Kitty and Olive, New Jersey
At age 35, Kitty realized that with no immediate prospects for a partner/father for a child, rather than settling for a "baby daddy" who may not be a good father, she would take matters into her own hands. She and her best friend of 20 years, a gay man, discussed the ins and outs of what parenting together would be like for months before deciding to actually do it (which, they point out, is much more than most couples discuss having a child before they have one). Olive is biologically Kitty and Darren's child, but she has Darren's partner Sam's last name, and the three of them are raising their daughter as a family. Kitty says "I didn't choose Darren and Sam to be the fathers of my daughter because they were my only choice. I chose them because they were my best choice." Photographer Ali Smith has spent the past eight years exploring the reality of how women live their lives as mothers in modern western society. Her resulting project, entitled Momma Love; How the Mother Half Lives, explores the varying degrees of support that mothers receive from partners, lawmakers, employers, and each other. Momma Love is not only about the love a mother shows; it’s about the love she is shown, by herself and the world around her.

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