Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
Seemingly everyone loves a good "mom life is crazy!" post on social media. Look at this mom trying to shave her legs with a toddler in the way! And this one spending so much money on candy vitamins! Hilarious. According to social media, mom life is one part zany sitcom, one part staged perfection plus prop styling, and one part horror story filled with trolls. But guys, I hate to break it to you: A lot of parenthood is just...kind of boring. And Instagrammer Sophie Cachia is here to celebrate the boring parts.
A photo that Cachia posted this week is going viral for just that reason: It's rather uneventful. It's not posed. It's not prop-styled. Cachia hasn't done much with her hair or makeup. In fact, not much is happening at all — but it's pretty damn adorable regardless. In the photo, Cachia and her son are on the couch watching TV; it's one of those seemingly unimportant parts of life that most of us wouldn't think to document. Which is exactly why Cachia is urging us to "take the god damn photo."
Dear Men, take the photo. Take the god damn photo. We spend days capturing beautiful moments of you and the kids. So whenever you see one of us with our babies, a beautiful candid moment, take the bloody god damn photo. Cheers, Mums. (@jarydcachia nailed it. He TOOK THE PHOTO??Time with my boy while bub sleeps. Miss lazing around with you everyday ?)
Specifically, she's urging dads to take the goddamn photo. But I'd argue that it's not just dads who are slacking on candid-camera duty. In any relationship, it's easy for one person to become the Default Photographer — just as one person is often Default Chef or Default Money-Manager. We fall into these roles, one would hope, based on skill and interest — not just gender. But in the case of family photos (whether or not kids are involved in said family), we should aim for a more equal divide.
Why? Because otherwise, the entire recorded history of your relationship prominently features one person and not the other.
"I can count on less than two hands how many candid photos I have of me with my children," writes Scary Mommy blogger Valerie Williams. "Posed photos? Sure, we have plenty. But documentation of those sweet, everyday moments lazing around on the couch or playing outside is scarce. I remember the times my husband would try to click a few of me with our little ones, and I’d immediately dodge out of the frame saying I looked like shit."
I's time to embrace the boring parts — the un-staged, un-styled, un-spectacular moments. Because, I hate to break it to you: That's what real life is. Most of social media is not depicting real life, and it's high time more of it did. So take the goddamn photo.