This is one of my favourite photographs of my first child, taken 6 years ago today on my husband's phone. I'm looking back at it now as my son celebrates his 6th birthday, surrounded by Lego.
The thing is, this is one of the very few photographs taken since becoming a mother that I appear in.
Why? It's not because there was nobody around to preserve the memories. Quite the opposite. My husband regularly tried to snap some photos- it was me who told him not to; I didn't want to commemorate my extra baby weight and unwashed hair (in the early days). My bare-faced pyjama'd self was not up for photographs. And as the years have passed, (and I've made sure to be showered and dressed every day) I still don't appear in many photographs.
I blame my age! Just being that (little) bit too old to be part of the 'selfie generation', it feels unnatural, vain almost, to turn the camera around and snap myself. The kids look much cuter than we do anyway, better just to photograph them, right?
Wrong! Here are three reasons why we should all try harder to appear in photographs with our children.
1. You'll appreciate their size
Do you ever look at a photograph you've just taken of your baby and think that they don't look as big as that in real life? Or notice how much your toddler has grown when you see them in the arms of someone else? Being in the photographs shows the little ones in relation to an adult- so their teeny-tinyness is even more apparent.
2. The children will love seeing you in the images when they're older.
there's something extra special about seeing your mum and dad as the young parents that they were. I don't want to be absent from my children's photo albums.
Imagine looking through your childhood family album and not seeing pictures of your parents in there. Yes, it's interesting to look back at photographs of yourself as a child. But there's something extra special about seeing your mum and dad as the young parents that they were. I don't want to be absent from my children's photo albums.
3. You don't look that bad!
Looking back at photographs of yourself, it's the moment that you take note of. You'll be too overcome by the interaction between you and your wee ones that you won't even notice your dark eyes. Honest! Your children won't notice that either. They'll just be surprised that you were ever that young (see above)!
Remember, this goes two ways. If you see a beautiful 'moment' of your friends with their kids, be the friend who grabs their phone and takes the shot. Your buddies will love that photo sent to them via text or Whatsapp.
Make sure you print your photographs too- don't leave them on your phone or hard drive. But that's a blog post for another day (and advice I need to pay heed to...).
Have you appeared in any photographs with your kids lately?