Inside: A simple phrase to help you remember to get in the photos and be a part of the memories. Here’s how to take a “Proof of Mom” pic.
A while back, I did an interview for some friends of mine and they asked for the unthinkable.
A photo of me with my kids.
I had a few options: A terribly lit, shaky selfie from that morning OR a years old picture of us taken when my middle daughter was born.
When I said I had a few options, I actually meant I had two options. Literally two options.
How did it get like this?
I’m a natural picture taker. I’ve always over-documented life, from high school and beyond. Having an iPhone just made things even easier. Now I could over-document without anyone batting an eye. They expected it.
But somehow in all the over-documenting of my family’s lives, I forgot to document my own. I forgot that my life matters too and seeing me in pictures is important.
I forgot that my kids need to see I was there (not just hear me telling them, “Oh, well, I was the one who took those pictures.”)
I forgot that I need to see a record of myself growing up in motherhood and life.
I deserve to be remembered in pictures too.
As I stared at my computer that day, letting the full weight of my picture-less existence wash over me, I will tell you this: I didn’t blame anyone else for it.
This wasn’t my husband’s fault for forgetting to take pictures of me (no but really, it definitely was not his fault. He doesn’t even have a smart phone – digest that for a second.).
This was my fault.
I didn’t ask.
I didn’t think about it.
I didn’t put two and two together about how it would feel to look back at the first years of motherhood and only have a handful of photos. And an even smaller handful of photos with me and ALL my kids. And an even smaller smaller handful that weren’t selfies.
It had to change.
I’m busting my buns over here to make memories, but you know what? I want to be remembered in those memories too.
I don’t think it’s selfish to say, “I want there to be a record of me with my family.”
In fact, I think it’s the opposite. I want my kids to have these pictures and to love them long after I’m gone. There she is! Look at Mom!
I had one goal: get in the picture.
But this wouldn’t be a “say it into the wind and hope for change” type goal.
I made it a mission.
I named them “Proof of Mom” pics.
It’s proof that I was there, that I was behind the scenes, that I was making everything work like clockwork. It’s proof of my existence on all these fun days together.
When we go to the zoo or ride a ferry or hit the pumpkin patch, I stop for a second and take a “Proof of Mom” pic. I hope you will too now.
Who takes Proof of Mom pics?
I’m out alone with my kids 90% of the time so if I want a “Proof of Mom” pic, I have to ask for help.
Yes, that means talking to strangers.
I know this is hard. But do it for the greater good. Do it for Future You and Future Kids.
I usually ask another Mom with kids.
I say it just like this, “Hi! Can you take a ‘Proof of Mom’ pic for me so I can actually be in a picture AND get a little credit for all that I’m doing with them?”
They laugh and say yes every.single.time.
No one has ever turned me down.
In fact, half of the time they ask for a Proof of Mom pic too. And that’s the way it should be. We should be helping each other be in pictures.
I started this mission as a New Year’s Resolution and guess what? It’s the first resolution I’ve ever kept.
When I’m old and gray (which actually feels right around the corner…), these pictures are going to mean everything to me, and I hope they’ll mean as much to my kids.
For now, I’m just going to keep asking strangers to take our “Proof of Mom” pics, collecting these memories, and encouraging everyone I know to take them too.
I hope you’ll join me and take your own “Proof of Mom” pics.
Make it a point.
Get in the pictures.
Take “Proof of Mom” pics. You won’t regret this. Trust me. #proofofmom
Check out the #proofofmom hashtag on Instagram.
This mission is reaching all ends of the earth. Share your #proofofmom pictures too.