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Last week, an article started making it's way around the internet, titled "The Mom Stays in the Picture," by Allison Tate. It's a great article that made me tear up a little, discussing the fact that as moms, we should make a better effort to include ourselves in more photos with our kiddos:
"Come take pictures with me, Mommy," he yelled over the music, "in the photo booth!"
I hesitated. I avoid photographic evidence of my existence these days. To be honest, I avoid even mirrors. When I see myself in pictures, it makes me wince. I know I am far from alone; I know that many of my friends also avoid the camera.
It seems logical. We're sporting mama bodies and we're not as young as we used to be. We don't always have time to blow dry our hair, apply make-up, perhaps even bathe (ducking). The kids are so much cuter than we are; better to just take their pictures, we think.
But we really need to make an effort to get in the picture. Our sons need to see how young and beautiful and human their mamas were. Our daughters need to see us vulnerable and open and just being ourselves -- women, mamas, people living lives. Avoiding the camera because we don't like to see our own pictures? How can that be okay?
This has been my struggle lately. Hating the way that I look and not wanting to be in the picture for fear of bursting into tears upon seeing myself. I can shamefully admit that this is the heaviest I have ever been in my life & most days, it makes me really sad. Not to mention that as a full-time working mom there are days where sleep becomes much more important than the way I look, something I am also not proud of, but most moms in general know that 15 extra minutes of sleep makes all the difference in the world.
About a week before I read this article, I had the same internal conversation with myself. That I needed to make more of an effort to document my time with Lucas. It is important, and he needs to be able to look back and see that even though I'm disheveled pretty much all the time, that there is a lot of love there. Reading this article sealed the deal for me.
As a photographer, I am so used to being behind the camera. I need to spend more time in front of it. So I am making the effort, even if it's just a quick shot with the point and click, which I am also making an effort to keep charged & in my purse at all times [because let's face it -- my big ass camera is a pain to carry around every day!]. The photographs in this post make me want to cry. I am ashamed by them and by how much I have let myself go, baby or not. But, I need to put my pride aside from time to time for the sake of my son.
But with that said, I am turning a new leaf. Today I am heading to a local gym to see about a membership. Part of the reason I don't work out more often is because it's effing HARD to find the time. By the time I get off work, pick up the kiddo, get home, get him taken care of, fed, ready for bed, make dinner for M & I, and sit down to breath, it's time for bed. Not to mention the fact that those couple of hours between home and bedtime for Lucas are precious.
But, he needs me around and he needs me healthy. So a couple days a week I am going straight to the gym after work. M has offered to leave work early those days to pick up the kiddo, something that helps me out immensely. The gym is also in close proximity to my office, which means on nights I can't go after work, I can go on my lunch break, and at the very least get on the treadmill for 30 minutes.
Because I do not want to go home at Christmas looking the way that I do. I am hoping, that by Lucas's first birthday I will be at the goal size that I have in mind.
This is my plan. I do not want to be ashamed of taking photos with my child. My husband. My friends. Ever again.