Why Every Mom Should Make Sure She's in Photos With Her Kids

In defense of selfiesIf there's one thing my dad did well as a parent, it was taking tons of photos of my mom and me. In fact, he took a lot of pictures of my mom with all three of her children together.

Now that I'm a parent, and pretty much the family photographer, I can probably count the number of photos I have of me with my four kids on my two hands. And I can't tell you how much this bothers me, especially since my favorite photos from my childhood are the ones taken with my mother.

So here's how I'm changing that, and how you can too.

I, like many new moms, avoided having my photograph taken with my first baby because I gained almost 70 pounds and just didn't feel like myself. I didn't like the way I looked.

And as I was pretty much pregnant or breastfeeding for the next seven years after my daughter was born, my weight fluctuated, and I never quite felt "good enough" to be in a snapshot.

Looking back now, it sounds utterly ridiculous, not just because no one cares about the bags under my eyes and the extra 40 pounds I'm carrying in my mid-section, but because I know it's sending the wrong message to my children.

I want them to remember me when I'm gone as I am now, or was then, which was wonderful, even if I didn't really feel that way at the time.

To be fair, I'm always the one taking the photos in my family and I've become picky about how I set them up and how they look. At least, that's the excuse I use when I take a ton of photos of my kids and my husband, or my kid and his parents, or my kids and anyone else, really, except me.

If I could start all over, I wouldn't care so much about how I looked in the photographs, or even how the pictures themselves turned out. That's why there's Photoshop, after all. Not to shave off the double chin, but to fix the lighting, move the weird-shaped lamp from behind my head.

And okay, maybe shave off the double chin just a little.

It'e easier now, thanks to smartphones and apps like Instagram, where you can flip that camera around and snap a ridiculous amount of annoying selfies and share them with your followers (hey, better than snapping annoying photos of your breakfast, I say). Because you can take some of those selfies with your children in them.

I do that all the time now, when we're just fooling around in the house, or reading a bedtime story, or doing the other things we do every day. And I make sure that on every special occasion, like birthdays and holidays, I get a photo with them, no matter what I'm wearing. Or what I look like. Or how long it's been since I showered.

Because I know I'll be glad I did. And I'm pretty sure they will be too.

Do you make sure you're in photos with your children, or do you shy away from the camera like I did?


baby activities, baby first year, bonding, milestones, mom secrets, time for mom, photography, kid activities, inspiring kids, cameras, apps, photos

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SNAPA SNAPA

I feel the same way...I could just kick myself because I will run and hide when a camera comes into view...I hate the I look and I am my biggest critic.  I see stuff that no one even cares about if I happen to be in any pictures...but, now that I nearing the older generation age, I regret not being in more pictures for my sweet babies.  Thanks for writing this article--I am definitely changing my attitude.

nonmember avatar Sarah

Thank you for writing this. I had to move away from my hometown (where my mother & most of the rest of my family still lives) almost 2 years ago due to my husband's job. I wish I had more photos of myself and my mom. I also wish she had made a point to try to have special time alone with me after my siblings were born, too. I was jealous of all the attention they got. :\

Elly Stupple

stay away after the birth i had 4 strokes so im not myself anymore
but i will do it now :)

DiANA... DiANAiVELiSSE

 I started photo albums for both of my kids with me and the family

Yummy... Yummymummy956

I avoid the camera like the plague!  I've put on 40 pounds, due to health issues, in the last 3-4 years, and I hate to see myself in pictures.  It's so sad, because in the last few years, there are a whopping 3 pictures of me, and always with me in the background with at least one of my kids in front of me so I can hide as much of me as possible.  I use the excuse that I'm the "family photographer" since I'm the only one that can work the camera, but really it's because I hate what I look like.  I shudder to think what kind of messages I'm passing along to my 10 year old daughter and 6 year old son.  It was a New Year's Resolution to get in more pictures with my kids and husband, but here it is, almost June, and I haven't been in a single one.  Again.

Yummy... Yummymummy956

By the way, my "Yummymummy" screen name was from all those years ago when I was a cute mom.  Not a frumpy, overweight one...

carme... carmen1692

I absolutely ADORE being in pictures with my little girl. ANd my mom. I will make my mom be in a picture! Most of the time I don't even care. I just snap away. I love being in pictures. And I love having pictures with my parents. :) I am not the most beautiful girl but I think as long as I have a smile the pictures will al lbe worth it one day!

KTH_1313 KTH_1313

On the other side of this I'm always disappointed whenever I find pictures of my younger self- but none of them are with my mother. It makes me sad because I know at the time she had horrible body-image issues, but she looked just fine to me. It always made me feel awkward and anxious when she'd refuse to be in a photograph with me because it felt like there was something wrong with me and that she somehow didn't want us to be associated.


So please, mothers, if you don't like having pictures taken of you for whatever reason I can pretty much guarantee your kids don't care and that they'll most likely treasure those photos later on.


Just think of it this way: imagine your kid looking up at you with tears in their eyes, asking in the most heartbreaking voice why mommy doesn't want to have their picture taken with them- are they mad at them? Do they not like them anymore? (Underhanded I know, but I wish I'd had the courage to nail my mother with that guilt-trip at the time.)


Don't take yourself out of the picture ladies, please.

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