Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I’m always taking pictures and videos of my kids. In fact, at this rate, I don’t really need the scrapbooks I bought but still haven’t put together, because my phone has their entire lives captured—the good, the cute, and the ugly (filming the tantrum is fun sometimes, no?).

I just want to capture it all. Save it. Savor it.

I often think they will love watching themselves live their lives one day.

One day, they will want to know how they were when they were little. One day they will need some candid footage for their wedding videos, or graduation slideshows.

I will have all the candid moments ready for them. I will be the mom driving the photographer crazy with the thousands of photos I’d like to use.

“But she is just so cute here trying broccoli for the first time. We HAVE to use this photo!”

I can hear myself now.

I also take videos and pictures of them playing together, reading books, and roughhousing with their dad. There are lots of videos of them with their dad. Sweet pictures of kisses, experiences, and tender moments I make sure to capture.

But me? Well, I’m just the voice. I’m the narrator of the video. I’m the one making the face or smiling big or saying the thing that makes them do the thing I need to catch on camera.

Why am I only the voice? It’s not because my husband doesn’t try. He does! But I love to say, No let me video it! Or, No I’m not dressed today! Or, Gosh I look horrible, don’t get me in the shot!

I do this because somehow, I’ve let the emphasis of capturing the picture or video to transform from catching a precious moment to portraying a precious moment perfectly.

Somehow, I’ve let social media make me feel like I’m unworthy of being in front of the camera unless I can live up to some idealized image of what I think I am supposed to look like in those moments.

I can assure you the candid, special moments don’t happen when I’m perfect. Nope!

I’m usually in yoga pants, with air-dried hair, and no makeup to hide my tired eyes.

So no, I don’t want to be in the video.

No, don’t show me on camera.

Let me be the one BEHIND the camera. I’m safe there.

Recently, a friend sent an old video she had found of my mom when she was about my age. She was playing in a parents’ basketball game with her friends. She was young and thin and super cute as she bounced down the court in her biker shorts and t-shirt. Her hair was in a ponytail, she didn’t look like she had any make-up on, and she was laughing. She was having so much fun!

My mom wasn’t trying to be perfect. She probably didn’t even know she was being filmed. She was just being involved with her kids, participating in our lives, being in the moment with her friends, and enjoying life.

I watched the video over and over. It was only a minute long. A small clip of a not-so-important day, but I watched it again and again because I loved seeing my mom like that.

She was cheerful, free, energized, and not giving a damn about how she looked on camera. She looked happy, and it made me feel happy to see her happy in that moment in time.

Seeing that video made me realize how much my kids will one day want to see me, too. They will want to see me from before they really remember me. They will want to watch me hold them and make funny faces. They will want to see me as I rock them and feed them their dinner. They will pay attention to how I move and smile and if I seem happy around them.

They will want to see me because they won’t remember me in these moments. If they hear my voice speaking behind the camera, they will yearn to see me. My unwashed hair and no-makeup face won’t matter to them if I seem happy.

I am happy. So they deserve to have the preserved proof of that bliss.

I’ve decided it’s time to stop caring. It is time to stop pushing the phone out of my face when my husband tries to capture the moments. I need to stop redoing the picture to show “my better side”. Or posting up in picture position, instead of just smiling as I am.

It’s time to remember to just be in the moment because that is all the picture and videos are trying to capture in the first place. It’s time to know that it’s not how I look that my children will notice first, but how I delight in them that will bring them joy.

It’s time to let go and let love shine through. It already does in my heart, my pictures should let the world know.

You may also like:

The Family Photo That’s Always Worth Getting

The Reason My Husband Cropped Me Out of This Picture Broke My Heart

To The Moms Who Take Too Many Pictures: Keep It Up

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Nicole Schoolfield

Nicole has gone from marketing to mommy-hood! She has one little one and another one the way! She loves all things that inspire each of us to live our best life possible. Her blog, The Extraordinary Day, has more on self-improvement, spirituality, and mommy life. You can also find her on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.  

Dear Graduate, I Love You Forever

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Kindergarten grad

I never imagined these days of preparing for graduation, senior prom, senior photos, and you actually moving out would come. A few weeks into your life, friends gifted you a 6-month sleeper. I remember the cuddly white footie pajamas well. But I swore you’d never get big enough to wear it. How could this 8-pound human grow to fit into 6-month clothes? Impossible. And then somehow they did fit, and then they didn’t anymore. Just like that. Everyone says the days are long but the years are short. Everyone, that is, who has had a lot of years. When I...

Keep Reading

Always Choose Adventure

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Two children looking at aquarium exhibit, color photo

Here’s the thing about traveling with little kids. Is it hard? Sometimes. Sometimes it looks like a whole carry-on dedicated solely to snacks, activities, and emergency treats. Sometimes it looks like buying a drink for the passenger next to you as a way of saying sorry and thank you all at the same time for the airplane kid chaos they endured. Sometimes it looks like altering your picture-perfect itinerary that you meticulously planned on account of missed naps finally catching up. Sometimes it looks like washing a car seat off in a hotel shower because your toddler got carsick, then...

Keep Reading

Love Beyond Words

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugging daughter

My daughter Lexi lost her words and some of her motor functioning when she was two years old. She was three when the silent intruder of Rett Syndrome made itself known through seizures. But here’s the heart of our story: even without words, Lexi and I have created our own language—a symphony of unspoken love. She may not call me “Mom” in the traditional sense, but her eyes, her laughter, and the unique sounds she makes speak volumes to my heart. Each day with Lexi is a dance—one where the steps aren’t always clear, and the rhythm can change in...

Keep Reading

Daddy, Am I Beautiful?

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Daddy holding preschool-aged daughter, color photo

“Daddy, do I look beautiful?” I heard my daughter ask my husband from the other room. I barely heard what she said as I was in the kitchen washing the dishes, but her words struck a chord in my heart. My sweet girl, all dressed to go out, asked for her Daddy’s assurance that she was beautiful, that she was admired and special. It hit me in that moment: this pure and built-in desire we all have to be loved, admired, and wanted. Just as my sweet girl wanted her Daddy’s approval and assurance of love, I so often cry...

Keep Reading

Sensitive Sons Are Strong Too

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy pets kitten held by another older boy

My son has always been timid. When he was a baby, he cried when he lost his pacifier in his crib. If I laughed too loudly, he might burst into tears. Once, he was asleep in his bassinet as my husband and I turned on a movie. The MGM lion roared, and he woke in a panic that seemed to take forever to calm. Now, at five years old, my son wrestles, runs, fights, and screams at the television. He pretends to fight bad guys and save me and his twin sister. He thinks he is the king of the...

Keep Reading

Wrestle Like a Girl

In: Kids, Motherhood
Girls wrestling team huddling on the floor

I’m a wrestling mom, but I’m a new breed. I’m the kind with my little girl on the mat. Sure, I support our son out there, and I scream like a wild banshee with the rest of the crazy parents, and I’m in awe of the athletes these boys are. But then steps out our daughter. And it’s different. She decided to join her big bro at practice years ago when word was just starting to spread about the possible emergence of girls’ wrestling. She was only in kindergarten, but I think my husband might have already been thinking college....

Keep Reading

I’ll Hold on To Moments of Childhood with My Preteen as Long as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Smiling preteen and mother

This Christmas season, my husband took our laser light projector and aimed it at the Australian bottle tree in the front yard. It shone like a thousand red and green fairies dancing through the branches. The first time I saw it, I gasped with glee. Christmas came and went. Much to our 6-year-old’s disappointment, we took down the decorations and boxed them in the attic until next year. I noticed that my husband forgot to put away the light projector though. One Friday night, recovering from a stomach bug, we decided to watch Wonka and fold laundry. We bought into the...

Keep Reading

“Tell Me Another Story, Daddy?”

In: Kids
Man reading to young son

“Tell me another story, Daddy?” I had heard these words since we had finished supper. My 5-year-old son loves hearing stories. He loves to put himself in these stories. He doesn’t just watch Paw Patrol, he’s in Paw Patrol. He is a Kratt brother. And he loves hearing stories about his favorite adventurers with him saving the day alongside his animated heroes. While I absolutely love telling stories to my son, there are many days when I don’t feel like it. When I want to say, “No, Daddy is tired. Why don’t you go play with your toys while daddy...

Keep Reading

Getting Glasses Can be an Adjustment

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Pre-teen wearing glasses

On their last break from school, my daughter and son happily enjoyed a nice week of catching up with friends and having a relaxed schedule. I was careful to avoid overloading our schedule so we had a nice balance of days out and days being at home. As can often happen on a school break, I used one day as our “appointments day.” We had our routine dental checks and eye exams booked. The morning went smoothly with the dentist, and then it was time to head home for lunch. Next, we popped back out to do the children’s eye...

Keep Reading

To the Fifth Grade Parents: Thank You

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Arcade style photo machine, color photo

To the fifth-grade parents in my community: How are we here already? The end of fifth grade. The end of elementary school. It feels like yesterday we saw each other at kindergarten drop off, some of us through the tears of sending our first baby to school, some seasoned pros, and a small group of us with a touch of extra worry in our mama hearts—the special ed mamas. Among the many things I worried about sending my kindergarten son to school was how your children would treat him. Would they laugh at him like they did at his Montessori...

Keep Reading