After seeing how few photos she had that included her and her kids, a mom has shared her plea for parents to capture more memories with their families.
“When she’s in the kitchen talking to your son about his day, take the picture,” she wrote in her post. “If she’s rolling around on the floor with the kids or helping one with their homework, take the picture. Time goes by so fast and every day these sweet babies are getting older and older. Before we know it, they’ll be packing up their cars and moving off to college.”
Gatewood told HuffPost she felt motivated to write the post after realizing she only had a few photos of her and her kids, and they were selfies and only showed her from the neck up. The post was also inspired by her love for looking at photos of her mom, who died from breast cancer when Gatewood was 20 years old.
“I have a box of pictures of her that I look at often and compare. I look closely at those pictures and think, ‘Do I have her hands? Does my daughter have her eyes?’” she said. “Not once have I ever looked at a picture of her and thought, ‘Gosh, she was a mess that day.’ Or ‘Wow, she wasn’t wearing any makeup!’ All I ever see when I look at those pictures is love and memories. I cherish them.”
Gatewood’s post, which has been shared more than 269,000 times as of Tuesday, echoes many other moms’ messages about capturing memories with their families. In 2012, HuffPost contributor Allison Tate wrote a viral essay, “The Mom Stays In The Picture,” in which she stressed why she wants her kids to have photos both of her and with her.
“Someday I won’t be here ― and I don’t know if that someday is tomorrow or thirty or forty or fifty years from now ― but I want them to have pictures of me,” she wrote. “I want them to see the way I looked at them, see how much I loved them. I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother.”
Gatewood told HuffPost that since she shared her post, she has already begun taking her own advice.
“I had a friend snap some pictures of me with my kids at the pool yesterday. As someone who never wants to be reminded what I now look like in a bathing suit after having three kids, it was so empowering!” she said. “I stopped worrying about what I looked like and instead knew this was something my kids will have to look back on. My husband also recently took some of me cooking with my daughter in the kitchen and catching him doing that made me smile.”