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I Have No Regrets About Being That Mom Who Takes Millions of Pictures

Photograph by Getty Images

Full disclosure: I have over 4,000 pictures in my 2016 folder. I have far surpassed previous years and it’s only September. Why? Because my daughter was born.

I remember reading an article a few years ago about being present in the moment. About putting the phone or the camera down and just live in the moment. And I do that. I really do. I was hospitalized for almost a week after I delivered my daughter and I had endless amounts of time to just.. be. I spent hours holding her to my chest, snuggled under a soft blanket. I had my husband take a few pictures of us. But I wish I had more.

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I remember taking pictures of her while she was on tummy time in our living room. I was laying next her to on my side, snapping photos of her face as she looked at me in mild disgust for the indignity of having to lie on her belly. As she opened her mouth in a wide yawn, I snapped another photo.

I remember one night when she fell asleep in my arms after nursing when she was about five months old. And I sat there, rocking for several minutes, hoping the chair wouldn’t squeak and wake her. I motioned for my husband to grab the camera to take a few photos.

It’s imprinted in my mind, those feelings I’ve had that life is fleeting and it passes too quickly and that struggle to commit to memory the way her forehead scrunched up when she tried to look up at me from in the hospital bed. Or the way she looked when she was a week old and fast asleep on my chest. How her hair was disheveled hours after she was born. I recall those feelings of being present with her and sighing deeply, knowing I will never get those moments again.

But the truth is, you do forget, and you forget quickly.

But I can’t picture my daughter. I close my eyes and try to actually picture her hours-old forehead scrunch, or her peaceful newborn sleeping, or that disheveled hair and I can’t quite. But I can open up my computer and click on the folder and see her. Ah yes, I think, now I remember.

I feel guilty sometimes for taking so many pictures. But I also have a terrible memory when it comes to my baby. And I never thought that would be the case.

But the truth is, you do forget, and you forget quickly.

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Living in the moment doesn’t mean you can’t take pictures of it. It’s possible to still “live everyday as if it’s your last” and still have your camera around your neck.

I have no regrets about the amount of photos I’ve collected. And as my daughter grows, I can’t wait to continue capturing those memories forever, pulling photos out to relive those moments years down the road. To actually see the way her little body looked as she runs down the trail ahead of us, or how big her smile was when we gave her that first bicycle.

And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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