Being a mom can be stressful — it’s not all tea parties and nap times. Many new moms fantasize about the joy, the cuddles, the blissful love of their babies, and they’re unprepared for the guilt, the anxiety, and the overwhelming feelings of inadequacy that erupt when you realize you CAN’T do it all. Even seasoned moms get blown away by the stuff they’re not doing that they think they should be.
Case in point: The Baby Book. Every mom I know, still in the glowing anticipation of pregnancy, bought that shiny padded book adorned with giraffes or monkeys or cherub-faced angels, and every mom I know vowed to complete every single line of it.
How many moms do I know that have actually completed said baby book?
Not. A. One.
My little bundles of joy are now 10 and 7. The 10-year-old’s book, after much stress and sleepless nights, is about half done. The 7-year-old’s is maybe 1/5 done. And I’ve finally realized that is OK. I’m just not one of those moms that loves doing baby books, or scrapbooking, or even making photo albums. I'm planning to get my digital photos organized within a year of when they were taken.
I do plan to get together a respectable book for each of my kids before, say, high school graduation. Right now, it’s just not a priority.
Saving the Special Moments Without the Stress
If you love documenting every milestone of babyhood, then by all means, do it! But if you’re not inclined, don’t stress about it. I want to share with you some easy ways you can capture those special moments without the stress. If you want to add them to a baby book or scrapbook later, you’ll know where to find the info.
- Jot down milestones and important events on a wall calendar that you can use later to make your baby book. This has been a lifesaver for me. It takes only seconds to jot down that lost tooth or the trip to the zoo.
- Don’t forget social media. Do you often post quick Instagram photos of your little ones or update your Facebook status when Junior does something awesome? Those posts can be part of your baby book too! I quit worrying so much about taking copious notes on our achievements when I realized that it’s all right there on Facebook, including the photos and congratulatory comments from the grandparents. I can just print it out and put them in the scrapbook.
- Try an app. Apps and online programs such as Kid Capsule, Moment Garden, Sprout Baby, and Sweet Baby combine the best of online convenience with growth tracking, milestones and photo uploads. They can be found in iTunes.
- Don’t try to be SuperMom. Trying to do everything is just going to wear you out, stress you out, and most likely, burn you out. That’s not good for you or your children. Let it go, and don’t feel guilty. It’s OK to let things slide a little when you need a break. The laundry and the dishes will still be there. So will the baby book.
- Keep it all in perspective. Whatever craziness is going on in your life right now, remember, this too shall pass. Have patience and maintain perspective. There will be plenty of time to finish the baby book while the kids are at camp.