i know this article has gone viral . . . but if you haven’t read “The Mom Stays in the Picture”, do yourself a favor and read it now.
i LOVE this article. i know that i often don’t feel worthy of having my picture taken when i’m feeling less than “beautiful”. however, after reading this article i am absolutely convicted of how i should and will proceed going further.
this summer, when lily learned to ride her bike without training wheels, i couldn’t wait to break out the camera and capture the momentous occasion. i wanted to have this milestone documented to show her in the future. who wouldn’t want to see a picture of themselves as a child, unsteadily pedaling as their daddy runs beside them? this is what i believe every child should have . . . only did you notice i said daddy and not mommy? i don’t know how it is in your house, but in ours i am the photographer. this isn’t to say that my husband refuses to use the camera. it’s just that i tend to be a tad bit neurotic when it comes to documenting memories and milestones. rarely do i ask to be in the photo myself. this is mostly because i’m not so thrilled with how i look and because i don’t want to have my less than stellar body recorded for time and all eternity in these important moments. however, on this day i do remember asking tom to take a few pictures of me with lily. admittedly, i was hoping that i might get a good enough photo to post on my facebook page! when i loaded the photos on my computer that evening, i was saddened by how i looked, and quickly went about deleting all but two of the pictures . . . only one of them being facebook worthy.
this is the photo i chose to post.
while the photo above shows a mom running beside her daughter, beaming with pride at what she has just accomplished, deep down i know that this is how i wanted lily (and the facebook world) to see this moment. in my heart i knew that i was putting on a show for the camera. yes, i was genuinely happy for what lily was doing, but i was also genuinely sucking in my stomach as hard as i could so the camera wouldn’t see my flab! i was trying like hell to make running beside her look as effortless as possible, when in reality, i was sweating profusely and completely out of breath!
at the end of the article, they ask you to submit a picture of yourself with your kids. immediately, i thought of the “good” picture. but the more i thought about it, the more i realized that i need to break myself of the goal of seeming perfect . . . so i submitted the following picture instead.
here i am at a terrible angle . . . no makeup . . . not sucking in my flabby tummy . . . and sporting my pajama jeans! as crappy as i look in this moment, i’ve come to appreciate this picture for what it is. this is who i really am . . . a mom, running after her child and ready to catch her if she falls. yes, i need to be in the picture so that lily can see what true motherhood is really like. it’s not a show for your kids or anyone else, but a real life! i’m going to start handing over the camera more often so that i can be included in the memories too, with or without full hair and makeup!