Thursday, 9 January 2014

Take a picture of you and your child today!

This morning I read a Huffington Post article that finally got me to stop procrastinating and start this new blog (it’s been in the ‘planning’ stages for a couple of months now…). The story, and the responses that the article received, really resonate with me, as I’m sure they will with many a mum.

The story follows a knackered mum as she attends a family get together where there is a photo booth for guests. Her son is keen to take some pictures with mummy. Mummy is less keen, given that she’s spent her time getting her charges ready for the event rather than herself and has a sleeping five-month-old strapped to her chest. She’s worried she looks old, fat, and basically far from her best. Pictures of her cute kiddies are more enjoyable to look at, so she generally avoids the piercing eye of the camera. Sound familiar?

But something makes this mummy realise that by avoiding photographic records of her and her children, she is doing them all a disservice. Children don’t judge their parents on appearance; they don’t remember ill-fitting tops from nursing days, baby weight on your tummy and baby food in your hair. They remember the fun you had together, the places you went, the things you did, the way you made them feel. And when you’re long gone they will want to look at photos of your shared past and see you there.

Xmas 2010: Not my best angle but shows I was actually there at least!!!!

As if this wasn’t enough to make you step out from behind the lens, the follow-up article collating the responses to the original piece was simply humbling. Many people identified with the mother in question, and others had stories of how photos had become even more important as parents and even children had been lost to illness and accidents. Others lamented the lack of pictures of their own mothers and wanted to spare their children that experience.

The article showed how memories we have of our family are precious and a photo of both every day and special events allows us to relive those half remembered moments. Such images tell the story of their childhood AND your motherhood – and yet many of us are voluntarily writing ourselves out of that tale because we are not quite picture perfect. 
April 2011: Blurgh! But the kids are enjoying themselves...

But my new blog isn’t supposed to be about being sad! A Happy Healthy Mummy is in fact quite the opposite!! It’s about allowing yourself time to recover yourself from the train wreck that child bearing and rearing can sometimes be! I want mummies not just to be happy in front of the camera because they realise their appearance isn’t the be all and end all of life – but also because they feel confident about the way they look too.

My new blog will centre on mummy wellness – bringing mummies out of the baby fog by way of healthy eating, fitness, relaxation, products and treats. I hope you’ll join me as I try out new experiences (not least the half-marathon I’ve signed up for – eek!) and add ‘taking care of myself’ to the long list of mummy duties I know we all have. (Tip: it's more important than getting the next load of washing on).
August 2013: I've come out the other side alive!!!

Let me know if you have a topic you’d like to read about in the comment box below – and thank you for reading!