I wish I'd written everything down, every tiny moment

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock 

One of my kids recently asked me what age she was when she first started walking and I couldn't tell her. 

I also couldn't tell her what her first word was or when she got her first tooth. 

Then I realised I couldn't tell her siblings any of those things either because I've forgotten all of those milestone details - every single one. And now I wish I'd written everything down.

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock 

When my first child was born I saw all of those baby books with pages for parents to write the dates of everything your baby did during their first year. I thought they were dumb. I've never been into journaling or scrapbooking and they were too much like those two things that I shunned them. 

I couldn't work out why anyone would need to document every single moment, as surely you would remember. First words and first steps – these were massive events. No attentive parent would ever forget those special times, would they?

Then I had a second and third child, all within a short period of time. And everything became a blur. Now, I was not only forgetting the dates of special milestones, I was also forgetting which kid was the one who carried out each achievement.

It got so bad that I thought about getting a tattoo with each child's birthdate as I kept mixing up the dates whenever I had to fill out official documents. 

Now, my kids are 12, 10 and 9 and I feel ashamed. 

Sometimes when they ask about their 'firsts' for school assignments my husband and I just make up a date, so they don't feel like we've let them down. Although in my heart, I feel like we have.

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If I could go back in time, I would have bought those stupid baby diaries and written down everything. Every little tiny moment. Every big moment. Every damn thing that ever happened. And I would have included how I was feeling and what I thinking in those early days because life has flown by in fast forward, extra speed time.

While we have loads of photos and videos, I would do anything to be able to sit and read those books and reminisce. I would do anything to remember all of those long, hard, wonderful, challenging, rewarding days. Those amazing moments they'd reach out their tiny arms and stumble towards us squealing for the first time.

People told me that I would blink and my children would be big, but at the time I didn't believe them. I was trying to get through each day with three small children. They were all encompassing. I didn't think it would ever get easier.

And while it's not necessarily easier, it's different now. They don't seem to need me as much in the same way. They need me for different reasons. 

They stand on their own two feet now and walk this life to beat of their own drum. They have whole lives separate to me. Memories and experiences that I only hear about, and I'm sure many more I'll never know. They are no longer babies, but people in their own right.

I miss those first few years. I wish I remembered more of that time. 

I regret not writing things down, for them, but selfishly mostly for me because in another blink they'll be grown and living in their own homes, having their own children and making their own memories. 

And those dumb books would be a wonderful reminder of that time in our life when I was their everything, because they surely are mine.