So this morning started like most mornings, a dog, two adults and three kids snuggled up united against the slightly chilly Monday morning. And then slowly people got out of bed finally leaving the baby and the dog, the latter who jumped off the bed microseconds after I got up.
As I looked over at my son peacefully sleeping making the most of the queen bed all to his tiny little self, I couldn’t help but pick up my phone and capture the moment. It’s an innocent shot of a baby snuggled up in the blankets in bed by himself but with an adult close enough to ensure that nothing sinister will happen to him.
It wasn’t until I went to upload it to my Instagram that I realised what everyone else would see:
- Unsafe sleeping
- SIDS risks
- The dangers of an infant on a high surface without any barriers to stop him falling
What was an innocent and loving moment appreciating my gorgeous boy became a doubt-filled question mark over my decision to share this image. You see, I am a huge advocate of safe sleeping practices and practice it religiously. I read everything I needed to read and double checked on things as I needed through my daughters’ infancy and toddlerhood and again re-read and re-checked for my son two years later.
What you don’t know about this picture, because how could you, you weren’t there is:
- I captured a moment, not an entire night, or day of sleeping
- I never left the room while he slept like that
- I had my eye on my son the entire time as I pottered around the room getting myself ready for the day
- I pulled the blankets down once he started stirring because he does like to pull everything over his head (which is also why he has a sleep bag for when it’s cold)
- He was laying like this for a total of 5 minutes all said and done and was never in any danger
- When he woke up and started moving around, I immediately finished making the bed and put him on the covers while I continued to watch him and get ready (at this stage he wasn’t moving nearly as much as he does now though, so he was always safe and sound)
I would like to hope that if I posted this image to Instagram and took the time to set the filters and appropriately hashtag it, that I wouldn’t get judgment. But as a mother who chooses to put her images and those of her children onto social media and the internet in general, I need to also be conscious that the one second that I capture with my camera can be seen in 1,000 different ways.
I always try to remember this when I’m watching other mum’s vlog or browsing their photos on social media. Everyone has their own perception, their own experience, their own worries. A picture says a thousand words afterall.
What does this picture say to me? That my sleeping son continued to sleep once we’d all noisily evacuated the bed. That he is so rarely still, preferring to be constantly on the move and involved in everything around him, so these still moments are rare. That it’s cold, he’s warm and snuggly and safe. It’s just one second from our morning that I chose to share with you today. A second that captures just a moment in time as it passed us by at the speed of a crazy morning of Monday madness.