I have written before about how social media has turned us into a society of people who are constantly documenting our day to day lives, our most cherished moments, our big announcements & life-changing memories. We do this mainly through photographs, and use various Apps like Instagram and PicCollage to make sure every detail looks perfect.
Position photo opp, take photo, apply filter, apply hashtag, post, await the likes and comments.
I think we are now more than aware that it can be dangerous to take this too seriously, especially when viewing others lives through their Facebook feed, and more often than not through a rose-tinted (or in the case of my Instagram shots, a Valencia filtered) lens.
This trend is especially true of those with little ones. Cue lots of photos of kids with animals, children on days out, little angels grouped together on play dates, mummies & babies lunching. Not a snotty nose, grubby face or crying meltdown in sight. I am especially guilty of this, I am not writing a preachy post here, I hold my hands up and admit that when I look at photos I’ve posted of my two children, I get a little tingle of pride, and those photos represent great times and memories, and do a great job of erasing any bad moments we may have had on those particular occasions!
It used to bother me if Lylah wasn’t smiling perfectly at the camera, but now I’m used to having a temperamental three year old, it is something I’ve had to let go of. No more true than on Malachy’s Baptism Day, in the church, when all I wanted was ONE photo of us as a family, just Chris & I with our two babies. Lylah’s face says it all in the photo that I have proudly framed in my living room. I look at it now and chuckle, and still laugh about my nan plying her with sweets trying to get her to smile and stop wriggling to get down for one minute!
What I’ve started to see a little more of recently, is people posting more realistic photographs of their little ones. I’ve seen more crying in photos, more grumpy faces, and less of the “I will stand here as mummy told me to” type photograph. And it’s so refreshing to see!
Let’s take each occasion I mentioned above. In every one of these scenarios, as any one with children/or has hung out with children knows, there is often only one or two “perfect” moments!
Kids with animals = meltdown because they are scared of something and won’t go close enough to get into photo frame.
Children on Days out = many moments of screaming, tiredness, boredom…do I go on?
Little Angels grouped together on play dates = if you get this shot then you’re a miracle worker!
Mummies & Babies lunching = no sign of the food on the floor, the struggle of squeezing them into the unfamiliar highchair or the overpriced cake that has gone to waste!
Chris has been off this week, so we have and a few family outings and a little party at home for St Patrick’s Day. Cue lots of opportunities for cute photos as perfect mementos of our time spent together.
I’ve posted some beautiful photos on Facebook this week of my family, but what I haven’t posted are some of the classics on my camera roll, or documented the happenings around each shot!
First, there was our day out at an animal sanctuary, which overall Lylah loved. Lots of cute photos of Lylah looking angelic, but not one of her screaming whilst being chased by oversized Bantum Chickens! Or moaning for about 27 minutes because she was cold and she wanted to go home and watch Kinder Surprise on YouTube (don’t ask).
Then there was our day trip to the woods. There is a wooden carved chair at our destination that people often post photos of their children sitting on. I wanted this photo! Have a look at the camera roll evidence of Lylah’s progression into a meltdown. And the smile on my face moving slowly to a grimace! I also just about managed to save Malachy from being wheeled down the hill and off the edge.
Then there was St Patrick’s Day morning. I wanted a nice picture of the two of them in their green outfits, sat on a flag. Standard. These were just a few of what we had before I was happy!
The one where Lylah was squeezing Malachy in a head lock shortly led to him toppling backwards when she let go quickly, followed by 5 minutes of crying and snot and a puffy red face.
So, you can see, not all of life’s moments are filled with picture perfect memories, but they are memories all the same and make us what we are. It is okay to show people these, it might even make them feel a little more normal about their own lives.
We are going to Peppa Pig World tomorrow, and I promise that as soon as Lylah has any sort of meltdown I will photograph every moment of it, along with the bright backdrop of Peppa and George’s house and Mr Potato’s city, or whatever it is we are in store for!
All of that photo stress is so worth it though, when I get to capture my two looking like this…
P.S. I often find that bribing children with Kinder Surprises helps capture that perfect “smile”