Thursday, August 19, 2010

Confession - I don't fill in baby books.

I have something to tell you.  My baby Moira, doesn't have a baby book.
Nothing.  I didn't record her firsts.
(Such a bummer)

Peyton has a book.  But, there is very little in there.

To be honest, my recording of Gillian's firsts has not really been that great, either.

Sometimes when I think about it, I feel really guilty.
I wonder if they will be sad about it.
I wonder if I will be sad about it, when they have grown up,
& I don't have a baby book to look back in.
The truth is, memories are not really forever.
We can forget so easily.
And, I really wonder if this is a really bad thing.
I have 3 kids without much baby book stuff recorded.
My baby has nothing.
And, now I have 2 more kids on the way.
(Yes.  That's an announcement!  I am pregnant.  I'm already 16 weeks!
With 1 child.  Plus an adopted child on the way.  With child- two at a time.)





































But, then I wonder -
do any of us really care at what date each different baby tooth popped out?
I don't think I care too much.  I hope my kids won't care too much, either.
I want to focus on living & making the memories sweet,
instead of spending my time recording the traditional "firsts".
The "Milestones" are important.
But, I don't really think I care when exactly they happen.
I don't think the date of a milestone is the memory
that I will be wanting to recall when I am old & gray(er).

So, I think I will ditch the traditional baby book idea.
I will get rid of it guilt-free.
And, I will try to record memories that matter to us.
Photos of sweet & funny times.
Home videos where we can hear the patter of the little feet,
and the tininess of the voices.
I want to jot down cute things the kids say.
I want to journal the things that matter to us.
A day in the life of us.
The real stuff.
I think those are the things that will still matter,
when we are all grown up.

How do you record memories?

27 comments:

Krista said...

Funny you posted this, I have bee feeling the same way lately. Guilty guilty guilty. Elijah's baby book has some things written down, but no pictures in it yet. Elena doesn't even have a baby book I don't think, and Irina has one but I obviously haven't started it yet. Ah! I feel lousy for not doing anything for Elena yet! But that's part of the reason I sometimes post the typical "mom bragging" posts on my blog, so that I can go back and check to see when the first smile happened, or when she got her teeth or things like that. I have tried writing notes in a journal to look back on to fill in the baby book- but then I lose the journal. Yeah, that's how bad I am at this!

But I agree with you. It is more about the memories, the silly things they did, their personalities, etc than all the firsts. At least, that's what I like reading in my own baby book. I like to see and read what kind of child I was, not when I got my first tooth. That's not so important. So that's also why I post quotes from the kids and funny stories about them. Because my intention is to write them down in their baby books one day!

Stef said...

I think if you care about that stuff, then you write it down, but if you don't care about remembering the details, then you won't.

I'm not sure I'd ever worry about it or feel "guilty" though. I don't think your kids will ever know a difference. My Mom wrote in my baby book and I'll confess, I rarely care about the details like when I got my first tooth, or when I said my first word. I know my Mom cared a lot about it and was excited to jot it down, just in case I'd want to know and she forgot - but I care more about reading how SHE felt about being a Mommy, what she experienced and what my personality was like. Its been fun to read it and see little glimpses of my own kids in it.
But, if she had never kept records or journaled about my baby/toddler days... I'm not sure I'd give it a second thought. I often wonder why we feel guilt about things - because other moms do it and so we think we're less of a mom? or because we really DO want to and just don't?

I journal for all of our kids, but I've never kept "baby books". I don't keep a lock of their hair, upon first hair cut and I don't journal all the specific milestones in their lives. But I don't think women who do that are "silly". Its what they want to do; they wants those memories to last as long as they possibly can. And, maybe their moms did that for them and they really appreciate it. Who knows. I don't do Creative Memories albums either (mostly because I am not creative that way and I've come to learn I don't really care to be) but I don't think people who do them are silly or weird.

We do what we want and we don't do what we don't want to do. I wouldn't sweat the small stuff :)

And, congrats again on your pregnancy! I can't believe you're 16 weeks already!

Erin said...

Stef - I'm not trying to say other people are silly, who keep milestone records. I hope you didn't think that.
I do really want to record memories of my kids. But, I often don't. So, I feel bad for not doing. I don't always do what I want to or intend to do. Time slips away - very quickly. I am trying to learn to prioritize what memories I try to record.

big hair betty said...

Wow, I almost thought you were having twins! Did you girls know that you can turn your blogs into books? I'm pretty sure the company I used, Blurb, does it all for you.

Stef said...

No, I didn't.

I'm the same way with albums and such. I think my blog has replaced the money/time that I would spend on photo albums. Now that everything is digital, I know I can go back someday (like Krista was saying) and journal at my leisure. I've often thought of doing that someday when my kids are grown and gone and I'm a Grandma :)

Mrs. Schwager said...

i thought you were telling us you were having twins too! i didn't realize you were that far along in your adoption process, congrats on that!

Erin said...

We aren't that far along on the adoption process. Don't want to confuse! The adoption "paper pregnancy" is much longer than traditional pregnancy. But, both kids are on the way!

Brittany Martin said...

I also had to read through the comments to make sure it wasn't twins--and congratulations on both of them!

I am also a neglectful baby book-er. My one consolation is that the stuff I remember from being a kid is never the stuff my mom remembered, so they probably won't remember what you didn't remember. Did that make sense?

Stef said...

I love how you said "paper pregnancy" - awesome :)

G. said...

WOW!!! Congratulations Erin, mother to be of 5!

Team Garaway said...

Congrats all around! Fun times!

Annie said...

I feel like I am consumed with kiddos all day and don't want to pour over baby books during the alone time that a do have. I do have a special box for my boys though. Favorite drawings, cute quotes, brochures from the zoo...just throw it in a box! Maybe I'll make them paste all there stuff in a scrapbook when they are older:)

Karie said...

Your kids' baby books (or lack there of) sound just like mine-partial, unwritten in or non-existent. So glad I'm not the only one. I have some journal entries, but they're in about five different locations. I've thought about just cutting them out of the journals and printing them off the computer and pasting them into a book, but I'm afraid my kids will think I'm crazy.

Holly D. said...

Congratulations on both new babies!!!! I'm so excited for you. I too don't have baby books for either of the boys. I'd rather enjoy the moment and the accomplishment than running for the babby book. Also, dated pictures are a great way of keeping track of when the little ones did what.

Lis said...

Congratulations, on both kiddo's.

Nicola S. said...

Erin, Congratulations! I'm so happy for you all on the new little ones coming into your home!

As to the baby books I have one for Audrey that is partially filled out and a calendar for the first year, but with Cora I have nothing! It's a little late now that she only has a week and a half until she turns one and all the major things have started and come and gone.

Charlotte said...

This sounds like me too. Out of my 4 kids, the oldest has a completed baby book and a scrapbook 0-2 years, the next has a baby book and scrapbook for first 6 months, the third has an uncompleted baby book and the 4th has nothing. I did feel really guilty for a while and felt overwhelmed when I would think of all the work it would entail to keep all that info for 4 kids. I do have a box that I throw art project and drawings into and then of course the photos I take are special.

I think Stef touched on something...I too have a baby book and don't read all the dates and milestones. But if I could read my mom's feelings that she had when I was young....that would be so much more impactful. I do keep a journal and our blogs are all forms of journaling that our kids can enjoy forever; so we are leaving memories and thoughts behind. And so I don't feel guilty about forgetting to write down the date when that 3rd child got their first molar.

And I did think for a sec you were having twins....I am so excited to hear about your adoption journey!

Allison O. said...

Erin, I am so happy for you guys! How far along in the paper pregnancy are you? Will your children arrive within months of each other, or do you know? Many blessings to you, sweet friend. I hope to run into you soon!

Soni said...

When our kids are born, we get them a (good) email address right away and I periodically send them emails about what they are doing or funny things they said. It's easy to sit and peck out a quick two line email AND i can easily attach a picture. I have relatives send them notes, etc... after we see them or on their birthdays and those will keep much longer in their digital files then a paper copy! I love having email for my kids :)

Stephanie said...

I don't fill in baby books either. I figure that my blog is kind of a baby book in its own way. :)

That said, I was just reading over the comments here...and I really like Soni's idea, don't you?

P.S. Congratulations on your pregnancy! That is wonderful news.

stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

Erin said...

@Soni - I think that is genius! I haven't followed your advice yet. But, I think I will. I found myself formulating an email to my daughter in my head the other day as I drove along the freeway!
@Stephanie - thanks for the link!
@Allison - The adoption will probably be complete about a year after the baby is born. We'll see!

emilie said...

Erin I'm glad to hear you say that about baby books! Claire has one and it's pretty blank. I always hear moms saying that the first child gets their baby book filled in, and subsequent children are more and more left in the dust... but if even my first child is not getting baby book attention...??? Thank you for saying this is OK!! :)

emilie said...

Erin I'm glad to hear you say that about baby books! Claire has one and it's pretty blank. I always hear moms saying that the first child gets their baby book filled in, and subsequent children are more and more left in the dust... but if even my first child is not getting baby book attention...??? Thank you for saying this is OK!! :)

Stephanie said...

I don't fill in baby books either. I figure that my blog is kind of a baby book in its own way. :)

That said, I was just reading over the comments here...and I really like Soni's idea, don't you?

P.S. Congratulations on your pregnancy! That is wonderful news.

stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

Allison O. said...

Erin, I am so happy for you guys! How far along in the paper pregnancy are you? Will your children arrive within months of each other, or do you know? Many blessings to you, sweet friend. I hope to run into you soon!

Charlotte said...

This sounds like me too. Out of my 4 kids, the oldest has a completed baby book and a scrapbook 0-2 years, the next has a baby book and scrapbook for first 6 months, the third has an uncompleted baby book and the 4th has nothing. I did feel really guilty for a while and felt overwhelmed when I would think of all the work it would entail to keep all that info for 4 kids. I do have a box that I throw art project and drawings into and then of course the photos I take are special.

I think Stef touched on something...I too have a baby book and don't read all the dates and milestones. But if I could read my mom's feelings that she had when I was young....that would be so much more impactful. I do keep a journal and our blogs are all forms of journaling that our kids can enjoy forever; so we are leaving memories and thoughts behind. And so I don't feel guilty about forgetting to write down the date when that 3rd child got their first molar.

And I did think for a sec you were having twins....I am so excited to hear about your adoption journey!

Krista said...

Funny you posted this, I have bee feeling the same way lately. Guilty guilty guilty. Elijah's baby book has some things written down, but no pictures in it yet. Elena doesn't even have a baby book I don't think, and Irina has one but I obviously haven't started it yet. Ah! I feel lousy for not doing anything for Elena yet! But that's part of the reason I sometimes post the typical "mom bragging" posts on my blog, so that I can go back and check to see when the first smile happened, or when she got her teeth or things like that. I have tried writing notes in a journal to look back on to fill in the baby book- but then I lose the journal. Yeah, that's how bad I am at this!

But I agree with you. It is more about the memories, the silly things they did, their personalities, etc than all the firsts. At least, that's what I like reading in my own baby book. I like to see and read what kind of child I was, not when I got my first tooth. That's not so important. So that's also why I post quotes from the kids and funny stories about them. Because my intention is to write them down in their baby books one day!