No two mothers are alike and no two journeys in motherhood are either. When Mother’s Day rolls around each year, there seems to be the same saccharine summary everywhere you turn: “Moms are great!”
And while moms are great, every mother has a unique story to tell about the good, the bad and the ugly parts of this endeavor that begins with a birth, never truly ends, comes with no instruction manual, and requires more than is seemingly possible. Author and photographer Ali Smith understands this and instead of summarizing all moms, she began collecting their individual stories.
The result is Momma Love, a beautiful book of 40 amazing, inspiring, and generously raw accounts of motherhood and all of its wonders paired with beautiful photography of the mothers and their children. There’s Dianna’s story whose journey with cancer coincided with her early days as a mother. There’s Hannah’s story about her relationship with motherhood and what motherhood has done to her body. There’s Amy’s story about finding her way again as an actress after the birth of her daughter. With 40 stories in all, the book is both fascinating and reassuring. Though every journey is unique, the sense of camaraderie is collective.
Everyone from Gloria Steinhem and the Huffington Post have endorsed Momma Love, and there’s no question that it makes an ideal gift for any mom on your list. But one of the best parts about the project is that it never ends. Ali continues to collect stories from moms everywhere and from every perspective on her site, publishing them online to share with the world. In fact, you can share your story too. After all, nobody knows motherhood like you.
The Momma Love book is available online and in select NYC bookstores. (Order before May 8, 2016 and $10 of your purchase will go to support homeless women and children in New York City.)