Becoming a mum is full of emotions, and represents such a huge shift in your life. As Sara Keli explains, recording your motherhood journey is a great way to not only help you document this but also a way to create a beautiful memory for your children.
When my first daughter was born I felt so overwhelmingly emotional. Not just the baby blues but that heart-swelling, chest-bursting feeling of love that manages to take your breath away.
The first days and weeks after she was born were a blur of nappy changes, feeds, visitors and not enough sleep. But when the fog lifted I sat down and I wrote to her. I told her how I felt when she was born, how complete I felt in the instant that she arrived in my arms. I wrote about her birth and what she was like as a baby. I wrote from my heart with tears welling in my eyes just at the thought of how much I loved her.
I partly wrote this letter for myself, to get my thoughts and feelings out of my head and onto paper. To help me process what I was feeling. But I also wrote for my baby girl. I pictured her opening the letter when she was in her 20s, maybe when she was pregnant with her own child, and reading my words about her birth and how she changed my life.
Over the past four years I have captured more of my motherhood milestones. In my journal I record the little things my girls have said or done each day. Just a sentence here and there to record a funny moment or a milestone reached. Maybe my kids will read my journals one day, and maybe they won’t, but if they do I hope they will look back with fondness at their early years.
I have also continued to write to my kids. I have a collection of letters for each of them that I hope will one day, when the time is right, find their way into their hands. I want them to know how endlessly I love them and how proud of them I am, no matter where this rollercoaster of life we are on together takes us. I want them to know that raising kids is hard but worth every second. I want them to look back and understand me, as a mum and as a woman.
As sad as it is, I also look at my letters as an insurance policy. What if I was suddenly no longer there for my kids? I know there would be many people to tell them about me and my love for them, but if they were to hear it, to read it, in my own words that would be so much more meaningful.
Think of yourself as an historian or an archivist, capturing the history of your little family, the special moments that when remembered will bring a smile to your face. If you can’t write, draw. If you can’t draw, scrapbook. If you can’t scrapbook, collect memories. Record videos, take photos, make memories for your kids and for yourself, because one day, when they are big and grown, their laughter will no longer fill your house, but you will always have your memories.
Just start. Let the words flow from you as you put pen to paper. Tell your kids how you feel. Tell them about all the magical ways they have made your life better. Tell them about the hard days as well as the good days. Tell them your dreams for yourself and the dreams you have for them. Be raw in your honesty and don’t hold anything back. Picture your kids in 20, 40 or even 60 years, reading your letters and speak to those adults, the ones you raised from a tiny baby
Sara Keli is the Editor of Kid Magazine. When she isn’t writing, designing or creating, you can find her enjoying the sunshine on her back deck with her two daughters or escaping into a good book.