Ask Your Father

My Advice For New Dads: Take More Pictures Of Mom With The Kids

She deserves to see how motherhood looks from a different angle.

Hey, Guys, 

Take a picture of your wife with the kids. I know, it seems silly, but it's important. Moms are always taking pictures of the kids. They take pictures of the kids on the playground, in the backyard, at birthday parties, and doing silly things in the bathtub. They take pictures of them with friends and family. They take pictures of Dad with the kids. Let her be in a few so she has some memories with the kids too that aren't selfies. 

Just catch her in a moment and take the picture. Sneak a few. Make them candid. Or better yet, put some thought into it. Do a little planning. Ask her what she wants. Wait until she's ready for the day, give her a little warning, and then take the picture.  Take several.

Realize the importance of a picture. To put this into perspective, when I suggested this story to my editor at A Plus, she said this: "My mom is in almost none of our family photos, and I wish there were more of her." Awhile back, I crowd-sourced on my blog Facebook page this question: "What should new dads know." And the number one response, by far, from moms was "take pictures of mom with the kids."

Because here's the thing, your wife deserves to have some memories, too. She deserves to see her children look at their mother with admiration, or frustration, or compassion, or love. She deserves to see how motherhood looks from a different angle. She deserves to have several moments where she can look back at her life as a mother and remember and smile. Once this whole parenting journey is through, pictures are all she will have of the silly smiles and little hands and feet.

And sure, she might not like the picture in the moment. She might not like the way she's dressed, or how her hair fell, or the fact that she just had a baby. But take it anyway. Don't share it online. You don't even have to show it to her in the moment. You don't have to delete it. Just keep it saved somewhere safe. Wait until she's forgotten. Wait until the kids have changed, and she has too. Wait until she's forgotten and then show it to her. Or just look at it yourself, and admire who she is, and how much she does for your family, because mothers truly are wonderful.

The picture above, the one on top, with my wife and son at the zoo, with the wonderful green tank, that works so well with what the two are wearing. I took the picture almost 10 years ago on an old digital camera. I was in graduate school. Mel was a stay-at-home mom. I forgot about it. But then, years later, Mel and I unearthed it while searching that old camera before throwing it out. She almost cried because she'd forgotten about that moment, how little our son was, and how excited she was to tell him about the fish in that tank. 

They say it's the little things that make a marriage, a family, work. Taking pictures of your wife with the kids is one of those little things.  

Now keep in mind, I've been a father and husband for almost 13 years, and it wasn't until this year that I realized the importance of taking pictures of my wife with our kids. So if you are a little behind here, don't worry. I also never realized how much they might mean to her. But now, I'm making up for lost time. I'm snapping pictures almost every day. Because I now understand that those pictures will help my wife remember a moment she might not even know was significant, and it will help her to realize that I understood how beautiful motherhood is.

Clint Edwards is the author of  I'm Sorry. Love, Your Husband, and the funny and insightful No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog. He is a staff writer for the very popular (and awesome) Scary Mommy. His work has been discussed on Good Morning America, The View, The Talk, and The Today Show. Everyone from Whoopi Goldberg to Sharon Osbourne to Kathie Lee Gifford has agreed with his take on parenting and marriage. He's also a parenting contributor to the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Disney's Babble, and elsewhere. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter

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