When was the last time you were in family pictures? Was it last week? Last month? Last year’s Christmas card? Before your kids were born? If it’s been a while, why? We as moms, or even just as women in general, can come up with a dozen reasons why we shouldn’t be in family pictures right now. I’m wearing a t-shirt, I’m not wearing make-up, my hair is a mess, I haven’t lost the weight yet, and it goes on and on. But none of those things should matter. You should be in the family pictures, too. Yes, your kids are beautiful, but so are you.
I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, right now. If my daughter sees anything when she looks back at photos years from now, I want her to see that her mom was happy. And that I was THERE. So we take pictures. We take pictures all the time. We take selfies in parking lots and when we go to Mimi’s house. We ask Daddy to take our picture when he gets home from work. We have Auntie Sarah take our pictures when we go to Disney World and ask our friends to take our picture at the zoo. We smile, we laugh, we tickle, we hug.
Take the initiative.
Not once has someone told me to get in the photo with her. I just do it. If I waited for an invitation, I may not have a single photo of us together. Hand the camera to your husband, your friend, closest random stranger, anyone, and get in the photo. If you don’t want to use a stranger, use the front-facing camera on your phone and selfie it with your kiddos.
My daughter is almost two. I’d be lying if I said she smiles every time I tell her to. So I don’t always tell her to look at the camera and smile. Instead, we give each other snuggles. I will tickle her tummy and she tickles my neck. I say a word I know she thinks is funny and we giggle, as the sound of her laughter makes me laugh. The point isn’t to have perfectly posed photos all the time, it’s just to document our lives a little bit!
Take turns with another adult.
I frequently take my daughter places, just the two of us. But if we go somewhere with Daddy, grandparents, friends, etc., I always try to take turns taking photos with her. You take pictures for me, I take pictures for you. I never want to forget that someone went somewhere with us because we only took pictures of Addison.
I take pictures with my daughter all the time. Not once has someone dared to suggest I stop. Not once have I ever wished I had LESS photos of us together. If anything, I wish we had more. I wish I had taken more photos while I was pregnant with her. I wish I had gotten a picture of our family of three the day she was born. I’m sure we all have (or will have in the future) a list of moments we wish we had photographed, but that list doesn’t have to keep growing. Give yourself and your family something to look back on. Don’t erase yourself because you don’t feel confident in your appearance. Your value is not found in your shampoo bottle or makeup bag. It’s within your heart and it shows through your and your family’s smiling faces. So smile, Mama, and get in the photo!