Moms don’t get the recognition they deserve! As a business run BY local moms FOR local moms, Boston Moms is excited to showcase the hard work local moms are doing — both at home and in their professions.
Meet Caitlin Perry, photographer and stay-at-home mom!
Boston Moms is proud to feature Caitlin for this “Meet a Boston Mom Monday!” Caitlin is an amazing photographer and a stay-at-home mom from Waltham!
Full name: Caitlin Perry
Children: Two boys, ages 4 and 9
Hometown: Waltham, MA
Favorite local business or brand: I love antique stores. There aren’t many where I live, so I usually venture further west when I need a good find. My favorites are Hunt & Gather in Princeton and Old Glory in Northborough.
What prompted you to turn to photography? Photography had always been a hobby of mine. In 2011, my husband and I welcomed our first child, who suffered a stroke shortly after birth which resulted in a life-long condition known as hydrocephalus. After spending much of the first few months in and out of the hospital as he underwent multiple brain surgeries, I knew I couldn’t possibly return to work. I decided to stay at home with him full time.
Our days were filled with doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions, and it became very overwhelming emotionally. I had all this anxiety in the beginning due to the constant care we needed to give him because of his medical condition, and I knew I needed an outlet. One day, I picked up my camera and just started taking photos of him and our yellow lab together. The way I was able to put my creativity to use again really made me feel like myself and helped take my mind off all the medical stuff. One thing led to another, and soon friends started asking me to take photos of their kids. I finally took a huge leap of faith and launched CP Photography in the spring of 2014.
How does having a creative outlet help you as a mom? At that point in my life, I felt like so many things were out of my control, and when I picked up the camera or sat down at the computer to edit, I felt my creativity come to life. Having a creative outlet is extremely important as a mom. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to take care of ourselves.
Why are photographs important to you? Photographs represent a single moment in our lives. I love that I can look back at baby pictures of my children or pictures of us as a family on vacation and be flooded with memories from those days. I make it a point to print a lot of my photographs and hang them up around the house. I love the daily reminders of these special moments.
What surprised you most about motherhood? When I was finally ready to open up about our experience, a friend I knew from high school sent me a short story about how a family was preparing for a trip to Italy — they bought all the travel books on Italy, booked all the excursions for Italy — then the day comes, the flight takes a different course, and the family ends up in Holland. They never planned for Holland — what were they going to do there? Now they must go out and read all the books on Holland, learn a whole new language, and meet people they never thought they would meet. Eventually, the family realizes there are things about Holland that were really nice — things they didn’t expect they would like about such an unfamiliar place. In the end, the family realizes that if their plane never changed its course, they would have never been able to discover the lovely things Holland had to offer. I will never forget the emotion I felt reading this and saying out loud, “OMG, YES!” This was exactly how I had been feeling.
What is the most beautiful thing about being a mom to a child with special needs? One of the most beautiful things about being a mom to a child with special needs is being able to watch the progress my son has made over the past nine years. I love being able to see the excitement on his face when he masters new things. Watching him start off life scooting his bum around the house because he did not have enough muscle tone, to learning to stand, to progressively walking with a walker, to then taking those first few steps on his own when he was 2-and-a-half years old… I will never ever forget how hard he worked for that one moment where he looked at me, and even though he couldn’t talk yet, I knew he was saying, “Mom, I did it.”
What other women inspire you? I am very inspired by other moms who have children with special needs. Not all of our stories are the same, but we are all faced with hard obstacles and challenges in a way not everyone else is. There is something beautiful about being able to connect with someone else who may not be walking in your exact shoes but is right there next to you in flip flops offering advice and support because they can sympathize — they just “get it.”