Preserving memories of my kids is something I absolutely want to do. But the thought of making each of them a memory book (by the way I only have 2) is overwhelming. Just going through the thousands of pictures taken, selecting and then printing off is daunting. With all of the apps and technology, it still feels impossible to simply capture and preserve my kid’s best moments.
For me it comes down to time. I have the best intentions, but can never find the time to do it.
I used to agonize over not finishing baby books. Feeling like they’d have nothing to share with their own kids someday. Some moms I’ve talked with feel bad too. While others have just given up. As someone who spent endless hours scrap-booking (prior to kids of course), it pains me to have so many pictures taken and memories in my mind, yet not documented in printed form.
So I finally told myself enough is enough and lowered my expectations. Over the past couple of years, I shifted to just a few annual memory-keeping routines for each child. They are marked as reminders on my phone so they don’t fall through the cracks. I capture the memories I want and the rest will just have to live on my jump drive.
Here are 3 ways to ease the burden of preserving every single memory, yet give you and your child something special to look back on.
- Create an email account for each child. At a minimum, I write each child a letter annually, usually around New Years. It includes a recap of the year– how they are evolving as little people in the world, fun milestones or trips, and anything else I can remember to include. A quick scroll through FB usually jogs my memory on the year’s highlights. Once I’m finished, hit send and BOOM, done! If I remember throughout the year to email them again, I will. And if not, at least they have 1 letter a year to look back on.
- Birthday Journal Books. I snagged these from Amazon and are great for capturing a few memories from each birthday (1-18 years). There are pockets to add pictures or anything else you want to keep, a Q&A for the parent, and my favorite is the “kid interview”. It gives you a few questions to ask your child and you record their age-appropriate responses. Definitely, a fun one to look back at. 🙂
- School Books – Each of the kids have an “Oh The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. Every year around May before school ends, I reach out to their teachers and request they write a note in the book. I put it in their backpack with a post-it note and a few days later the book is returned with a special letter written by their teacher. I remember my son’s very first teacher and how my eyes filled with tears reading the letter she wrote. Best of all – just remember to send the book in and the rest is done for you!
I’d love to hear from readers about any other simplified ways to capture memories.