That Perfect Picture!

We. Love. Our. Phones.

I'm sure not one person is surprised or shocked by that statement.

And moms?

We. Are. Obsessed.

We are obsessed with scrolling through social media outlets (just we can have that small glimmer of adult interaction), we live in the Amazon app (and spend much less physically shopping, hallelujah), and WE TAKE PHOTOS.

Our kids in the bath - check
Our kids at the park - check
Our kids and other kids - check
Our kids at a pumpkin patch - check
Our kids physically sitting in a pumpkin - check
Our kids generally breathing and existing - check

Always on the search for that Perfect Picture.

You get it.

According to a 2016 report by Common Sense Media, "On any given day, parents of American tweens and teens average more than nine hours with screen media each day. Eighty-two percent of that time (almost eight hours) is devoted to personal screen media activities such as watching TV, social networking, and video gaming, with the rest used for work."

And I'm guilty. Do I have thousands of pictures of my kids doing absolutely nothing of significance that I'll probably never look at? You bet I do.

But lately I've been feeling it's gone too far and there's no better example than my recent visit to Toontown at the happiest place on earth.

I witnessed a mom forcing her 5 year old to pose over and over and over again to get that perfect shot. Meanwhile, the poor kid was desperately trying to convince her to go meet Mickey Mouse... whose house was within arms reach.

But what better place to take pictures than at Disneyland? My thoughts exactly. Take that picture of your kid eating that turkey leg, gazing at the parade with wonder, or meeting her favorite princess (albeit for the 10th time...)

Born and raised in Southern California, I can count my Disneyland visits on a least dozen other peoples fingers. These trips began as a child, before my job as paparazzi began. Do my parents have pictures of these trips, probably, but I bet only a handful. Do I remember how excited I was to get that funky Daisy Duck Hat? Yup. Do I remember the moment we realized my parents tricked us into thinking we were visiting my dad's office, but were in fact spending the day at Disneyland? Like it was yesterday. Do I remember my first visit to Toontown shortly after it opened when I was 10? I do and it was amazing!

But if we're constantly interrupting our children's moments to take a picture, then how good is the quality of memories were actually creating? Let's be honest, Disneyland is not cheap, so these moments haven't come cheap and now we're ruining the memory for the sake of a cute picture.

It's sad.

I've read that taking too many pictures of kids can cause early development self awareness, which sounds great but can actually lead to anxiety in children. How do we combat this? Do we stop taking pictures all together?

Don't be ridiculous. We use moderation. Moderation is always the answer.

It's simple really, when you feel the urge to snap a picture ask yourself, 1- will this picture interrupt this memory and 2- do I really need this photo? Chances are if the answer to the first question is yes, then the answer to the second is no.

If we're always on the hunt for the perfect picture are we actually robbing our kids of experiencing the perfect childhood?

 Check out my Instagram!
I realize how hard it is to abstain from taking 10,000 pictures of your adorable kids doing adorable things, but for their sake give it a try. Because while my kids love looking at all those pictures I have of them on my phone, they also really love smiling, laughing, dancing and, in general, just being kids.

I'm also fully aware that this philosophy on pictures is detrimental to hosting a Disney themed Instagram page. I get it. I need the pictures. But I need happy, well rounded, emotionally stable kids who grow to become happy, well rounded, emotionally stable adults and I don't think I'm going to achieve that goal by getting to 10,000 followers. This is the hard truth of being a mom. You set goals for yourself and quickly realize that those goals come second to your kid's scraped elbow. Such is life.

See you at Disney!


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