Mothers to Mothers

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Mothers to Mothers
Lidiya Marchenko

It’s your first Mother’s Day, do you plan to start any new traditions to celebrate? I am excited for my first Mother’s day – this has been the most thrilling and satisfying year of my life. As I think about motherhood and new traditions, I want to focus on making memories that will last. And for me - looking back at photos and remembering how I felt – that is like a frozen moment/memory I can always go back to. So I want to establish a tradition of having family photoshoot every Mother’s Day. I also want to celebrate the fact that my son made me a mommy, so I want to make this day about him - whether that’s a day at the zoo, a special date, or just a walk in the park – whatever my son’s favorite thing to do! Since this is my first Mother’s Day and my son does not have a favorite thing yet, we will go for his first carousel ride in the city.

Source: Photography by Evgenia Karica. Makeup by Olena Shapoval
Mothers to Mothers
Lidiya Marchenko

How have your thoughts, concerns or expectations about being a mom changed since having a child? Since having a baby, I am realizing that there is no book that can prepare you and no one way to be a perfect mom. There is a million ways I can be a good mom, and I want to do all those things to be the best one! I also realized that being a “cool” mom is not as easy as social media lets us to believe - have you tried picking up a carseat with baby in it and walking for a couple of blocks? I had to accept the fact that there will be times I will smell like puke, have stains on my clothes, have no time for a shower or make-up and I will not look like a poster mom – but none of those things matter – the wellbeing of my child is the most important thing for me.

Source: Photography by Evgenia Karica. Makeup by Olena Shapoval
Mothers to Mothers
Delia Gallo

Please complete this sentence any way you'd like: "Being a Mom means..." Being a mom means giving and receiving love like I never even dreamed existed! A balance of patience, responsibility, nurturing, sacrifice and guidance all while allowing them to be free to discover themselves and the world.

Source: Photography by Evgenia Karica. Makeup by Yoshiko Iwa
Mothers to Mothers
Delia Gallo

What is the most rewarding part about being a mother of 4? The most rewarding part of being a mom to 4 girls is watching them grow into these wonderful, caring, kind little humans! They each have their own unique relationships with one another and sometimes they may not get along (well...a lot of times!) but the love and bond they share is amazing. I know the best gift I've ever given them is each other.

Source: Photography by Evgenia Karica. Makeup by Yoshiko Iwa
Mothers to Mothers
Bethany Ciotola

How has your life changed since becoming a mother? My life has changed in almost every way possible. I don't come first anymore, but not in a bad way. I don't want to come first, I want to give my two baby boys everything. They are my heart and I would do anything for them. There is something especially rewarding in knowing that I'm their world, and they are mine.

Source: Photography by Evgenia Karica. Makeup by Yoshiko Iwa
Mothers to Mothers
Bethany Ciotola

What advice would you give to an expecting mother? Take all the advice you're given and sift through it all to decide what works best for you. Always listen to your instincts. There isn't one "right" way to parent. & It's OK to lose your mind. Since becoming a mother I've lost my mind on many occasions, and some days I loose it more than once . If I'm feeling especially overwhelmed, I stop whatever I am doing, take a long, deep breath, and remind myself that I'm doing OK. As long as I know I'm doing my best, the rest of my endless "to do" list can wait.

Source: Photography by Evgenia Karica. Makeup by Yoshiko Iwa
Mothers to Mothers
Katja Iggy

What advice would you give to an expecting mother. Don't listen to any advice other parents give you. Everyone is different, everyone's situation is different, every child is different. I remember only two pieces of advice that I was thankful for. First, friends warned me to be prepared because having children changes everything in your life. Nothing stays the same, even you. I thought they were exaggerating, but man, were they right! No matter how much childless you are into kids, you'll never understand this fully until you actually have children of your own. So, be prepared for BIG changes! The other advice is more practical. Take any opportunity to sleep as much as possible before having a baby. Staying in bed till late is a luxury you won't have pretty soon. You're doomed to be sleep deprived for many months (some swear it's years!) to come. It's no joke!

Source: Photography by Evgenia Karica.
Mothers to Mothers
Katja Iggy

How did motherhood change you? The motherhood changed and taught me a lot. I've never understood myself better than I do now. I was taught how to love in the most genuine and pure way possible, how to take care of someone so selflessly, how to be responsible for everything I do or say. I also started to understand my mom and her love for me a lot lot better than I did before. And now I only hope that my son is as lucky with his mother as I was with mine.

Source: Photography by Evgenia Karica.
Mothers to Mothers
Andrea Cooper

Tell us about your most surprising experience as a mother? The most surprising experience I have had as a mother is realizing how challenging Motherhood can be, yet even on the hardest days it is more rewarding than anything I have ever done. Motherhood is a gift unlike anything I have ever been given. It is the toughest job I’ve ever loved and I can’t imagine my life without it.

Source: Photography by Evgenia Karica. Makeup by Olena Shapoval
Makeup by Olena Shapoval
Mothers to Mothers
Andrea Cooper

What is one of the most important lessons you've learned over the years about being a mother? One of the most important lessons I’ve learned about being a mother is to always be generous, with your time, money and possessions. My mother is one of the most giving people I have ever known. If I ever need anything she is there to give it. I hope my daughter always feels the same way about me.

Source: Photography by Evgenia Karica. Makeup by Olena Shapoval

We are celebrating Mother’s Day with an exciting photo contribution and interview series by photographer Evgenia Karica of Smiley Kids. Motherhood is messy and tiring but oh so rewarding and we’re excited to chat with some real life moms – just like you – about what they’ve learned as moms, how life has changed and their best advice for moms to be. Flip through the gallery and read the Q&A!

Meet The Mommas!

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