{Education} 3 Tips to stop the disappearing mom

 I want to show you something today. Something I literally only just noticed.

I have 7 pictures with myself and my mom.


From the time I was born until I got married. 3 of them are from in the hospital. One with her bathing me, one for my baptism, one on a trip to Holland and then one when I was about 13. Then my wedding day at 19.

There are literally huge chunks of YEARS that I do not have a single photograph of us together. Oh sure, I have lots of ME and my friends and random occasions but not my mother and I.

and right now it's really truly breaking my heart.
Because I can't get that back

I have these vivid memories of curling up beside her in her bed when I was about 8, and she would tell me stories about her childhood. Stories about growing up in the end of world war II and rationing. One night I remember her telling me how she used to get one piece of cheese for her entire piece of bread. Her and her siblings would put it on one corner, cut the square bite away, move the cheese to the next bite of bread. She would continue that over and over letting the anticipation build until the last bite she could savour the bread and cheese. I clearing remember my head lying in her lap while she ran her fingers through my hair as she talked. 

I have such vivid memories of her strong hands cleaning away. She always pokes fun at her hands because they are working hands - gnarled and thick with years of hard work. And I loved them. I loved that I could pinch the skin and it would stand up as weird as that sounds. Because they were my mom's hands. My mom's.

Looking back I understand the importance of not just taking pictures of my children, but also to make sure I am in them too. I don't want to disappear. I don't want my kids in 30 years to look back and say

"Where is mom?"

So today I pulled out my camera, propped it up in a couple places and intentionally photographed myself with my kids. I don't like being in front of the camera - I feel 20 lbs too heavy, it's a bad hair and I'm just feeling blech. Who wants to be in a picture like that? But in 20 years my kids won't care. My boys will see mom. They will see a caring heart. They will see the hands that held them. And they will love it.

So I challenge you photograph yourself with your kids. Today. 

Take a minute as ask yourself this question before you start. "What do I do with my kids every day?" Now that you have a topic,  here are 3 easy ways to photograph it:

1. Selfie time. 
          My kids adore selfies. They know how to push buttons and they like to see the picture afterwards. And lets be honest. These are the most flattering for you. I love these because we are big on hugs in our family. And snuggles. So these pile ups are very normal for us.

2. Self Timer
        Self timers are my jam. Whether its your phone, or an actual camera it doesn't matter. Prop up your phone on a even surface, balance it against something. Don't forget to focus before you click that shutter button and run into position for giggles. If you have a camera, check to see if it has a remote option. I have a $5 remote for my 'big' camera that I picked up off  amazon and it's been the best. I'll let my oldest run around with it and click the shutter and we get all sorts of spontinety.

Here my camera is propped up on the kitchen counter: set the self timer and snagged my huggly one and did the whole 'life thing'

Here my camera is propped up on the kitchen counter: set the self timer and snagged my huggly one and did the whole 'life thing'

In our bedroom facing the light: camera is resting on an ironing board leveled out to bed height.

In our bedroom facing the light: camera is resting on an ironing board leveled out to bed height.

. 3. Ask a friend (or a photographer)
          Ask your husband, ask your friend, ask a photographer. Hand the camera over to them for a while and let yourself just love your kids for a couple moments. Let them know what's important to you as a mom - are you a reader with your kids? Ask them to capture you reading. Love baking? Photograph those crazy cookie times. These are all memories for your children. Help them remember :) If you want to get your husband in the picture too, search out in your area for a documentary or story telling photographer. They specialize in helping you document those moments from your every day life.  

I'd love to see what you do with this challenge. Head over to my facebook page (Mimsical Photography)  and share your images with me! I always love positive encouragement, so feel free to challenge your friends in this too.

Don't let yourself become a ghost in your children's memories. Be in the photograph too.