When my first baby was born we nicknamed my Mum 'Mammarazzi' because the poor boy constantly had her camera in front of his face.
I'd growl in my sleep deprived, make up free, exhausted state that "No!, I don't want you to take any more photos, look at the state of me!" But, she didn't stop, in fact I'm sure it made her worse and those frightful, tricky days are forever captured.
And yet now, I'm grateful. Weirdly I really am thankful. OK so I look dreadful but that's not really important. I have a lovely collection of images of Zac developing in the early weeks and months and I can see, through the obviously haze of exhaustion, the love for him in my eyes. It's a true reflection of all that we went through together, him adjusting to being in the world and me, adjusting to life as a new Mum.
These days, three children later, it's me who's turning into a bit of a 'Mammarazzi'! And my kids too, constantly shout "No! stop it Mummy!" And like my Mum, I ignore them and carry on!
For each day that passes we create more memories and move towards, bigger children, new people in our lives. Those toddlers disappeared all too quickly and Zac will soon be a young man.
We all seem to understand the value, and weird necessity, to take photos at weddings, on holiday or any occasion where we are all looking smart and sensible. But really, that's not real life, they're not really going to be our most cherished times and special memories.
Everyday chaos, muddling through each day; dragging the kids out of bed for school or football; chasing them to get dressed, eat their dinner, come in from playing out; playtime, bathtime or bedtime; trying new skills, making new adventures or just chilling together watching a movie together on the sofa....these are all individual moments and milestones that make up the real life we live and love, and all will soon just be memories.
I took a photograph of my youngest boy on Saturday wrapped up in his waterproof on his way to play a football match in the rain. Why? Because I know when we look back on that 'seemingly normal and everyday' moment we will all remember it bucketing down and how that little 6 year old couldn't wait to play in it! Today he is already 2 days older, next month he may have his hair cut and look different and in just 3 months, we are in a different year when his whole body may have changed forever. But I've captured that morning, that little face in a soaking hood, that glint in his eye excited at the prospect of getting sopping wet. And I'm thankful.
Last week it was the Biggest Coffee Morning around the country for Macmillan Nurses fundraising and school asked us to bake buns. I really wanted to throw them together myself when the twins had gone gone to bed, but they insisted on being involved and so we embarked on a 'chaotic' baking event!
Capturing each stage, their smiles shine through. Their joy at being able to measure, mix and pour the mixture themselves; The careful precision on their faces when decorating them; and of course the delight at pinching the cake mix and chocolate!
It was nothing, no event, no celebration, no milestone. But now already it's a memory. They will never, ever be that exact age again and make buns. But I have the photo keepsakes from when they were.
And so, when your children, grown up as I was, or babes like mine, moan at having their photograph taken, IGNORE THEM. They don't yet understand the importance and impact looking back on photographs of everyday moments, can have on your happiness. If you don't capture today, you won't have them to enjoy tomorrow.
Do it. Take the photo. Frame it if you can. But do it and enjoy those moments and memories.