Motherhood is a Sisterhood | Chico Lifestyle Photographer

Last week, in the fierce heat of summer we met under the canopy of the large shade tress in Bidwell Park. This group of women , who had never met each other prior nor having any knowledge of the other beings who were participating, threw their full trust in me as an artist . What they did know is they were coming to celebrate and document the authenticity of motherhood. I am so thankful they braved the heat and dared to be adventurous with me.

We formed a circle, introduced ourselves, while also answering a few motherhood questions. During this time we were able to open up and become more vulnerable and honest of our stories of motherhood. With everyone relating in some aspects and others blown away by the similarities of their stories, nerves eased and new found comfort was established in these now familiar faces. We all now had a sense of belonging and bonded with our experiences. As every mother knows, each social interaction is a juggling act. Your attention is constantly being drawn in several directions. Not just with the adult conversation that you are trying so desperately to have but with your toddler running away, or your baby fussing because they are ready to nurse again, or your child asking question after question about what we are doing after this. Us mothers are experts at multitasking and dividing the attention needed in every aspect. Furthermore, as a group we managed to thoughtfully get through sharing and creating new found relationships with the lives surrounding us.

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Behind every great mother is a tribe of other great mothers.
— unknown

This project has been speaking to me for a few years now, I finally worked up the courage and managed the time to create what it is I have dreamt. It is so important to have a great support system behind you. Sometimes we can’t find the time to connect with our tribe or we loose touch with the ones that were once there. For self-care, growth, and even for your children; these relationships are important. If you are a lucky one and already have your mom group that you are apart of, rock on! However, so many of us are stranded between loosening ties with the friends that were there before children and still trying to find a relatable group you connect with. It is so hard meeting new people when you are an adult, especially if you are not set in social settings on a regular basis (stay at home mamas, I feel you). It is upon you to put in an effort to find your people. I encourage you to take that task on, find a group that you mesh with and where you feel like you belong, find your tribe!

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After the group portion, we broke into “mommy and me” groups. As the other mother’s enjoyed splashing through the water with their little ones, I photographed each group. My passion for motherhood photography brewed in me when I realized how little of my own journey had been documented with my first child. It has come clear that as mothers so very little of us is documented because we are the ones that are behind the camera capturing their childhood. As a mother you are a key aspect to their childhood, YOU deserve to be in the frame with them. THEY deserve to have an accurate documentation of their childhood. When they look back they want to see their mother; embracing, connecting, and laughing with them.


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Having the opportunity to participate in this experience was so special to me. Since I was a little girl I have dreamed of being a mother. My dreams came true when my oldest son came along, he is 14 now, and I had 2 beautiful girls that followed him. I would be lying if I said my journey was an easy one, because it’s been a struggle, but it has also been my saving grace. It has brought up many feelings for me that I was unprepared for but it has also made me strive to be a better person so that I can be the best mother for them. Being a mother has been the best part of my life.

I am so glad I came out to participate in this project. My favorite part was meeting other mothers with similar backgrounds and getting to connect with them on a deeper level. Thank you Francesca for being so encouraging and easy to work with. I enjoyed this time with you all and will never forget it! ♥️
— Jeny Crews

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I feel that I have evolved so much in becoming a mother perhaps more so the second time around. It’s nice to just be able to trust myself and my decisions when it comes to my baby. I’m pretty proud when I look at how strong and beautiful she is and I am thankful for my body for giving her nourishment and life.

Being a part of this project was really exciting. It was so nice to meet all of these women on a neutral ground. We all came together as strangers sitting on the grass as we quietly listened in support. I usually feel so vulnerable stripped down but in that moment I think we all felt quite at ease. There is nothing more beautiful than mothers supporting one another!
— Grace Sage

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I entered into motherhood with mixed emotions. With a very difficult pregnancy and perinatal depression, and I struggled to feel attached to him. However, once he was born, the instant bond, connection, and love I felt was overwhelming. With some time (and many laughs and tears), we found our stride together. Looking back, I see that my most raw moments were moments in which I found the most strength as a woman and my own unique identity as a mother.

With all the ups and downs of parenting, building community with other mothers has been an incredible gift. Meeting other mothers and their kids through your shoot was a incredibly special opportunity to be physically and emotionally vulnerable. The realness of our motherhood journeys that we shared on the day we shot photos, evoked a true sense of authenticity seldom talked about.

Thank you for the opportunity to connect and bond with such an amazing group of women!
— Erin Dutton

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Motherhood is simply raw and precious.
Coming from a background that was so focused on appearance... motherhood takes the other side but it shows how resilient the women’s body is.
— Shannon Mcvannel

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Motherhood is so much more than our own experiences. Our instincts play a significant role but the women we surround ourselves with have an impact on the way we love, nurture, parent & cope with changes. The women that surrounded me on that day empowered me to just be me. We embraced our journeys and shared with open hearts and listening ears. Thank you for allowing us to be apart of it!
— Maria Maumoyneir

I will forever cherish the moments spent with this group of women and their stories will continue to fill my heart. Thank you for gracing me the opportunity of visually storytelling your motherhood.

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Thank you JMC Photography for capturing the behind the scenes of this wonderful project.

Francesca MurgiaComment