in the picture…

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I have seen this link floating around on Facebook last last week or so. It is a post that was written by a mom regarding having her photo taken. She talks about the reality of moms needing to stay in the “picture”… Literally. I thought the post was wonderful and had been thinking about it lately. She first states her reasoning “I’m still carrying a fair amount of baby weight and wearing a nursing bra, and I don’t fit into my cute clothes. I felt awkward and tired and rumpled.” I thought… I can relate.

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She continues to talk about the importance of being in the picture… “we really need to make an effort to get in the picture. Our sons need to see how young and beautiful and human their mamas were. Our daughters need to see us vulnerable and open and just being ourselves — women, mamas, people living lives. Avoiding the camera because we don’t like to see our own pictures? How can that be okay?”

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I remember watching a Opera one time about how our body image is most influenced by our mothers body image of herself. For some reason it stuck with me. I have seen this hold true in many instances. My body has been through a lot this past year and in the past month I have come to peace with that. I had grand illusions of carrying twins with minimal (healthy) weight gain, no stretch marks, and nursing for about a year to nourish my babies and hello?!? burn calories. I gained a healthy amount of weight… ended up with stretch marks….and nursed for 3 months. I was disappointed and pretty mad at my body for what I momentarily considered failing me. I had Mastitis twice, a bacteria infection and more clogged ducts than I cared to count. There came a point where all I was doing was pumping and desperately trying to work out clogged ducts. I was miserable and not able to take care of my babies.

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After weeks of agonizing over the decision to quit…I did. Now I sit at my computer misty eyed just thinking about it. I never thought I would be one to care so much about breast feeding. I thought I would do it to loose some extra weight and give my babies “the good stuff” in the process. As miserable as the experience was for me I hope that it is redeemed some day. As of today I am trying to focus on the AMAZING thing my body did. Through the grace of God I was able to get pregnant with not one but two babies, carry them to term with no complications, and avoid a C-Section! Amazing. I thank God for designing our bodies to do such things. Its an experience not everyone is blessed with and I am thankful.

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We were headed up to take down the lake yesterday and Brad and I started talking about this blog and how fun it is to look back on. He asked me when I first started posting things and I couldn’t remember so I hoped on and starting reading through archives to him. He pointed out that there were more pictures of him than me. I thought it was interesting because I don’t feel like it is intentional. Regardless of how I feel about myself I don’t tend to shy away from pictures. This post I read was more of a eye opener for me to be more intentional about getting in photos. Not necessarily just staying out of them. Does that make sense?

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I love her quote towards the end “When I look at pictures of my own mother, I don’t look at cellulite or hair debacles. I just see her — her kind eyes, her open-mouthed, joyful smile, her familiar clothes. That’s the mother I remember. My mother’s body is the vessel that carries all the memories of my childhood. I always loved that her stomach was soft, her skin freckled, her fingers long. I didn’t care that she didn’t look like a model. She was my mama.” So true.

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“So when all is said and done, if I can’t do it for myself, I want to do it for my kids. I want to be in the picture, to give them that visual memory of me. I want them to see how much I am here, how my body looks wrapped around them in a hug, how loved they are.”

Well said Allison Tate!

Check out her original article in its entirety HERE!