Motherhood is hard. It’s emotionally draining, physically exhausting, and mentally challenging. The wonderful thing, though, is that it’s also rewarding and the absolute best job on the planet. However, that does not take away from the toll motherhood takes on our physical appearance. We have puffy eyes, carry some extra pounds, have hormonal hair and skin—let’s be real, we don’t quite look the same as we did pre-babies. Because of that, so many of us shy away from photos and get scared at the site of a camera pointed at us.
With the onslaught of all those moms out there looking “perfect” on social media, the burden of comparison that we place on ourselves is overwhelming. If she’s able to look that fit, what’s wrong with me? If she can look perfect with #nofilter, why do I need ten filters just to look human? Moms (and really everyone in general) place so much unnecessary self-judgment on ourselves because we think the rest of the world doesn’t deal with our same battles of self-confidence.
I must confess that I am one of those moms who will jump out of a shot until I can make sure I’m fully “ready” for a picture, and will require way too many different attempts until the angle is just perfect. Recently, though, I had a gut-check moment about this at the most unexpected time.
My youngest has had a health struggle this past year, and we really haven’t had as many special mommy–daughter days as we used to. We were taking a quick trip to a home improvement store after working outside in the yard all day, and I certainly wasn’t looking picture-ready. Well, my little girl for the first time in months asked me to stop and take a selfie with her right in the middle of the store. At first, my reaction was an emphatic “No, not right now!” Then I saw the look of disappointment on her face, and my heart sank.
What am I teaching her? How am I making her feel when I don’t want photos taken with her? When she’s older, how many memories will I not be a part of because of my insecurities?
I leaned right over, let her snap the selfie, and then gave her a big hug and told her how beautiful she is. That moment was everything.
Mamas, get in those photos! Know that what you think are flaws are just marks of loving your child through a rough night or putting your body through the miracle of motherhood. Be proud of who you are as their mom, and know that the memories you are creating with your kids will last them a lifetime—much longer than anyone judging you for a “bad photo.”
Take the selfie, jump in the shot, and quit being so hard on yourself! You never know what the next day holds, so live with no regrets and go make some memories.