This Mom’s Reminder About Why It’s Always Important to Get In Family Photos Is Heartbreaking
Learning to love the changes in your postpartum body can be difficult — particularly when, in the midst of juggling all of the many new mom responsibilities, you’re not “bouncing back” as quickly as you feel you should be (or as quickly as so many Instagram “fit moms” seem to be). But one mother has issued a heartbreaking reminder about why it’s so important to push past post-baby weight insecurities and take photos together as a family.
Michelle Steinke posted a 2008 photo of herself and her baby son to Facebook, accompanied by a caption detailing what she called one of her biggest regrets — not posing for more family pictures during the time when she was ashamed of her post-pregnancy body.
“My self-hate and loathing kept me from taking photos of my babies and photos with the man I loved,” Steinke wrote. She went on to explain that, in retrospect, she realizes her refusal was “stupid,” knowing that her children and husband loved her no matter her size. Sadly, Steinke’s husband died in 2009, when her children were just toddlers, leaving her regretful that she hadn’t commemorated the life her family was living before she lost it unexpectedly. “The day he died, all I cared about was the memories we made, the trips we took, and the photos of our whole family. I regret not being in the photos,” the mom of two wrote.
Since her husband’s death, Steinke has dedicated herself to fitness and has made it her mission to encourage widows to take care of themselves physically, running “One Fit Widow” to tell her story and to track her journey. In the aftermath of her husband’s death, Steinke came to recognize that “perfection is a myth,” noting that even after losing 70 pounds, she was “still far from perfect.”
Though Steinke eventually lost the weight she’d so loathed while her husband was alive, her point in posting this emotional story was to remind others that it’s important love yourself while still working on your body. “You shouldn’t stop living because you think you should be more fit, weigh less, or look different. You can always love yourself while you work to better your health and fitness. This moment is your life … don’t miss it,” Steinke told Babble.
The fitness trainer and public speaker has since remarried, and nowadays has no hesitation about posing for family photos and memorializing life with her family — she even has annual portraits taken with her kids by a professional photographer. “At any moment, your life could change for the worse, so embrace the moments, love yourself, love your family, and make time for the people who matter,” Steinke shared with Babble.
Moms are often the ones who take family photos, winding up left out of the picture by default. Steinke’s story is an invaluable reminder that sometimes you just need to get in the damn photo no matter what.
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