Family Pictures Are Stressful: Here’s How You Get Through Them.

Ahhhh, family pictures. Every mother has a love/hate relationship with these babies. We LOVE sending them out on Christmas cards and posting them to Facebook

*Look how perfect my little family is*

But the truth is, family pictures are incredibly stressful. You end up bribing your kids with ice cream if they will just cooperate and inevitably the photographer will see your crazy mom side at some point.

My kids are 6 and 3. I love them. I’d take a speeding bullet for them without hesitation, but let’s be real. They’re freaking turds sometimes. So… here’s my survival guide of how to get through family pictures with little ones:

1. Bribery: Yup. I’m shameless. I will bribe the crap out of them. You want ice cream? You want a toy? You better quit actin a fool then and smile.

2. Fear: I am not responsible for the threats that come out of my mouth in the middle of my child’s meltdown during family pictures. I will use my most fearsome mom voice to scare them straight.

3. Let them lead: Ok, the first two were kind of jokes. Though there’s a lot of truth to them. But number three is super legit. Let the kids lead and make them feel like they have some say in this whole deal. My six year old especially is a little control freak. So if she wants to do something specific, let’s roll with it.

4. Let their personalities show: Think about when you’re older and showing these pictures to your grandchildren. If you’ve got pictures of your kids making silly faces or even crying, you’re not going to be mad about them in 30 years. They will probably end up being some of your favorite pictures.

5. Be ok with real life showing: Having young kids is the stage you’re at in your life. You’re not going to snow any actual parents into thinking your kids are perfect all the time through family pictures. So encourage candid shots. Show what life is really like right now. One day we will miss this! These pictures will be our reminder of what life was like.

So yes. Family pictures are stressful as heck. You can do it, Mama.

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