A while back, I read an article that really resonated with me. Okay, who am I kidding? It hit me like a ton of bricks. This article, “The Mom Stays in the Picture” was written by Allison Tate, a mom who was hiding herself, keeping herself out of the picture; until she realized just what doing so meant.
“Come take pictures with me, Mommy,” he yelled over the music, “in the photo booth!”
I hesitated. I avoid photographic evidence of my existence these days. To be honest, I avoid even mirrors. When I see myself in pictures, it makes me wince. I know I am far from alone; I know that many of my friends also avoid the camera.
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?”
Wow, that is me. She is me. I am her. And NO, it is not okay.
Brick load number one.
As I read a little bit more, brick load number two …
“I’m everywhere in their young lives, and yet I have very few pictures of me with them. Someday I won’t be here — and I don’t know if that someday is tomorrow or thirty or forty or fifty years from now — but I want them to have pictures of me. I want them to see the way I looked at them, see how much I loved them. I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother.”
WOW. I am letting my vanity rob my children of their memories. And it is NOT okay.
Brick load number three …
There are VERY few photos of us together as a family. We fought so hard for this family and yet we have never even had a picture taken together. All of us. Together.
Brick load number four …
Why? Excuse after excuse but the reality, I couldn’t or wouldn’t be photographed with the extra 30ish pounds I have allowed motherhood to visit upon me.
The day I read that article, the very day, I called my photographer friend Lorraine and booked a family photo session.
Brick load number five …
Oh.My.Heck. I am going to have my picture taken. Like this.
Yes, I am. Just like this.
As it turns out. I am not the only mom this article struck a chord with. Since it was published in October, it has been viewed millions of times. MILLIONS of times. In response, The Huffington Post challenged moms everywhere to share how they’ve gotten back into the picture.
So today, I am sharing.
This is my family, ALL of us.
Okay, okay, I know this is cheating but it is a start, I’m in the picture.
Okay, I know I am hiding behind a kid. Why couldn’t his head be bigger?
Behind yet another kid. My friend Lorraine is a genius “mom poser”.
There! I did it. A side view pose in “skinny” jeans.
Just so you know, that is the unscripted, unprompted, unsolicited reaction of my children to their parent’s PDA. Funny kids. Can you imagine how much this picture will mean to them someday? What it will mean to their kids. What it means to our family. What it means to me.
If you are a mom, or anyone for that matter, who is feeling less than picture worthy PLEASE remember that you mean the world to someone. You deserve to be part of the memory. You deserve to be in the picture.
All of the photos on today’s post are the incredible work of the very talented Lorraine Nunes of
forget the bricks…you made me cry! I’m sharing this on my blog for high school moms. I’ll send you the link when it’s up…and that will be after this box of kleenexes….
I cried too when I read Allison Tate’s article. It is absolutely an emotional subject. I am so thrilled you are going go share this with young moms (that sounds like a wonderful blog by the way), the earlier the lesson the better. I’m looking forward to the link.
How right you are!!! I am heading for my photo albums today. Photos are an amazing way of celebrating families!!!
Pictures have always been so important to me. I love looking through the albums of past generations. I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to realize my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. will want to do the same someday. Enjoy today’s trip through your family memories!
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Girl, you may not look like you once did or how you hope to look in the future, but that is one hot mama in those pics! With a beautiful family who will forever treasure these memories and the photo that went with them! Love it!
Thank you so much Instant Mama! I still clean up pretty good when I drop the black yoga pants and wet ponytail and give it a little effort. I am so thankful for these pictures. Blessings to you! I miss your posts but I am so happy for you and your family!
Love the pictures of you all! So fun to see the family behind the blogger. thanks.
Thank you Rhonda. I love to make that connection as well and to put a face to a story or a name.
I have a few regrets about missed photo opportunities when my kids were younger, but I decided about a year ago to stop hiding from the camera. The amazing part for me is that I don’t hate every picture of myself! You have a beautiful family and those photos are great. Seriously, I don’t know why you would ever hide from a photo – you’re just as gorgeous as you were in high school! 🙂
Thank you my sweet friend, you made my day! I am glad you are not hiding from the camera and aren’t hating being in the picture. 🙂 You are so lovely, you always have been, inside and out!