In the past month or so I have come across three or four social media posts that have gone somewhat viral. These posts have all had the exact same sentiment and it has been directed at dads. They are written by moms who are asking, short of begging, their husbands to take pictures of them with their children. These posts have been shared repeatedly because so many mothers feel exactly the way it is described in these posts. They long for pictures of themselves doing motherly things – cuddling, dancing, playing, reading, the day to day things, to document their precious time together with their little ones. The thing is, they don’t want to ask for it. It needs to be a candid moment captured!
While I totally agree with these posts, heck I even shared one with my own hubby, I have something to add! If you’re one of the moms who is nodding along or even sharing it with your own spouse, make sure you really mean it.
Yes, we all want pictures with our children, but are we complaining when he does take them? Are we asking for retakes? And more retakes? And more retakes? Whining about our hair? Pausing the moment to make sure everyone looks just “perfectly candid?”
Now I’m not trying to side with the dads on this one. Well, not totally. Yes, I do want more pictures with my daughter. Many more. Know I’m not writing this because our family has perfected with whole dad picture thing, not even close, but I have asked for eight pictures in a row (“just in case”) or had my husband happily snap “the picture” before and then complained about. Do I really expect him to continue to happily take pictures after all that? I shouldn’t.
My reason for wanting to write this is because since my daughter has been born I have learned to so deeply appreciate the imperfections of our pictures. Even the selfies I choose to snap throughout the day don’t capture a rested looking mom, with perfect hair. That’d be nice, but it’s not our reality. Our reality is that I never get ready some days, but we are happy and silly and smiling and that’s what I want to remember. And more importantly, that’s what I want her to remember.
As women, we take our hair down from it’s sloppy ball on top of our head or go throw on makeup before the picture. Well, why if we’re walking around with no makeup on and our hair up, are we so scared to document it? I guarantee the happiness your children experience growing up will have nothing to do with your hair or your makeup.
Take a step back and think about why you really want the picture taken? Is it because you have a great idea of a picture perfect shot for social media or is it because you are capturing a memory?
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that sometimes social media, particularly Instagram, wears me out. Beautifully curated pictures just don’t always come naturally to me, but of course, they’re nice. I’m not willing to have my kid cry over just the right shot though. I’m not willing to completely fake the moment just to make it look hunky dory on social media. I don’t snap a zillion pictures of my kid, waiting for the perfect shot. And honestly? I’d be lying to say that I hadn’t done those in the past. And I’m not going to sit here and say that we don’t pose for pictures. Of course we do! But I’ve painfully learned that when I’m so busy trying to get just the right shot I end up missing the entire moment I wanted to capture to begin with.
There’s “let’s be real” and let’s REALLY be real. Of course, beautiful pictures make us happy, but let’s take the time to appreciate those less than perfect pictures that are actually capturing the moment. Those are the ones that are beautiful. Those are the ones that are truly perfect. So moms, if you’re going to keep asking to have that moment captured, stop making it so difficult to capture.