I am writing this post as I sit waiting for my phone to download approximately 6000 photos, dating from last August until this June, onto my computer so that I can print these photos out and put them into photo albums. I want to print all of them, but I must go through them and pick and choose which ones will make the cut. I didn’t do that with Holden and now I have two photo albums with 700 pictures chronicling the first six months of his life.
Plus, I still have the photos on my camera and the all the special occasion photos to print up as well.
Does this seem a little excessive to anyone? I sometimes wonder if having cameras on every device imaginable is actually a good thing. I stress so much about capturing all the precious moments of my little ones that I wonder if that stress is causing me to sometimes miss out on these precious moments?
Question: Is a baby’s smile still as cute even if you do not capture the first ten times he does it?
I mean the memory books, the photo albums, the photo books, the scrap books, the picture frames… Am I the only person overwhelmed here? Holden is almost two, and I have not printed a picture since he was six months old. I feel a panic attack coming on every time I think of how I need to keep up with preserving all these memories.
I know this stress is nothing new.
I just have to take one look at the stacks of photos that have yet to be put into photo albums at my Mom’s house, and the way she cringes when she looks at them, to know that mine is not the first generation to be swallowed by the monster that is personal family photos.
But at this time, with the internet, it seems we have this whole new level of crazy. The internet is a wealth of information that unfortunately can show us exactly how we do not measure up. One look at Pinterest and all the crazy, cool ideas and ways to preserve memories for ourselves and our children, and you realize that you could make a full time job out of the art of photo preservation.
Maybe I am not organized enough? Maybe I am not artsy enough? Maybe my children will be so sad that they are not able to see a photo of themselves from every day of their lives?!!!!!
Or maybe I should focus on capturing select, beautiful moments in their lives? But how do I even do that when every moment is beautiful and perfect? (Insert nervous twitch.)
What in the world will they do with all these photo albums anyways? At this rate my children are going to have like 200 photo albums to go through when they are older.
I have decided that the picture insanity needs to stop. In order to stop the insanity, I have come up with a resolution for myself.
First, I will give myself grace. I am raising two beautiful boys and the world is not going to end if I do not properly document every second of their childhood.
Second, I will enjoy my moments with them rather than constantly pausing to photograph or digitize the moment. I will remember to pause and take mental pictures. I will keep my focus on them and being there for them in that moment. I will push away thoughts of needing to share the moment with the entire world.
Reminder: Shelbi, it is OK to have private moments that no one will know about.
Lastly, I will continue to do my best to pick and choose the photos I cherish to pass on to my sweet ones. I still believe it is important to capture memories. I just do not need 100 pictures from each event or moment of their lives. One or two will suffice in most circumstances. Less is sometimes more. Plus, those little moments will add up to a lot at the end of the year.
So today, dear friends, I just want to encourage everyone to let go of the photo obsessing and stress. I encourage you to embrace life in the present without any technology. I am doing my best to do just that.
We are all in this together. We will survive this messy world of immense pressure, immense responsibility, and immense love… this world known as parenthood.
And we will survive the demonic force that is the photo album.