This mum’s heartbreaking story reveals just how important it is to make sure you put yourself in the family photos.
“One of my biggest regrets is that I wasn’t in many photos”
Many mothers suffer with body image issues – let’s face it, all of the changes to our body after having a baby are hard to cope with! And that can mean that we shy away from photo opportunities when our children are young. But this mum’s story is a very good reason why we should make sure we are present and accounted for in our family’s photo albums.
When Michelle Steinke posted a photo to Facebook this week of her in 2008 with her baby son, she explained the significance of capturing memories with your family, even if you don’t like what you see when you do.
Less than a year after this photo was taken, Michelle’s husband was killed in a plane crash. At the time of the accident, her daughter Addison was 3 years old and her son Matthew was just one year old.
A devastating reality
Michelle’s biggest regret since her husband passed away was not being present in many family photos. She explains further in her post:
“My self-hate and loathing kept me from taking photos of my babies and photos with the man I loved. Hindsight is always 20/20. I can tell you now it was stupid. I can tell you my kids loved me regardless of my weight. I can tell you my husband loved me irrespective of my body.”
She goes on to warn others of missing out on the memories she is now lacking…
“You can always work on improving yourself, but this moment will never come again. Don’t waste it wishing you were more,” she writes. “You are enough, right now, right as you are. Take the photos. Love your life. Don’t regret what you can control.”
Be present in your children’s memories
Michelle’s hope is that her post will encourage other mums to make sure they are present in the memories their children will cherish for the rest of their life.
This might mean embracing our bodies as they are, even if we’re not happy with the way we look.
“You shouldn’t stop living because you think you should be more fit, weigh less, or look different,” she says. “You can always love yourself while you work to better your health and fitness. This moment is your life … don’t miss it.”
Her post has attracted many supportive comments from other mums who are encouraged by her words and starting to embrace their own bodies.
One mum writes, “You are beautiful! And thank you for the reminder. I want to be in pics with my husband, my kids, and my grandkids! … Just have to get past my own self judgment.”
The fact is, mums are often the ones taking the photos and that can often mean we don’t feature in the family memories that our family will cherish in later days. But if we omit ourselves from these wonderful family memories, our children may not have much to hang on to when we are gone.
So let’s make sure we are present and accounted for in our children’s memories. Make sure you put yourself in the picture!
Have you found that you are missing from many of the family photos and memories?