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What You Don't See Here

'It took an army of aunts and uncles to get him smiling': Karen shares how she made this family photo happen

‘We normally have tantrums and tears at mealtimes – and that’s just from me.’

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 with a few lines about yourself and your kids for a chance to feature.

wydsh (1) Karen Walsh Karen Walsh

This week, Karen Walsh (@raising_mammy_) chatted us through a smiley family photo at Sunday lunch. 

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

This photo was taken at my younger sister’s graduation meal. She was the last of six children to graduate and having all of the family together to celebrate was a highlight for us. Bobby was 14-months-old and had just started weaning. It was his first meal out with the family. He ate his entire dinner – which was probably the last time he ate a full meal! The main reason this photo means so much to us because this was the first time Bobby said ‘mama’. 

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

The smiles in this photo absolutely do not reflect our day-to-day meal times. We normally have tantrums and tears – and that’s just from me! All hell breaks loose. The battle begins at 5pm and will last for two long hours. This can be tiring after an eight hour shift. Working in a nursing home, you would think I’ve learned a few tricks over the years to try and get people to eat, but none of it works now. Bobby is now two years old and the most energetic boy, but all of the fussy eating aside, he is healthy and happy.

Did it take many attempts to get the right shot?

Yes! Behind the camera is an army of aunts and uncles calling Bobby’s name to look at the camera in a packed restaurant in the middle of Sunday lunch. All he wanted was the balloon in my hand. We had a very squirmy little man and the reason he smiled was because a packet of chocolate buttons was being waved above the phone.

Being honest, I prefer to take the more natural pictures of the tantrums, the messy face and the playing. Those are the memories!

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 with a few lines about yourself and your kids for a chance to feature in What You Don’t See Here.

More: ‘There was pancake batter flying across the kitchen’: Bernie shares the reality behind this candid cookery snap

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