Parents, Take More Pictures of Yourself

There are lots of reasons that parents—and yes, particularly mums—dodge the camera. We haven’t had a proper night’s sleep in multiple years, as the dark circles under our eyes can attest. Or we just woke up and our pyjamas have holes in them and our hair is dishevelled. Or we haven’t lost the baby weight all these months or years later. Plus, you can tell it’s going to be an unflattering angle.

Stop that. Get in the picture with your kids. Let them (or your partner, or your friend) take pictures of you lounging on the couch with the dog or dangling your legs in the pool.

How many of us grew up with parents or grandparents who avoided any and all photos? I personally know one mother—I’m not gonna name names!—who would throw up a hand to block her own face anytime someone dared to try to snap a shot. That same mother eventually became a grandmother and continued to dodge photo ops with her grandkids. Until one day when I pointed out that there were few, if any, pictures in existence of her with her grandchildren.

Didn’t she think her grandchildren would want pictures of her one day? Wouldn’t they want to remember how involved she was in their lives? Wouldn’t they see past a bad angle and instead be able to hang onto a happy memory from a vacation or a holiday?

Happily, that guilt trip worked on her, and it’s a guilt trip I regularly give myself (and now you, too). As a general rule, I do not enjoy photos of myself, especially candid photos. But one thing I have noticed is that a photo I hate of myself today is a photo I usually don’t mind too much a few years later. Maybe time causes you to be kinder to yourself or maybe you look back and think, “Wow, I thought I looked a little rough around the edges THEN; look at me now!”

Whatever the case, take pictures with your kids. Let them take pictures of you. If you hate them, you don’t have to post them. But save them for your kids to cherish later.


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