When I had the idea for the Single Mom Project, I just wanted to help out another single mom. I loved the idea, but in all honesty, I was a little nervous. I don’t normally put a lot of personal “stuff” out there, and this was a very personal topic. And what if no one cared about my little contest? I worried that I wouldn’t get much of a response…or possibly no response…then what??
I put all my doubts aside, and convinced myself that even if I got ONE nomination, it would be worth it to give this gift to another single parent. So I wrote, re-wrote, edited and re-edited my blog post (too many times to count). Finally, I held my breath and hit the “publish” button. And The Single Mom Project was born.
It didn’t take long to get my first nomination. I read it, and I cried. I read it again and again (and cried some more). I thought to myself…if I don’t get another entry into this contest, I’d be OK with that, because this mom really deserves to win. Then I got another entry. And another. And another. And on it went. Each time I got a new entry, I read about another strong and amazing a supermom. Each entry brought tears to my eyes. I started to realize…choosing a winner is going to be a VERY. DIFFICULT. DECISION.
In fact, I was completely unprepared for how hard it was going to be to choose a winner for my little contest. To all those who submitted entries, whether you nominated yourself, a friend or family member, THANK YOU for taking the time to do so. The stories I read were so moving and inspirational. It gives me faith in knowing these single mom’s are out there are kicking ass and taking names, and if I can demonstrate a fraction of their strength and perseverance, I’ll be in good shape.
So by now you are all wondering who the winner is! Well, like I said, all of the women I read about deserve to win this contest. But there was one story that I kept going back to. And that is the story of Jessica Monschau.
Jessica went to work one day a married mother of an 8 and 10 year old, but she left work soon afterwards as a single mom. Her husband had been in an accident, so she was thrust into single parenthood suddenly, without any warning.
After this tragic loss, Jessica realized that pictures are priceless. The family portraits she had with her late husband captured a time she will unfortunately never get back, and she was so grateful to have those pictures. But after he was gone, she had a hard time thinking about taking family pictures without him. They were a family of four after all, and it was difficult to accept the fact that they were suddenly a family of three.
After years of healing, however, Jessica said that she is now ready to capture family moments again for her and her kids. She is ready to embrace single motherhood and the fact that they are a family of three. And lastly, in Jessica’s words: “over the past 2 ½ years I realized how much a single mom does – most going unrecognized. I truly wish every single mom could win this because they deserve it.”
I couldn’t have said that better myself, Jessica. Happy Mother’s Day to you, and I look forward to meeting you and photographing your family of three.
And Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there! And because this is a photography blog, and I can't do a blog without posting at least a couple images, here are few of my favorite mama images that I have captured over the years.