The day started out as any other. The sun was shining and I was feeling great about my day off with my daughter.
But when I got my phone out to take an impromptu photo of our wonderful day, I was met with the words an Instagram addicted mum never wants to hear:
“No More Photos Mummy!”
My smile dropped. It was the first time that she’d ever told me that she doesn’t want me to take her photo.
As well as a small tear, a few thoughts rattled through my head:
- As a mum, my one major interest is my daughter. My other interest is photography. Well that scuppers that plan then doesn’t it?
- As a large part of me, she is entwined into my identity like a knot. But when will she untangle that knot and wriggle free? What will that leave me with?
- Okay, so she’s only two. I’m not going to give up the ghost just yet of sharing her images but it is the first time that it’s made me think about it.
This isn’t about online safe sharing.
Sure, some people decide to block out their children’s faces, or only show their children from behind to safeguard them. But that’s not for me. I don’t share pictures of Georgia’s foof. Even I don’t want to see that.
I don’t tell you exactly where I live and I make sure that door numbers are obscured and that I’m not sharing pictures of our friends etc. But you still see us. You see the fun we have. You probably don’t even notice the measures I go to, which is the whole point.
What it is about is coming to terms with the fact that I’m sharing pictures that aren’t necessarily mine. They’re hers.
They aren’t always my memories. They are hers too.
If she stops letting me take her photo, my Instagram account and blog instantly loses its identity. If I’m not sharing her life then what is my life about?
I’m not sure you’d be interested in hearing my thoughts on who’s going to be kicked out next on Love Island.
As a parent I now largely live my life through hers. Holidays are planned around what she’d enjoy most, restaurants booked around which has the best child-friendly menu. Heaven help the restaurant that recently gave us a pot of colouring pencils that were dog-eared and all pale pink at 12pm.
Sure, we all take a moment to indulge ourselves – whether that’s a day at the spa, my daily life in the world of content marketing (read: drinking TEA!), or hobbies, but the cool things that I like sharing with people are largely related to Georgia.
Let’s face it:
Her life is far more exciting than mine.
From experience, people generally start unfollowing my Instagram account when I post pictures of myself. Would I be enough without my tiny sidekick constantly in my feed?
I created her, but she is growing into her own little person with her own feelings with every passing day. I wouldn’t change it for the world and I can’t ignore it forever.
For now, I’ll squeeze her a bit tighter and get as many photos in as possible before she starts demanding no more photos on a permanent basis
Have you gone through a similar crisis? Let me know your thoughts!