Ourselves, our children

How many photos do you have of your baby/babies by now? Hundreds? I snapped photos all the time in the early days. How many was I in with Elisabeth in the first six months? Not many. Then I read an article by a mom who talked about her decision to start including herself in pictures with her children. The author prefaced the choice by saying that she’d gained weight, wasn’t exercising regularly and felt pretty shlumpy in general.  In spite of all of "this", however, she decide it was less important to feel that she looked perfect and more important to be IN the picture, with her children. So I started including me in those photos, when I hadn't before. Here's why I did and why you might want to do so, too, if you aren't already:

  1. Your child's history includes you. No great revelation here but just as you document your baby's story, so should you get yourself in there too. You are part of that story...at least when she’s small anyway. That story, too, becomes a great tool for dialogue with your growing baby. He will soon LOVE seeing and identifying all the people in the photo, likely taking great delight in saying his name AND yours.
  2. Cameras no longer require immaculate grooming. There is likely a camera in your phone which you use, if you're like most of us, more often than your "nice" camera. The camera is not something that comes out when we both look perfectly coiffed. I want Elisabeth to see pictures of us together when I look fabulous, tired, wet, dry, in glasses and everything in between. That's real and she knows it.
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Maybe you can already see how fast time is flying. Hold tight onto some part of it by taking a picture with both of you/all of you in it.

Does it feel important to you to be in photos you take of your kids? If so, why? If not, why not? Thank you for reading. 

Posted on April 16, 2014 and filed under Mothering, parenting, Personal history.