By: Ava Feuer
Photo Credit: Anna Angenend
“Being a stay-at-home mom with a toddler is so hectic,” says San Antonio, TX-based photographer Anna Angenend. “I get stuck in a bubble with my daughter, and I don’t know if I’m doing things right. Is it normal for her to have a meltdown at the grocery store? Should my house be that much of a mess?”
For Angenend, these questions became particularly pressing as she watched her Facebook feed fill up with back-to-school photos. From years of being a nanny and shooting mini-sessions of kids each August, she knew that while the photos were cute, they were also unrealistic. “It’s so the opposite of everything that’s going on,” she says. “It’s total chaos and an emotional roller coaster.” Her solution was to offer relief with Mom Life, a weekly series that shows what motherhood is really like.
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“I hope when Mia [Angenend’s two-year-old daughter] is older, she’ll get a kick out of looking at these photos and know I had a blast and enjoyed all these moments with her,” Angenend says. “And I hope some other moms will get a chuckle and get a kick out of it, and feel they’re not alone.
Back to School “Even though Mia isn’t in school yet, it feels like back to school for us. We always do crafts where I spend 20 minutes setting up, she spends two minutes making a mess, and then I spend another 20 minutes cleaning up. I hope she’s benefiting from it!”
I Do It, Mommy “I want to encourage Mia’s independence, but I have to draw the line. I teeter-totter on that edge in the kitchen. I want to teach her to bake, but I have had raw eggs dripping down my countertop and flour flying everywhere.”
Peace and Quiet “This is my favorite photo so far. I would never do this, but I wish I could. It’s so hard to exercise when she’s knocking me over. I can’t say it hasn’t crossed my mind to have her chill out on the patio and have a moment to myself.”
Sandbox Day “The times I take my daughter to the sandbox, it’s a nightmare to get sand out of her hair, and I end up vacuuming the car for weeks. Ideally, I’d be able to strip the plastic off and have us be clean when we leave the park. Unfortunately, that’s not a very real option.
Potheads “I’ve been encouraging Mia to wear hats, and to get her to do it, we all had to start wearing hats. It’s gotten to the point where she won’t leave the apartment without her hat. Now, everything else has become a hat as well. When we’re playing, anything that could go on her head does. We accessorize our tea parties.”
Mia Gets Dressed “She’s very particular about what she wears and I try to let her pick out her outfits, but there are some things I have absolutely not let her leave the house with. On days I let her go for it, there are clothes everywhere and a very interesting ensemble.”
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