Mothers & Makers

Source: Jessica Holleque

Most people who know me know that I am a mother. I’d like if if more of them knew that I am also a writer.


I feel embarrassed typing that last part. The first sentence seems true because I can point to my children. The fact of their bodies is my proof.

The second sentence doesn’t have the same heft. There’s no book with my name on it. No authority has accredited what I do. Even writing it feels wrong, like I’m committing a kind of mail fraud. You have caught me! I don’t really live at this address!


This feeling is probably because of a lot of things. One is that when we say we visualize our future and ourselves, that is not a metaphor. We do mean that we literally make pictures of who we are in our minds.

For the last handful of years, my picture of myself has not ever been just of my self. I have always had a baby or two in tow or tucked away inside.


The space these babies have taken up is captivating, probably for anyone and especially for me. They don’t seem to leave room for much of anything else.


That is why it is so meaningful to see this collection of photographs by Jessica Holleque, Photographer. Her project, Mothers & Makers, has helped me to update those pictures in my mind.

I see see that, yes, there I am.

There I am being a mother.

There I also am being a writer.

I am both, even (necessarily) at the very same time.

Published by Emily P.G. Erickson

Emily P.G. Erickson is a writer with a master's degree in psychology. Her helpful, science-backed journalism and essays about mental health, mindfulness, and motherhood have appeared in The New York Times, WIRED, Romper, Elemental, and elsewhere. You can find the latest from Emily at www.emilypgerickson.com.

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