I take selfies because, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be in the picture.
When you look back at family photos, faded in albums or in boxes, still smelling of chemical development and see evidence of your mom. You can see her in your haircuts, the clothes you and your siblings donned, in birthday cakes, and in vacations… but, truthfully, how often do you actually see her?
Maybe you don’t see her because she chose not to be in the photographs. Perhaps, it was a selfless act in which she wanted you to be the object of the photo – the memory. Perhaps, it was because she thought she had gained weight and didn’t look “good enough” to be captured on film. Maybe it was because she was a single mom and didn’t have any other options; this was, after all, before camera phones with selfie modes.
Regardless of the reasons, today we have options. We can turn on that selfie-mode and snap that photo… double chin and all… but, why?
Because, if we don’t, who will?
Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I have a great husband, I do. He just doesn’t think like I do… especially when it comes to pictures and preserving moments in time. Not that we do anything with those pictures anyway, let me be honest here.
I remember there was a time (a season in which we only had two kids six years apart), when the Mister would meet his dad for breakfast every Friday. One Friday he went with our only (at the time) son. As they were leaving I reminded my husband to have the waitress take a photo of the three generations.
Did he do it?
Of course not… because that is not in his nature.
One morning I went to breakfast with them with the sole intention of taking a picture of the three of them. If it wasn’t going to be me, then who else would do it?
The point is, Mommas… take that selfie.
Why? Because your kids are going to want to, at the very least, have an option to keep/print out that photo with you amid the 492 pictures of themselves (just from one week alone). They will want to sift through those and find remnants of what you looked like. They won’t care about your perceptions of your body… in fact, if you parent well, they won’t even realize that you may have been insecure about them – your ever-growing neck, the hair on your toes, how you widen your eyes, or squint your nose… None of that will matter when they are grasping for some memory of you… I promise. Let me remind you of a few things…
You are not as fat as you think you are.
In reality, you’re never as big as you think. I’m the heaviest I’ve been in my life. Of course, I’m a couple weeks postpartum. I have so many chins that I couldn’t put on a pillowcase… in general, I don’t feel attractive. Do you think my kids notice in the least whether or not I am attractive? They just want something to cuddle and to play with. In photos, they’re not going to criticize my weight as long as I was healthy enough to hang out with them and stick around as long as I could.
Face it… #momselfies are:
Embarrassing, covered in milk, and genuinely humorous because other moms can seriously relate. Who else can be nursing a baby, listening to a podcast, folding laundry, reading to a toddler, all while snapping a pic? No one… guaranteed. YET… when I search for the hashtag “momselfie,” I’m surprised by the glamor. But that is it, too, isn’t it? You don’t have to compare yourself to these “glamorous” moms. Be real and just capture the moment. You’ll be happy you did.
It isn’t about affirmation… oh, no honey, not with those chins!
All joking aside, as moms, we don’t take selfies to get “likes” on Facebook or Instagram… usually. Sometimes we do it because we want to preserve that moment. At other times, it is because we want to commemorate that we actually look good for a change. We may post it because we’re proud… for either of those reasons.
It isn’t about self-love…
It’s about leaving behind pictures of myself that my kids wouldn’t have otherwise. Seriously, as much as my husband has his phone out, you might think that he could at least swing the camera my way once in a while and capture me. But he doesn’t… because, again, it just isn’t who he is. I have so many pictures of my husband with the kids in our bed (because they come into our bed in the middle of the night or fall asleep during the bedtime story and we’re too tired to move them). Our kids sleep like their dad. Usually it is one arm up as they lie on their backs. Even though the posture changes, my desire to have pictures of them doesn’t. I just wish there were some of me with them, too. Even if I have to pretend I’m still sleeping.
…because they just might sleep like me, too, you know?
I only say this because, Momma, who else is going to do you? No one. Again… your kids will likely have your footprints all over their photo albums. But, at some point, the shape of your face will fade. They may remember a beauty mark, but not it’s exact location. They may recall a scar or a wrinkle… Don’t you want them to hold onto it for as long as they can?
One last thing…
Ask your partner to take pictures of you.
You may be uncomfortable with Selfies, but he may be uncomfortable taking pictures. Perhaps you’re one to complain, no matter what picture he takes (this may be why he doesn’t even try)… just ask him to snap the picture. You never have to ever look at it again. Just leave it somewhere for your kids to sift through.