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What You Don't See Here: Mum-of-six Nicola shares the truth behind this family photo - illness, exhausted kids and all

‘Behind the scenes in this picture is my wonderful mammy, this was her last Christmas with us.’

EACH WEEK, A different Irish parent chats us through a family photo from Instagram and explains what was really going on outside the frame – from tantrums to toilet disasters.

Fancy taking part? Email amy@thejournal.ie with a few lines about yourself and your kids for a chance to feature.

family of 8 big Source: Nicola Baldrick

This week, Nicola Baldrick (@mammyof_six) shares with us her family of six girls and one beautiful baby boy. 

Tell us a bit about this photo. What inspired you to take it? 

I love this photo, it was our first Christmas as a family of eight! It’s Christmas day, the kids are all wearing the carefully selected Christmas clothes, the huge tree beside us twinkling away like the most perfect prop.

What’s one thing that’s going on in this photo that you wouldn’t know from looking at it?

Behind the scenes in this picture is my wonderful mammy, this was her last Christmas with us and we all knew it, she passed away the May after this from brain cancer and that Christmas day was the last day she was ever in my house.

Me gritting my teeth, begging everyone to sit still for two minutes until I get my much-desired picture. I was in agony as I was crippled with mastitis, the sweat you see there is from cooking for 15 people, but mostly from running a temperature with mastitis!

The kids were on a crash course of selection box meltdowns and exhaustion from not being able to sleep with Santa coming.

Emotions were high, I was sick, but kids don’t see that, thankfully they don’t care!

What did I get? Well, I got a beautiful picture of course, even though Beth looks like she’s been on the Christmas prosecco!

Did it take many attempts to get the right shot? 

Yes, this is definitely attempt 10 and we went with it.

What do you love about this photo? 

I love the vantage of this piece, I’m always saying on my Instagram that the “grid” is one snap of someone’s life and it’s very important to look behind the pic – or in my case look at my stories!

We all post the perfect or curated pic, but we all need to remember to think of around the scene.

Life is messy and wonderful. It’s great to look at Instagram and be inspired to do or try something, but also great to look at it and go back to your own wee corner of the world and embrace your perfect. Be it “insta-perfect” or not, always take the picture.

Was there any editing done to the photo before it was posted?

No editing done, I rarely do unless to brighten a picture up. No cropping done either as I usually just show it as it is, my laundry is now nearly famous.

How well does this photo reflect your family life in general?

It’s a fair enough representation, me desperately looking for that one perfect pic, the rest bored around me. In fairness, these are a representation of my life as I just want my family around me. Five girls and one boy to keep me on my toes!

Do you have a family photo from Instagram with a great behind-the-scenes story? The day at the beach when the little one ingested a mouthful of sand – or the smiley photo taken just minutes after a tantrum? If so, we want to hear from you! Email amy@thejournal.ie with a few lines about yourself and your kids for a chance to feature in What You Don’t See Here.

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