Desiree Dales Photography

mom's/it's hard. i know.

Moms. It’s really hard. It’s sometimes harder than we imagined it to be. But wait. Trust me. When I didn’t have kids of my own, I volunteered in the “moms” room at our church. For months I watched beautiful babies and toddlers being cared for, loved for and taught(How?) by very tired looking moms. Happy. But tired. I handed out tea to frazzled, tired looking moms. Even when they didn’t ask. I dug in nappy bags for a new bum cream or dummy or whatever moms needed. Gosh. I also made mental notes. I will have everything my baby might need at church. (Hahaahah!) I’ll take snacks and cute little activities and be able to listen to the entire preach while I’m there. I will be positive and encouraging to others and enjoy each second. (More laughter) Gosh. It’s really hard sometimes. It’s beautiful and messy and tiring but sometimes, I don’t know about you, but I really wondered what the point of it all was. But wait.

Why am I fighting with a toddler to eat those oats so that I know he’ll have a full tummy and not be crabby and why can I not find his dummy ten minutes before we have to leave and why can’t I just shower and blow dry my hair once before church and eat breakfast and not cold toast on the way to church and why do I even bother going. But wait. I can look after my baby at home, without trying to settle them at their nap time which is half an hour before we have to get into the car which means he might wake up. Always. But wait.

We have two children. One is a six year old and one is a three year old. I sat in many moms only zones , sometimes with others, at other times alone. Sometimes at the back of the church service, sometimes in the front. Sometimes sweating in a strange little cornered off area. Along the way, I often doubted why we moms (and dads!) do this to ourselves. But after every service (most, not all if I’m honest!) I realised it’s because we are not doing it for ourselves. I know you’ve heard this all before right. But its true. Week in and week out, mid week gatherings - where I spent an hour and a half trying to settle my kids in an unfamiliar home/bed and struggling(crying) because It’s really really hard sometimes. Because I also wanted to hear the preach. Because I also wanted to connect with adults. And then walking out exhausted to sip on some tea someone (my husband) had made me so sweetly but it was now cold, only to really catch the last 5 minutes and have to transfer warm sleeping babes through the rain into our car and drive them home only to transfer them again and hope they didn’t wake up in all of that. But wait.

We do it again and again and again. Repetition brings about formation. It’s true in so many area of life. The more we do something, the more of a habit and easier it becomes. We do these things not out of duty or so that someone else can tick us off a list. We do it because we want our kids to live and experience community. The community that comes from going to church is God breathed. I’m convinced of it. But they’re kids? We can start going back to church once they’re older and can behave there. Matthew 19:14 14 Jesus said, “Leave the little children alone, and don’t try to keep them from coming to me, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” We were always meant to live in community. It’s beautiful and messy and tiring, but wait, it’s also incredibly life giving. Which ever season you are in. Whether it’s the shhhhhhhh he’s sleeping in his pram(finally) or the I can’t keep my toddler still enough to even know what the preach is titled. Be encouraged. You are seen. You are known. You are loved. Even when the pastor is half way through a beautiful preach and your child knows it and screams. A lot. It gets easier. It really does.

We want to raise resilient disciples who want to be used by God. Remember those moms who taught their babies something? They taught them that God is important. That sometimes we go through really uncomfortable situations. That sometimes it’s hard and that’s ok too. We want to model what it’s like to worship God freely and to pray in action. The more they see us doing this, the more comfortable it will be for them. And that it’s worth it. We want them to be walking with Jesus, become like Jesus and do the things Jesus did. That’s worth the sometimes feelings of “what is the point” and the feeling of wasting your time. Be encouraged that it is just a little season. It really is so little. Because soon they will willingly come to church worshiping God with songs of praise and will pray prayers that will bring you to your knees. And you will think, I would do it all again. Happily. To know that they are safe and surrendered to the same God who sustains me and loves me. Church cannot be wholly responsible for the discipling of your child. They can help. But it’s on you as a disciple to model that role. . 4I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1v4. So next time you see a mom, hand then whatever they need. Make them hot tea. And then another cup when that one gets cold. Hold their baby so they can drink the tea. Encourage them that they are doing an incredible job just by being there , even if they’ve just walked out wresting what looks (and sounds) like a caged animal, their hair is suspect and they look like they don’t see what the point is. Remind them to wait, that this is just a little season. Pray for them.

thank you dear friend for thsee precious memories. @tinkphotography

baby /ˈbeɪbi/

[An incredibly precious gift]

Today I wanted to share with you what a new born shoot is like – for me and for you. Gone are the days when I would wake up panicking about the shoot the next morning. I am so grateful that I had so many friends having babies when I first started this journey. I got to practise so much. If you’re a newbie photographer wanting to jump into the wonderful world of new born shoots, my best piece of advice is to offer free shoots to those you know.

There you can practise all the things you need to, without trying to rush through the shoot to make sure you get it all. Newborn shoots take place in your home. Its clean/warm/sanitized. You have all the stuff there. It’s more natural and you’ll feel more comfortable. If you’re looking for a studio setting and a photographer that specialises in Posing to a large degree (think bunny ears/knitted beanies/giant flowers) then I will happily suggest some talented local photographers who are incredible at their jobs.

But if its beautiful, natural light, real moments you’re wanting to document then I would love to do this for you. I’ve had two beautiful kids (you’ll see them all over my IG account) and I would have a hundred more if I could, just so I can take in all that newborn squishiness! When you book your shoot, I will ask you to walk through your home and try to take note where the best light is and when that happens. Morning? Lunch time? Afternoon? Is it in the lounge? The bedrooms? The hallway? Is there a kooky( that's a word)  little corner that is just magical in afternoon light? Then we’ll set up a time that works for you best.

Shoots are pretty relaxed. Although there is no real deadline, I love to ultimately do the shoot before your baby is two weeks to capture all those wrinkles! But it really depends on when you’d like the shoot! You need to feel comfortable so that your baby can be too, so I want to reassure you that it’s ok. It’s ok to drink tea/coffee (I can do the coffee run if you’re a coffee snob like me and need a real cup) or to change outfits and nappies. If you need to feed your baby, then feed your baby. If you have a toddler or other children that just need you to stop and cuddle, that’s ok too. I love it all. Shoots are normally between 1.5hrs to 2 hours but if we need to carry on, that’s ok too! There are no real poses that I need. I might ask you to cuddle your baby and stand facing a certain way, but it’s all pretty natural. And that’s the way it should be. We'll take individual portraits/ family group shots/siblings/in the moment/ a cuddle here and there.

I’ve arrived at shoots where toddlers are just not keen and some how we still get all the beautiful moments documented. I have arrived and a mom has burst into tears because: hormones. And still we manage to breathe, relax and capture all the moments. My point is this. Do the shoot. Whether its with me or another photographer. Do the shoot.

Word of mouth is my best marketing tool – so chat to others who have had a shoot with me and ask them what their experience was. Do the shoot. You will never get those first few weeks back. Do the shoot even though you don’t feel like having photo’s taken, or your clothes don’t fit, or you baby woke you up 12 times last night. It will be worth it, I promise!


mom's. it's hard.

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