Baby books, journals, photo albums, online logs . . . How am I going to keep track of everything I need to and want to keep track of for my kids, especially when I have more that one child?
Does that overwhelmed cry sound familiar? If so, I must have said it louder than I thought!
When we were expecting our first child I felt overwhelmed at the prospect of keeping track of everything I wanted to keep track of about our future children, especially in their early years. All of their firsts I wanted to remember. I wanted to remember our baby’s first smile, the first word he said, the first time he rode a bike, and when he received his first sacraments.
I realized that if I did not have a way to keep track of these firsts, they would be forever forgotten. I also knew I needed a way that was manageable and did not take too much time. Otherwise, I feared I would not be able to keep up with it.
When were expecting our oldest child I heard something that I thought was a fantastic idea. So fantastic, in fact, that I still use it.
Write your child’s milestones on a calendar.
Keeping a calendar was such a simple idea, especially since I was expecting an idea that took a lot more work! This was a wonderful solution to my dilemma. For our family, I have implemented this in two ways.
Have a calendar for baby’s first year.
I did this with our first child. I bought a regular calendar and hung it in his room. Each event and milestone that I wanted to remember and keep track of, I wrote on the calendar. It was easy to do. After two or three kids, though, and the rambunctious sharing of rooms (meaning they could scribble on the calendars) the next idea was easier for me to use.
Write all milestones on the family calendar.
First, I need to say that we have a LARGE wall calendar that we keep in the kitchen. Little squares for each day do not work for us! (My husband gets one for free each year at a local supply company where he has purchased products in the past.)
Our family wall calendars are filled with first laughs, first teeth emerging, first teeth lost, and first steps. As our kids have gotten older our calendars also have first times riding a two-wheeled bike, first Reconciliations, First Holy Communions, first sleepovers, first jobs, and for our oldest: first time driving.
It is helpful to write these milestones in another color on the calendar so they stand out amid other activities and appointments. You can also use a highlighter to help them stand out. Having these important firsts on the family calendar is convenient and fun to see, but it can be challenging to go back and find them when they blend in with day-to-day activities. Make them stand out.
For me, I really enjoy having this log of important events in our lives. It reminds me to savor each moment and not take our days and abilities for granted. It reminds me that every moment is precious and that one day our calendars may hold weddings and maybe an ordination or two or final vows. They may hold grandchildren and their firsts. (I think I’m getting a bit ahead of myself!)
Our family calendars are a history of our family and a promise of more firsts and significant milestones to come.
How will you choose to keep track of your family’s unforgettable moments?