Confessions From The World’s Worst Photo Mom

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There are so many reasons for a mother to feel guilty and for me, I find that mine change by the day. Or even the hour. I try hard to keep perspective and am generally pretty easy-going but there are a few things that provide a constant undercurrent of guilt that I can never shake. One of them is the fact that I basically totally suck at taking, uploading, printing and displaying photos of my children. I am more or less the world’s worst photo mom.

I wasn’t always this bad. When I had my daughter, I started off strong with the baby pictures. I was a stay-at-home mom at the time and in possession of a digital camera. Without much else to do during the day while hanging out with my little sack of flour, I took approximately 11 million pictures every week and had them printed out regularly. I trolled stores for cute frames, I made photo gifts for every occasion for everyone we knew (you are WELCOME for those amazeballs coffee mugs) and I made a happy little hobby out of documenting my progeny’s every burp.

Then, I got pregnant again before her first birthday. I was also babysitting another child her age at the time so being home all day with a pair of 1-year old babies coupled with being pregnant and unmotivated meant that my camera was making fewer appearances than usual. I still kept up and for her birthday party, I crafted a beautiful scrapbook to display at the party chronicling her first year and also, giant foam-core boards plastered with the pictures I could not fit in the scrapbook. This was my peak as a photo mom. Shit only went downhill from there.

After our son was born, I hit my stride again for maybe the first month- I was intensely motivated by another brand of mom guilt, even more powerful than photo guilt. Second Baby guilt. I already felt bad that he would never get the same kind of attention his sister got so I had to at least amass a collection of photos that could hold up to his sister’s so that when he grows up, he won’t think I loved him any less. His first birthday came and while I did not have time to assemble a whimsical scrapbook, I did manage to slap together the foam-core boards of photos and that was going to have to suffice.

With every year that passed, my photo output lessened and my guilt increased. It had gotten to a point where I would go several weeks without taking a single picture and would only bust out my trusty digital camera for holidays. I also have so many photos laying around waiting to be framed- school pictures, baseball pictures, the handful that I’ve manager to have printed over the last few years but never framed. It is a sad state of affairs. I have not updated the photos in my office in at least two years. I live in 2012 at work.

Then, my iPhone came to the rescue. I cannot say I have gotten any better at printing and framing but getting an iPhone this past May means that I am at least taking pictures again. It doesn’t mean the pictures are all that great either- after all, my kids are no longer sweet babies that sit mesmerized by the camera and giggle at my dumb faces- they are only too happy to thwart my photo efforts with a goofy face or just not looking at me. At least they exist inside of my phone and on The Book of Faces. I can relax a little knowing the years aren’t flying by totally undocumented. And if all I can get is a creepy paparazzi shot of their backsides as they walk away from me, I will take it. I will take it all day long. And maybe on some ambitious day, I will order a print of it and frame it. A mom can dream.

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My Own Crappy Photo