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"I don't feel guilty about taking 10,000 holiday photos of my son."

Expedia
Thanks to our brand partner, Expedia

“Just enjoy the moment” will be the final words my husband utters. They will be inscribed on his headstone. Not that I intend to murder him or anything. It’s just he’s been on mindless autopilot with this phrase since we welcomed our son Max into the world two years ago.

The source of his annoyance? My incapability to sit back and just watch a moment unfold with my eyes instead of my phone. I just can’t help it. When I see my son doing something cute, I need to capture it immediately. And then upload it to the ‘gram, of course.

And that ramps up a gear when we’re on holiday because let’s be real, naked toddler bums waddling across idyllic sands in some exotic location are just so unbelievably adorable and who am I to deny the world of this beautiful image?

Since Max was born, I guess I’ve probably taken around 25,000 photos of him (maybe more?!) and around 10,000 of those are holiday snaps. And yes, I’ll admit that getting that perfect shot hasn’t always been a dignified matter.

I’ve been chin-deep in sand in many beaches in different locations, just trying to nail that perfect angle. I’m the mum standing on the chair, trying to get my son’s chubby hands reaching for the buffet breakfast because the aerial angle is really the only way to capture the moment.

Darn, I near killed myself hanging out of a tuk-tuk in Thailand to get the perfect snap of my son’s first ride.

I am dedicated to the cause and as a result, I’ve captured some of the most incredible pictures of my son in some of the most incredible locations around the world. We’ve road tripped around New Zealand and Australia, we’ve island hopped in Thailand and bula’d all over Fiji.

But why is it that unless I savour the moment with my eyes, I’m not really enjoying it? My argument is, and will always be, is that this is my way of enjoying the moment.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, new research proves that I’m not alone in social media being an integral part of my holiday experience with the fam! (Ha, take that hubby and others from the technophobe pack).

The new #LikeToTravel report by Expedia shows that a whopping nine out of ten parents log on when they’re away. In fact, we’re spending an hour a day documenting our #travelwithkids moments. And an incredible 65 percent of us are doing it to make others feel the FOMO.

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Now, I can hear the social media haters of the world, just like my husband, gasping in horror about the time we’re spending on our devices rather than with our children and the disgust that Instagram likes are now the new currency in parenting.

But hold up. Let’s take a look back to the 1980s. I’m sure I’m not alone in remembering the arduous task of mum taking a photo on one those flimsy plastic throwaways. She seemed to be thumbing that dial for the best part of week before singing out, “Cheese.”

Not only would an age pass before a photo was taken but they were so staged, everyone in the picture would have those hard-jawed grins from smiling too long. And that’s if you ever saw the photo because it had to be developed at the pharmacy.

Now, not sure that sounds like “enjoying the moment”.

These days, the trend is capturing the natural. I think I’ve said “cheese” to my son maybe three times. And each time, he’s reached out his hand and eagerly said, “Yes please!”. He has no idea what I’m talking about as he’s usually unaware that I’m taking photos of him.

And like the 64 percent of mamas in the Expedia report, I usually upload during nap time or bed time because those with a toddler know that if I even look remotely interested in my phone, my little dude starts squealing for YouTube and demanding some nursery rhyme mash-up.

It’s easy to feel guilty about device use. Hell, for mamas, it’s easy to feel guilty about anything. But really, the early stages of motherhood are a blur. I haven’t slept longer than three hours since 2016. Add that to the fact that my baby brain is still going strong and what’s left of Max’s first couple of years is a memory that’s kind of like looking through frosted glass.

I need those magical photo aids to keep track of all our adventures and the fun we’ve had. After all, how am I supposed to remember him looking super cute in a frog towel, lording it up in a cabana in Byron Bay when I can’t even remember to put fuel in my car each week?

(PS. Thanks road-side recovery for your constant support.)

What are your social media habits on holiday? Do you post or go off the grid? Drop a comment below and let’s talk.

For your next holiday inspo, follow @expediaau on Insta.

Expedia

Expedia is one of the world's largest full-service travel sites, helping Australians and New Zealanders easily plan and book travel. Expedia is a one-stop-shop and aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of top holiday destinations, affordable airfares, hotel deals, car rentals, cruise deals and in-destination activities and attractions.

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