Have you heard of the Instagram account Mothers Before? Inspired by a character from her Novel ‘Woman No. 17’, Edan Lepucki has curated this brilliant feed filled with photographs of women before they were mothers. Each is accompanied by an explanation of who they are and there are some absolutely astounding stories.

The photos range from the 1940s up to the 90s so there really is an impressive range of photos. It got me thinking though –  an ‘old’ photo for my children isn’t really all that old. ‘Old’ for them could actually be a matter of months as they change so quickly. A baby picture is almost unrecognisable as Katie now. Whereas I don’t think I would look all that different in a ‘Mothers Before’ type shot.

I have however been digging to find some ‘old’ photos of me before I was a Mother and then a real gem… the only one my Mum could find of her!

This one was taken in 2009 as part of a 365 photography project I undertook. I used to have lots of time to just wonder the city taking photos but it strikes me that looking back – a lot of them were very lonely days. I take very few self-portraits now because I always have people around me! The kids are my subjects now rather than empty lanes or half empty wine glasses!

This one is a good illustration of the time I had spare as it took absolutely ages to edit! I was learning to use photoshop and could regularly take 4-5 hours playing around with photos. I have to laugh now as the maximum amount of editing I do is to apply a filter and move a few sliders about. A far cry from the 6 or 7 photos that went into this 1 image! Looking back I also can’t work out what the heck I was thinking either. In retrospect I wish I could tell myself to nap more and really enjoy reading without interruption!

This is the one my Mum could find – a bikini shot from a holiday in the South of France! This one must be from the 1970s and also signifies how different life must’ve been. I don’t remember my Mum ever wearing a bikini let along sun bathing. She’s always been so careful to stay out of the sun and wears an insane amount of sunblock. A sure fire sign that having children a) creates lots of stretch marks and b) brings an end to laying on beaches reading! (Sorry Mum!)


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