I love documenting life, but man, is it ever hard to do in life’s most critical phases (e.g., early motherhood). Does anyone else struggle to keep up with milestones and memories? Your kids are constantly changing during the time they also need your most attention and intention. All hands on deck!
I initially started documenting memories via journals. During my first pregnancy, I stocked up on attractive black journals and started writing things down – ultrasounds, mom musings, preparations for labor, etc. It helped me feel like I was properly preparing for motherhood and getting to know our baby. I even wrote down our potential names and their meanings. They acted as baby books in a way. I saved momentos – photos, etc. – and wrote down milestones as they happened: rolling over, crawling, first step, etc. I really enjoyed writing “to” my kids, but it did not jive well with early motherhood! When was the last time you had a moment to sit down and journal? HAH! Yeah. Right. It just became too much work and too inconvenient.
I found a better way! 🙌
I had heard about this email idea (from Pinterest probably, let’s be honest) and it is a great way to document everything you want to without putting immense pressure on yourself. In essence: it’s easy and totally doable in the middle of crazy motherhood. You create an email account for each kid you have and send emails as they grow, achieve milestones and say darndest things! Most of us are already in the regular habit of checking our email, and every app on the face of the earth has a share/email option. So, every photo posted by grandma, calendar event, and life article you want them to read can go easily to their email account. Then at a future birthday, you give them the account and password. You’re basically giving them their memories from growing up! PLUS, it’s all electronic. Easy for organizing, sending, transferring, and printing.
It’s best if you have a formula for their email addresses and passwords so you can keep them straight. They will always be able to change the password later on.
My formula for their email address is: [firstname][middleinitial][lastname]@emailprovider.com
If your child’s name is George Rutherford Johnson and you want him to have a Gmail account, you’d go with: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a formula for their password, too. Heh, I’m not going to share ours with you, but I’ll give you a few examples:
- Hospital where they were born (e.g., usnavalhospitalyokosuka)
- Birthweight (e.g., eightpoundseightounces or 8pounds8ounces)
- City in which they were born (e.g., yokosukajapan)
- Parents’ middle names and birthdays (e.g., josephanne01270813)
You would have the same formula for all your kids. This is a good way to have a common rule of thumb and keep it simple! I plan to hand over the account on my kids’ 16th birthdays.
At the end of the day (or week if life is extra chaotic), I’ll go through photos on my phone and send them to whichever child they belong to and add a little story, just like I would have done with a journal. I’ll also send them funny things they said that day, with a photo or not, and things I’m noticing and seeing in their development. It’s also fun to do special events – birthdays, holidays, first day of preschool, etc. Really, the email is your oyster and you can do whatever you want with it.
Despite the many conveniences we have in today’s world, things seem to get awfully busy. Even now, when my kids haven’t hit the teenage years! It’s creative ideas like this that help alleviate some pressure, and your kids will appreciate having these memories which otherwise would have been forgotten.
How does Marabou support women?
We live in culture where “bouncing back” is more valued than proper rest. As admirable as it may be for a sports star to get back on the field, the same rules don’t apply to postpartum recovery. The traditional resting period has been stolen from women through pressure to get back to their job or simply through lack of presence.
Grandmas, sisters and best friends who otherwise would have been there to help a woman transition into motherhood often live too far away to be of any help. Household chores and caring for older children inevitably fall on the mom. But she just delivered a new life! She needs rest.
Marabou Services is a unique gift registry which provides services instead of stuff. Most mom’s get too many onesies, too many baby blankets and not enough helping hands. Break out of a destructive cultural norm and start a Marabou registry today.
With a Marabou registry you can sing up for any service which will benefit you or someone you know during the postpartum recovery period.
Postpartum doulas for a first time mom
House cleanings for moms of multiples
Childcare for moms with older children!
Once your registry is created, add it to any other registry or post it to your Facebook and ask friends and family contribute to your postpartum service, rather than buying you more stuff.