Don’t just preserve memories of your children, capture and share your memories of becoming a family. Every child—even grown-up ones—will enjoy reading about the excitement and joyful anticipation with which they were welcomed into the world. Use these ideas for a “Treasure Chest” entry, photo captions, or scrapbook narratives.
Thinking about Becoming a Family: Preconception/Pre-adoption
How much you write about this process (and I don’t mean the sex), might be determined by how intentional your family planning was. How did you and your spouse go about planning for a pregnancy or adoption? For some couples the operative question might be “Did you go about planning…?” Did you have fertility issues? Did you wait a long time to start planning your “becoming a family”?
Taking a step backwards, did baby make three or did you enter into parenthood as a single parent? What emotions accompanied that decision?
As you write about becoming a family, think about the following: Did you feel ready for a child, or were you scared, or both? Did you know if you were having a boy or girl? Did you see ultrasounds? What names were top considerations? (See related cute photo idea.)
If you’re remembering your own pregnancy, how was your health? For instance, based on the amount of my puking, my husband kept asking the doctor if I wasn’t having twins. (Somehow, that was logical to him.) How did you feel about the changes in your body? Where you thrilled to wear maternity clothes and not have to hold your stomach in, or did you feel frumpy and fat? Did you take pictures of your profile?
If your child came to you via an adoption, you can write about how your experience differed. Biological parents have about nine months to prepare for parenthood; how much time did you have? If you took part in an open adoption, consider writing what you knew about your child’s biological parents.
If this was the second or third child, what impact did the pending addition have on siblings? Were they excited or confused?
Becoming a Family: Birth/Homecoming
When you write about the birth of your child, don’t just include the facts. Think back how you felt; remember the rush of unconditional love juxtaposed over total exhaustion. If you’re writing about your first child, think back to how being a parent changed your worldview. This will make great reading for your kids, especially as they are older.
If you adopted your child, how old was he or she when you met him or her? What was it like the moment you finally got to hold your child in your arms?
How did you adjust to life as you brought your baby home? Did you have quiet moments or was life hectic?
Becoming a Family with Siblings:
How did siblings react? Were they happy or helpful? As a late birthday present to my older sister, I won’t talk about her reaction to my addition to the family.
Here’s the part where I can’t resist getting on my INCLUDE PHOTOS soapbox. ‘Nuff said.
Meeting the rest of the family
Were family members crowding the maternity ward or did they live far away? Who came to meet your little one at the hospital? When did the rest of the family get to meet him or her? Did you have someone helping you out in the home?
Do You Have Other Ideas or Comments? Please leave your thoughts.
© Laura Hedgecock 2013