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Motherhood has a funny way of changing the way you look at things. Once you hold that new baby in your arms, the world as you know it isn’t well, it’s not the world as you know it anymore. Your priorities change, your daily routine changes, your opinions change, and the very way you define yourself changes.

You don’t know how it happened, but you now introduce yourself simply as “Kyle’s mommy,” you’re constantly singing the Wiggles’ tunes to yourself, and you’re losing sleep at night worried about the contents of your newborn’s diapers.

Ok, so it’s not always pretty. However, for better or worse, there’s plenty of reason to chronicle this transformation in your scrapbook journaling. Through your words, one day your children will be able to understand exactly how much they changed your life.

Here are some different approaches to the topic:

  • Then and Now. Write about your favorite things then and now. Perhaps you used to always carry your Kate Spade purse; now you can be seen sporting a Lands’ End diaper bag. Maybe you used to love spending Sunday morning reading the newspaper, but these days you prefer cuddling in bed watching cartoons with your little one. Think about your choices in books, songs, movies, clothing, foods and leisure activities.

  • Surprises. Motherhood holds many surprises. Journal about how it is different from what you anticipated. Are you doing things you said you never would, like letting your baby co-sleep or bottle feeding when you advocated for breastfeeding? What are some of the things you’re feeling that you never expected?

  • Lessons Learned. Although moms are great teachers, often our children teach us plenty of lessons of their own. Write about what you’ve learned from your children—whether it’s serious (Love is staying up all night with a sick child.) or funny (Never leave a jar of peanut butter unattended with a curious toddler on the loose.)

  • Lifestyle Changes. Did you completely alter your lifestyle when your child came along? If you chose to leave your former job to become a stay-at-home mom, or made another big change, use your scrapbook journaling to explain why you made the decision you did and some of the benefits and drawbacks you’ve experienced.

  • Multiple Children. Having a second or third child can be just as life-changing as having your first. Capture the new challenges and rewards of sharing your attention, adapting your routine, and falling in love all over again. How has your latest addition influenced your mothering style?

  • What’s Important? List the 10 things that are most important to you as a mother. Reflect on how this list is different from what you would have written before motherhood. Revisit the list again in five years to see how your views have evolved.

  • Routine. The details of your every-day routine may seem mundane to you now, but think about what this information will mean to your children and grandchildren. Write down what your daily schedule was like before kids and what it’s like now. Look back at entries in your old day planner or journal if you kept one to refresh your memory.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember what life was like before children, but if you search back in the recesses of your mind, that former self is still there. Spend some time looking at old photos, recalling old faces and remembering old places. Not only are these exercises a great way to share information about yourself with your kids, they’re also a great way to spend some time reflecting on what has made you the mother you are today.

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