Advice for new moms Memories fade
blogging, family, marriage, motherhood, Parenting

Warning: Memories Fade

One of the biggest mom guilts I have is that the first four years of motherhood were so hard and such an emotional rollercoaster that I don’t remember everything I wish I could.

That’s not exactly true. I remember the hard stuff. The tough days. The mistakes. The fights. The tears. The sleepless nights. The guilt.

The happier memories are less clear. They are more a feeling than an actual memory. That makes me feel guilty all over again. #momguilt

Sometimes memories flash up on my Facebook of my beautiful girls, looking happy, having fun. Sometimes I’m in the picture with them, mostly not. I often struggle to remember that precise day or moment, and I wonder to myself, “Does that make me a bad mom?” 

The short answer, “No.” because back then it was about survival.

My eldest was 23 months old when my youngest was born. The 9 months of pregnancy with my youngest were pure hell on earth. I was sick the entire time and I can’t even remember half of it other than the nausea, bone numbing exhaustion and inability to even be a decent wife, mother, daughter or human being. In those days my daughter definitely preferred being with my mom than she did with me, and I can’t really blame her.

I sometimes wonder to myself, if I could go back and do it again what would I do differently?

The real answer, I wouldn’t go back for one single second because where I am right now is so much happier. Call it what you will, Postnatal Depression, Baby Blues, Sickness, Hormones.

It doesn’t matter. It happened. We made it through the darkness to the other side, and I wouldn’t go back for all the wine in the Western Cape!

Quote by Drake Some Nights I wish I could go back in life

Based on my experience, and with the wisdom of hindsight, I do have some advice for any expecting moms or new moms. Please hear what I am saying.

Take the pictures

Even though I said I struggle to place some of it, at least there are pictures to help me remember that it wasn’t all bad. Let’s face it, we are far more likely to take pictures of the happy moments, the fun days, the lighter side of life, rather than the hard days, the melt-downs, tantrums and failures. We don’t really need photos for that because for some reason we (or maybe it’s just me) remember that far more than the smiles and laughs. The pictures help remind us that it wasn’t all bad, and your babies were beautiful precious gifts that you did treasure and love, even on the dark days!

Let them take pictures of you

The early days are not our most flattering, let’s be honest. Post-baby weight, some of us put on even more weight after their birth and during breastfeeding instead of losing any of it. We’re tired, we don’t get time to do our hair, sometimes we forget to put mascara on both eyes, and you’re probably covered in food in places you don’t even realise. So what! Just do your best to position yourself into the most flattering angle you can and smile. Smile!

Why? Because trust me, you and your children will want to see those pictures of you with them when they were little. It’s important to them, and you need it.

Write it down

I’m talking about the milestones and memories here. With my eldest I had a book where I recorded all her milestones; when she first rolled over, sat up, stood, walked, her first word … but when my youngest came along I was so busy with the two of them that I just made an iCloud note and recorded her milestones there. No book, just my notes. I also have a random note in my iCloud Notes where I made a record of all the funny words my eldest made up instead of using the real ones – they were so cute and so funny. It’s one of my most treasured possessions and it helps me remember how precious that time in her little life was. She doesn’t do that anymore. I don’t want to forget.

About two years ago my old iPhone 4s died a horrible death and I was never so grateful for ‘the cloud’. The temporary fear I experienced when I thought I’d possibly lost those two notes was heartbreaking.

Memories fade, we need the reminders.

There is so much going on in our lives and it really does go by so fast. Do whatever you have to do to not forget, and to be able to look back one day. And don’t stop. I can’t believe that I am the mom to two intelligent, funny, beautiful and perfect little girls. I take pictures all the time, and I still feel like it’s not enough.

They need it.

You need it.

Make the memories. Record the memories.


 

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30 thoughts on “Warning: Memories Fade”

  1. You’re right, memories fade so easily when you are exhausted, too tired to have the energy to remind your brain that this is important stuff and it really should put it somewhere safe! I’m so glad I took so many photos, I only wish I had taken more video too. Just today I was looking at photos of my youngest when he was about two, and saying to my husband, I wish I could remember him more clearly at that age as he was so cute! #Blogstravaganza

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re not alone. Great advice. I do a picture a day with a few lines on a private FB album and a daily journal entry of events and feelings….. still miss so much but I feel it’s a lot better than missing it all. I don’t even remember the baby days now… sadly I didn’t start my entries til they were 4 or 5.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are so right. My first born is 4 and I’m expecting my second in October. I am struggling to remember how I managed the first time and have a lot of guilty moments too. I am so glad I kept a diary. Even though I can’t exactly remember everything from the first four years I have a record of it that I can return to.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I bought all my kids normal hard cover books I decorated it and wrote in it. Memories, a letter to them to say I’m sorry. Photos and achievements as well.
    Every year I read the first book of my kids. It pretty amazing how you realize you have changed as a Perosn as well. I wrote down when I felt like I’m failing them, I wrote that I am sorry. I want my kids to know as adults I was not perfect but I gave it what I could

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You hit the nail on the head, once again. I feel like I forget as soon as a new phase starts. It’s sad. Then there’s a few baby pictures that sort of reminds me how small she was and how I thought I had it bad then. Wish I wrote it down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I don’t think it ever stops. I worry sometimes about how much I will have forgotten by the time they turn 20. How scary is that?!

      Like

  6. This is a great post. I’m only 2 years into mom-life and with just my one little boy and no plans for a second, but I can still relate to a lot of this. The other day my mom asked me what my son’s first word was. I drew a complete blank. I honestly cannot remember his first word. Is it something that will affect him for life? No, not really. But is it something I wish I could remember? Definitely. I should have recorded it. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. I also never appear in photos with my son unless they are a selfie that I took of the two of us. I asked my husband the other day why he never takes photos of me and H together like I do with the two of them. He responded saying that every time he takes a picture of me and H I sit and analyze the way I look and demand he takes it again or say he can’t show anyone it because I look fat/tired/ugly/etc. It made me really realize that he’s totally right about that. So I’m now asking him to take pictures and letting him do what he wants with them as I know Hunter will one day want to see pictures of him and his mom. and who knows, maybe one day I will get my butt into gear and lose the weight so those pictures can be my “before” pictures 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re so right…we really do only remember the bad stuff…so thank goodness for FB memories. Usually us gushing about how perfect and well behaved and amazing our kids are….(usually as the picture is still uploading those feelings go to shit as they start fighting, eating sand, whatever…lol).

    I literally wrote nothing down after my first child…so the milestones I don’t remember as well. Again grateful I uploaded all 3 kids with their early steps on FB so at least I can scan the date and kind of remember some of those things. The youngest though is the worst. He was last, so I should remember, but I don’t think I even know how old he was when he got his first tooth. lol.But does that really matter in the grand scheme of things?

    Love your posts! So real!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and No, it doesn’t really matter. I just found my girls have been asking for more pictures recently. Then the other day they saw one of me with short hair and totally freaked out, like it wasn’t even me to them. Sadly this is how my hair was when my youngest was born and it hit home how they don’t even see those pictures. It’s like I wasn’t even their mommy in that picture. A bit of a punch in the gut moment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh there I totally get you. I try to photo shoots done every year. I hate taking pics cause fat, hair, skin…everything is wrong with me, but I figured if something happens to me, they don’t give a crap how fat I look in a picture.

        You have plenty of time to make up for it though…take those pics now ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Such an inspiring post for mums having a rough time of it with a second pregnancy or a newborn second child. I can really relate to this. I felt that my second pregnancy passed in a blur and all I was doing was surviving. I’ve been forgetting to put my little one’s milestones in her book because I’m always on the run and I do often dodge the pictures! This is great advice to help me make sure I’m recording our lovely memories x #blogstravaganza

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I can really relate to this. I fell pregnant six weeks after my first was born and had hyperemesis all over again. I couldn’t function, never mind be a good mum and so I have very few nice memories from that time. Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am so happy i took many pics of my son especially when he was younger because he is older now 10( 11 in 28 days exactly ) and hates taking pics . My daughter ( 4 years old ) on the other hand wants you to take pics all the time . My son being a premature baby (28 weeks ) had different milestones and the pics I love because it reminds me how tiny he was and what an extremely emotional time it was for my husband and I how he has grown and defied the odds and is a healthy boy .Memories are something nobody can take away from you .

    Liked by 2 people

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