{Mommy Monday: Because you were there too}

How many times have you snapped a photo of your kids doing something that you want to hold on to forever?

If you're anything like me, I'm going to assume that you are thinking A LOT! I'm even willing to bet money that you've captured a quick video of them saying something funny or sweet. But here's what I wonder, how many times were you in the photo or video too? I'm not just talking about a nice selfie or usie (yes, I made one that up). I'm talking about having real photos. Meaningful ones that represent who you are with them and to them. Seriously, I'll wait while you check.


Here's my answer...not enough. What's yours? 


I'm just going to be real and share with you that I feel the shame and regret of how selfish and silly that is.  I mean really what's my excuse? I carry a professional camera around EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  yet I am never in any of the work that I create. How does that even make sense?! 


I can tell you the story about the fact that I started in photography because I wanted to document my family's growth from two people to eventually four. But honestly none of that matters now. Because right now, like you, out of the hundreds and hundreds of photos I have of my family doing awesome, silly, cute and even boring things, I'm not in a single one doing it with them. Now don't get me wrong, I was there of course; heck I was taking the picture! But I might as well have not been there as I go through all of the shots and ONLY see daddy and the children; never myself. 


There is no record of my existence, of my love and that truly breaks my heart. Who would even know about the way that I dance with my toddlers and sing at the top of my lungs with them during our frequent visits to the library for toddler time. And how we always stop by the computers to play matching games before we go. I encourage them to have fun learning. Or what about our coloring and painting sessions in the garage and our trips around the neighborhood in the wagon signing all of the things we see. I want them to see the beauty in art and being creative and even exploring. But no one would ever see those moments. The real time I am teaching and loving and growing with them, learning how to do this Motherhood thing.


I sit back and watch them learn to play with each other, taking each other's toys and then falling over from hugging and kissing like little kids awkwardly do. I snap a photo of it with my nice big camera, but then wonder to myself... Will they remember how mommy just played in their tiny kitchen with them, drinking air tea and eating felt mushrooms and plastic hotdogs? 


Never mind the fun play times. Do you feel like me as I contemplate whether they will remember how I was there to hug and hold them just because? I want them to see how I often oblige their requests to be picked up and carried like a newborn baby. I want them to see that I curl up under a blanket with them on the sofa to read Dr. Seuss's ABC book for the 349,163rd time because that's their most favorite book right now. Even the quiet moments spent watching the rain together out the family room window have a way of tugging at my soul. Will they remember or better yet, will I? 


As I scroll through my phone and even the photos from my camera, I noticed there were none of those moments in the catalog with me, the photographer, the mommy...the missing one. How could I fix this? What could I do to get back those lost, undocumented moments.


...Nothing at all. 


I can only move forward today and keep doing my very best to jump in front of the camera rather than behind it. I can join my babies in making memories  ensuring that they have something to look back on when they've grown up and forgotten or I have grown old and forgotten. 


From here on out they will have record and SEE my love and know that mommy was there too. They won't just see the filtered Facebook or Instagram "usie" and wonder what we were doing and where. 


They will recognize our home and our favorite places and things to do together because I will become intentional. Each Monday I vow to take out special time to document it our reality together. Mommy Monday is my newest project to keep my insecurities and excuses from robbing my children and myself from a lifetime of moments recorded forever. Each Monday, there will be some part of me stamped into existence with no room to be forgotten. 


Don't allow yourself to be left out of your family's timeline. Contact me to help you get in the photo too. Childhood doesn't last forever and neither does time. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not today...It's time for you to get in the frame!