Motherhood: The Moments No One Sees

Today’s mothers hold a special power that no other generation of mothers quite held: the Smart Phone. And with this power (sometimes) comes the pressure to capture every moment of your darling child’s life.

(Especially if you have family out of town, who eat it up!) The least you can do is snap a picture, or post a video. Right??

It’s amazing that now 362 of your Friends can tune into Baby Girl smearing spaghetti sauce all through her hair at dinner. And by bath time, you can have 31 ‘Likes’ on it.

But this wasn’t always so. There was a time when the only people who could see your little guy run through the sprinkler in his diaper were the neighbors next door.

One part of me, (the minimalist part), wants to pull the curtains of Facebook closed for awhile and just live. I want to lose the constant camera waiting to burst out of my pocket, and the feeling of “I should be taking a video right now…” I want lose the self-consciousness, and the constant mirror my camera can become.

But, the other part of me (really) loves technology. I love that my brother-in-law in Africa can see his niece’s first steps, hear her first words, and spew out her first bite of rice cereal. I love that my sisters and parents can watch her splash in the tub after dinner, or dance like a maniac on the kitchen floor. Because in a way, they get to share it too, the moment. Moments they would otherwise miss.

But what about the moments we don’t capture? The moments no one sees?

Motherhood is full of these. No one gets to share some moments because you were laughing so hard, you forgot to snap a picture. Or you were too busy chasing monsters, or you were waiting to burst out of the closet, or you were ‘It’ in freeze tag. Maybe your toddler hid your phone in his toy box. Maybe you were too focused holding your breath in silence during hide-n-seek. Or you were lost in making Play-dough together, or painting, or building a fort out of cushions—so it was never recorded.

And some moments are so sacred, no camera could ever capture them. Like the tenderness of rocking your little one to sleep in a dark room, and watching her drift away in the moonlight. Staying there, with her, even after she’s long fallen asleep. Just to hold her. Or was she holding you?

Sometimes the moments no one sees, the moments you couldn’t capture, are the moments that captured you.

I don’t say this to make you self-conscious of what you post, or to bash my (incredibly gifted) photographer friends. That’s the last thing I want. By all means, take pictures, and videos, a lot of them! One day, you will be so glad you did. You will remember so many beautiful, hilarious, crazy moments you were bound to forget in the haze of your memory. And it doesn’t make you one bit vain to share them with others. It’s good to give others a window into your daily joy. It’s a part of community.

But I guess what I want to say to moms, and I want to say to myself is: It’s okay if you miss some moments because you were enjoying them too much. It’s okay if you were just too busy being there. It’s okay if while looking into those gorgeous blue eyes, or those chocolate brown ones, gazing into yours–you got lost, and didn’t even think to reach for your phone.

You were captured instead.

 

 

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Motherhood: The Moments No One Sees

    • Paige,
      Thank you so much. I think you are beautiful as well! I am so happy for you that you now can enjoy the beauty of TWO little girls! God has blessed you indeed. (And blessed them with you, too!)

  1. Your writing is captivating Rebekah. Your posts forever bring me to tears. At this moment I am quite upset both my children are sleeping so I cannot give them the biggest hug and capture the moment together. Your words are so true. It is good to snap a pic, to take a video, but then it is good to set the phone down and enjoy the moments–the sacred moments which go by much too quickly.

    • Sasha,
      Thank you so much for being ever encouraging to me. You have helped (probably more than you know) to spark me on to keep writing. I am new to this and some days (most days) I have no idea what I am doing. So thank you, truly. Our kids are such precious, unmistakable God-gifts! I know for me I am so easily distracted with many things, I can miss the most important ones right in front of me! p.s. I have been enjoying your blog as well! 🙂

      • I am new to this as well so we can help bring some encouragement to one another! 🙂 You truly do have such a talent for writing though. Keep it up and thanks for all the beautiful reminders to remember the miracles right at our feet.

  2. I don’t know you but you just brought me to tears. Absolutely loved this! Never thought about this before but I know as a mom sometimes you feel defeated by all the things that should be done. Thank you for this post. It has brought light to darkness for me.

  3. Your posts bring me to tears. They are so insightful, loving and touching. I have often felt guilty about the pictures of family I have not taken, because I was so busy living in the joyful moment. It’s hard to do both simultaneously. And I am a great-grandmother of 70 years.

  4. Perfectly written. How do you it? How do you capture in words what I feel in my soul.

    I don’t post pictures of my children. I know my family wants to see them, but I’m just to busy enjoying the moment. And I don’t want my children or my life to be falsely represented. I don’t want to use them to make my life look good. Not that others are doing this. But it is too easy for me to get caught up in other peoples comments/likes and forget that my children are much more than a picture.

    I used to post hundreds of pictures of my daughter then took them all off facebook. My friend often asked what happened to the pictures. I didn’t respond. I just stopped posting them. And I feel much better. But that is just me.

    It made me feel good to read this post. I sometimes see fotos of my friends babies and all the comments/likes they recieve. Then I catch myself wondering if I would get more comments by posting pictures.

    Of course it is not wrong to post pictures, but it is better for me personally not to post pictures. Although I do like to tell stories.

  5. I love this post. I so believe in capturing the moments in your head. My baby all of 7 months and NOT a single picture on FB. People often ask why.. not because I think its uncool to have some 500 people checking your family out but because I don’t have ENOUGH pictures of us together. Why? Cause I capture them all in my head..

    • I love that you capture those moments in your head! I think about some of the moments I’ve “ruined” by trying to capture them with my camera! Although I love to look back on the pictures–sometimes taking them gets in the way of being in them and really being present in the moment. Thanks for reading and your comments! 🙂

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