There were a lot of photographs taken in the days following my children’s birth. Photographs of my babies cradled in loving arms, sleeping peacefully. Photographs of their being passed from one loving family member to the next. More than a reminder of what my children looked like when they were first born, they’re important to me because they capture moments of bliss, of fear, of pride – they illustrate how the love of a child can transform a person. The many little memories captured those days are among my most cherished.
These images have permeated our lives in ways I didn’t initially anticipate. They’re now part of my family’s story. In our living room sits a framed picture of my son, my first born, opening his eyes for one of the first times in his life, looking over the shoulder of a relative to the camera beyond. A photograph of my husband holding our newborn daughter, whilst our son stands on his tip-toes to peer at her, was the image which we used to announce our daughter’s arrival to friends and family on social media. A bulletin board on which I post the most sentimental papers of my life, has one photograph from the hospital stay after my son’s birth – of my childhood friends clustered around him in delight, posing for a selfie with the newest member of our tight-knit group.
I’m just not in any of them.
photographs those hours and days following my children’s births
I’m not alone, I know. It’s a habit of mothers to look down the window of a camera, rather than be seen through its lens – one which Justine Slapp, co-founder of the popular Hills District Mums Facebook group and mother of two, wants to change. For the second year in a row, Hills District Mums has championed the hashtag ‘#mumsinthepicture’ for Mother’s Day – a campaign that encourages mothers to take a selfie with their children every Mother’s Day. If not for ourselves, then for our children.