October 08, 2012

This article by Allison Tate called “The Mom Stays in the Picture” featured on the Huffington Post is simply perfect. Here’s an excerpt but I encourage you to read the entire thing. I read it while holding a half sleeping fussy baby and covered in drool daydreaming about when I’d fit into my ENTIRE wardrobe again. I think we can all relate.

It seems logical. We’re sporting mama bodies and we’re not as young as we used to be. We don’t always have time to blow dry our hair, apply make-up, perhaps even bathe (ducking). The kids are so much cuter than we are; better to just take their pictures, we think.

But we really need to make an effort to get in the picture. Our sons need to see how young and beautiful and human their mamas were. Our daughters need to see us vulnerable and open and just being ourselves — women, mamas, people living lives. Avoiding the camera because we don’t like to see our own pictures? How can that be okay?

Too much of a mama’s life goes undocumented and unseen. People, including my children, don’t see the way I make sure my kids’ favorite stuffed animals are on their beds at night. They don’t know how I walk the grocery store aisles looking for treats that will thrill them for a special day. They don’t know that I saved their side-snap, paper-thin baby shirts from the hospital where they were born or their little hospital bracelets in keepsake boxes high on the top shelves of their closets. They don’t see me tossing and turning in bed wondering if I am doing an okay job as a mother, if they are okay in their schools, where we should take them for a vacation, what we should do for their birthdays. I’m up long past the news on Christmas Eve wrapping presents and eating cookies and milk, and I spend hours hunting the Internet and the local Targets for specially-requested Halloween costumes and birthday presents. They don’t see any of that.

It makes me look at these photos I took of me and my baby in a different way. I love them, despite all of the imperfections I see.

Take a moment and commit to being in some photos with your kids sometime this week. Even if it’s in your pajamas. Whether they are iPhone pics, taken by your spouse, or by me (in a special mommy and me session), they will matter to your babies. Email me at jess@jessrotenberg.com to set up a mommy and me session.