My room, although a bit messy, is cosy and festive.
This month is an important month for me. I am changing to another job in january. Still with children, but with a team that shares my vision. Children are central there. The love and needs are of most importance and I can't wait to meet all these new little friends.
Over the past years I've learned a lot about these little humans. I've been sucked in the life of art for all the years that the universe has given me, and I decided to switch and take care of children, combined with that same passion for art. And now I am here. My vision is more clear than it ever was. The past years I learned, yes, but also was disappointed.
I found out how scared children sometimes feel, stressed, lonely and unsure. Especially little babies.
I've heard people say things like: "Let her cry, she has to learn.", "Oh look, she's carrying him again, that child will be so spoiled." or "yes, there need to be more care takers and of course you can hold them, but on the other hand, they are just babies. Don't worry."
I've heard things that made me tear up inside or got me angry.
I've read things on the internet like "I took this photo of a woman shamelessly breastfeeding in public, I mean, where's the respect!" and "This photograph got reported, it contains porn." (breastfeeding photographs, that is). And I found out that my words didn't help. I told them it is natural, that children feel safe, that carrying your child is so important, that it is not spoiling but loving. But it never seemed to have any effect, ever...
So I felt the incredible urge to show them. But how can I show the beauty, the tenderness? How can I tell you how important this is. How can I show that it isn't sexual, but pure love, and only vital love?
I began a big search. A search for beautiful mothers who share my opinion, my need to change.
I posted the question on my facebook page and the response overwhelmed me. I suddenly felt that I wasn't alone in this frustration.
So this new story began.
I suddenly felt afraid to open myself up to new people, to meet mothers in their homes, to travel to unknown destinations and to be an intruder in the most intense and intimate moments of mother and child. But it felt so important, it is so important. And for me, this was a life lesson. An adventure.
I saw mothers carrying their child in tula's, holding them when they cried, not letting them cry because otherwhise "they would get spoiled". I've seen how it affected the children and how peaceful they were. How protected they felt and how beautiful they see the world, how they were approved to discover it at their own pace. I felt how this is a vital base for children to grow to be independent, happy adults.
Words can not be found to show what I felt so I want you to see.
Don't let me tell you how beautiful it is, let me show you.
Photographed in order:
Lynn and Josse
Kristien, Babs and Rune
Ina and Sofia
Minke and Seeley
Astrid and Tess
Elly and Ferre
Maja and Simon
Nele and Bronwyn
Tina and Art
Dominiek and Mette-Marit
Kirsten and Niqi
Pauline and Martha
Emely and Warre
(anonymous and) Otto