Parenting Guides

This is why all moms need to keep a journal

There’s no role in life that you’ll ever have that is more important than that of being a mom. From the moment we make the decision to journey into motherhood, our lives are forever changed. I’ll never forget finding out I was pregnant with Ayva. It was truly a magical moment.

But I was also scared out of my mind!

What do you mean I’m going to be responsible for another human for the rest of their life?
I have to feed them every day?
Make sure they have clothes?
Keep a roof over their heads?

At the time that seemed pretty excessive! Oh, and at that point, I hadn’t even thought about the actual physicality of motherhood. Sleepless nights, leaky boobs, weird things happening in my vagina.

And that’s just the first week.

There was a silver lining, though. That sweet face I got to gaze into while I was up late at night when everyone else was sleeping made it all worth it. Every diaper changes gave me a chance to rub on a soft little belly. There are some really sweet moments to be had even through the chaos.

There will be lots of chaos.

The first few times I took Jamie out when he was a newborn went perfectly. He was asleep or content, and I felt like I was living my regular life, just with a baby. Then I got too confident. I decided to take him on a quick errand and left the diaper bag at home. I was only going to be gone for an hour and figured we’d be fine. Wouldn’t you know that was the day of his first blowout diaper.

There was poop everywhere! His entire outfit was soaked, his carseat was destroyed, and I just stood next to my car in the parking lot where I had just pulled in with my mouth wide open. I couldn’t even begin to wrap my mind around how to fix this mess.

Once everything was all cleaned up, and the baby was bathed and smelling like a fresh little bundle again, I laughed. I cracked up until tears were falling down my cheeks! Our first blowout was one for the record, and memory, books. See what I mean? Straight chaos!

There are so many memories that we have as mothers that we don’t cherish in the same way we do the perfect moments. The times when things aren’t all good coupled with the really good times is what treasured memories are made of, though!

I know that I’m a great mom. There are days when I don’t feel like it, though. Days when the whining and crying is nonstop, I just don’t feel like playing pretend, and all we have for dinner is carbs. Or ice cream (true story). That’s why I think it’s so important to reflect and write down my feelings and emotions when I’m in the moment.

Why should moms keep a journal?

No matter how often I get covered in poop (or vomit, or blood…) there are just as many times when my babies cover me in hugs and kisses. I want to remember it all.

That’s why I’m a huge advocate for moms journaling. Keeping track of what happens in your life on a daily basis might not seem important now, but when the kiddos are headed off to college and you’re feeling all empty-nesty, you’ll appreciate being able to go back. I know that there are communities and movements that are committed to journaling that can make it feel like it’s more work than it is. You don’t have to make it hard.

Just grab a notebook, and write.

Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. You don’t have to have a certain number of words. Your penmanship doesn’t matter. All you need to be concerned with is getting those moments down on paper before you forget them.

Oh, and one big tip I have for you about journaling—you don’t have to write in real time. If you have a memory that pops up and you haven’t written it down, do it now. Also, consider using prompts to get your brain moving and pull up some of those old thoughts and feelings that you may not have gotten a chance to memorialize.

Here are a few journal prompts about motherhood to get you started:

1. What is a milestone that your child hit that made your parenting job more difficult? What did you do to adjust?
2. What are some ways that you sneak self care for yourself? How do you pull it off?
3. How do you spend your evenings now that you’re a mom?
4. Do you look forward to bedtime, or is it a struggle? What does bedtime look like in your home?
5. What is something you’ve done as a mom that you said you would never do?
6. What’s something you used to think was gross before you were a mom, but now you’re actually used to?

I never imagined how fast my children would grow up. I can’t keep them little forever. One day they’re going to be all grown up and they’ll leave me to start their own families. Those memories, though? They’re here to stay.

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