My mornings consist of breakfast for the kids, coffee for me, a little play around while Cbeebies is on in the background.


I tidy up, put on a wash, dress the boys all the while rocking my orange fluffy dressing gown, mascara stains under my eyes and 'baby hair' standing on end around my hairline. Then I will sort myself out. 


Usually, Dave will have face timed us before I get to make myself anyway presentable, and even after 10 years together where he has seen me give birth, he's held my hair back as I spew my guts up with one of my famous death hangovers, when it comes to the horrible lens that is face time I will cover half my face, and even during in depth conversations have the camera facing the kids rather than myself.


When I do show myself, I will be pulling very unattractive faces to poke fun at my tardiness rather than let my husband believe I think it's anyway acceptable to look like this every morning he calls. He sees me this way when he is home but face time really does make you look fifty times worse than real life...or that's what I'm telling myself anyway. 


With that being said, the same goes for photographs. Even when I'm in full hair and make up I rarely get into a picture, I still don't feel worthy enough, there is always something about myself that will put me off. Shit, when did I become so hard on myself?


I think it was when I had kids and my looks turned to shit, at least to me they did.  So like all mums (unless you hate your kids and I'm sure you don't) your phone is filled with pictures of them. You don't have an ounce of storage left but you just can't bring yourself to delete one of them, even the one where they are picking their nose and crying their eyes out at the same time, it's not cute but you keep it anyway. 


This morning I looked through my phone and realised I don't have any family photos with me in them, apart from a couple of morning mascara selfies with the kids which usually get deleted straight away, there was two taken in the last year of me with my husband, and none of all of us together apart from one at Jesse's christening. I am always the one taking the pictures of the boys with their daddy. 


So bringing in my morbid side, I am someone that will always kiss and hug goodbye encase it's the last time. I will never leave or let you leave on bad terms encase its the last time. I will kiss my kids an extra kiss each night in case it's the last time. It's a fear I'm sure a lot of people have. But today I thought what if it actually was the last time, what if today something against my will had taken me from my family. Would my kids grow up to forget everything about me because I felt too ugly to get in a picture with them, so they never had one to treasure?


What if today was the last time I see my husband, there would be very little of our precious memories stored on a camera of us together, growing up together, starting a family together. And what if it wasn't the last time, what if we all stayed around for a very long time and my kids grew older and moved out and started their own families, I myself wouldn't have any photos to look back on of me with my beautiful little bundles because I felt too ugly to get in a picture with them. 


I have one picture of just myself and my mother, one picture ever, and it was on my wedding day, what if that was the last picture I got to take with her. No pictures of us just sitting together laughing at something silly or a picture over the Christmas dinner table, no memories captured. 


Having been living in England for the past 10 years, I have missed out on a lot of memories being made within my family, birthdays, a few Christmas's, random nights out, new nieces and nephews coming into the world and this makes me sad. I don't want to waste any more memories, I don't want to be the one watching the memories from behind the camera, I want to be in them. 


Becoming a mother made me forget myself, sit in the background and take in all that is beautiful around me but never letting myself be beautiful in it. I really did lose myself, I am a mother and a wife but my individuality disappeared when those roles came into play and that needs to change, but only I can make that change so from today I am going to do just that.


I don't mean I'm going to go around with my phone stuck to my hand all day taking selfies with every person I pass on the street but I am going to take photos and get in them. I'm going to print them and hang them on the wall. I'm not going to analyse every feature of my face and hide half of them because they showed my double chin. I'm going to embrace that double chin and my baby hair and every other part of me I criticise every day because if it was the last time, my children are not going to see any of those things, they are going to see their mother who in their eyes is beautiful no matter what.


They will see the woman that brought them into the world and shared all these beautiful memories with them and captured them all to treasure forever, they will be grateful for that. I will be grateful for that. So don't waste any more time. Take a picture now and be in it, capture that memory and save it forever. Don't regret it being the last time.


P.S. This pic shows me today starting to get snap happy with my fambam xx




Lindsay O'Flaherty is a 31-year-old Irish Mammy living in Hertfordshire. I wanted to just be Mary Poppins but my kids broke my umbrella...and everything else I own so now I write about all things life and parenting as we know it. I have three kids aged three and under. It helps to laugh so let's laugh together. Follow Lindsay's blog Mary Not So Poppins.
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