So I’ve had two different conversations with friends who don’t want to be on their family’s Christmas photo card. Both conversations have gone like this: “I’m just going to take a picture of the kids. I’ve gained so much weight this year.”
I know how you feel. I thought for sure that I’d be wearing at least a size less this year. . .you know the clothes in that bin on the top of my closet shelf. But, the fact of the matter is, I’m not. Oh well. And even though I did try to photoshop a few of my curves out of our current Christmas photo(I wasn’t successful!) I’ll be damned if I’m not on that card. Blood, sweat and a ton of tears have gone into birthing and keeping this family alive and semi-happy.
Not to be selfish, but if there is one person who should be on our holiday card, it is ME (and my husband, well, he’s also given his weight in blood, sweat and. . .well, maybe more sweat.)
And, here are the five reasons YOU, MOM-friend should also be on your Christmas card.
1. I don’t know your kids. In some cases I get photo cards of children I have never met. I know that they are the most important people in your life, but I haven’t seen you in YEARS (in some cases DECADES). Seeing your children every year is NOT the same as seeing YOU. I love how you’ve dressed the children in matching outfits, but so does every Gymboree ad. I just want to see you with the kids. Maybe you all can wear matching outfits. (That feat is way beyond my skill set.)
2. There are too few pictures of moms with their children. As moms, we are usually taking the pictures and very rarely are we in them. A couple of years ago I was putting together a slide show for our Mother’s Day event for our Mothers of Multiples. I asked for moms to send me pictures with their children. I had SO MANY MOMS say that–get this–they had NO PICTURES OF THEM WITH THEIR CHILDREN. They had Daddy and Grandma and Aunt Ella, even Mickey Mouse with their children, but NO PICTURES OF THEM. It was a shock to them and I had to laugh until I tried to find a recent picture of me with my children.
3. I miss seeing YOU! Remember how pre husband and pre children we would hang out. . .we would actually ask each other , “So, where should we go tonight?” I love my husband and my children, but part of me still longs for those carefree days without any responsibilities and all of the time in the world. And, if you are a friend that I’ve met since becoming a mom–we text each other more than we see each other so please send me that visual reminder of what you look like. And, honestly, I don’t see the flaws you claim that you have. I see a friend whom I greatly admire. . .the woman commiserated with me when I thought my life was falling about. . .the friend lent me her favorite outfit for a family photo.
4. I actually like watching you age (and putting on a few extra pounds). It makes me feel like we are both human and our battle against nature is ultimately a losing affair. I feel connected to you in that cosmic mommy way. And, if you’ve kept that 18 year old body, GREAT! I’m inspired by your ability to balance it all. (Okay, I’m probably slightly jealous as well–but is is a good jealousy.)
5. Be on your Christmas card for your daughter, your niece, your best friend’s daughter–for all of those girls and young women who’ll notice how many moms are missing. Why are women missing from the thing that they spend so much time and money on? What does that say about how you value YOU? Why aren’t YOU worth being on the card, too? In fact, be FRONT AND CENTER. Pick the picture that you like you in the best. You have earned every wrinkle, gray hair and tummy roll, girlfriend! These are badges of honor–believe me!
And when our children look back on the Christmas cards (because honestly who else saves our cards from every year except us and maybe the grandparents?) they will smile as they remember their mom and her crazy hair, and mom jeans, and that slightly disheveled and tired look–year after year. Mostly they will look at you ,not with the hyper critical eye through which you view yourself, but with a lot of love and nostalgia for those great family memories.