My family and I just returned from the most beautiful vacation in Turks and Caicos-I’ve been flipping through the photos all day. But you know what was almost missing from those photos? Me, also known as mom. We were about 5 days into our 7 days vacation I noticed I had lots of photos of the kids, kids with family members, and my husband with the kids but there were almost none of me except the obligatory plane selfie I took of the whole family. And unfortunately, I don’t think this is an uncommon phenomenon for many moms. Quick….scroll through your phone and see how many photos you have with your babies-my guess is not as many as you’d like.
One of the main and most obvious reasons for this is that in most families mom is the family photographer and if mom doesn’t take the photos, ain’t nobody taking the photos. I’ll often quickly remember to take a picture on a holiday but many include only photos of husband and the kids. If my husband is having a cute moment with the kids, my instinct is to often grab my phone and take a cute picture or a video because I want to preserve that memory. I’m also with the kids more so I generally snap more photos of the kids together doing everyday things as well. It’s not something that has ever bothered me at all but when I start to think of my kids flipping through photos someday I want to make sure they see plenty of photos with mom.
And perhaps another big reason for the lack of mom photos is that many of us are incredibly critical of ourselves. There are so many jokes about how when dads actually do take photos, the photos are incredibly unflattering. So when dad snaps a photo and we have a double chin or more arm flub than we want…what do we do? We delete it. Our kids are going to want to look back and see photos of us and they won’t care if we are bare-faced or if our postpartum bodies are extra fluffy-they just want to see mom. And better yet, a mom who is happy and in the moment with them.
So on that fifth day of vacation, you know what I did? I asked my mother-in-law to take some photos of me on the beach with the kids. It feels funny for some reason to ask someone to snap photos but I’m so glad I did. I had wet hair from the ocean, sand all over my legs, and yes I was in a swimsuit but I was having so much fun with my family. Those photos from the vacation are some of my favorite because I don’t have many action shots of me playing with my kids like that. And then, of course, we got some family photos as well which I cherish just as much. So moms, ask someone to take a picture of you with your kids. Don’t delete it and don’t crop your body out of it. If your inner critic starts getting loud, pay attention to the joy and happiness in the photo not what you look like-your kids will thank you.