The night before my grandmother’s rosary my sister, mother, and I were up at midnight looking at old photographs. Reminiscing about the life we’d just lost and the memories we treasured. I’ll never forget what my mother said as we passed around a picture of the four of us at one of my little brother’s birthday parties.
“I wish I had more pictures of mom and I together.”
That statement resonated with me. I didn’t want to sit with my siblings and children in the future and say the same thing that my mother did. I made it a point to begin reminding myself to take more pictures of my mom and with my mom.
Now that I’m a mom myself my daughter’s beautiful face fills up the dwindling space in my phone. I’ve realized it’s easier to get pictures of her with others than with me. I always seem to be the one who wants to capture the sweet moments of her playing with the dogs, cuddling with her dad, painting with her aunt, or reading with grandma and grandpa.
I don’t know why we as mothers are the ones who always seem to be the ones behind the camera lens. Perhaps it’s because we recognize that these moments are fleeting and our kiddos are growing faster than we can believe. Or perhaps it’s because we have this deep desire to share with others the cute, crazy, and/or insane things our kids do and taking pictures/videos is so simple? I don’t know.
What I do know is that we need to stop hiding behind the camera.
I never want my daughter to utter the same statement my mom did when the time comes for her to reminisce about our time together. I want her to have many photos to choose from, many videos to share with her children about the crazy and fun things that she and her mom did together.
So how do we do this? How do we ensure that we get in that frame? That we have memories captured for our children and ourselves?
Tell your partner to pull up the camera app. Talk to them about how important and meaningful it is for you and your kids to have pictures of mom and them together. Not just the posed pictures that you pay professionals to take, but candid pictures of y’all dancing in the living room. Or of you running around after them at home with your hair a mess trying to get a diaper on a naked booty. They need to stop and take these pictures for you so that you have your memories as well. You might have to remind them in the moment as well, but hopefully at some point it will become second nature.
Abuse that selfie! Turn that camera around and snap pictures of the two of you! It may not always be the best quality but who cares? All that matters is you’ve captured that sweet smile, grumpy frown, or sleepy smile and yourself in the frame. You can even set up reminders on your calendar so that every Sunday at 4pm no matter what you’re doing you snap a selfie of yourself with your kiddo(s). A mom group that I’m a part of makes it a point to have ‘Take a Picture Tuesdays’ where we post selfies of ourselves with our kids every Tuesday. We love sharing these pictures in our group, but if that’s not your jam that’s ok. Take the picture and keep it for yourself, just as long as you’re taking the time to get in the frame with your kids.
Get your kid(s) involved! For those of you with older kids (I have a 2 year old who is only capable of taking pictures of her toes) have them help you! Many tweens/teens/young adults thoroughly enjoy taking pictures of themselves. (Sometimes it seems like it’s all that they do.) Let them know that you want more pictures with them. While they may or may not happily oblige, make sure you stress to them why it’s so important to you and them.