Journaling about your kids is better than taking pictures

God has recently gifted me with a second child. It really was a miracle, since I had him at age 45. His name is Steven, and he is 2 years old now. My only other child, Jane, is turning 16 this year.

In the years since I had Jane, I had time to reflect on what I did right and what I did wrong while she was growing up. Some of those reflections lead me to keep a daily journal about Steven’s life, starting on the day he was born.

#Memories, motherhood, and pictures.

A picture is worth a thousand words. I’m not against them, and I’m still the first to reach for my phone to register every other hour of my little boy’s life. I just can’t get enough of filming him.

However, I also have plenty of pictures and videos from Jane growing up. And I looked back on those as I was trying to have my second child. Doing that, I realized that all those pictures and films were missing a crucial piece of the puzzle: me.

The photographer is always missing from the pictures, after all. But I miss being able to look back into the woman I was with Jane. I do have memories and my husband’s testimony, but those are fickle, they change, they fade. I wanted something that is both subjective and permanent. Something time won’t warp.

So, I started writing, and I think you should do so too. And don’t say you can’t write; everyone can if they try. Check out this article on Srcxp.com if you need inspiration.

My Journal

I write an entry every day, usually after I put Steven to sleep. Some entries are a couple of paragraphs long, others go on for pages and pages. It’s all digital, and the entries include pictures and videos. It’s a true documentary of these beautiful experiences. I feel like I’m leaving a trail of pearls for my future self to find and enjoy.

Which is not to say that journaling has no benefits right now. For one, it’s great to have a hobby, and trying to figure out how to attach the videos and pictures to my journal (as well as doing backups) has taught me a lot about computers.

Another benefit is that it helps me make connections and notice things. For example, I thought Steven had started waking up at night a lot more often a while back. When I checked the journal, I realized we had switched his baby food brand recently. It was a piece of information that my brain had completely deleted.

We got his old brand back and his sleep got back to normal.

For the future

I don’t know how long I’m going to keep this journal going. It’s been two years writing almost every day now; I’m up to 725 journal entries, all organized in one massive Scrivener project file.

Regardless of how long I keep going, what I have now is already something to be proud of. A treasure trove of thoughts and content I can preserve, revisit, and share with the family over the years.

Thinking that I may be sharing this journal at Steven’s wedding one day makes my heart tingle. So yes, I’m very, very happy with the journal.

I suggest you try making one too. Yes, not every mom has as much free time as I do, but you can make it a weekly journal instead of a daily one. It’s never too late to get it started.

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