Scrolling through my vacation photos, my instinct was to delete this photo.
I don't love the way I look here, the kids are looking in different directions and/or making weird faces, and the photo is far from the Instagram-worthy family shot we parents strive for.
I could have glanced at my awkward, unflattering pose, and my kids unusual smiles, and put this photo right in the trash. Perhaps some of you reading this are even nodding vigorously, "Yes!"
I could have deleted this photo. But, I didn't. I kept this photo, because, all too often, I am on the other side of the camera. I am trying so hard to capture the memories of my family, I forget I am a part of this family as well.
So, when I do remember to ask my husband to take a picture of me with the kids, I know these are special moments. I know these captures are rare.
I urge my fellow moms to not just be in the pictures, but keep the pictures.
Yes, even the ones where you dislike how you look, or the lighting isn't quite right, or your kids' eyes are closed.
Keep the pictures, because they tell a story, your story. And years from now, you will look back at those pictures and instead of seeing all the flaws, you will see joy.
You will see the fun, the laughter, the chaos, the love, and all the wonderful things that make being a mother so spectacular.
Most of all, you will see yourself, just as perfectly unperfect as you are.