It’s that time of year. You know what I’m talking about. The time when you place undue amounts of stress on yourself, hoping the shutter speed will be fast enough to catch your cherub (with just the right amount of blush in the cheeks) so you can show him/her off to the world. You plan meticulously, call every photographer within a 56 mile radius, stay up for hours the night before, making sure the baby is sleeping and when his big day comes…… you will stress yourself sick in an effort to get THE PERFECT PICTURE.
*Sigh* Okay, pull up a chair and a cup of coffee and listen to your Good Enough Mother. There is no perfect. I know you’ve heard that before. You may have even SAID it before. Now I want you to believe it! The thing is the entire outing will be less stressful if you don’t make the stakes so high. With that in mind, here are three quick tips:
- Start with a well-rested baby: You already know this to be true, yet time and again we think about everything but the well-rested baby. We’re worried that we’ll lose the deposit on the studio, she won’t have another slot for months or the cherub will never be as cute as he or she is right now. Stop. Those are artificial deadlines. So what, the holiday pictures go out in February (I’ve done that). If the baby is rested and smiling, that’s a small price to pay.
- A well-rested mommy helps too!: You probably don’t need me to tell you, but when you’re fatigued the world is one, hot, smelly-diaper of a mess. I am not kidding! If you want an accurate idea of what the picture will look like, you’ve got to be able to see through more than blood shot eyes. Remember when everyone said, “Make sure you nap when the baby naps?” Do that! Even if baby doesn't smile on cue, it will all be okay, because you’ll have your wits about you.
- There's no such thing as perfect: You’ve heard that before? Well, allow me to reiterate it. Perfection only occurs in fairytales, where people have babies and are back in their straight-leg, size zero jeans in three weeks. This is real life; welcome to it. That means cranky babies, pimples on picture day or maybe both. So you have to punt. Yes, the photo may not be ideal, but when you look at it in its perfect frame you’ll remember what a great time you had when you relaxed and just let it be. You can’t control bad weather or baby acne, and pretending that you can will only cause more stress for you and baby (then see what kind of photo that gets you).
My kids are a little bit older now, but ask me how many perfect photos I got when they were babies. Yep. Zero. But the memories I have of each one? Those are just right.
What’s your secret plan? How will you attempt to get a decent baby picture this holiday season?
By Evenflo Savvy Parenting Expert Rene Syler, founder of Good Enough Mother