It makes you want to freeze time, doesn’t it? That new baby smell. Jumpsuits with empty arms and legs because your newborn is still scrunched up. The words your two year old mispronounces.
And yet these moments pass. So quickly. And all of sudden you realise you no longer have to pry open your baby’s fingers to clean the fluff off their hands (where does that fluff come from anyway???). Those little hands are wide open now, and splashing and reaching for toys. And my toddler is choosing her own clothes, insisting on wearing nail polish and racing towards her school years.
But we can’t freeze time. So how then, do we hold on to these moments? How do we remember them?
There are photos (thousands and thousands of photos) and videos and baby books and journals and handprints and crafts. But what are the best ways to record these memories? What do other parents do?
This week I asked mums to share their best tips. Here’s what they told me:
Do a birthday interview with your child each year
This could be a video, or a written interview. Ask them what they love to do, and what they are good at, and what their favourite food is. Maxabella from Maxabella Loves does this with her kids each year. She shared a list of questions you can use here.
On the topic of birthdays…Write a birthday letter to your child
Tell your child about the year you had together, about what they did, what their favourite things are, funny things they said, what they did that made you proud etc. There are some beautiful books you can use to compile the letters such as Our Story for my Son / Daughter or Letters to You.
Email your child
When your kids are born reserve them an email address. Over the years send them photos, notes, stories, photocopies of their achievements etc. On their 18th birthday give them the password.
Buy the newspaper on the day they are born:
We bought the newspaper for all our kids on their day of birth (and buy them as gifts for all our friends with newborns) and use them to lay at the bottom of their memory boxes – it’s fascinating for them to see what happened the day they were born and it’s a practical way to cushion their keepsakes.
Ngaire Stirling, Brisbane Kids
Write moments down and put them in a positivity jar:
We keep a jar and notepad in our kitchen and whenever I have a lovely moment with my son I note it down, along with the date, and add it to the jar. On New Year’s Eve I plan to get all the entries out and read them, and perhaps collate them in a journal entry or blog post.
Laura Clark, The Butterfly Mother.
Reduce clutter by using and storing artwork in meaningful ways
I love the Artkive app for all those paintings that come home from school! Artkive digitally saves artwork and turns it in to keepsake books, mugs and other items. You can even post them all your kids’ artwork and they’ll send you back a hardcover book.
Jenna van Bentum, The World and Kids.
There are so many things you can do with kid’s artwork that doesn’t clutter up your home. From using it as wrapping paper to framing special pieces and having a pin board to display them in your home.
You’ll find more ideas from The Sane Mum’s post – Why I treasure every picture drawn by my kids.
Get your photos off your phone and into your house
Think you don’t have time to sort and print photos? Think again. Melanie, from Anyday Adventures, has put together a guide for how to print some of the millions of photos you take of the kids using almost no time and very little money. Snapfish prints 50 free photos a month and Chatbooks are photobooks that create themselves automatically using the best photos from your phone.
You can also check out Kid Magazine’s guide to store, organize and share photos.
Create a movie showing 1 second from every day
I use the 1 Second Everyday: Daily Journal app to catch a second every day. I’ve been doing that since the start of the year, and every month publish the previous month’s video. Then at the end of the year I’ll be putting it together to do an entire year. Once bub is born in a couple of weeks I’ll be making a separate video for him specifically which will capture his first year of life. You can see my 6 month video here:
Kelly Sofia, Kelly’s World
Transform artwork into a true masterpiece on canvas
Now, this is something I absolutely can’t wait to do! JellyBeanStreet runs painting workshops across Australia, which are an explosion of colour and fun activities that bring out your child’s best work. Then a team of professional graphic artists transform the works into stunning canvas prints. Profits are donated to children’s charities.
Remember, you won’t have time to do everything, but you can do something. So pick one thing, and commit to it through the years, and you’ll have something beautiful to give to your kids!
And, if all else fails, you can always start a blog. 😂
How do you record memories of your family? How do you store and organise photos, art and keepsakes?