The Bloopers of Motherhood

Sometimes I get caught up in the highlight reel that is social media.

There’s nothing wrong with it–the perfectly posed, filtered, aesthetically-curated photos proudly displayed front and center on any given mom’s instagram grid. I’ve got those pictures, too, and I treasure them. 

I like that those moments are captured–when my kids’ outfits are matching, and a professional photographer somehow managed to edit out the stress that surely showed on my face from the two chaotic hours of getting ready before the photo was taken. I want those pictures. I have those pictures hanging in my home. 

But: I want the bloopers of motherhood, too. Not just the highlight reel. 

I want that unflattering picture my four-year-old daughter took of me swaying in the kitchen with my newborn son, hair disheveled, dishes stacked high in the sink behind me, my still swollen stomach cushioning my son, the rising morning sunlight streaming in through the kitchen window. 

I want the picture of my daughter squealing with delight as she clutches a toad in her hands, front door wide open, an array of brightly colored, non-aesthetic toys scattered around her on our living room floor, welcoming any guest with the reminder that “children live here.” 

And while this picture may never see the light of day on social media, I want the picture of me bleary-eyed and freshly postpartum, wearing the mesh hospital underwear, bags under my eyes, nursing my newborn baby with pain and awe written all over my face. 

The pictures I have in my phone that remain unfiltered also remain untouched–sacred. They are real life. They are the moments that make up my real motherhood experience. 

They may not be beautiful in the curated-instagram sense, but they are beautiful to me. And the bloopers–those images that aren’t profile picture worthy–are what I am going to miss when my kids are grown and out of the house. They are the moments that I’ll look back on and laugh, or cry, and feel immense gratitude for.

I’ve heard so many of my dearest mom friends say that they cringe when seeing those unposed pictures of themselves. I’m guilty of it, too. But I just know that ten, twenty, thirty years from now, I won’t find those pictures cringeworthy. I won’t see myself and notice the extra weight, or the tired eyes, or the messy house. I’ll see myself in one of the most precious chapters of my life, and be so thankful that fleeting moment was caught on camera. 

You don’t have to post the “bloopers” of motherhood if you don’t want to, but I hope you save them. Someday, they might be the photos you treasure most.

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