motherhood-memories-fade

A Gentle Warning – Your Memories Do Fade

This is a gentle warning to all new mothers – the sad truth is that your 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. Call it whatever you want, exhaustion, postnatal depression, the baby blues or just plain old life! Sometimes I try to remember something specific about the baby days, and I just can’t.

I remember the hard stuff. I remember the tough days, the mistakes, the fights, the tears and I remember all the sleepless nights. And I remember the guilt.

Sadly though, the happier memories are less clear. They are more of a feeling than actual memories and that makes me feel guilty all over again. Does the mom guilt ever go away?

Facebook Memories

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

The short answer is simple, “No.” It doesn’t, because back then it was about survival. Surviving each day until I could get to the next one.

My eldest was 23 months old when my youngest was born. The nine 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 nausea, bone-numbing exhaustion and the inability to even be a decent wife, mother, daughter or human being. I remember that. In those days my eldest daughter definitely preferred being with my mom than she did with me, and I can’t really blame her. Even back then, my girl’s granny was the best, and she still is.

What Would I Change?

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.

It doesn’t matter so much anymore. It happened. We made it through the darkness to the other side, and I wouldn’t go back for one single moment. My husband and I live by the motto, never backwards, always forwards. It’s seen us through some tough times and guided us when we needed some help making tough decisions. But …

motherhood Memories quote

My advice to mothers in the trenches …

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 and the lighter side of life, than the hard days, the meltdowns, the tantrums and the many many 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 and are 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 a lot of the time, 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. You need happy memories.

Chirundu, Zimbabwe

Write it down

You need to write down the milestones and memories. 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. 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 special baby 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 to remember how precious that time in her little life was.

Those are things that I don’t want to forget.

About two years ago my old iPhone 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.

So remember, your memories fade. We will need 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, to be able to look back one day.

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.

Make the memories. Record the memories.


Comments

  1. 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 .

  2. 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

    1. Thanks. I sometimes feel like no one actually knows what it was like and they think I am exaggerating.

  3. 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

    1. Thanks for such a lovely comment. It’s so much easier to dodge than to actively be in the pictures.

  4. 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!

    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.

      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 <3

  5. I say the same thing as my PTSD was triggered after my oldest was born. I struggled through a lot but where I am today and how happy my kids are today made it all worth it:)

  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. 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.

    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?!

  8. Memories do fade and it is why I am such a fan of getting photos.I have so many photos of when I was younger and it has been important for me to do the same with out children#Blogstravaganza

  9. 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

    1. That is such a great idea. Love it. That will definitely be something they will cherish forever.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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  13. 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

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  15. I love this so much because it is the truth momma! The memories do fade and I’m so thankful for the photos that I have to remember more of the happy times. Because you’re right! The rough days are sometimes far easier to remember than the great ones when they’re really little!

  16. I’ve been going through the exact same thing! I’m wishing so hard I had just gotten over myself and put myself in the pictures too. I was always happily snapping away so we have tons of pictures of my little guy + dad but barely any of all of us together or me and little man. I was thinking at the time that I don’t want to remember how big I am right now with all this excess pregnancy weight, but now I’m wishing I didn’t care and just took the pictures. I’ve started journaling recently to jot down special moments and memories and I’m trying to just take random pictures with my little guy on the daily now so we have some fun stuff to look back on in a few years.

  17. I really enjoyed this post. I am terrible of taking photos with me in them. I am always behind the camera. I need to get better at that. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I love this! I have so many pics of the kids and I am not in any of them! I really need to get more photos with all of us!

  19. I enjoyed reading your post, I totally agree with you. My husband always use to take pictures, i never understood it but i do now. He says it’s for all of us to look back to remember and smile ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. This article gave me all the feels. I wish l had more pictures with my kids during those younger years, but I was honestly trying to avoid unflattering images of myself still hanging onto all that baby weight. It silly, but that’s how I felt at the time. Take care, and happy Mother’s Day!

  21. Woww, I can totally relate!! I remember someone asked me what I use to do to keep my daughter engaged when she was 6 mo to a year old, and I was totally blank!! *and embarrassed*

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