I love looking at old photographs from my childhood. Even though I have hazy or non-existent memories of the captured image, I really enjoy seeing how happy I was with my family and my favourite photographs are those of me with loved ones. This is especially important for me now that some of them have died. A photograph of us together is precious.
I want my daughter to be able to look back on her life with the people she loves. So I take lots and lots of photographs- most of them on my phone but the quality is passable enough. The feelings and atmosphere are still captured.
Printing out the photographs for my daughter’s album I’ve noticed a recurring theme. A distinct lack of me! I have photographs of her with every single member of the family. There are hundreds of her with her dad- some posed others candid. Yet the ones of me and her are few and far between. Although I have photographed her daily, I am a little sad to think there are not many pictures of us both in the early days.
Partly this is because my OH is a bit rubbish at taking pictures just for the sake of it, whereas I will snap pics of them doing even mundane things like watching tv whilst she naps on him. But another part of it is that I’m just not very happy with post-baby me.
I have never been in amazing shape, however since the initial dramatic weight loss in the first few weeks after having her I have now gained so much weight that I feel like a human balloon. One made of lead. With arms. Giant arms. And the last thing I want is photo evidence of this.
So I shy away from having my photo taken. I crop myself and my arms out of things so I’m just a pattern in the background. I take a ‘selfie’ from a flattering angle. Or more often than not, I just delete them.
I felt really sad about the lack of me when really I have been the main thing in her entire life so far! Obviously her dad is a close second, but you know what I mean. I’m the one who is with her basically 24 hours in the day. She sleeps by my head in her crib. She wakes up to me saying “good morning!” every single day. I feed her, change her, take her to places. And even though I will remember these lovely first few months of mum and sproggy time, she will have no memory of it.
And how lovely would it be for her to be able to look at baby photographs that have both her and her mum in? Yet there won’t be many because I’ll have been on the other side of the camera waiting to lose weight before I’ll cement a moment in time with my daughter. How ridiculous is that?!
So I’ve decided that I will make more effort to be in photographs with her. And of the 3 of us. Even though I might look back in years to come and think how awful I look, I would rather have something to look back on with her that evokes good memories than nothing at all. Because chances are she won’t see the same things I do like a lack of a proper jawline and wings for arms- she’ll see a photograph of her with her mummy having a great time!