Momma Love by Ali Smith: Instagram Challenge and Giveaway

Lately I’ve been making an effort to get in front of the camera more with my children. As important as my own photography is to me, and especially as much as I value photos of my kids, I have realized that although it might not always be flattering, the moments are real. I will want to remember all of it, not just the way my children looked when they were little.

I’m always so moved and inspired when I see photos of mothers with their children-especially the ones in my social feeds like Facebook and Instagram. As much as we talk about parenthood-motherhood especially-and the different pressures surrounding it, I think it’s so important that the reality is shared too-and not always the touched up, filtered, primped and cropped versions.

A couple of years ago, I introduced you to my dear friend Ali Smith. She’s the incredible force and visionary behind Momma Love: How the Mother Half Lives, a beautiful, raw and incredibly important new photography book. 40 different mothers and their personal stories are included to show the highs and lows of motherhood in a very real fashion.


“Ali Smith has given us a gift with Momma Love: A fresh, eye-opening, firsthand manifestation of motherhood’s contemporary realities. Momma Love helps us picture a future where motherhood is blessed with fairness.” -Gloria Steinem

A couple of pages into the book and I was already wiping away tears. Not because it is sad, and often before even reading the stories, the truth and beauty that is so prominently expressed is incredibly moving.


A couple of weeks ago, I hosted an event with Ali and Oscar nominated actress Amy Ryan-who is one of the mothers captured in the book-honoring the launch of Momma Love. It was really amazing to be a part of this project that has taken Ali 12 years to create come to be in all of it’s glory.


I was thrilled that so many of my personal friends and esteemed colleagues attended to help us celebrate. I know everyone was just as excited as she was to see Momma Love published and ready for public eyes.


In honor of Mother’s Day, Ali Smith, Ilana Wiles of Mommy Shorts and I have collaborated to create a really fun giveaway project to help celebrate Momma Love and sharing the beauty of all mothers. I’m giving away one book here and together we will give one away on Instagram.

To Enter:

Leave a comment telling me a favorite part of your day with your children.

We Want to See You!

On Instagram, tag a photo of you with your children, along with @mommaloveali, @mommyshorts and @mommasgonecity as well as #momma_love. You must follow and tag everyone to be entered.

Winners will be announced on Friday.

I was not compensated for this post. Photos shown are by Ali Smith and myself.

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  • My favorite part of my day with my children has to be morning time.When they first wake up and cuddle with me and tell me all about the dreams they had it is the perfect start to my day.

  • My favorite part of my day with my 20 month old son is our nightly dance party in the kitchen while making dinner. No matter how tough my day has been this always brings me joy.

  • Bath and bedtime full of giggles, kisses, songs, stories, and hugs.

  • Bedtime kisses & morning hugs from my 4 little monkeys…each has their own special kiss for me: L gives a-“I’m 7 now so just a little peck please”-kiss; C is my fish-lip-kisser; B, being the only boy, gives the requisite big sloppy kiss followed by a thorough kiss wiping off!; & little M holds my face & squeezes her eyes tightly closed, then asks to kiss my knee (not sure what this is about but I love it!)

  • When I walk in the door (rather, just arrive in time for them to meet me at the door) after work, they make me feel like a celebrity. We end up in a pile on floor just inside–hugs, kisses, full body contact–it’s the best feeling in the world. Even my neighbor commented on the sweetness of the moment–it’s loud, it’s joyful–it’s the best. It doesn’t make up for being apart from each other, but it certainly helps!

  • I am not a morning person but my kids have made me enjoy it more. Long cuddles in our bed and lots of laughter. Sleepy heads, warm sheets. Love.

  • Anytime I see their faces after an absence. First thing in the morning, picking them up after school, after a sleepover or field trip. There is always that rush of love and gratitude for their very existence!

  • My favorite part of my day with my kids is on the weekends where we don’t have anything planned and we can have one of those slow mornings. They are divine.

    I posted about our last slow morning here.

    I can’t wait to see all the shots in this book.


  • My favorite part of the day is breakfast, lunch and dinner. My son is 10 months old and I love watching his reaction to all of the new tastes and textures (he loves to eat). There’s nothing like watching your kid experience something for the first time almost every day.

    I also regret not taking more pictures with him during this past year. Trying my best to change that!

  • I love spending time with the kids after their naps. Everyone is refreshed and the busyness of the morning is over. We can relax and be silly for a couple hours before dinner πŸ™‚

  • My favorite part of the day has to be at night right before I say my final goodnight. We have read my daughter’s favorite story, I’ve tickled her back and sang her many favorite songs…and she looks up at me and says, “no more bad dreams mama.” And I tell her all the wonderful things to dream about instead! Unicorns, her favorite stuffed lamb, mommy, daddy, her new dog Peaches, her friends at preschool, ice cream, lollipops, the crescent moon she loves in the sky, ponies she rides, lil bunnies, and all the other happy things that make my daughter smile. It helps me lay peaceful at night knowing she is dreaming of all the good things in life!

  • My favorite times are those unplanned moments of downtime when we just snuggle and they tell me about what’s on their mind or what “important” things are going on in their lives. I love hearing about all that goes on in those sweet, adorable little heads of theirs!

  • Favorite time with my boys are weekends, when we can all relax and have fun together!

  • My favorite part is at night when they sneak in my bed and in the morning when I first wake up and I’m cuddled all around surrounded by so much love.

    I didn’t realize how so very few photos I take WITH my kids until I went through my instagram feed to tag those very few posts!

  • My favorite part of the day with my children is dinner time. My husband and I have a captive audience and we get to ask them about their day. We ask for the top 3- 3 best things that happened that day.

  • We do something special every Friday. Usually it’s stove top popcorn and movie but last week we drive across town for these award winning donuts. It’s the end of the week and we can just wind down together. I have 4 boys and I’m a lawyer,between soccer and court and hardwork and everything else we do its nice to have down time together.

  • My favorite time with my children is when we are all (husband included) in bed in the middle of the afternoon tickling and wrestling around.

    • Also, I have like no pictures with me included. Until now… Thanks πŸ™‚ when is the latest to tag you in a picture?

  • Got my copy (thank you very much) and cried through the whole thing. Really beautiful.

  • The favorite part of my day… starting at my daughter’s sweet face as I rock her to sleep (and finding get drool spot on my shirt after I’ve laid her in her crib!).

  • My kids have gotten older, and I our only dedicated time together now is at night before bed. I lay with each one of them 30 sometimes 45 minutes, and we talk. About everything….it’s amazing how the conversations have evolved over the years. But they need it as much as I do. The other night my 10 year old and I were taking about something that happened in our neighborhood and before I could ask him how he would react in that situation, he grabbed my hand and said, “Mom, you raised me right. I would do the right thing.” I cried. He has been listening, and the time we’ve spent together, sometimes frustrating, has influenced him beyond my understanding. A gift.

  • My favorite part of the day is right when Luca wakes up. I bring him into bed with me and we snuggle until we feel like getting up. I prayed for him for so long and I always use this time to really soak everything in, and thank God for this amazing gift πŸ™‚

  • My favorite part of the day is when I kiss my girls goodnight! ALthough I’m putting them down and walking away, it’s that moment that I kiss their little chubby cheeks that makes me realize what a wonderful life I live!

  • I love secretely watching my son in the play-school when I’m picking him up in the afternoon. I really love to see him playing, running, chatting with his friends, but the very best is his smile when he discovers me. This sudden moment on his face is nothing I could compare with. The laugh and the surprise in his eyes as he is running towards me leaving everythin behind, its absolutely my favourite part of the day.

  • I love the mornings that my 2 year old son and I sit down and eat our breakfasts together. He hapily proclaims, “everybody eating ‘dinnen’ (his word for any meal) ‘gether!” and clamours to “cheers” my tea/yogurt/spoon against his own before plunging into his meal. We open the windows and watch as school busses stop to pick up kids, neighbors walk their dogs through the park, and commuters whiz by on their bikes. It’s a short part of the day but it’s the best!

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