I had a sad realisation the other day.
I'm due to feature my VBAC birth story in a magazine article and they required a photo of me and J. I had the perfect photo but as it has been taken on Ian's phone and then sent to me by text, it was too small. I asked Ian to send me the original photo but he kept forgetting so the writer suggested sending a different photo as long as it was within the first two weeks of J's life.
Only, I don't have any.
Nobody ever takes photos of me with my children.
I have thousands of photos of my children and I have many snaps of them with Ian, with grandparents, with other family members and with friends. But the number of photos I have of me with my children - that are not selfies - barely makes it into double digits.
I have two photos from N's birth - or at least on the recovery ward after. A photo on his first Christmas, a photo on my birthday when he is 5 months old and a photo when he is about 8 months old at the lavender farm - but it's awful, rushed and unflattering. A photo on his second Christmas when he is 13 months old. Then a handful of photos from our trip to Bluestone a few months ago - he was 2 years 8 months old!
From J's birth I have two photos, I have a photo from my birthday this year and then I have a photo from the lavender farm last month.
So I have about ten photos of me and N and four photos of me and J. I could cry!
I often take photos of Ian with the children. When people came to visit N when he was born, they would take photos of him, photos of themselves with him, but no photos of me with him. The same thing happened with J. I have so many pictures of other people with my children but only 14 photos of myself with them. It makes me so sad!
I want to be able to look back in years to come and show my children photos of us. Proper photos. Not selfies, because I am useless at them and anyway they don't capture a memory. Not really. I want to show them what I looked like, because I know I’m changing over the years too. I want them to see how I played, laughed, cuddled and held them.
So how do I solve this? I know there is no point asking Ian to take photos of us because he is too busy. Instead I'm going to try to just ask people to take photos of us. Like a tourist! If we're out somewhere with friends I'll ask them to take a photo of us. I did this at the lavender farm last month and now have a lovely photo of me with J. I didn't get one with N because he was in stubborn toddler mode but hopefully I'll get one soon.
I'm also going to start taking a photo of me with the boys each month myself using the self-timer on my camera. Like the one above. Nothing fancy, just us sitting on the sofa or the bed or the floor. My children are changing so quickly and growing so fast that I can't miss any photo opportunities.
I've already missed so many.