Thanksgiving: This Mom Stayed in the Picture

Last week, a very poignant post went viral – one that most moms can relate to. It’s called The Mom Stays in the Picture, published on The Huffington Post by freelance write Allison Tate.

Here’s a small excerpt – be forewarned, you may find yourself nodding with emotion more than once.

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?

Too much of a mama’s life goes undocumented and unseen. I want them to see the way I looked at them, see how much I loved them. I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother.

To say that this article hit home is an understatement. I have cancelled our family photos more than once because I forgot to have my roots done – or I forgot to lose those extra 10 pounds. I’ve been a fixture behind the camera because my hair wasn’t perfect, my makeup wasn’t done or my clothes were frayed from overuse. In short, I’ve looked over photos of my children from the past four years and realize with profound sadness that I’m in less than 10% of them.

This Thanksgiving, we visited my in-laws for a family celebration. As I snapped photos of the children, I decided that it was time for a change. This time, I stayed in the picture. And believe it or not – they’re the first pictures I have with my children this year. 

I hope that these photos are just the first of many that I have with my boys. When they grow up, I want them to remember me for all my faults and fabulousness – but I have a feeling that looking at these pictures, they won’t see any of those things. They’ll just see Mom.

Special thanks to Best Buy Canada for providing me with a Canon ELPH 10.1MP Digital Camera to encourage me to stay in the picture, along with a ProLine 12″ Digital Photo Frame – where I’ll proudly display my photos for years to come.

Did Allison Tate’s article strike a chord with you?