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Genuine images of motherhood

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Explore what it means to be mom

Moms in the media are well-dressed, made up and picture-perfect. In real life, moms don't fit into cookie-cutter ideals. We asked mothers to share real images that express the identity of motherhood. What does being a mom mean to you?

Finding joy together

Explore what it means to be mom

"It's one of my favorite shots of my family — because it is difficult for me to separate my role as a mother without including my husband," says Karen Walrond. "I love these people like crazy, and they make me joyful, which I think shows in the shot."

Always learning

Explore what it means to be mom

"For this picture I was a super new mom. And this was also my wedding anniversary. I guess I was just happy and hopeful," says Cri Kosti. "She was so new. I've definitely changed as a mother. I'm more confident but also aware that I don't have all the answers."

Nursing strength

Explore what it means to be mom

"Motherhood takes patience, kindness and love," says Mandy Allender. "Breastfeeding has taken more of all three than I knew I had, and left me stronger than I knew I could be. Plus, every nap is kind of like a gift," she adds.

Smiling through stress

Explore what it means to be mom

"Sometimes humor is the only way I can get through the stresses of parenting," says Michelle Maffei. "Beats being frazzled all the time and it gets my kids to do what I actually want them to do, even if it takes a bit longer to get done. Besides, laughing is way more fun than yelling!"

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