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  • Writer's pictureManda Jean

An American Mother

"An American Mother"

A Self Portrait Series.

An American Mother, Ukraine Invasion

This past weekend I saw images of an 18 month old who was killed in Ukraine. And although I have been halted by so many heartbreaking images since the invasion, this one completely broke me. I just keep crying... my won't stop thinking of their little feet hanging out from under their baby blanket. My sweet boy slept last night in the same size pajamas...the same size.

An American Mother, Ukraine Invasion

I sit both grateful and guilty. I've donated what I could, but I know there's not much more I can do. So I hold my babies closer and I just keep saying, "mommy loves you" over and over. I go to the bathroom and close the door. Try not to cry too loud. Try not to gasp too much, control my panic attacks. I take my medicine.

This is the rawest and most vulnerable self portrait I’ve ever done, but I am at a loss for what else to do…other than to share with those who feel everything so heavily, like me.

I am not the migrant mother, but I am a mother who is mourning for all others.

To the mothers in war-torn countries, especially Ukraine, my heart, it breaks with and for you. And for the mothers, who sit here safely, you are not alone in your sadness.

I feel it too.

Ways to help Ukrainians and other refugees:

For more ways to help, visit The Washington Post

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