You probably remember the first time your baby said “Mama” or “Dada.” You may also remember the first smile or the first time they took their tiny baby steps. Yet, your children will grow older, and you might start forgetting these precious memories in the coming years. A memory journal helps you hold onto these moments and remember them, even once your child is an adult with children of their own. Here are three important reasons why you should keep a memory journal for your child.
1. To remember what you learned
Making time to journal gives you time for reflection. When parenting, every day is a new lesson. Some nights you feel very lost, while other times, you feel more confident. No matter what the feeling, journaling gives you space for personal reflection. You can also remind yourself of what went well and use the same strategies again when you look back.
2. For emotional support
Journaling is where you have the chance to list the little seconds that you may not usually recall. You often remember the significant “firsts” – first smile, first steps, the first day of preschool — and you may have a snapshot to prove it, but the picture cannot display the emotions that you feel at that second.
By writing down these emotions, you are also conveying your thoughts to your child. There will be times when your children are growing up and feeling every bit of blue that the world has to offer. Whether they reach out or not, a journal can be a manual of solace to them if they need it. Lessons, values, morals — all of these can go into a repository for when they need encouragement later.
3. As an important record
You might want to recall important information or certain parts of family history for your child as they grow older. Children have several developmental milestones, and you will need to note them for the doctor’s visit. A digital journal is a great way to keep all this information in one place, especially for busy parents juggling work and other family responsibilities.
How to Start a Child’s Memory Journal
If you’re wondering how to start a child’s memory journal, rest assured that it’s a pretty simple task. In fact, your child’s memory journal can be anything you want it to be. You can let your creative juices flow through your writing. You can add photos and other images to help visualize your memories. You’re only limited by your imagination.
What to Write in Your Journal
• Pregnancy: Your child’s memory journal can start whenever you like. A pregnancy journal can help new mothers-to-be track milestones as your baby grows inside you. It will prepare you for motherhood and help you relieve any stress you feel. You can continue adding to the journal throughout your child’s life, and they can look back on the memories once they’re older.
• Special Occasions: Journaling can also be done on particular days of celebration, like a birthday or holiday. You may wish to share these memories with your child on special occasions. You will relive those precious moments together, such as the first time they learned to cycle or the first visit to a new country. Looking at the journal together is an excellent way to bond.
• Everyday Memories: As a parent, the journal helps you reflect on the memories of bringing up your child. These may not always be happy occasions. It’s also helpful to use a journal for self-reflection or stress relief. When you’re having a rough day of parenting, write a few lines in the journal. You can voice your reasons to an invisible audience and release your anger without fear of judgment.
• Current Events: You can also write about your feelings toward any external happening which will impact your parenting. For instance, the pandemic has been very isolating for many parents. When you write these events down, you’re helping yourself heal. Later, you can read through these memories with your child, which helps teach empathy and reinforces your bond.
In other words, you can write whatever you like in your journal. You can write things just for yourself or write things to share with your child later. The choice is entirely up to you.
When to Write in Your Journal
Please don’t think you must write in your journal every day. You can write whenever you feel like writing. Entries can be short and clear or pages long if you have something you really love sharing. You can write every day, weekly, or just when you want to pour out your thoughts. Journaling can help you relax when you need to distract yourself from the full-time job of parenting.
Where to Write in Your Journal
Of course, there are many paper journals for those who like to write things down. But in today’s hectic world, the easiest way is to keep track of memories on your smartphone. Digital journals allow you to capture precious, fleeting moments quickly before they slip away. You can instantly snap photos and upload them to your journal, too. ByteLyfe is a blogging app that offers this type of journaling flexibility. It has many custom features so you can quickly type your thoughts. For instance, it allows you to snap images, record video and audio, and label these files so you know how to look for them. It also has a timeline to keep all your entries in order chronologically. Don’t know what to journal? There are templates available for almost everything. If you wish to track your child’s growth or keep a financial journal for household expenses, there are templates and journal prompts available.
All in all, as a busy parent, spending evenings detailing every bit of your day on paper may sound more like a chore. It’s better to use digital journals such as ByteLyfe instead. This online platform will allow you to quickly create digital memories for safekeeping while still giving you time to manage other areas of your life. It’s very secure, so you don’t have to worry about others accessing your private thoughts.
Your parenting journey is much shorter than you think. Capture the moments now so you can look back on them later. You’ll be so glad you did.