Motherhood is an incredible gift—and one that will truly change you and your partner’s life forever. It’s an incredible privilege to conceive a child, nurture it as it grows in your belly, and raise them to be the person they want to be. If you’re thinking of documenting your motherhood journey from pregnancy to your child’s adult years, here are some tips to get you started.
Take pictures—lots of them
If you have never been one to enjoy photography, now is a good time to start. You don’t need the most expensive or state-of-the-art DSLR to take good photos; even our smartphones have so many features now which allow us to take photos like a professional. You simply need to understand the ins and outs of your phone’s camera features, practice taking photos to know what angles look good, find flattering filters, and presto—you have the buil
ding blocks for learning how to take quality photos.
Here are some things from the journey you need to take photos and videos of:
- Pregnancy test results
- First trip to your OB-GYN
- First ultrasound
- Telling your family and friends
- Learning the baby’s gender
- The progress of your tummy
As long as there’s a new milestone, make sure to bring your trusty camera with you so that you can document it. Just remember to ask for people’s consent before you take their photos!
Invest in items that bring out your family’s personality
Here’s a tip for taking stunning photos: capture only beautiful moments and things. These can include doing a maternity shoot against a gorgeous backdrop like the woods, waiting for the much-loved golden hour before you and your partner snap some photos, and buying supplies such as blankets, multi-use baby car seat covers, a cute bassinet, and others—that can amp the aesthetics and adorableness up a notch. Find a specific aesthetic that appeals to you and expresses your family’s unique charm and personality, and use it as an overarching theme or motif for all your documentation.
Revive the lost art of scrapbooking
In the world of Photoshop and Canva, people have lost the sentimental art of crafting, scrapbooking, and making things with their hands. Think of the reason why you want to document your motherhood journey in the first place: Is it just because you want something to post on social media, or do you want your kids to one day feel like they were there with you every step of the way? If it’s the latter, then a scrapbook made with love right just be the thing that touches your kids’ hearts one day, and will remind them of how loved they were even before they were born. Here are some supplies you might need for the scrapbook:
- A big, blank notebook made of archival paper, or a material that won’t go yellow over time.
- Some cute stickers and washi tapes from Etsy. You don’t need to cut up old magazines to get some nice letters and designs—there are plenty of online stores that sell stationery and cute scrapbooking supplies. You might also need to buy some calligraphy pens.
- Consider buying a Polaroid camera as well, or a Polaroid printer.
Look at some online tutorials and tips for scrapbooking if you’re not confident with your own style. Write down the details for every milestone you want to document—not just the straight facts like the who, what, when, where, and why, but also how you were feeling, both the good and the bad. Treat the scrapbook like a diary, as well, and include details that you won’t mind other people reading or knowing about.
Do not underestimate the power of a handwritten letter, especially during these times. Write your kids a letter for every milestone they reach in their lives—first birthday, first day at school, graduations, on their wedding day, having their first kid, and others. It will be like a time capsule upon which they will receive a word of wisdom from a younger version of you.
Be systematic with your archiving
Since documentation is all about recording a process, you need to be systematic in organizing everything you have gathered, from photos to important files to information. Keep a binder and add the necessary categories, labels, and dates for each milestone, and use different colors if you need to. It will keep things organized for when you want to start making a book for your journey.
Life moves pretty fast, and if we don’t savor each moment, we can easily forget all of our most precious memories. Document your motherhood journey and let your child see it one day to foster an even deeper relationship between the two of you.