Written by Rachel Gunn
If you’re like me, you might be wondering how your children will remember their childhoods. I mean, with no baby books, pregnancy journals or personal hashtags, how will our children even know they existed before college?
I never order school pictures because we can have them done professionally. But professional photographers are pricey so we get those about every four years. We usually end up with a semi-posed picture that goes out on our Christmas cards each year.
How do we underachieving moms preserve memories for our precious little ones then? I have discovered three ways to do just that, and they are all easy and stress-free!
Oh, the Places You Will Go!
Purchase one of these books and find a good spot to hide it. Write a note explaining that you are creating a memory book to be given to your child at graduation and ask them (who is them?)to write a note to your child anywhere in the book. Then, store the book and note in a Manila envelope. At the end of each school year, leave the book for your child’s teacher. Have them email you when they’re done. Grab the book and stash it away until next year. When they graduate, you can break out that book for a sweet little gift full of memories!
This one takes a little prep work, but it is totally worth it in the end. Grab a scrapbook in whatever size you prefer. I chose 8×8. This requires some formatting for your 20 questions, so keep that in mind when choosing your size. Create (or copy) a list of 20 questions that your child can answer. The questions will stay the same year after year, so put a little thought into writing (or finding) some good ones. Print a copy for each year you want to ask the questions. For example, I started when my daughter was 4 and plan to keep it going until she is 20, so I printed 16 copies. I used a nice cream colored cardstock for my questions.
Now, go ahead and load all the blank question sheets into the left side of the scrapbook in sheet protectors. On, or around your kid’s birthday each year, pull out the book and ask the questions. Record the answers and slide the paper right back into place. Boom! Done!
If you really want to get fancy, you can print a picture of your child for that year and insert it into the opposite sheet cover. I did this exactly one time for one child.
Book of Gifts
This might be the easiest one, and somehow the most precious. I read about this in an article several years ago. Grab a large, sturdy notebook. I chose one that was rather nice and decorative since it will be used and maybe a little abused over many years. You can use one notebook for all your kids or one for each. I use one for each because I want them to each have their own when I’m gone. I may not be an overachiever, but I think ahead!
This is so simple it almost seems too good to be true. Basically, for every holiday that your kids would give you a gift, you have them create a “gift” in the book. They can draw a picture (or scribble), write a letter or poem, or create whatever is on their heart. The sooner you start, the better! I didn’t start until my oldest was around seven, and I still have pages of memories! I love how this idea emphasizes heartfelt gifts over store-bought. I never want my children to feel like they have to spend money on me, and this book is a great way to instill that! And imagine, over the years, all the wonderful pages where their love has been poured out. All you have to do is keep up with the book and hand it to them during holiday seasons!
There you have it, moms! These are three ways to create memories that won’t tax your time and creative energy. In Psalm 90:12, Moses asks God to “teach us to number our days so that we may get a heart of wisdom.” If crafting and creating are not your strengths, don’t stress over it! Set in place one or more of these simple ideas and move on. Spend your time doing the things that God gifted you to do!