Welcome to the Super Mama Series! I created this as a way to showcase actual messy-but-beautiful lives of women who are mothers and live creatively. By no means are any of us perfect at anything, but we are striving to do our best. Super Mamas are women who mother sacrificially, love deeply, and acknowledge their weaknesses gracefully.
Meet Super Mama Bernadette Dalgetty: a wife, mother, homeschooler, photographer, and retired RN. She has been married for 6.5 years and has 3 children. She is a tea-drinker, and amateur crafter who loves cooking.
ON HER PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS & FAVORITE CO-WORKER (HER HUSBAND)
"I always tell people that we fell into our photography business by accident. Our first Christmas as a married couple we bought ourselves a camera and then started documenting our life, which soon included our first daughter. People saw our pictures of her and asked if we’d take pictures of their kids or families. Then someone was brave enough to ask us to take pictures of their wedding. And that was when we realized we really loved weddings. The natural movement and emotion of the day is really fun to follow and document.
[My husband] has a great mind for business and is naturally artistic, so on a professional level he is great to work with. He challenges me constantly. [Photographing events] is almost like a date for us. It’s a day without our kids where we get to witness another marriage beginning. It sometimes feels like we renew our vows each time. We also balance each other fairly well, and can relate easily to the craziness and joy that a wedding procures having had one ourselves."
"I don’t know if I’ve ever had a typical homeschooling day. I don’t know if those exist, but I’m not a very organized Type A personality either. Sometimes the planner gets written in. Sometimes I’m scrambling that morning to remember where we are. School usually takes place in the morning after breakfast. I try to give Ellie (my 3 year old) a workbook or sheet or coloring to do so I can focus on Rosie (my 5 year old). Sometimes Luke (my 16 month old) plays, sometimes he sits on my lap, and sometimes he rips the page in the book we’re using.
I love the fact that I get to be there for all of the little moments. I get to answer the questions about planets and what happens to food when you eat it. I get to see the pride in my daughter’s eyes when she reads a story well or recites a poem to me. The biggest mantra in homeschooling is “teachable moments.” I remember feeling at first that maybe this could be used as a cop out, but I’ve witnessed the truth in it when we spell words in the car on the way to the store, or when we go for a walk and we find leaves and bugs. In some ways, every parent is a homeschooling parent. If you’ve ever satiated your child’s curiosity about something, you’ve been their teacher.
If you are curious about homeschooling, find other homeschoolers. You can google curriculums or legal aspects or books or co-ops or anything, but you will just become overwhelmed. Community is your biggest resource. Most families find their curriculums because they know someone else who tried in and recommended it. You’ll find activities for your kids, be given books, and learn from someone else’s trial and errors. But most of all, you’ll find people who have been where you are or are right there with you, which is invaluable."
"Before I became a mother I wish I would have known that it's OK to take care of myself. Having your first kid hits you like a Mack truck. It doesn’t matter if that baby was a complete surprise or completely planned. Everything in your life changes, especially your priorities, and you start to fall to the bottom of that list, which is natural, and sometimes helps you to grow.
I will never forget a few months after my daughter was born, my husband and I sat on the couch after finally getting the baby to bed. We looked at each other and had the best conversation of our marriage. We decided that if I was overwhelmed and needed to get out of the house, I would do it. And if he was overwhelmed and needed to get out of the house, he would do it. Sometimes that looked like a girls or guys night out. Sometimes it was a coffee and a book in the corner of a Starbucks. But we knew that between work (both of us were still working at that time) and raising a child, that it was still important to preserve a part of ourselves."
ON GETTING DRESSED
"One time when my oldest (Rosie) was almost 3 and my second daughter (Ellie) was almost 1 I took them to a story time at the library. I looked around the room and saw all of these mothers who had dry, styled hair, accessories, makeup, and real clothes. I looked at myself with my messy, greasy bun, no makeup, and old yoga pants. When I looked at [my oldest] singing along with the librarian, I realized that I had the power to embarrass my daughter. [This is not] a judgement to other yoga-pants-messy-bun-moms; you have the chutzpah to leave the house and you probably had a bad morning that started with a sleepless night. [We've all been there!]
If I can make the effort to look a little put together, I feel better and it affects how I treat my kids and the people I encounter. My go-to is a tunic-y top, skinny jeans, and my combat boots or converse make me feel like a cool mom."
ON THE TOP 5 ITEMS IN HER BEAUTY ROUTINE
"1. Micellar water. I’ve always had acne-prone, sensitive skin so I was skeptical. But it doesn’t make me breakout and it actually does remove all of my makeup with out leaving my skin dry. Yay! 2. E.L.F. liner/shadow stick. I use the liner to tightline my eyes since my eyelashes certainly need a boost and the shadow stick to create the illusion of a smokey eye (also I am terrible at lining the top of my eyelash line and this helps distract from the dark circles under my eyes). 3. EOS lip balm. I rarely wear lipstick and lip gloss feels too gooey, so I love this since I can reapply 'til the cows come home and it's just enough shine. 4. Reverse washing my hair: using conditioner before shampoo. I have fine hair that can get greasy really fast and weighed down really easily. It leaves my hair the perfectly moisturized and revolutionized my shower routine. 5. Curling iron. I like my hair wavy. I have a thick-barreled one and I don’t curl too tightly, which helps add texture to my fine hair."
ON HER FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK
"The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown. It always reminds me of the scene in Wit where her old professor is reading to her and says its like “an allegory of the soul.” I’d like to think it transcends the relationship between mother and child and can be seen as like our relationship between us and God."
Check out The Dalgetty's photography business, An Endless Pursuit, and if you live in the DC/MD/VA area, consider booking them for your next event!