This generation of Mothers will be known as “Invisible Mommies”. The concept being that we to often are hard on ourselves about our looks, our uncolored hair, our baby weight, our clothes and even our wrinkles and grey hairs! For that reason in this technological world where pictures are edited, re-edited, retouched and airbrushed we often just HIT DELETE to the pictures of ourselves! Erasing ourselves.
We have thousands of pictures of our adorable kids of coarse because we love them unconditionally with their messy faces, bruised knees and pouting faces!! Tis is life right? Well one day when our children look back…how many pictures will we be in? While there may be many of family members with our Son’s or Daughters, how many will we be in? How many full family photos including Mom and Dad will there be? (For those in dual parental units of coarse).
I clearly remember my parents taking me to Sears for those horrible 80’s family portraits. “Sit still, smile pretty” all via a over used ugly yellow chicken hand puppet! Other than those, most of our family albums from my childhood are candid shots. Some of these pictures of my Mother are my favorite. I don’t judge her unkempt hair or the clothes she has on. I look through the albums and each picture brings back so many memories. I guess in those days in the pre-digital world handing off rolls of film to the photo development place, meant you get what you take. No edits, no airbrushing or deleting. Its much more personal to rip up a picture of your self then to easily hit a delete button. I don’t think to many Mom’s back in those days would pay for development then rip up half the pictures. Perhaps this is why these old 80’s pictures still exist.
I now flash back to another interesting idea I overheard at a Baby Shower once. A Guest was giving advice to a the new Mom. She said, “As Mothers our brains are wired to forget, to loose our memories. Meaning, as a new Mommy we most of the time are sleep deprived. Biologically when your brain becomes sleep deprived it slows down the short term memory making center part of the brain. Our short term memories, get transferred into long term memories. Since we are making less short term memories due to sleep deprivation and hormones we will most certainly have less long term memories of our little ones, their moments, our shared moments and memories. The only way we can regain control over this process is to build a memory sparkler, either a journal or through photos. This will help in holding onto those memories lost to our drained bodies—-SO TAKE PICTURES AND DON’T DELETE THEM”. How sad is this? While it makes total sense, I had never thought this through. I often think, “Oh I have to write down that cute little thing my Son said, but do I? No, then the memory leaves me. This lady really left a impression on me. I also don’t want to lose the memories.
I have to question how many pictures will be left of me? How many photos could have or should have been taken to spark dear memories down the road? Will we unjustly remove ourselves from the family pictures because the angle was wrong or that shadow made me look like I had a beard? Lol. I may hate my body, hate my double chin but I am going to conscientiously make sure NOT to delete myself from our family pictures. My Son loves me unconditionally and he doesn’t mind my snugly big plump self. I will continue to keep my candid shots, no matter how much I hate them. I will focus more on family photos and less on individual pics of my Son. I also will embrace the uncomfortable. As much as I hate taking pictures I have already started building memories. For Mothers Day this year my Son Lucky and I did a “Mommy & Me” photo shoot on the beach. He thought we were “getting married”, which was the cutest thing ever!!! His little voice saying “Momma I love getting married on the beach to you” was worth the sacrifice of being uncomfortable on camera! At that moment I thought it may have perhaps been God’s way of saying “Good Job Mommy”!
Take those pictures Mommies, it is much cuter to provide those great memories for your children then to worry about looking perfect. You are beautiful in their eyes always.
Dee-Anne L. Lunan B.A.
@WhiteGyalCanCook on Instagram