My name is Kathleen and I am the owner of Cottontail Baby and Mamclothonline. I am also the mom to three very active elementary school aged boys. My husband and I have a running joke about how our sons will never remember that I actually was present during all those vacations, birthday parties, trips to the Zoo, sunny leaf raking Saturdays, trips to the lake, etc. as there are no pictures of me at any of them. Pictures of him and our boys, absolutely. Over 10,000 of them on my desktop at this very moment. Of me, not so much. See me in the picture above of the boys at Yellowstone's Boiling River? Didn't think so.
So, it was with particular interest that my husband forwarded to me Allison Tate's recent blog post The Mom Stays in the Picture. In this remarkable post, which made me tear up by the way, Tate talks about how she, too, is never in the picture. Allison Tate feels that she is not in the photo, and that many other moms are not in the photo, due to concerns about how they look. Maybe their bodies do not have the youthful slenderness of their pre-baby days. They are not dressed in the most trendy attire but whatever they could scramble into early that morning. No time to apply make-up or fix their hair. These are the reasons they give themselves for not jumping in front of the camera. I guess the benefit of being an older mom, as I am, is that you get past that. I gave up worrying about that, at least as far as my kids are concerned, a long time ago. My body is my body and I look the way I look. My husband and kids already know that. Seeing it in a photo is not going to be some big revelation to any of them.
For me, I believe I am never in the picture as I am always taking them. I sit back and see the great photo ops evolve and snap away. My husband is always deep in the mix with our boys and doesn't think the way I do and, consequently, is in all the shots. He is living in the moment and I am more a bystander. This has got to change. For me and our for our sons.
Like Tate, my sons do not see all that I do for them, for our family, behind the scenes. Getting up before they do to make their breakfasts and pack their lunches, searching the internet for hours to figure out a way to teach decimals so they will understand, tivoing their favorite sports team so they can see the late game when they get up. They don't see me up at night washing their uniforms getting the grass stains out of the Little League pants and finding their "lucky batting glove" in some far off corner of the basement so they have it for the game. They don't see all the conversations I have with their father over trips we should take and experiences we should share with them (yes, that was me that arranged for us to go to the Family Concert at the Chamber Orchestra and despite the lack of balls or bats, it really was kinda, sorta fun). They don't see me making their favorite snack as a treat when they come home after a day of tests at school. They don't see me tracking down a stuffed narwhal for Christmas during a particularly intense animal phase or getting up in the middle of the night to administer asthma medicine to heavily sleeping child. They don't see it.
They do see me dogging them on their homework and encouraging them to pick up the shoes they left by the door. They see me say "water not soda" more times then they would like and packing nutritious snacks and not the Cheetos and cookies they want. They see me enforcing bedtimes and screen times and suggesting "read a book" when they tell me they are bored. I referee fights and insist on baths and say no to wearing shorts in 40 degree weather.
Tate's article has resonated with moms and dads everywhere. The response has been so overwhelming that The Huffington Post is challenging moms to get in the picture and submit the photo to their site. Do it. I will too.
We wanted to do a mom-focused giveaway in light of this mom-focused challenge. This month we will do a custom Nursing Necklace from our friends over at Lori's Nursing Necklaces. Get the necklace and have a little bling in your next photo with your children. In order to enter, see below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway