This Mother’s Day, be brave and show yourself. Make it about you. You know…the Mother. Do not hide behind your children, do not step out of the limelight. Instead, gather them close, hold them tightly and smile big and boldly for the camera.
This day’s images, this day’s recorded memories, should not be just of your children. Yes, they are indeed what make you a mother and you wouldn’t be a mother without them. But every other day of the year is about them. About feeding them, teaching them, cheering for them, loving them fiercely.
As a photographer I get Mother’s Day session requests…for children. Nine times out of ten the mom will refuse to be in the session. When I gently nudge I’m usually answered with a wave of the hand. “Oh no. All I want this Mother’s Day is an updated, beautiful portrait of them.” And I get it. They are your greatest accomplishment, your biggest joy. A loud, spunky, messy, cheesy smile badge of honor that you love to display proudly throughout your home. But sadly, what this means is that you will hardly exist in pictures for your children. They will grow up and they will wonder where you were. Oh yeah, always behind the camera, or hiding from the camera because you think you weigh too much or you suddenly have too many wrinkles and boy, the bags under those eyes…
Ladies, I’m going to burst your bubble. You may never loose those pounds, and if your child is anything like mine, those bags under your eyes are there to stay, and sadly, but unequivocally, you will never, ever again be as young as you are today. But you are so utterly, incredibly, indescribably beautiful to your children! They are connected deeply to your inner beauty: your gentleness, your kindness, your strength. And that inner beauty, if you allow it, if you are kind to yourself, becomes your outer beauty.
I have never met an ugly woman, let alone an ugly mother. I have met women who neglect themselves, I have met women who try too hard and women who don’t try at all because they don’t see themselves as deserving, I have met women who hate themselves, I have met women who forget that they are women because they only see themselves as mothers. But I have never met an ugly woman. In the words of Coco Channel, “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself”
So Mother, embrace who you are. Have courage and show yourself in photographs to your children and to yourself. Show your daughters the kind of self assured, happy woman she should become, and show your sons the kind of woman he should find. They will grow up and they will look at pictures from their childhood and if they’re lucky, they will see YOU: young, smiling, laughing, holding their hand, giving them hugs and kisses, being fully there. Believe me they will never notice your love handles, your double chin or the bags under your eyes. And to be honest, nobody else will either…
And yes, mommy and me selfies do count!