Mothers, Be Photographed with your Babies!

Some of us carried and birthed our children.  Some of us nurture them with our bodies.  Most of us have woken with them in the night and nursed them through sickness.  We may have more lines on our faces since our children came into our lives.  We may have given up counting our grey hairs, or we may know that the first is just around the corner.  We have a newfound fear of mortality: ours (how can we ever leave them?), theirs (too dreadful to contemplate).  We are not the same as we were before children.  Motherhood has changed us.

We are still beautiful.  Unless we tell our children otherwise, we are still perfection in their eyes.

I have many favourite pictures of my mother: cuddling her newborn, exhausted but radiant; holding the hands of two little girls in sailor dresses, sunkissed in Spain; at a family barbeque with a glass of wine and children playing in the background.  They became more sparse as I grew into a surly – and frankly, unphotogenic – teenager, but I treasure those early photographs.

I want the twins to have hundreds of pictures of our family adventures.  I want to be in them too.  I want them to remember that I was there and if they’re too young to remember, then I damn well want there to be photographic evidence of the fact!  I want images that tell them I have been here from the start.  I held you close.  I took you places.  I have loved you an awful lot, enjoyed you quite a bit and managed not to kill you when you were at your worst.  You have been the pivotal point in my life.

Join me.  Next time that you pull out your photographic device of choice, hand it to somebody else.  Ask them to capture you in the image too.  Be in the moment with your child.

A picture tells a thousand words so don’t edit yourself out of your child’s story.

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10 Comments

  1. January 22, 2015 / 6:55 pm

    I love this post so much and couldn’t agree more with everything you have written. I hate myself in photos but I do try and get in the photo with them more. xx

  2. January 22, 2015 / 8:13 pm

    I so need to do this, I hide away from photographs of me so much, but I suspect I will regret it when I’m older. I need to step out and get some photos of me with my children.

  3. January 22, 2015 / 8:58 pm

    It’s the first time I’ve seen your blog and I loved this post. It is beautifully written, and you are so right about giving the camera to someone else from time to time. I must do that more often!

  4. January 23, 2015 / 6:00 pm

    This is a great post — I totally agree. Happily we are lucky enough to live in a world with mobile phones that have the technology to take an amazing selfie!! So many of my favourite pics of my boys and me have been taken this way.

    But equally, handing someone else the camera also ensures that you get those perfect shots that are uncontrived; moments that you wouldn’t have been able to capture yourself in a million years.

    #brillblogposts

  5. January 23, 2015 / 6:31 pm

    Such a moving post, I’ve welled up here, you are both incredible mums and your sons are so lucky to have you both. Photographs are so important and with everything being online, I make a point of printing and framing lots. My son has a picture of us all by his bed next to his class photos and every night before bed he looks at them, it’s the sweetest thing. I’ve shared their baby books with them too so if you haven’t already maybe make some, my 5 year old really appreciates them now and we talk about his birth and life in london and bristol when he was small.

    Such a beautiful post and you are right, being a mother is nothing to do with carrying a child. In fact if I have another I would love a surrogate and am open to adoption too. My husband doesn’t want more kids but who knows. Love, unconditional love and care makes a mum. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

  6. January 23, 2015 / 9:18 pm

    Fabulous post. It is so important. Even if you don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera it is important for your children x

  7. January 23, 2015 / 9:23 pm

    I’ve not visited before so hello there, what a lovely blog and post. I’m going to make much more of an effort not to hide this year x

  8. January 25, 2015 / 5:46 am

    This is so very true; there are lots of photos of the husband and the terror but not so many of me! Must remedy!

  9. January 26, 2015 / 9:07 pm

    Love this. My living Arrows image this week includes me. I just want my little ones (& me) to remember soaking up these moments. Magical moments regardless of how awkward I feel or how rough I look from rubbish sleep!) x

  10. Lucy Smith
    March 27, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    Amber, thank you for this.
    I needed to read this, I really did.
    I hate myself, I hate photographs if I’m in them but I don’t want Lily thinking I wasn’t present, wishing there was more than a handful of photographs of us, wondering why I couldn’t just swallow my pride and cope with the hate. For her.
    It’s not just photographs either. I don’t want her growing up with a Mum who hates herself.
    Thanks for the push I so badly needed
    X X

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