Journals: Motherhood’s Memory Weapon

Journals: Motherhood’s Memory Weapon

Amanda Fristrom

Sleep is a big thing at our household. Or maybe I should say it’s a little thing since we get very little of it. I was just watching a TED talk on sleep, and the speaker, Matt Walker, mentions that if you don’t get enough sleep (hello, mothers out there), your brain becomes waterlogged and has serious issues forming memories.

Yikes. This brings a whole new meaning to all those things “they” say phrases, like, “Cherish this time while they are young – you’ll miss it.” Or even more directly, “Remember them like this – they are only young once.” This is a huge problem since I don’t know the last time I have gotten a decent amount of sleep in even one night, let alone several together.

On the one hand, this can mean the blur of motherhood while kids are young can bring out the nostalgia and help you focus on the good while you’re a grandmother? And make you forget all the bad things, like the pains of childbirth and the emotional scarring from losing it when your toddler takes 3 years to get out of his car seat? Or…. I’m actually having a difficult time coming up with silver linings to motherhood memory loss, or more accurately, motherhood dysfunctional memory-building.

So if you’re like me and can’t seem to get enough sleep, try as hard as you surely are, there’s a backup solution to the memory problem: journals. You can actually create a physical backup of your brain (or if you want, do it in the cloud). I’ve been using a 5-year journal, writing in a journal on my computer, and posting once daily to Instagram and using Chatbooks to print out a physical copy. For this post, I’ll focus on some of the top-rated motherhood journals on Amazon. These are mother-child journals, multi-year journals, and baby book/journals.

Just Between Us is an example of a mother-child journal. Some of these have prompts that start a conversation between you and your kid, and others are blank that you do the talking yourself. The idea is that you write in it, leave it for your child to read and respond, and they return it to you. My children are a bit too young – your child needs to be able to read and write – but I have high hopes for these in my future!

This is a fun spin-off – an art journal!

I’m currently using a journal that has a little space for a couple sentences each day and lasts for 5 years. I like that this leaves me feeling a little less pressure than pulling out a big journal or sitting down with my computer to write about the day. It’s perfect to write something funny my daughter said, or a cute thing my husband did that day. It’s still really hard for me to find the time to write every day, but I’m more likely to write a sentence or two most days than to write a lot once a week…

These have questions as prompts. I’d be interested in trying them, too!

This one combines the idea of a daily motherhood journal with another popular journal type: the gratitude journal.

Now we get to the hardest category for me. I really want to have baby books for all my kids. I love the idea of writing down milestones in pregnancy and early childhood. I mean, I can’t even remember instructions from their doctor appointment yesterday, much less when they started army crawling or got their first tooth. I want to, though. However, I have not been able to find a baby book I absolutely love. Maybe I’m just too picky? Here’s the link to my favorite of the 3 we have, and then some highly-rated on Amazon, including a non-traditional one that makes me think of my brother and his wife.

Hopefully this gets you inspired to write down your memories as you go, instead of hoping to remember them later! What are your favorite journals for motherhood?

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