SOPHIE ELGORT

PHOTOGRAPHER & FILM MAKER

026

Shame on mom-shamers. Experienced their wrath? Share your story.

When Stella was about 10 months old, not yet walking, we were delayed at an airport for a long time. There were a group of kids playing nearby - most of them walking and running - Stella happily crawled over to join in the fun. I was standing nearby watching her and a woman standing right next to me said loudly, what kind of mother lets her baby crawl on the disgusting airport floor? She directed the question toward her husband, but loud enough so that people would hear her. She thought it was the child of one of the other mothers standing a bit closer to the group (I don't like to hover). I turned to her and said, "that would be me. My daughter can't walk yet, so that's really her only choice at this point." She turned bright red, but rather than apologizing to me she turned to her husband and said "I'm so embarrassed, I thought it was the child of one of the other mothers over there". I continued to stand right next to her, letting Stella crawl all over the floor, to make sure she felt awkward for a while.

If any line of work needs inspo, it's motherhood. What type of mothers inspire you?

All types of mothers inspire me. The job is so hard - so much harder than I ever thought before I had a child of my own.

Sometimes we're all BAD MUTHAs (as we should be). When did you go against traditional advice?

I never put Stella on a schedule in the beginning - naps, meals, bedtime, etc. I wanted to be able to take her everywhere, have her nap in her stroller next to our table at a loud restaurant, and be a bit flexible about when we put her to bed so we weren't always running around according to her schedule. While I think it made things harder in a lot of ways, it also allowed us to continue to live our lives in a way we wanted at the same time as making her pretty resilient.

"The job is so hard - so much harder than I ever thought before I had a child of my own."

Better worlds start with better moms. How can the motherhood community improve?

More and more I think being a mother is something that was never meant to be done alone. I understand why in many cultures communities raise children together, relatives live nearby and help each other out and there is a resting/pampering period after birth for new mothers. It truly takes a village. I think building our own communities like that where we can all support each other would be really beneficial.

How do you like to MUTHA yourself and ensure you still have some 'me' time?

I love playing music. I play both the guitar and piano and whenever possible, I try to sit down and play for a bit - it's the best way to calm my mind.

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