've come back to this moment, with my kids being this little, and I react how a time traveller would. I soak in every moment. Because I know it's not going to last. Time is going to keep moving forward, and these really tough, hard moments, you're going to miss them. You're going to miss all of this."
I take a deep breath
And every single time that I'm having a hard day with my kids, or a hard moment, I use this trick. I think to myself, "If I was a time traveller, coming back into this moment, what would I see? What would I feel?" And I feel the tears well up, and the lump in my throat catch, every single time. All of the anger, anxiety, fear, or exhaustion I felt in the moment dissipates, I take a deep breath, and all that's left is just pure love.
Love for my sons, who are wild and crazy. Love for my spouse who is doing the best he can. Love for this moment, even though it's challenging, because with this mindset I am able to clearly see that it won't be this way forever.
I feel more connected to my kids on my hardest days
I look at how small my sons fingers are. I feel how both of my boys look at me with more love and adoration than anyone ever has. I see their tom-foolery and wild toddler behaviour as the fun, exhilarating thing that it is to them, instead of the endless mess and chaos it is to me. I live in the moment. I feel truly alive, and aligned with my kids more than at any other time. And remember, this is on my hardest day, in my toughest moments as a mom. I feel more connected to my kids then, with this time-traveller mindset, than at any other time.
One of the greatest gifts I have ever received
This simple mindset hack has been one of the greatest and most beautiful gifts I have ever received. Even writing these words out, thinking about time-travelling back to now, brings tears to my eyes and reminds me to live in this moment with love and appreciation.
Appreciate this moment for what it is
As I've spent more time using this trick, I have come to the realization that part of what a photography session is is allowing you to time travel back to this moment. It's allowing you to come to the now, and appreciate this moment for what it is. It's the visual representation of this time-travelling idea, and it's a gift I am grateful to be able to give families.
Holding on with so much love
I actually watched this TikTok the night before Chandre, Kevin, Darson & Wesley's family photo-session. As I photographed their session, I imagined if Chandre was a a time traveller, coming back to this moment, what would she see? What would she feel?
She would experience her sons wrapping their arms around her neck, needing her, and holding on to her with so much love. She would feel Wesley's soft chubby cheeks squished against her lips. She would watch Darson's confidence slowly building, venturing away from her, but looking back to make sure everything was okay.
She would live in this moment, and I knew as a photographer, it was my job to keep this moment alive forever. So that when it was gone, she would still be able to return back here any time she wanted to.
So Chandre & Kevin, if you're reading this, thank you for allowing me to photograph your family, and to preserve these moments for you for always. I am so grateful to have met you all, and I know your future together will be bright and beautiful, but even on the dark days, you can always time travel back to these moments together.