Every moment with your child is precious, as I’ve heard from every parent out there. And hence, I can only imagine how darling it is to keep these memories. With our tendencies to snap away at cherished moments with the click of our phones and immediately move on to bigger, better things, it’s no surprise that we lose track of all the moments we try so hard to keep track of. See the irony? Most parents nowadays would have treasured, albeit worn and faded, physical printed photographs of themselves. Some of us even have journals full of the most wondrous moments of our life that we would not have remembered otherwise, but it’s not uncommon for kids nowadays to have their memories collated on one Instagram account or a Facebook album. And while those aren’t bad methods of keeping track, it’s unlikely that any social medium will last forever, and who knows till when you get to see your photos? Having a proper record of your children not only lets you savour the moments even as life passes by, but offers your child a form of support and solace for them when you can’t be there physically. It roots them to home, no matter where they be.
What to Journal?
The most difficult stage of doing anything is starting. Countless ideas (or, absolutely none at all) leave you at a standstill, lack of motivation growing by each second. However, there are various ways you can choose to journal and document your child’s growth.
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Short journal entries? Or a long one? Just a collection of photographs? A blank page that lets you write whatever you cherished about that day? Or a pre-planned page that lets you efficiently jot down everything you need to without too much hassle? Whatever you think suits you best, go for those. After all, if the journaling process feels tiresome to you, it’s very likely you’ll give up on it — and that’s the opposite of what you would want! So go for whatever makes you feel the most comfortable. If you’re at a loss as to where to start, you can begin with Revel’s collection of books and journals.
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You could choose to have a reminder of the most important moments — such as the first time they walked, their first day of school, their first award, and any other day you find important and memorable! Or you could choose to journal the most random moments that would make you smile. A moment that is special to just the two of you, or perhaps the days you feel overwhelmed and stressed out by parenting. You don’t have to document the same thing day in day out, and you could vary it by how you’re feeling on a specific day! Things you would want you, or your child, to remember, or shared and common dreams you have with them. The ups and downs of parenthood are so varied, there’s sure to be something you teach — or learn from — your child every day.
Where to Journal?
Like mentioned, too many or too little thoughts can put you in a slump. And walking into shops, or scrolling through online shops, can get increasingly overwhelming with one-too-many options and just as little time.
Get a Baby Book.
Guided baby books are incredibly popular amongst parents. Not only do they make your job a lot easier, and leave you with more time to do more activities in a day, they help you sort out your thoughts (and we all know how messy those can get, don’t we?) With such journals, you rarely need any other materials. There may be some exceptions, such as if you choose to paste photographs alongside your entries. On the whole, though, these guided books offer a hassle-free and stress-free experience.
If you find guided journals too restrictive for your ideas and thoughts, don’t hesitate to get one with simple, blank pages! These are available almost everywhere you look. Just be sure to get one with a hard and solid cover so that it doesn’t wear down over the years!
Go Vintage with DIY Methods!
All you need is some paper, a pen, a hole-puncher, a pen, and some string to tie up your bundle of memories! Write whenever you want, and however you deem fit. The rustic authenticity of this method is bound to make this make-do journal even dearer to you and your child. Be careful, though, to keep it safe from possible haphazard and the grabby hands of your little kids!
Alternatively, write little notes on post-its or mini note-pads and store them in a box as you go along! Whenever you feel reminiscent or down, scour the box and read through some of the greatest moments!
How to Journal?
You may hesitate to journal because you could feel like it takes away from your personal time, or time that could be used to bond with your friends, children, or other family members.
Journal as a Form of Reflection Time
If you need some time to yourself every day or every week, then you could tie in journaling as part of it. This would let you be grounded and be honest with your feelings and thoughts. It would also consciously encourage you to remember the good parts of a day or a week, making you more appreciative of the days you spend with your child.
Journal to Bond
Journal with your child! If you feel like this is making you miss out on time spent with your child instead, do it with them! Ask them what the best moments of that day were, or document an inside joke if you had one. This will also make them thankful for the effort you put in to bond with them and make sure those memories last :) If they’re young, they might not get it. But they would definitely value the effort highly once they can fathom and understand it.
Journal without Limits
Don’t stress yourself out by setting inflexible goals. If your goal is to journal once a day, or once a week, or even once a month, just try your best to stick to it. That’s all that matters! There are enough sources of tension in our lives, so don’t let this become one too. If you miss an entry, it’s all good. You’re going to have countless other moments to live through with your kid. So worry not! Don’t bound yourself to limits and restrictions.
Journaling is on the downtrend nowadays, and it can be difficult to motivate yourself to document and write down everything, especially when technology makes everything so much easier and adaptable. However, there is a charm in written pages and worn pages that can’t be reciprocated through these modern ways. Plus, a journal offers itself as a priceless gift, or an irreplaceable memorabilia. It’s sure to leave you feeling incredibly proud once you’ve gotten into the habit of penning down your memories.
Featured image: Eleesha Quinn and her daughters with the Mama & Me Photo Journal