baby books and playing to your strengths

working on reed's baby book

I am not good at making things look good.  I have never been good at making things look good.  I was never good with coloring books.  My posters for class projects were never great.  I’ve always lacked skill at folding clothes.  Don’t even get me started on my hair.

As a kid, I would always try to make things look tidy like the other kids.  I would try to color in the lines like my cousin and write in a neat hand like my friends.  I tried to smooth my wild hair with blow-dryers and round brushes like the other teenage girls.  But my hair rebelled and my hands rebelled and I just didn’t know what to do with myself (such is the story of adolescence, right?).

In time, I learned myself.  I stopped trying to write in tidy, cutesy letters, and developed a handwriting that was sloppy and sprawling, and kind of nice to look at.  I ditched layers of sheets and blankets (did I mention how bad I was at bed-making?) in favor of one simple down comforter.  I got messy haircuts that look great air-dried.

In other words, I learned to be myself.

I started thinking about baby books shortly after I found out I was pregnant.  I love documenting things!  I would look at the baby books in bookstores, and they were so cute!  And tidy!  And I knew the second I touched them I would mess them up.  And then I would quit.

So, I followed my gut and got a plain, blank sketchbook.  And I started filling it.

baby book 2
baby book1

And it is messy.  And it is full of mistakes.  But every time I sit down to work on it, it is a pleasure.  And it is my very favorite baby book.  It is full of treasures.

When it comes to baby books (and motherhood), be yourself.  Get a cutesy, tidy baby book and fill it with your cutesy, tidy handwriting.  Get a sketchbook and draw scenes from your days with the little one.  Do the scrapbooking thing with all the jazzy paper and what-not, if that’s your style.  Or maybe just write things you think or notice about your baby on index cards, date them, and stick them in a shoebox.  But for goodness sake, enjoy yourself!

What does your baby book look like?  What are the baby books like that you made for your kids?


5 thoughts on “baby books and playing to your strengths

  1. I really, really like your baby-book style for Reed – I think it’s very nice, very “customizable”. I very much like that it’s kind of “open-format”. I like that it’s about Reed, but reflects you. He will surely enjoy looking at it when he’s older.

  2. I agree with your Pops. It looks wonderful and I can’t wait to read it!
    As for not being good at making things look good, well, that’s me to a tee. Not you.

  3. That’s a very good question. I’ve never really thought about it…but I bet my baby book will be slick, photography heavy booklets that I’ll design then have printed somewhere. And the paper will feel so nice! Haha! That’s so me.

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