Monthly photos. Task or torture? Is it really worth it?

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On the 28th of each month, that is what I’m doing.  I pose my now five-month-old in a traditional white onesie with a number sticker stuck to her belly.

Fifty-seven. The number of pictures I snapped on September 28, 2017- one month after delivering my sweet baby girl.  Now each month when the 28th rolls around, I find the time in my busy day with laundry, keeping the dog from barking when the mailman comes, and chasing after my toddler to capture my daughter on her “monthly birthday.” 

I’m not sure when this fad started.  I know with my first born, my husband bought me a beautiful monthly photo frame from Pottery Barn Kids.  I was obsessed with taking his monthly pictures in the same spot month after month.  So much so, when we traveled away from home on his monthly birthday, his onesie, sticker, and birthday hat were the first items I packed.  I now have a beautiful filled frame of my son from months one through twelve.  I did not want my second born to fall into that “second child syndrome.”  An identical frame was purchased for her.  While I swore I wouldn’t put another child or myself through the torture of taking “perfect” shots, here I am for round two. 

I now laugh as I scroll back through those fifty-seven pictures of my sweet gal.  Monthly photos are clearly poor torture for mom and baby alike.  However, with social media, I for some reason think it’s important to update my Facebook and Instagram followers with a most recent photo of my little one. 

What social media does not know is the number of cries that came from my baby.  Cries that told me she did not want to lay flat in her crib.  Cries that said “Take this party hat off!”  What Instagram doesn’t show is the sound of Randy Travis Pandora blaring on high volume to surpass the screams from the baby.  What Facebook doesn’t show is the mimosa that was poured at 10:30 a.m. to help calm Mom as the pictures were being taken.  (Although a mimosa is basically a breakfast food, so it really shouldn’t count as a morning cocktail anyways!) 

Maybe some of you are smiling as your read this because you know exactly what I’m talking about. You’ve been there.  You get it.  Maybe some of you think I’m crazy for complaining about this daunting task.  Maybe some of you could give two hoots about monthly pictures.

But as I look at my son’s filled frame, and my daughter’s frame filled to month five, I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that I have these on display in my home to look at every day.  These photos represent more than a decoration in my house.  They are a constant reminder to myself about how blessed I am to have two healthy, beautiful babies.  Every time I pass these frames in my dining room or receive a reminder on my social media app from previous month pictures, it reminds me that the small trivial problems we have in our lives are truly that.  Trivial and meaningless.  As long as each month, my children grow and remain healthy and happy, that is what matters most in life.  While the task is hard at times to capture that perfect shot to add in my monthly frame, I have my friends Randy and Prosecco to help me along the way. 

So moms, my word of advice to you is get your camera ready.  Print those captured memories. Each day remember to count your blessings.  Because those months quickly turn into years, and time goes by too fast. 

 

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Ashli is a Fayette County native but made the leap to Allegheny County in 2013. She married a man named Jarred that she met randomly at a Toby Keith concert at KeyBank Pavilion. Seven years later, they have shared four blissful years of marriage and have welcomed three children into their homes; their oldest- a black rescue lab named Fiona, a sweet toddler boy named Collins, and a precious baby girl named Carmie. Ashli and her clan live in the South Hills, but more importantly five short minutes to Target where she enjoys quiet weekend strolls through the aisles. Extra bonus points are added when she stumbles upon something she doesn’t need, but has to purchase because it has the red clearance sticker on it. Ashli is currently working on obtaining her Master’s degree in STEM Education. Ashli is passionate about working with children, and is a fifth-grade teacher presently on maternity leave. Last January, Kristine Sorensen from KDKA interviewed Ashli because she was nominated as a top Peer Mentor for the students in her district. While away from the classroom this year to take care of her own sweet babies, she receives weekly FaceTime calls from former students that need a pep talk. Ashli’s goal in life is to change the lives of students that have ventured onto that wrong path in life, and do everything she can to get them back on the right one.