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What You Don't See Here: Mum Yaz shares the reality behind this family photo, chickenpox and all

What’s behind the Instagram photo? Each week, we’ll find out.

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.

This week, Yasmin O’Connor (@glitter_mama_) filled us in on what was happening behind the scenes in a picture of her two-year-old son during a bout of chickenpox, just after her five-year-old daughter had them. 

What to know:

Name: Yasmin (Yaz) O’Connor
Occupation: Stay-at-home mum
Number of kids: 4
Ages: 12, 8, 5, 2 
Where: Dublin

Here’s Yaz’s chosen photo…

unnamed Source: Yasmin O'Connor

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

I love pictures because they remind me of funny or even tough times. I wanted to take this photo because it’s an example of how much kids love affection and chilling with a loved one. Two of the kids were sick at the time and just wanted to be close to me and have cuddles. 

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

Both kids were all over me literally fighting for affection. I had been in Amsterdam with their dad just two weeks previous for a weekend break (our first trip abroad kid free) so coming back to one kid with chickenpox and then another was really coming back to reality with a bang. No one knew about or saw the tears an hour before this photo yet to the outside it probably looks like a lovely day of chilling on the sofa.

I had been housebound for two weeks at this stage for fear of spreading the chickenpox to people. I was tired, had cabin fever and felt completely out of touch. It’s always tough when the kids are sick and you are home alone with them all day and, as lovely as the cuddles are, I also needed some time by myself. Needless to say as soon as my partner came home I went straight upstairs to be by myself for a bit. I’m always stressing the importance of self-care to other mothers, advice which I also take on myself. It’s a necessity as a parent.

Did it take many attempts to get the right shot?

No, this was a very quick snap as kids tend to move quickly so I snapped it while they were both chilling for a bit. I couldn’t get them both looking at the camera at the same time and wasn’t going to push it with them, so I got two separate photos.

What do you love about this photo?

I love this photo because it shows how needy (and rightly so) kids are when they are sick. Cuddles and skin-to-skin mean a lot to them and being honest, I love the cuddles. Although it is so hard being a stay-at-home mom when they are sick I’m also so glad I get to be with them when they are. It’s a reminder to me on the tough days how lucky and happy I am to be here with them, good and bad days. I also love the simplicity of how happy they are even when sick just to have me with them sitting still and not worrying about laundry and housework. The simple moments mean the most.

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

Nope, although I don’t think Mrs Hinch would be happy with my lifeless cushions!

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

It’s actually a very good photo. When I’m at home and have nowhere to go, I am often in my pyjamas, hair scraped back and being pulled in a million directions by my four kids.

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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