This weekend was a little nutty. We had scheduled a photoshoot for the recent launch of one of the best kid’s menus in Toronto. Scratch that! I think it’s THE BEST menu for kid’s in this city (and outside of it).
[Full discloser: I’m a little biased because I am the Nutritionist who helped design that healthy, yet delicious, menu for Piano Piano the Restaurant. However I’m not the first or the only mom to rave about this new joint or the food. Just sayin’. You’ll have to check it out yourself!]
Since we wanted to snap a few photos for the menu, we decided to dedicate Saturday afternoon for a family photoshoot.
And honestly, it was mayhem.
My kids were being kids – and they were out of control at times.
If they weren’t throwing food, they were sitting on it, or shoving it in any place but their mouths. If you look closely, Naomi has avocado smeared on her dress and broccoli in her hair.
Sienna was clean, but insisted on staying in the sink during the entire shoot, while singing “Jingle Bells” into the water facet. I was sweating trying to keep them composed.
All we wanted was that perfect family shot.
Everyone smiling (with clean faces and dresses) and actually looking at the camera. Ha! That was the hardest task.
I adore my photographer Nikki McKean for many reasons. But I particularly love her for reminding me that all the madness happening that afternoon actually WAS the perfect shot. Because THIS is what life is life with kids.
Unpredictable, messy, exhausting…and chaotic.
What’s so perfect about parenthood is the imperfection.
So I embraced the moment as much as I could and tried to let go of what I wanted others to see – what was ‘perfect’ in my mind.
We forgot about the camera while the girls were snacking, we were laughing about something Sienna said, and Naomi smeared more broccoli in her hair. It was just an average day in a Binns Kitchen.
THIS was the perfect family shot for us.
Let it go
The irony here is that “letting it go” was such an important message and mindset for myself when I was struggling through mealtimes with Sienna. I had an idea of what was supposed to be a “perfect meal”: I expected my daughter to be willing to take at least one bite of everything on her plate (ha!). I wanted her to eat a balanced meal at every meal (haha!).
Of course, my expectations for the perfect mealtime were hardly met. Especially because I put so much pressure on Sienna (my former picky eater) to meet those unrealistic expectations. And that always made mealtimes worse.
But once I relinquished my desire to control her choices and LET GO of what I thought should happen, things improved. When I removed the pressure to achieve ‘perfect’, I became less stressed, Sienna became calmer, I was happier, AND she ate better.
So I now know my definition of a ‘perfect mealtime’ was unrealistic.
Similarly, my idea of the ‘perfect photo’ was also a stretch this weekend. Once I changed my mindset and went with the flow, I had fun! And we got some great shots of the real us. Sometimes chaotic, usually messy. But always perfect.