I was recently flipping through old videos on my phone and reminiscing about the baby years. Like most parents, I have hundreds (actually thousands) of videos of my kids. I like the “quick video” approach. Kids are doing something cute, so I’ll grab my phone and take a few 10- or 15-second videos to capture the moment.
My youngest is now 3, so we are quite removed from the baby years. I am so grateful I caught so many moments from those years. I have videos of my babies sleeping, siblings playing, Nana singing to a newborn, first steps, first words, bath time, tummy time, Daddy snuggling and playing with the babies.
However, there are no videos of me with my babies.
Not even one video (other than a few selfies) of me interacting in any way with my babies in their first year. My heart is broken. I spent hours upon hours every day playing with and interacting with my babies. After so many years, the memories do fade, the feelings fade, the emotions of what it is like to make a baby giggle fade. I can hardly watch a video of my husband playing with our babies because it makes me too emotional that I cannot see myself doing the same, considering I was the one with them all day every day.
I was always so quick to capture everyone else interacting with my children, but no one ever thought to capture me with my baby. Not even my husband. We looked through his phone and did find a video of me holding my son in my lap while my daughter gave him raspberries on his belly. That’s it, folks. One video. Of someone else playing with him while he sat on my lap.
Please ask your friends and family to take not just photos, but videos of you interacting with your babies. They may not think to do it themselves. Don’t worry about your messy bun and no makeup. Who cares if you’re wearing sweatpants and an old T-shirt. These videos are not for social media — they are for you. You will watch them back and smile at all the goofy things you did to get this little human to laugh, walk, or smile.
It is not about seeing your baby. (You already have plenty of those videos.) It is about seeing yourself. It is about seeing your own smile and pride while you interact with your child. I flip through these old videos now and sob — literally sob — that I can’t see myself playing with my babies.
I am begging you, please stop with the video selfies and ask someone to take a video of you playing with your baby. These years go by too fast — you already know this. Do not be embarrassed to ask; make it a priority to archive these special moments of you and your child.