Right about the time I had my second son, I noticed that I was disappearing. I could have sworn I was there but I seemed to be fading away. Sometimes there would be a hand holding the baby or helping with a craft or a possibly a foot would accidentally find its way into view but, for the most part, I had vanished. What could be causing this strange malady?
To be with my children while they were young, I had left teaching full time in the classroom to work from home part time. I spent most days, 24/7 with my children: feeding them, playing with them, teaching them, and learning from them. And yet, I was not there–at least, not in any of the photographs.
Maybe someone asked me for a photograph for an online campaign or possibly my eldest daughter needed a photograph of the family for a school project. Whatever the reason, I realized that I could not find a recent photograph of me.
Some of my absence can be explained by the fact that I am usually taking the pictures. Really, though, with a mother and mother-in-law who are avid shutterbugs and a father who really knows his way around a camera, there are plenty of opportunities for me to get in the shot. Truthfully, I had cropped myself out of the pictures of my children’s memories.
Looking back on photographs from college, my friends and I realize how incredibly beautiful we all were in that glowing way that all young people are beautiful. If you had asked us then, we might have complained that we were bloated, our teeth were yellowed, our hair too frizzy or too flat, or any number of nitpicking things that you only see about yourself. We were wrong. We were beautiful–not just for our flat stomachs and shiny hair but because we were alive and full of love.
Here’s a secret: we are still beautiful.
Sometimes it is hard to see in the mirror how beautiful you are. I look at myself and I see all the pounds I have gained through four pregnancies, the stretched out skin, the ill-fitting clothes, the lines around my eyes, and the grey in my hair. One day I will look back at myself now and think, how beautiful I was, how alive, how full of love. My children will look at old photographs and think, how lovely and young mommy was, how much she loved us…that is, they will if I let them.
Instead of waiting for a perfect body or a perfect hair day, I want to be here, right now. Instead of saying, “You can take a picture of the baby but please keep me out of frame,” I want to say, “Please take a picture of me with the children.”
Please know that you are beautiful and the perfect mom for your children. If you are wondering when the right time is to stop and capture a moment in your life as a mother, that time is right now. Later is too far away.
I may sometimes be pregnant sometimes but Mom is Here.
I may have gained a bit of weight but Mom is Here.
Grey hairs and all, Mom is Here.
I may be tired and have no time to put on make up but Mom is Here.
Always, and with all my love, Mom is Here.
This sponsored post was written while participating in my partnership with Sprout and One2One Network, but as always, all opinions are my own
Thank you, Sprout, for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts about being present in my children’s lives and in the photographs of their memories. This is a sponsored post and all words and ideas are my own.
Sprout has launched a social campaign and sweepstakes to urge moms to take pictures of themselves with their kids–to capture the special joy of those everyday moments.
Enter on momishere.com by uploading a photo with your full name and email address. You can even win prizes (though the greatest prize is capturing those fleeting family moments). The Grand Prize is a $2,000 Spa Package and ten people will receive a $100 Spa Finder Gift Card. All entries also have a chance to be featured in a commercial which will run on Sprout and see their photo on Sprout’s electronic billboard in Times Square.