This photo and conversation are pieces from the Motherhood Illuminated Photography Project, a collaboration of Sarah Reinhart and Shannon Stone Porter.
“I work full time. I’m a nanny so I spend more time with somebody else’s kids than mine. I have a lot of mom guilt about that. And it’s those times where she’ll be like, ‘You know you’re the best Mommy in the world.’ And she’s so happy it does make me feel like I’m doing something right even though I feel bad about that. I try to give her every extra second that I have. I try to make the most of our time together. We have our ‘Mommy and Me’ days where it’s just me and her and I like to turn my phone off and we’ll just do something fun. Sometimes it’s just us laying in bed watching movies all day. So I try to make the most of the time we do have together. I’ve realized how strong I can be because I’m a single mom and I’ve been a single mom since before her first birthday. That’s shown me that I can do anything. I’ve been taking care of her by myself and it’s been hard, but she’s always had everything she’s needed. So that’s made me feel strong—stronger than I thought I was. Certain things I didn’t think I could do and I’m like ‘I can do this, I can do this.’ I always lived with my grandma when I was younger or had a roommate. And I was just, like, ‘There’s no way I can take care of us by myself.’ And I mean, I have. For six years, so. It gets better. You can do it. You’re a lot stronger than you think you are. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”