The Magic of Motherhood, from a Father’s Perspective

In case anyone missed this on The Huffington Post today, I wanted to share it here because, aside from the raw and gorgeous photos taken by photographer Fred Huening that revlove around the maternal bond between mother and child, what I found most intriguing is how honest he is in touching on the nature of his feelings towards the transformation that takes place while seeing your partner become a parent. How he manages to combine a staggering sense of awe behind the lens in each of these captures but also talks about the fact of just how differently he came to view his girlfriend once she became mother to his son. An ambivalence that can be felt in certain photos included in the series.

“When my son was born my girlfriend turned from a lover into a mother. Her love and attention concentrated (of course) on my son. So I felt sometimes like an outsider observing the ‘inner circle; of mother and son. I had ambivalent feelings and so I took my camera to express emotions.”

Huening’s photos are also edged with an underlying pain once you learn that the couple’s first baby was delivered stillborn. And that the child featured here is the one that followed that loss. For me, it changes the way I see each image. And how I digest the series in it’s entirety. It also makes me eager to know a little more. About each of these people involved.

Any thoughts on this? On how motherhood can shift one’s role as lover. I know it’s more popular to say that women become sexier or more desirable once they have children, but is that really the case?

I found Huening’s admission of ambivalence to be a brave confession. One that made me stop and think about how easy it is to become fully engulfed in the needs and attention of our children and how much effort we put forth into both roles. As lover and mother. I also thought finding emotion through the camera was a really interesting way to approach it.

More photos and the full article HERE
Fred Huening’s Website HERE

10 Responses

  • I love this because as a first time mom, NO ONE ever told me how easily your partner can feel like the 3rd wheel. Loving my husband so very much, this was hard for me.

  • this is something i think about a lot, especially since my husband’s parents split up basically because they neglected their marriage once their kids came along. but, damn, it’s so easy as a new mom to focus on your baby. he needs you more…and he has way less issues!

    • it is really easy to neglect that relationship when children come along. I totally agree. And I think we are all guilty of it to certain degrees, at different point in our lives. I think it was sort of a wake up call for me, his one sentence here because this whole season I’ve been exhausting myself trying to keep everything together for the kids. I can’t remember our real last “date night” so hopefully we’ll make it a priority here soon…

  • My relationship with Willy changed a ton after becoming a mother. It took a while, if I’m honest, to feel attracted to him again… I just couldn’t fathom loving someone as much as my boys… but in hindsight I attribute that to hormones that are probably in place to protect that sacred bond of mother to child… because whereas Willy could survive alone, infants could not. I loved all these images but didn’t have the time to read it when I stumbled upon it, so I’m happy you shared it here. Also, I agree — it changes everything knowing the loss they experienced.

    • I know exactly what you mean. I still think it’s odd that it’s not something really discussed among women though. As common as I am guessing it is.

      And yes, the loss behind this series haunts every image. For me it weighs it that much more.

      Every shot, is so beyond. I really love his style and want to figure out where to buy his books. I want more.

  • Thanks for sharing. These photos are wonderful. I know my relationship with my husband was strained after my first. It became a little easier with our second, I’m guessing because we both knew what to expect and he knew how to better help me. But it’s definitely something that’s not talked about much and should be more often. I find that most of my friends felt the same way. My sister in law just had a baby and admitted that my brother in law was just irritating to her. With all the hormones out of whack and the intense need to love up and protect your newborn, it’s really easy to neglect and even belittle your partner.

  • Thank you so much for sharing, Jess. I too, wonder why we don’t talk about this more openly because it affects so many new parents. After our first, everything changed between us – I felt turned inside out by the transformation in my body, heart and mind. It just seemed so hard to relate to him the same way. Obviously he loved, and loves, our children as much as I do, but there is also something so visceral and intense about giving birth and then meeting your child. Although I am loath to admit it, I’m sure that I became a mother and not a lover … I think it took us years to find our way back to that place and even though we are stronger and more attuned now, it was a hard road to forge. I love the pieces that you find to share here. xo H.

  • These images are so stunning. Especially the two middle ones. So unusual, beautiful and intimate, and your description of the story behind them makes them more so. Thanks for sharing, again something a little different than everything else out there.

  • Ahhh! I love this so much I can’t even express through words…

    This is my second time visiting here today… something about what you wrote made me think about women and their sex appeal or desirability after they have children. I have to say, if women do become sexier or more desirable after having children, I think it has more to do with their attitude (and possibly age) than with motherhood itself. I think it’s about a “more-ness,” really. I see the same strength and poise and beauty in women who don’t have children but who have gone through much in their lives — the death of a loved one, surviving war and loss, etc. I think it has to do less with actual physical attraction and how society sees us and more with a realization that beauty is so much deeper, so much MORE. Motherhood, in many ways, can take us there, if we let it.

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