A Mother’s Regret | Columbus Ohio Photographer

The Regret of Motherhood

Most mom’s will admit that there is something they regret about the way they raised their children or a decision they made. Some moms regret the way they disciplined their kids, while others might regret the way they chose to feed them (bottle or breast). Many mothers wish they would have changed the way they got their children to sleep when they were babies. Maybe you can relate to some of these, or perhaps you regret something completely different. I am only six months in to motherhood, but I too have regrets. Specifically, I have one really big one.

My Regret

Last week I wrote this article about my encounter with postpartum depression. I, of course, regret having ppd, but that isn’t my big regret. At the end of that article, I did hint at my big regret though. I regret not enjoying the first several months of my son’s life. I regret missing out on so much joy because I will clouded with so much anxiety. I have to really work hard to remember good things about him as a newborn. Often times, in order to remember those good times, I have to look back at photographs and videos. That’s one of the reasons why photographs are so important to me and why I decided to become a photographer. This experience has just shown me once again why they are so necessary.


Yes, that was a shameless plug for photography.


Even now, when I have an episode of depression, my husband has to help me remember all the joy my son has brought into our lives. When the darkness comes, I just can’t see any light. Due to my depression, I missed out on enjoying my son as a newborn. I didn’t really want to take care of him or snuggle him while he slept. So, regretfully, I only held my sleeping boy a few times. I can never get that stage of his life back. While I was there in body during all of those sweet little newborn moments, I wasn’t mentally there. I can look back at pictures or watch a video to remind me of that time, but I can’t actually go back and experience those moments with joy like I wish I had the first time around.

I know this all sounds quite sad, but there is hope. I am learning to be present for each and every moment. When my son is awake and when my husband is home, I put everything else aside and spend time with them. You see, other things will always be there but my son won’t always be in this stage. One day, he will be all grown up and I don’t want to look back any more and regret missing time with him. I want to be present not just physically, but also mentally.

I am still a work in progress, but I hope to encourage another mother of young children or a momma-to-be, to actively be a part of your child’s life as much as possible. If you aren’t mentally present due to an illness like depression, like I was, please do whatever it takes to fix that. You don’t want to look back a realize how much you missed.

Postpartum Depression Is Real | Columbus Ohio Photographer

What is Postpartum Depression?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “postpartum depression is a mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth. Mothers with postpartum depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it difficult for them to complete daily care activities for themselves or for others.”

The Statistics

The American Psychological Association states that “up to 1 in 7 experience postpartum depression”.

I don’t know about you, but that statistic surprised me. I had no idea postpartum depression was so common.


Treatments options include therapy and antidepressant medications. According to NIMH, “Without treatment, postpartum depression can last for months or years. In addition to affecting the mother’s health, it can interfere with her ability to connect with and care for her baby.”

My story


This is the hard part.

This is where I have to swallow my pride, wipe away the tears, and leave myself wide open for everyone to see. It’s not easy. I debated writing this article for a LONG time. But God kept telling me I needed to do it. He wanted to use my experience to help someone else. I even asked my husband if he thought it was a good idea and secretly hoped he would say it wasn’t. But alas the time has come. As I sit here with tear stained cheeks, I still don’t know what to say.

Here goes…


This was a planned pregnancy. We waited five years for this (by choice). Pregnancy itself wasn’t easy, but I was still beyond excited to be a mother. Labor and delivery went well and there were no major complications for Josiah or I. I had a perfect baby boy. The first two weeks at home after his birth went as expected, sleepless nights and exhausting days, but lots of help from my husband. Then he went back to work and things got a little harder. My son wasn’t a good napper and he never did what all the books said he should. So, like any new mom, I thought I was doing something wrong. I thought I was a terrible mother, incapable of properly caring for my newborn son. My life drastically changed within a blink of an eye and I suddenly had no idea who I was or what my purpose was outside of caring for this tiny human. It all went downhill from there.


I constantly stressed about his sleeping patterns or lack thereof. I spent countless hours browsing the internet for some magic cure to help my son sleep better. The more I read, the more I thought it was my fault. My husband constantly reassured me that it wasn’t and that I was doing my best, but I just didn’t listen. One little thing led to another and before I knew it my mind had turned on me. I was telling myself I was worthless and I didn’t deserve to be a mom. I thought this was a mistake and my son and husband deserved better. I never felt that instant connection with my son and I didn’t feel overwhelmed with love for him like everyone said I would. Remember that quote from NIMH above? It said that depression makes it difficult to connect with your baby. That was me. I didn’t even feel like he was mine. There were times when I felt absolutely nothing towards him. That was the depression talking. I told my husband I wanted to give our son away. That’s how bad it got. I didn’t want my own son. How awful is that?


I often found myself sitting on the couch with tears pouring down my face for what later seemed like no reason at all. I just couldn’t help it. I would literally talk myself into being depressed. Now don’t get me wrong, I had moments of pure joy. My son has always been a happy baby, and my heart would melt when he smiled at something I did. I knew he loved me and I knew I loved him. But when an episode of depression hit, I couldn’t see past the darkness.


I hid it from everyone, or at least I tried. I know a few people wondered. I only ever discussed it with my husband. Not my mom, not my close friends, not my son’s pediatrician (even though he asked), and not my OB. I kept it inside. All bottled up. Eventually, at three months postpartum, my husband convinced me to call my doctor’s office to see what they recommended. The only reason I finally made the call was because I was afraid of my son growing up without a mother.

*Image by Gable Photography*

My doctor was out of the office when I called, so the nurse spoke to the on-call doctor. He prescribed me an antidepressant and recommended a follow up visit with my doctor in two months. Seemed simple enough. I took the first dose and hoped for the best. I was going to be a good mom. I was going to be happy and enjoy every moment of my son’s life. Unfortunately, I had almost every side effect from the medication including a few serious ones like difficulty breathing and heart palpitations. When I notified my doctors office, they of course told me to stop taking the medication. I was told “hopefully it will get better after you settle into your new routine with a baby”. If not, they suggested I see my family care doctor because there wasn’t much else they could do for me. So, that was that. I was stuck like this until I could work through it on my own.


My son is now six months old and I still have an episode about once a month. It’s a lot better than what it was and I am finding ways to work through it. I wish I would have let more people in and talked about what was going on. I was so afraid of being judged that I let it cloud my judgement and ignored my husband’s advice. I should have talked to other moms and surrounded myself with friends and family. Instead, I shut myself in. If I had to go out I plastered a smile on my face and played the part. Please, if you feel even slightly depressed, talk to someone right away. It’s not worth missing out on such important moments. Believe me, I would know.


Newborn Pictures | Columbus Ohio Newborn Photographer


This little guy’s momma is a dear friend of mine. I was blessed to photograph him when he was just a few days old. He is already growing so much and has turned into quite the chubby little man.





I had a new babe scheduled for a photo shoot but unfortunately mom had to cancel due to health reasons. So, I decided since I already had everything all set up anyway, I would do a model call. Paxton’s mommy volunteered her sweet little boy and I am so glad she did.



To view the Joyful Moments Photography newborn photo gallery, click here.


Evenflo ExerSaucer Review | Columbus Ohio Photographer

Product Description

The Evenflo ExerSaucer Triple Fun Active Learning Center, Life in the Amazon is a playmat, exersaucer, and activity table in one. It features 11 age appropriate toys, some of which include lights and music for added entertainment. There is a three way height adjustment that grows with baby. This toy also features a 360 degree rotating seat that includes a removable, machine washable pad.

My Product Review

My parents wanted to get our son something for Christmas that would grow with him and that he could play with for several months. So, we did some research and decided to ask for the Evenflo ExerSaucer Triple Fun Active Learning Center. I am so very grateful that they purchased it for him. What a great gift it has been!


We already had a playmat when they purchased it for him, so we skipped that stage of the toy and moved right on to the exersaucer. When we first put him in it at around 4 months, he had no idea what to do with it. The first toy he noticed and began playing with was the musical crocodile. He loves being able to pick up the pieces and make noise with them. I love that when he throws them down, they don’t fall on the floor (they are attached by a short ribbon).


He also enjoys starring at the three birds, but since they don’t really do much, that’s about all he does with them.


Now that he is a little older (6 months) he really likes the hanging butterflies (although they hit him in the head frequently) and he also likes chewing on the wings of the dragonfly.



His all time favorite part of the exersaucer though is jumping. My only complaint with this aspect of the toy is that it is very loud. I wish there was a way for the manufacturer to make is quieter.

Due to my son’s age, we have not yet used this toy as an activity table. Future review to come.

Overall, we love the Evenflo ExerSaucer Triple Fun Active Learning Center, Life in the Amazon.


See last weeks baby product review by clicking here.

Baby Travel | Columbus Ohio Photographer

A New Adventure

Last weekend my husband and I embarked on a new adventure. We took a road trip with our almost 6 month old son. A lot of preparation and stress went into this journey. This was not a long road trip. We traveled from Galloway, Ohio to Indianapolis, Indiana.


I am a woman of lists. In fact, I’m not sure I could survive without them. So, of course, I made a packing list…or two. These lists helped me stay organized and somewhat sane throughout the process of packing. Thankfully, due to my organization and list making, I only forgot one thing, snacks for my husband. That missing item was easily solved with a stop at a convenience store when we filled up with gas. Overall, I would consider the preparation stage of the trip a success.


The Car Ride There

I was really worried about the car ride. I honestly imagined the worst. Our son isn’t typically great at sleeping in the car. If he does fall asleep, it is preceded by 15 minutes of screaming at the top of his lungs and the nap itself only lasts about 30 minutes. That being said, you can imagine my surprise when he fell asleep, without crying, and stayed asleep for an hour and 15 minutes. Sweet success!


While There

I wish I could say everything went really well, he ate full feedings, and took all his naps, but that would not be the truth. He was fussy almost the entire time we were there, he wouldn’t nap, and he cluster fed. On Friday, he only slept for a total of 20 minutes between the time he woke up from his nap in the car (11:15 am) until bed time (8:20 pm). That made for a very grouchy little man. He did fall asleep without a fight at night, although I’m pretty sure it was just out of pure exhaustion. He did a little better on Saturday and took two 45 minute naps.

On The Way Home

Josiah was well over due for a nap by the time we hit the road to come back home on Saturday afternoon, and quickly fell asleep. Once he woke up however, he was very cranky. He grunted and groaned the rest of the way home. The only way to keep him from fussing was to allow him to suck on my fingers. I’m certain they looked like wrinkly raisins by the time we pulled into our garage. But hey, you do what ya gotta do.


Munch Mitt Product Review | Columbus Ohio Photographer

Munch Mitt by Malarkey Kids

Last week I mentioned in this blog post that we love the Munch Mitt. So, I thought I would write a full review explaining why.

I saw an advertisement for the Munch Mitt on Facebook before my son was born. I don’t usually pay much attention to ads for products like this because I’m always fearful that they will be poor quality. So, I moved on and never considered purchasing one. Then, about a month ago my aunt tagged me in an ad for it. I responded that my son would probably love something like that because he is always shoving his entire fist in his mouth. However, I still didn’t actually consider buying one.

Then, my husband and I were browsing through Babies R’ Us because the one closest to us is going out of business. While glancing down an isle, a bright green Munch Mitt caught my attention. I showed it to my husband and he said, “yeah, sure” so we bought it.

As previously mentioned, my son always tries to fit his whole hand in his mouth during his play time. He also sucks on his fingers through his sleep sack at night as his way of comforting himself. Unfortunately, this resulted in a pretty red, chapped hand. So, we decided to put the Munch Mitt on that hand and see what he did.


He really liked it!

The Munch Mitt is a baby teething mitten. It comes in a variety of colors and includes a carrying pouch to keep it clean. One side of the Munch Mitt makes a crinkle noise (which my son absolutely loves). The part that goes in the mouth is a BPA and Phthalate free silicone material with bumps and ridges to massage the baby’s gums. The Munch Mitt also features an adjustable strap to tightly secure it around the baby’s wrist.



  • Perfectly fits little hands (my son is 5.5 months old)
  • Can be adjusted to fit the size of baby’s wrist
  • Makes a crinkle noise
  • Protects baby’s hand from irritation
  • Easy for baby to use


  • Even when adjusted tightly, it easily comes off my son’s hand


Overall, I highly recommend this product!


*I was not asked to perform this review and I was not compensated in any way for my opinion*

1st Birthday Cake Smash Pictures | Columbus Ohio Photographer

Beautiful Birthday Girl

I have been photographing this sweet girl since she was still in her mommy’s belly. She gets more and more beautiful every time I photograph her. As always, I took a few portraits of her before she smashed her cake.


Cake Smash

Now on to the fun part! The best part of cake smash sessions is that you never know what a baby is going to do. Every child reacts differently.






click here to view other cake smash sessions by Joyful Moments Photography

*cake by Cake Creations

Good Mom Day | Columbus Ohio Photographer

Yesterday was a good mom day!

“What does that mean?”… Well, I’m glad you asked. When I say “good mom day”, I am referring to a day when it feels like you are doing something right. I’m talking about a day when your kid takes a nap and you do more than just survive. While I always look forward to my husband coming home from work in the evening, yesterday I didn’t count down the hours like I sometimes do.

So, what does a “good mom day” look like for me?…

To give you a little backstory, Josiah does not nap well. He suffers from what many baby sleep experts call the 45-minute intruder. In other words, he can’t get past his first sleep transition. So, he only takes a short cat nap instead of a full restorative nap. This means a pretty cranky baby almost all day. And don’t even get me started on the the evenings…yikes!

To read more about what a typical day looks like for me, you can check out this post.

BUT, yesterday was a whole different story. Josiah woke up at 7 am (our desired morning wake up time). He also ate a full breakfast which included solids and a bottle. Then he happily enjoyed 2 hours of awake time (an appropriate amount for his age). I put him down for a nap fully expecting for it to be the usual 45 minutes. I decided I would try to lay down as well because I felt extra tired. Well, what do you know, when I woke up and looked at the baby connect app, he had been sleeping for over an hour. Woot Woot!


We LOVE our Munch Mitt

He ended up sleeping a full 1.5 hours (which is considered a full nap) and was ready to eat upon waking. He downed a full bottle without any trouble and was ready to play for another 2 hours. Now, never before has my son taken TWO good naps in one day. So, you can imagine my surprise when he slept another 1.5 hours during his next nap. He then ate a full lunch of solids and a bottle.

GUYS!!! that is CRAZY!!!! I immediately text my husband and told him someone had swapped out our baby for another.

My son sleeping well and happily playing (with hardly any fussing) are not the only reasons why it was a good mom day. I not only got a nap in the morning, but I also got to take a 30-minute walk (inside) while he played in his Playard. I also did a load of laundry, FOLDED it, put it away, AND I even IRONED two of my husband’s dress shirts!!! Moms, you know that is a HUGE accomplishment. Since I was feeling so accomplished, I even worked on my mom boss game and scheduled a few blogs and Facebook posts. All of that happened before 5 pm.


These days don’t come all that often for the mom of a baby who hates to nap but when they do, boy do I take advantage of them.

I felt a little like Super Mom if I’m honest.

Limited Edition Spring Photo Sessions | Columbus Ohio Photographer

Spring Photo Session Special | Columbus Ohio Photographer

I am so excited to announce that this year’s Limited Edition Spring Sessions are now open for booking. These spring photo sessions are going to be better than EVER! I will have a TON of Spring props including flowers and other garden items.


These sessions are perfect for children and families! You can even book a session to celebrate Mother’s Day, a child’s spring birthday, or any other special occasion.


This year’s sessions will take place at Red Trabue Nature Reserve in Dublin, Ohio where you can find lush green trees, walking paths, a flower garden, and even a 100-year-old cottage. 20-minute time slots are available on Saturday April 21st and Sunday April 22nd beginning at 4:00 pm until 7:30 pm. You will receive 5 fully edited high resolution digital files and a print release. Limited Edition Spring Sessions are only $125. **See below for a way to save $25 off your session fee**

A great addition to this year’s sessions is the opportunity to schedule online. Simply follow this link to pick your time slot. Once you select your session time, I will email you an invoice which must be paid within 24 hours to keep your spot. This means you don’t have to worry about bringing anything but your beautiful smiling faces to the session.


**BONUS**: This year we have also added the opportunity to SAVE BIG on your session fee by referring your friends and family. If someone you refer books a Limited-Edition Spring Session, you will receive $25 off your session. This person MUST BE a new client to Joyful Moments Photography. If you have already paid the full price of your session, I will issue you a $25 refund.


Again, click this link to schedule your session. See you this spring!


Click here to view other Joyful Moments Photography family sessions

Motherhood: The Daily Grind

First of all, can I just say that being a mom is HARD WORK!!! Can I get an AMEN from the mom crowd?!?!


The moment I became a mom, life forever changed. I was used to being a part time CT technologist at a local hospital and running a photography business. I was NOT used to being home all day, every day, doing the same things, all day, every day. I’m talking about the daily grind of motherhood. Specifically, a stay at home mom (sahm). Being a sahm has taken a lot of getting used to… and I’m still not 100% there.

Anyone else feel this way??? or is it just me? please tell me it’s not just me…

Anyway, while I absolutely ADORE my little guy, staying home with him (especially in the winter) at this age where he doesn’t really do a whole lot, can become quite… what’s the word… boring. Yes, I said it, being a sahm can be a little boring at times. Why is this? is it because I don’t have anything to do? CERTAINLY NOT!!! I have a business to-do list the size of Texas. O.k., that might be a slight exaggeration but it is three pages long, so close enough. So how can I be so busy yet so bored at the same time?

Here is a look into my typical day:

  • pump
  • get Josiah up & change him
  • feed Josiah solids and a bottle
  • lay Josiah down to play
  • wash bottles and spoons
  • flip Josiah from belly to back because he can’t do it himself and is screaming his head off
  • fill a few bottles with milk to have them ready for later
  • clean up spit up on Josiah’s hands, face, and toy
  • change Josiah’s clothes and bib again because they are now covered in sweet potatoes
  • put Josiah in exersaucer
  • eat some breakfast in peace… hahahahahaha… in peace… that’s funny
  • clean off Josiah’s hands, face, and toy because he spit up again
  • put Josiah in his play yard
  • empty the diaper pail
  • flip Josiah over because once again he is on his belly with his face covered in orange spit up and can’t roll over
  • clean and change Josiah… again
  • Finally put Josiah back down for a nap

phew…..now I get some me time to relax and enjoy my day… you know what I’m going to say… hahahahahahaha!

This is how it feels: pump, wash bottles, clean spit up, flip baby over, entertain baby, fill bottles, change baby, do laundry, take out the trash, repeat. In other words, I do the same things over and over and over and over… you get the idea.


when I look up a see this face      Columbus-Ohio-baby-photographer    it is COMPLETELY worth it!

Remember moms, you are not the only one who feels this way, and it’s o.k. to feel a little bored and overwhelmed sometimes.

well, gotta go… mom duty calls… my son woke up and he’s on his belly.