What You Can Learn from Old Photos of Your Mother

Your view of your mother, and who she is, was based upon your experiences in early childhood. As you grew, the relationship between you and your mother probably changed at least a little bit. This is part of growing up. What many people forget is that their mothers had a life before they became a mom. There are several things you can learn from old photos of your mother.

Edan Lepucki wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times titled: “Our Mothers as We Never Saw Them”. It’s worth taking the time to read.

There are many things that a person can learn from looking at old photos of their mother. Those old photos show glimpses of the life she lived before she became a mom. What can you learn from old photos of your mother?

She was young once.
Obviously, we know that our mothers were not born as the full grown adult we have always seen her as. She was once a child, and a teenager, and a young adult. Looking at an old photo of your mother, when she was young, may make it easier for you to spot the physical similarities you share.

Old photos of your mother, from when she was young, might help you relate to her. She once wore the trendy clothing of the day, or wore her hair in odd looking styles, or went outside in the cold without a coat. She went to parties with her friends and maybe even drank alcohol.

She had dreams.
It is entirely possible that your mother’s biggest goal in life was to be a mom (and that’s fine). Your mother may have had dreams of starting a specific career, and that’s fine, too. You may find old photos of your mother studying in college, or working at her place of employment. This may surprise you if your mother never mentioned it.

Depending on your mother’s age, it might not have been possible for her to follow her dream. In the past, some careers were considered to be for men-only. There was a time when society expected women to go to college to find a husband – not to get a career. Did your mother get to follow her dream? Did she give it up after she became a mom?

She had a life before you were born.
People tend to forget that their mother had a life before she became a mom. Old photos may show that your mother had friends when she was in high school. She may have been a cheerleader, or involved in a sport. There could be photos of your mother engaging in political activity (by voting, or protesting). Your mother probably went to Senior prom with someone she dated before she met your father.

Image by University of Liverpool Faculty of Health and Life Sciences on Flickr

Related Articles at FamilyTree.com:

* Remembering My Mother – The WAC

* Follow the Clues in a Photo

* Mother’s 98th Birthday Anniversary

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