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NO LONGER IN THE FRAME

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This post won’t be up very long.  It’s very indulgent and self pitying, and I never normally write like this.  If I do press publish I’ll go back and forwards in my mind wondering whether to press the delete key – and in the end, that emotion will probably win out.


You see, I would love to vlog.  I have so many ideas.

But more than anything, I’d love to feature on my own blog.  And occasionally I do.  Maybe once every two months, or on a special occasion – but the truth is, there aren’t any photos of me to feature.  It makes me sad, it makes me feel ugly.  But it’s not just the photos I cringe at that bring on those feelings, more lately it’s the lack of them.

Every sleeping and waking minute, I’m with my children, yet when they look back in years to come, they won’t know that.  They will have no idea what I looked like smiling at them, holding them, ruffling their hair.  They won’t see my pride, my joy, or the way they lift me up and make me feel worthwhile.  They won’t know what I was doing in their lives – or if I was in them…

…and it’s my own fault.  I’ve trapped myself.

It all started after we were married and I miscarried.  I ate for comfort and the person I was when I got married disappeared – I think I ate her. Maybe twice.  I shied away from the camera and took photos galore of Jensen, Gav, and the huskies.

Sooner or later, no one took photos of me.  And now there are next to none.  And I feel that somehow, if I ask for a photo of me [with one of the boys, it would never be just me], I’m narcissistic.  Somehow I feel others will judge me for thinking I’m worthy of being on film.  Being behind the lens is safe.

Initially I gave excuses.  Yet, I know it’s not because I’m too busy, or even because I have no make up and I’m still in my pyjamas.  It’s not because someone else doesn’t know how to use my camera [although that’s true, but it has an automatic setting], it’s for one reason alone.  I hate the way I look, very often.  Every inch of me.

Last night as I snapped away in the forest for a post, and as I watched my husband feature in my photos for some very beautiful shoes, it hurt.  I feel like a no one inside. Not valued, not cherished, not special.  And I know that there are no memories of me saved for my boys from most of the outings we’ve taken together, and I can’t go back.  I don’t want photos of me plastered over every inch of my social media – I just wish there was a little bit of me – and maybe a little bit of me that loved that little bit, too – or felt like I was worth something to someone.

So where am I heading?  Apparently we are supposed to love ourselves before anyone else can love us – and so this morning I posted a photo of myself on our Instagram.  No make up, at the end of the day with a mom-knot in my hair, sat in the mud, shooting photos with Baby Hero.  I’ve looked at that shot over 20 times and hovered over the delete option for the duration.  I’ll probably take that down too – but I’m hanging in there at the moment.  I need to learn to love my wobbly, post-baby body and 30-something face.  Then maybe, just maybe, I’ll be back in the frame.

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48 Comments

  1. I went through a phase like that. I felt terrible about myself. I can't explain where those feeling came from, but eventually it passed and I hope it passes quickly in your case, because I have seen pictures of you and you are adorable.

    1. I'm so grateful to hear I'm not alone in this, Robin. I feel so awkward even having posted this, but I see so many people post their honest feelings on their blog, for once I wanted to join in. Thank you for your support and lovely words.

  2. I think we all go through phases like this hun and there is nothing wrong with sharing how you feel, afterall no one can be happy 100% of the time with everything can they? x

  3. Right first of all that photo of you on instagram is beautiful!

    Do you ever look at photos of your mum and think gosh Mum looks so fat, ugly etc in that photo? No you don't you just see your wonderful mother and that is exactly how your children see you and always will do. They will want to look back on photos of themselves with you as they get older. I used to hate looking at photos of myself but I get in them now just so my kids have memories of me with them as they get older.

    I hate myself too more than anything but the more I get in the photo the more I see something I like, my other half often captures me having fun with the kids and I hate 99.9% of them but sometimes there is just one that melts my heart… that 0.01% is why I do it as that is captured forever!

    Be kind to yourself, give yourself sometime! You are special and deserve to love yourself and be happy xxx

  4. I have been struggling myself and I want to let you know you are not alone in your feelings. Having babies and the changes that come with that take away our confidence. I had to go through therapy to know that. You are a beautiful lady and your boys need to have photos of you. They don't need to be on social media just make sure there are some for them. They will never look at the photos and judge you as you are their mum x x x x

  5. You re so beautiful Sara-Jayne. You really are, but I understand that feeling. I am so large now sue to medications etc and I feel like a terrible person both on the inside and out. You are not along. I wish I was like what I was before the cancer, but I am not. I am going to try and be in the photo's. I am present in my boys life, but always behind the camera

  6. I feel the same way at times, but the reality is that isn't how other people see you. Your children will cherish photos with you in years to come.

  7. Oh this post makes me so sad. Where does all this ridiculous pressure come from on us all to look like catwalk models? It's madness.

    You look wonderful in that picture, smiley and happy and you will be glad you have photos like that to look back on when hero's grown up x

  8. I think everyone feels that way and one time or another. It's show that you are a powerful person to share them and say it aloud. A when you look back you will realize you were and are beautiful just the way you are.

  9. First of all, leave that photo up…it's beautiful. Secondly, I've come to some of the very same realisations lately. Looking back over years worth of photos, these kids of mine won't even know they had a mother. I'm not sure that it was deliberate…I'm just the one always taking photos…but a small part of me wonders if some of the same insecurities that you describe may have been at work too. Hugs.

  10. I saw your photo and you are beautiful. I love your smile, too. I think we all go through that phase. I did, too and never wanted my photos taken. I'm still not too brave, but I'm doing it a little at a time.

  11. At 47 I have never liked having my photo taken even as a child. I feel your pain. I think most of us feel that way to some degree. The more you do it the better you'll feel.

  12. You are beautiful and should not hold yourself back to being behind the camera, you deserve a place in front of it! Be proud of who you are, because your family certainly does love you.

  13. I think we're all much more critical of ourselves than others are. Others just see a cute family picture, but we tend to nitpick our own photos. Family photos used to go in personal scrapbooks but now we all post them publicly. It's a big change and it's hard to get used to.

  14. I know how that feels. For a while there I would not let anyone photograph me. I felt so horrible about myself. Then I realized that it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about me. What really matters is how I think about me. I don't need anyone else's approval to think that I am beautiful 🙂

  15. You aren't alone. I hope you keep this post so that other women can find it. I've lost myself over the years. I've never been to keen on being in the spotlight or photos. You would think as a blogger that it would be the opposite.

    This is one of my reasons why doing videos is terrifying for me. I don't mind talking but I don't want in the video.

  16. You are so brave to share your true thoughts. We moms need to be kinder to ourselves…you are a beautiful lady who has created a beautiful family!

  17. You look fabulous! I went through this stage and now make a concious effort to be in some photos, even if its a silly selfie. I am still the one behind the camera mostly, but you occasionally see me pop up in a pic xx

  18. I was always one to run from the camera. I noticed as my kids got older there where hardly any with the me in them and I wanted them to have pictures with me in them for when they got older. We are all worth being loved and that includes being loved by our self. Thanks for sharing.

  19. I'm in that phase as well right now. I actually can't believe I posted a video with myself in it about our juice fast but felt I needed to but other then that you won't find pictures of me very much. Thank you for sharing your post.

  20. I don't like being on camera or video either, and I hate sitting in front of a mirror at the hairdresser. I made myself get over it after I went to a talk by a brilliant vlogger. He said that he'd felt the same but he made himself stop worrying about what he looked like on camera and just go for it. You look lovely by the way.

  21. You love the way your child looks and so you must love you too. That's your beauty reflecting from your baby. 🙂 The good thing about feeling unhappy with how we look or feel is that no matter how long we've been doing it, we can turn it all around right now. That can be your past. And your future can be, an "I love me, and I love how my kids reflect me" belief, forever more. 🙂

  22. I love this post. I love that kids don't care what we look like on the outside, they don't care, they just love.Oh to be that innocent again…I'm sure you are beautiful because you sure are on the inside and that reflects outward.

  23. I feel like this too. I tried vlogging but when I played it back I just hated myself. I'm hardly in any pictures with my son as I feel so stupid in front of the camera. By the way, your picture is really nice and you have perfect teeth. I think we all must feel like this. I've had a tough few years and comfort ate, a lot, it's really affected my self esteem. We all need to stand proud xx

  24. I can relate. Completely. There comes a time when you won't feel like that, especially being a mom it makes you realize. In order for you to show your kiddos to love themselves and who they are you must as well. They watch what we do, and see more than we know. You are beautiful, no reason to feel any differently! What anyone else thinks? Doesn't matter. Hugs. – Jeanine

  25. Thank you for posting this and your instagram image, please don't take them down. It is OK to be introspective and to ponder sometimes. You are beautiful, I look at your photo and see a massive smile, good skin and a mummy who loves her little one. You are worthy and unique. I'm riding this same journey as I'm far to overweight but I'm learning I'm OK and you are too. Mich xx

  26. Girl your not alone! I think everyone goes threw things like this! I had a modeling career people dream of when I was younger and get I'm scared to death to vlog! I'm scared of what I would look like and sound like on the camera…. Maybe one day I will just do it lol….

  27. I am in a phase like that myself. I understand. When I found out I could not conceive and then shortly after my father, who sexually abused me for 12 years, died. I keep eating because food is my drug. I stopped doing cooking videos for my website because if I couldnt stand to look at myself how could I expect anyone else to do it? I used to be in all the pics, now I run from the camera and when my hubs tries to post something, I go in his account and delete it. YOU are not alone. We've all been there. Everyone deals and heals differently. But, we do all come out the other side, eventually.

  28. I am trying to get past the same issues myself. I want there to be photos of me to add to out memory wall. I will have to try taking some more photos of myself this weekend.

  29. Hmmm…by the way you described yourself, I didn't expect to see what I saw on that Instagram photo. Don't delete that bright eyed, gorgeous face of yours. I love the little support group going on in the comments. I hope you know that these are not just words we're saying to make you feel better. It's the truth. It's a truth we hope you start to believe too. xoxo

  30. You look pretty gorgeous with your awesome smile in that Instagram Pic. I really appreciate the way you have shared your feelings here. But in real others don't see it the way we see it on our own. Just love yourself!

  31. I think my comment just deleted itself but what i said was that you are beautiful, in fact a beautiful and massive part of your family. I love seeing the posts of you all together. Whatever the reason I think us bloggers are often out of the photos anyway. I'm rarely happy with the photos my husband takes for me, they just aren't my style or what I imagined in my head!

  32. I have to admit that I was expecting to click and see a mess and tell you to take the photos anyway. But you are not. You are gorgeous. Please take more photos.

    My brother died when he was 6, my mom when I was 20 – and I wish I had more photos of them both. Don't even share them if you don't want (but honestly you are gorgeous) – but for your children. xx

  33. I feel the same way, honestly. I'm trying so hard to let myself be in photos so the memories will be preserved for my son. I also love doing youtube videos but my confidence in how I look tends to hold me back from making as many as I want to. I know it's hard. Honestly, looking at that instagram photo you posted – I think you look great! We're often our own toughest critic.

  34. Learning to love yourself can be a hard thing to do. You may want ot take a snap shot here and there just so your kids will have more than memories in their heads but actual physical memories to hold to. You're beautiful in their eyes no matter what.

  35. You are absolutely awesome- whether that be in front of or behind the camera- but yes, your beauty is front of the camera should definitely be seen a lot more often…. if not, just to remind me how much I am missing you.

  36. Sara…I jut sobbed. You are a beautiful Mama, inside and out. Let those demons go, easier said than done, i know, as it was me in this situation for a while, but let them go and say cheese with confidence! 🙂 XX

  37. Aw, I think there's probably a lot of mums who think like this. I guess it's about recognising it, looking for who you want to be (again, or new) and doing little things to help achieve it. And make a list of the positives, then look to boost those.

    I'm in few photos either – I'm now heavier than I ever was when pregnant but still can't get going on losing weight, I'm unfit and feel unhealthy, but I still try and get myself in photos with N for the future. It's hard when there's noone to take the photos because my OH is always working and is never out with us…oh and he really is rubbish at taking photos (zoom doesn't exist in his world, and they're likely to be uneditable), but I feel more sad that there's even fewer photos of him with N because he just refuses. I know that I have only 1 photo of me as a baby with my dad because he died when I was young, and my brother has none (he was 2 weeks old when my dad died), and very few with my mum with us because she was the one with the camera. That makes me try and take photos because I don't want the same for N to look back on.

    I'd just get photos – stand behind the boys at first, do cropped fun photos – feet, hands, hair, and ease your way in.

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