There are parenting moments that are difficult to get through and others that are so precious that you wish you could freeze time. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a way to do that yet, but I have found some ways to savor and preserve precious memories to enjoy for years to come. Here are 7 ways that you too can preserve memories of and for your children.
1. Write Down Your Kids’ Quotes
Kids really do say the darndest things! A friend got me “My Quotable Kid” and it’s a great way to preserve the hilarious and poignant things that come out of our little one’s mouths. Any notebook will do – just make a point to write it down before you forget. It will keep you laughing for years to come.
2. Print Photo Books
These days, most of our photos live on our phones and not in prints, so there is less inclination to organize them into photo albums. I try to force myself to create a photo book for each year of my son’s life (Liam at 1 year old, Liam at 2 years old, etc.) so that we can enjoy looking through them over the years. Other ideas are to make photo books for family trips, holidays, family reunions, birthdays, etc. Online platforms like Shutterfly, Mixbook, Snapfish, or even Amazon make it easy to upload photos from your phone, organize them into albums, and order photo books. Side note – Make sure to back up your photos online or on a thumb drive so that you don’t lose them. Amazon Prime offers free photo storage, so I like to back up all of my phone, camera, and professional photos there. Or if you don’t have time to create your own albums use a service like Tweed Wolf!
3. Capture Grandparent Memories
There are so many things I wish I knew about my late grandparents that either I don’t remember or that I didn’t think to ask them as a child. While in a very sentimental postpartum mood, I ordered these grandparent memory books for each of my son’s grandparents to create for him. There are lots of similar books to choose from.
4. Get Professional Family Photos
We have thousands of photos of our kids on our phones, but if you’re like me, there are a lot less photos of the whole family (and even fewer where we’re all smiling and looking at the camera). Consider doing professional family photos or just asking a friend of family member with a good camera to take some shots of your family. Photo memories are important to me, so I try to do professional family photos every year or so and I’m always glad that I did. I find that they really capture my son’s personality and our family dynamics in ways that my phone photos don’t. Our thorough Guide to Photographers is a great resource to find the perfect photographer for your family!
5. Make Video Compilations
I have tons of short videos of my son on my phone, but none of the traditional family home videos that my generation grew up with. I love re-watching old family videos, so this inspired me to want to create some video compilations for my son. A friend recently shared a video compilation she created of her kids using iMovie on her phone and it was amazing. She said that it was pretty simple to do. I haven’t actually done this yet so can’t comment of the time involved, but I love the idea.
6. Create Artwork Portfolios
My son is only 3 and we already have bins of his artwork that he’s brought home. At this rate, by the time he graduates high school, we’ll need a storage unit to hold all of his masterpieces. I’ve come to accept that there’s just not space to keep all of it, so I have started taking photos of them before tossing them out (I keep my very favorites of course). My plan is to compile them into a “artwork portfolio” photo book (see number two above) so that we can keep the memories AND save space. As proud as I was to come up with this novel idea, I was quickly humbled to find on Pinterest that I’m not the first to think of it. Here are some examples.
7. Keep Pregnancy & Baby Scrapbooks
I’m the type of person who likes the idea of making memory scrapbooks but I’m not creative or motivated enough to create them from scratch. I received these pregnancy and baby scrapbooks as gifts and they have made it pretty easy to document pregnancy and baby memories. I like them because they guide you with questions that I wouldn’t have thought to document but that you or your child might find interesting down the road (like which foods you craved during pregnancy and baby’s likes and dislikes at various stages).
As a whole, this might seem like a lot of extra work while juggling the chaos of parenthood, but you can pick and choose the ways you want to save memories based on what’s important to you. I promise that you will be glad you did! Do you have any suggestions to add to this list? Please leave a comment!