How Saving Memories Strengthens My Marriage


One mom discovers an easier (and more romantic) way to document family moments.

Ask any mom: she's not only the nurturer of her children, she's also the person responsible for documenting their lives.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was more daunted by the craft skills that motherhood seemed to require than about actually giving birth. Photo albums? Halloween costumes? Scrapbooks?! And my intimidation was warranted: when my son arrived, my maternal instincts kicked in instantly...but sadly no creativity emerged. I just wasn't the picture-taking, album-keeping type, and it occurred to me: Why is it that because I’m a woman, I’m expected to be the family scribe? No matter how much I expressed my love to my baby, did my lack of artistry make me a bad mom? 6 Relationship Tips Your Mother Got Right

Desperate to appease my worry (and make one final attempt at helping my child remember his life), I sought advice from a friend whose master memory-keeping approach to motherhood astounded me. She explained that scrapbooking doesn't have to be an intimidating solo project for one scissor-handed, overwhelmed mom: including my husband was exactly what was missing from the project. More often than not, when Mom is the Family Scrapbooker, Dad doesn't feel the need to get involved. All the photos and memories in the books are only how the mother sees things. By taking the sole responsibility of scrapbooking, we are depriving our children of the unique memories their fathers have of their childhood.

So stop scrapbooking alone. Do it with your partner. My husband and recently kicked off a weekly scrapbooking date, and it's been a bonding-filled adventure. I know what you're thinking: My husband doesn’t want to scrapbook. he doesn’t even have time to scrapbook. Give him the opportunity—he might actually enjoy it. If you and your husband to maintain memories together, not only will the finished product be that much better, but you'll spend quality time doing something that could benefit your child forever. And isn't your kids' future a huge part of what drives your marriage? 3 Quick Tips For Positive Communication For Busy Families

Here are my tips on how scrapbook with your husband:

1. Make it a routine. Even 15 minutes each week to write down a memory and choose a photo or two is better than nothing at all. It’s also better than doing it all on your own and not being able to hear your husband’s memories from the week. An added benefit is that you can also use this time to discuss parenting issues that you hoped to solve this week, such as discipline or weaning your baby off the bottle.

2. Scrapbooking Weekends. Do you go on getaway weekends with your girlfriends? If so, make your next one a scrapbooking retreat with your husband—talk about a weekend cut out for romance! Try it at a B&B, or if one of you have parents who are willing to help out with the kids, shuffle the little ones off and make some memories while you're making memories, right at home.

3. Do the simple things daily. Look for memories to jot down and try to take several photos every week. If you're both aware that there are always stories to tell, scrapbooking is easy. Leave some simple materials in an accessible area so that it will be easy for the two of you to scrapbook the ideas from that day when you have five extra minutes.

4. Bring your camera. Encourage your partner to take a camera when he's alone with the kids, even if it’s just a camera phone, and ask him to snap a few shots of their adventure.

5. Find your inspiration. Look for inspiration in magazines and online galleries. Doing this with your partner is a fun way to see how scrapbooks can be part of your life.

6. Forget about perfection. Don’t worry about making photos perfect. Use what you have and just focus on getting the story down.

7. Don’t compare. Your partner might be worried because his pages will never live up to the perfection of yours, but offer positive words of encouragement to each other. In the end, the point isn't the perfection of the album. It's your child's knowledge that both his or her parents found such joy in their childhood that they wanted to preserve it forever. 10 Tips To Re-Bond With Your Child/Children

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