Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Treasuring each moment without going insane

First time at a water park.

Right now my sons are 5 and 2 and sometimes I feel like all I hear is how I’m supposed to treasure each moment.

I know I’ll probably lose Mommy points for saying it, but it’s become somewhat of a sore spot. Don’t get me wrong – I try, but when I’m really concentrating on it, I start to get overwhelmed. How am I supposed to treasure each moment when life is moving so fast? As a working Mom, there’s a lot of scheduling to contend with and small milestones feel like they’re flying by: kindergarten Christmas program, a second birthday, Christmas morning, playing in the ice (they thought it was snow and at one point I just gave up and let them play in it.) So there I am, snapping pictures and trying to burn the images into my memory – all the while treasuring. Each. Moment.

It’s just too much.

Believe me, I’ve asked parents of older children for advice, but the gist is that “Things just didn’t move as fast when I was raising my kids” or “We just had photo albums in my day; we didn’t scrapbook” or, one of the best ones – “We had a Polaroid and we hung the pictures up on the fridge.”

But the thing is, they’re right! Twenty years ago, there was no Shutterfly and ordering an online photo book or scrapbooking to commemorate a milestone would have been crazy talk. So when I couldn’t get advice on what to do, I decided to take advice on when to do it.

And the answer is later.

If I can’t scrapbook and document the milestones the way I want to right now, I can certainly tuck away items and photos for one day when I have more time. So, below are a few ways I’m currently coping. Hopefully, as you head into this next year, you can use a few ideas from below – and if you have ways you’re coping, I would be happy to hear them!
  1. Save everything. These days I take the pictures, hold on to the movie stubs or event memorabilia and put them in a labeled box so I can scrapbook later. I label everything I can and sometimes I just stick a note in there for myself of something funny one of my children said – so I can remember it on that magical day when I have time to scrapbook.
  2. Post on social media. Half the fun of child rearing is remembering crazy things your children did – and I’ve found that when you post on Facebook, Twitter, a blog, etc., your family and friends will remind you of things you’ve posted about your children. It’s a great way to mark some milestones.
  3. Remember to put the camera down sometimes. I’m the first person to say you need to take as many pictures as you can, but not at the cost of interrupting the moment. When it comes down to it, I take photos so I can remember and so my children can remember, but it’s not always about the picture. Sometimes it’s just about the bond you’re creating with your child – the feeling of happiness and relaxation that you’re instilling, teaching, showing them. And you don’t need a camera for that.
Aleshia Howe is a Mom to two boys and a senior communications specialist at Texas Health Resources.

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