Maternity year is a year long photography project following 12 women as they return to work after having a baby.
I left traditional employment when I had my first baby. I was shocked when I met with my HR department during my pregnancy to discuss my options. They were pretty terrible, but, in the US, with 6 weeks partially paid leave, I was among the lucky. The experience crystalized my decision to move on. But even though I had clarity I was really scared. Would we be able to make ends me? Would I have to suddenly go back to work? What was my new identity without my former career? What was my value without a monetary value?
I want to explore what other women's experience with this transition feels like through photography. I feel the day a woman ends her maternity leave is a crucial point for her and her family. Documenting the moments of this day will show the true impact that lack of guaranteed paid maternity leave has on families in the US. It will also show the strength, drive and value of the women in our workforce.
The project will consist of day in the life photography sessions with 12 women returning to work after having a baby during 2018.
I will spend the full day with them, breakfast to bedtime, documenting whatever is required of the new mom both at home and back on the job.
My ultimate goal is to produce a final show and book of images that tell the story of women returning to work.
What's in a name?
I've called the project maternity year because while 6 weeks is pretty standard (for those in traditional employment) in this country, a year sounds like a much better way to support families in this country. Additionally, without a federal policy on the issue we have moms who must return to work days after delivering their babies and the disparity adds to the difficulty faced by new moms in this country.
How can you help?
I'm currently looking for women to participate in the project.
Women who participate will receive a slideshow and gallery of their pictures. I also hope to make books for each women who participates that tells the story of her day.
Soon I will have a crowdfunding site up to help fund the project.
If you would like to receive more information, you'd like to participate or know a woman who would, please fill out and submit the contact form below.