When my kids were born, I remember trying to soak in everything about them. I wanted to imprint in my mind the details of those early days. At first it was easy, and I remember thinking that I would never forget this moment or that milestone.
But then the number of unforgettable moments started to add up, and the little details I wanted to hold on to started to become a bit foggy. Add in sleep deprivation and the busyness of mom life and suddenly the days and precious moments all started to blur together. I realized that if I wanted to remember these memories, I was going to need to some help.
There are countless ways to document the details of everyday life, but I’ve learned that the best methods are the ones that bring joy, not obligation. For me, I found joy in journaling daily and creating yearly photo albums. But the key is to use an approach that resonates with your lifestyle and personality.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas.
Journaling is a tried and true approach to capturing the details, stories and events you want to remember. If you like to write, this technique is for you. With journaling, you decide the style, length and frequency of your entries.
- 1 sentence a day: Dedicate a few minutes each day to jotting down one sentence about the day’s memorable moments. The brevity of this approach makes it doable and sustainable.
- Bullet journal: Sometimes it’s easier to write in bullets instead of paragraphs. Use this approach to quickly jot down your notes on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
- Monthly write-ups: Each month write a recap of the family’s adventures, the kids’ developmental milestones or personal insights. This approach allows you to distance yourself from the day-to-day and capture the bigger picture.
- Video diary: Skip writing all together with this modern take on journaling. Video diaries are quick to create and capture your stream of consciousness. Record solo or invite other family members to join you.
Lists are a fast and easy way to record the everyday details you want to remember. Focused on different themes, they can help you be more observant of the little moments. Store the lists on your phone to make it easy to add to them whenever inspiration strikes.
- Buzzwords: Capture the words and phrases you use all the time with your family or more broadly in daily life. Since buzzwords change as time passes, this list will help you remember specific phases of life.
- Giggle log: This list is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face whenever you’re having a bad day. Write down the silly family moments, funny kid phrases and absurd realities of life as a parent.
- Crazy log: Let’s be honest, sometimes our kids can drive us nuts. Vent your frustrations with this list of annoyances and irritants. One day you might even find your crazy log amusing.
- Kid favorites: What do your kids love? Some interests come and go quickly while other fascinations stay with them forever. Keep track of these favorites to give yourself a record of what brought them joy at each age.
- Gratitude list: Slow down and reflect on the joys of life. This list will help you gain perspective and remember your blessings for years to come.
With our phones, taking pictures is easier than ever before. The challenge lies in being intentional about the photos you take. Here are a few ways to help you snap photos that you will cherish for years to come.
- Every day moments: Be mindful about documenting life at home. Candid pictures of your kids playing, eating, sleeping, relaxing and even being crappy will help you remember the often overlooked everyday moments.
- Seasonal snapshots: Identify your favorite winter, spring, summer and fall spots and take a photo of your child there on the first day of each season. After a couple of years, you’ll have a fun chronicle of your child growing and changing with nature.
- Kid favorites: In addition to keeping a list of your kids’ favorites (see above), take photos of your children with their beloved books, toys, foods, activities, etc. These photos will ensure you remember their favorites long after they’ve moved onto the next thing.
- Social media photo book: Our social media feeds can be amazing chronicles of our lives, both the everyday events and the notable milestones. Preserve these memories forever by turning them into a printed photo book.
As moms, we know that life can sometimes pass us by in a whirlwind of frenzied days and sleepless nights. Treasure the moments of today by documenting them in whatever way feels right for you. One day when you look back, you’ll thank yourself for taking the time to capture the magic of today.
Originally published on August 22, 2020. With summer fast upon us moms, don’t forget to embrace the sweet (and chaotic) moments with your little ones!