I've spent the last two weekends popping up in different cities showcasing my memory journals and I couldn't have had more fun! Meeting parents in person and showing them my guided memory journals for both baby and toddlers has been a dream. I'm grateful they have been SO well received! I did notice though, one of the most popular concerns with parents is not having enough time or brain power to stop and actually write down memories. As a busy working mama myself I totally understand the struggle and decided to share a few tips I have found helpful. I told these tips while on the road and now I'll share them here in hopes of helping you capture moments with your children. As most of you know, I take photos through out the day on my phone or with our actual camera. Though, I find it necessary to write out my thoughts and memories attached to said photos. Taking the time to write things down helps our brains remember things, I find it therapeutic and in the end our children will love reading our words narrating their young life!
How To Capture Memories Of Your Child - 5 Simple Ideas
1. Keep your child's memory journal at your bed side. Each night before bed, take 15 minutes to write down the happenings of that day. Or fill in a few guided pages. For example; the 'A Day In The Life' page within my journals take you through an entire day leaving space for you to fill what you and your child did on that particular day. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, it could be the most mundane run of the mill day. I'm a big believer that there is beauty in the mundane! Every moment with your child is worth noting. Plus, doing this prior to sleep helps relax your mind. It also is better than browsing social media or playing candy crush before bed. ;) I also like to look at the photos I took that day on my phone and just write down what was happening in the photos.
2. For a few weeks at a time take your memory journal along on daily errands and adventures. I've found when Mila falls asleep in the stroller or car seat I can snag a few minutes to myself. I love to write within those spare moments and keeping my journal in my purse or diaper bag helps me keep up with capturing memories. When I was writing my memory journals I made it point to keep the over all dimensions on the smaller side. I loved the idea of being able to take it along everywhere. I know to some it may seem crazy to take along a journal to write within on the go. However, I try to find downtown wherever I go and typically it is when Mila napping as I mentioned. Having my journal with me helps force me to write some memories down rather than scroll social media.
3. Keep a running note document open on your phone. I did this with my son Ryan where whenever he said something funny or mispronounced something in a cute way I'd type it down in my notes on my phone. I'd do this all the time and fast approached a long list of 'Ryan Quotes'. This was actually the inspiration behind the 'Quotable You' pages in my new toddler memory journal. The page has beautiful watercolor quote bubbles parents can fill in with the hilarious things their children say. Keeping a running list on an easy device such as your phone helps and you can refer to the list when filling in your memory journal.
4. Meal times are full of fun memories and I'm a huge advocate for jotting down the foods your child loves and loathes. Their palettes are constantly changing and their food reactions can be pretty funny. In both my memory journals I've made it a point to guide parents through meal times and given fun ways to capture it all. Try noting one meal time a week. If you can handle more definitely try to do one breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just by dedicating a few meal times a month to writing down what your child likes etc. will help. In the baby journal you can use the baby emoticon stickers to relay their reactions to certain foods. In the toddler journal you can use the food icon stickers to fill in your child's favorites at different meal times.
5. Take the pressure off you and put it on your spouse! In each of my journals there are spaces for loved ones to write notes and heartfelt letters to your child. Have your partner, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even siblings write to your child. You'll love their words and your child will love to look back on the letters from their family!
I think the most important thing is to not get caught up in whether or not you've "fallen behind" on writing down memories of your child. You can take time whenever and write whatever you'd like in the spaces given. Though my memory journals are guided, meaning I've written pages where certain milestones and memories are to be filled in ... there are still plenty of spaces to write anything anywhere! If you find yourself struggling to keep up, know this ... it means you are living and busy making memories! Use the steps above to help and enjoy the journey Mama!