These viral photos show why moms aren’t in more pictures (and it's so true)

"When I take a picture of my husband that he didn't ask for...When my husband takes a picture of me that I asked for."

Dads take bad pictures of moms

Most moms have a camera roll full of sweet photos of their kids and partner, but what's often harder to find is a photo of mama and the kids (at least one that's actually good).

It's not just that our partners don't take pictures of us, it's that when they do... well they're not exactly portraits. More like portraits of chaos as Bethany Rose, the Instagram mama behind the blog Waves and Lilacs recently pointed out.

She posted side-by-side photos that she and her husband took of each other, adding this description: "When I take a picture of my husband that he didn't ask for...When my husband takes a picture of me that I asked for."


Commenters were quick to point out that Rose isn't the only mama who had a camera roll full of not-so-great pictures snapped by their partner.

Comic artist Victoria Bolduc also summed this up in a drawing that social media users related to.

"Pictures that exist of my husband with the baby vs pictures that exist of me with the baby," she captioned her drawing of a beautiful paternal portrait contrasted against a pretty normal (but certainly not photogenic) experience of early motherhood.

"I noticed there's a MARKED DIFFERENCE IN THE PICTURES I TAKE OF MY HUSBAND AND THE PICTURES HE TAKES OF ME," she captioned the same image on her Instagram account.

When Bolduc posted the photo to her art page on Facebook fellow moms came to the comments to note that "this is spot on."

When the photo was later shared on Reddit the unanimous consensus was a hard agree.

"I'm constantly getting these amazing, meaningful shots of my husband with our kids. Then you look at the dozen or so photos my husband has taken of me with them, and I always have three chins and the kids are mid-blink," one mom wrote.

Another Reddit mom chimed in to add that she tries really hard to get great shots of her partner with their kids, but that he doesn't do the same for her and she's worried that "someday [their children will] look at photos and say 'I'm so glad we had Daddy; Mom was never around.'"

Another mom chimed in with her story, explaining that her partner used to get frustrated when she would take photographs and tell her to enjoy the moment instead.

"Fast forward a few months and he realizes that we have a TON of pictures of him and our son and have NO pictures of me with our son that aren't selfies and he says, 'We really need to take more pictures of you two together.' NO, babe. YOU need to take more pictures of us together!!!" she wrote.

Bolduc's comic hit a nerve with these moms because it's just so true— even for a superstar like Pink! In January 2018 the singer Instagrammed a video she'd taken of her husband, Carey Hart, with their son, Jameson.

"I hope one of [Carey's] resolutions is to photograph his wife more. Just so people know I exist. Carry on…" she wrote.

We've said it before here at Motherly: Please take some (nice) pictures of mama and the baby.

As one Reddit user commented on Bolduc's comic, it's nice to have photos where mama isn't breastfeeding with "straight nightmare face and hair is crazy. I mean thank you, but where do I hang this pic up?"

[A version of this post was originally published March 5, 2019. It has been updated.]

This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

This article was sponsored by Highlights. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

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