Scrapbooking About Yourself as a Mom
Why Make a Scrapbook about Your Life?
Moms love to take pictures of their kids and tell the stories of their kid’s lives.If you are a scrapbooker, you may have spent hours putting together pictures and journaling about your children’s lives so that you can remember these wonderful years, and also so that they will know the story of your family.
However, often moms don’t tell their own stories to their children.I developed this scrapbook plan for moms in my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers and Toddlers) group.We worked on the journaling over a period of time and then put the words we made together with pictures we’d gathered in a scrapbook about ourselves.
Scrapbooking a Mom's LifeClick thumbnail to view full-size
What Type of Scrapbook?
You can put these together in a digital scrapbook on Shutterfly, or put them into a traditional scrapbook. In our Mops group, we purchased inexpensive 8” by 8” scrapbooks and used traditional scrapbooking papers to put our journals together. I really like to use my computer to do journaling, but on this scrapbook you may want to do it in handwriting because that is a way to share a part of who you are with your children.
Materials for Paper Scrapbook
- Scrapbook folder or photo journal
- Scrapbook paper
- Glue sticks, dots or other types of acid free glue
- Embellishments like buttons and stickers
How to Start Your Mom Scrapbook
To make a scrapbook, you can first gather the pictures and then write the story using the journaling prompts, or you can do it the other way around. I actually had done my journaling first, but when I found the pictures I wanted to use (there are not a lot of pictures of my childhood in pre-digital days), I decided to change the journaling to better match the pictures. So you may want to find your pictures first.
Beautiful Paper Flowers to decorate Scrapbook
Pictures you will need for Your Scrapbook
Find at least one picture for each of the following topics:
- A recent portrait (one you like!) for the first page.
- A picture of you “In My Former Life.”
- A picture of “Christmas Memories.”
- A picture of “My Love Language.”
- A picture of “Birthday Memories."
- A picture of “School Memories."
- A picture of “Favorite Things.”
- A picture of “Why I love being a mom.”
- A picture of your family or you and your kids for the final page.
Journaling for Your Book
For each of the sections in the book, I have prepared journaling prompts to help women who were not comfortable with sharing their story, or don't know what to write. Of course, you don’t have to go by this format if you have other ideas you want to include. Underneath each Journaling prompt, I give the example of my own journaling for that page.
Journaling Ideas in Layouts
My Former Life Journaling Template
Before I had children I went to school at:_________. I studied_____________ and learned (or got a degree/training etc.) to _______________.What I liked about school was _________________.My first job was ________________________.I learned _________.I enjoyed ____________.My favorite job was ____________________ because __________________.I think my co-workers would describe me as _____________. What I was best at was ________________.One of the most interesting (or unique or embarrassing) things that happened to me at work was ___________.When I wasn’t working, I liked to _______________.What I miss about my former life is _____________________.What I don’t miss is _____________.
Journaling Sample: My Former Life
Before I had children, I went to school at the University of California and studied to be a teacher, and I later returned to that school to get a Master's in English. When I first graduated from college, I was an elementary school teacher from 1982 to 1993.I taught 4th, 2nd, 6thand kindergarten, in that order. I enjoyed 6thand kindergarten the most. After I got married, I taught freshman English at the University of South Florida. I realized that there were a lot of commonalities between kindergarten, 6th, and freshmen. At each of these grades, students, and their parents are facing major changes that make them anxious and fearful. I found that I enjoyed being the person who could help students in a time of transition. While I think I am good at communicating information to students in an easy and understandable way, I believe my real gift as a teacher is in making my students feel confident, secure and prepared for their next stage in life. I enjoyed making close relationships with students. What I don’t miss about teaching is the many hours I spent grading papers.
Christmas Memories Photo
Christmas Memories Journaling
There are two ways to describe past memories; one is to tell an anecdote, a specific story about a particular event which conveys your thoughts and feelings about the topic. The second method is to tell about reoccurring memories, things that you did over and over. It is important when telling re-occurring memories to make them vivid and descriptive by including exact details, sensory images, and unusual details. In this journaling, you can choose to tell about one particular Christmas (or just one event at one Christmas) or you can relay your reoccurring Christmas traditions. I hope the journaling starters below will help you.
Christmas Memories Journaling Template
Before Christmas, my family would get ready by ____________.I remember being excited when _____________.One tradition my family always did was _______________.On Christmas Eve we would ___________________.Christmas day would begin when _____________.Our living room would look like _____________.I can still hear ___________.I can smell _____________.The sounds I remember are ____________.I will never forget the Christmas when __________________.For me, the best part of Christmas was _______________________.One Christmas tradition I want to pass down to my children is ____________________________.
Journaling Sample: Christmas Memories
I have always loved Christmas because it is a time you can make things for people! When I turned eight, I started learning to bake things and so making cookies became my job. We would always make food gifts for all the neighbors and I enjoyed trying out new recipes every year. Everyone in the neighborhood would make food for our annual Neighborhood Christmas Eve party. Especially as I got older, I would always help my dad shop for my mom. Perhaps my favorite Christmas memory is when we bought mom a new top of the line Singer sewing machine. She was so excited and surprised, she burst into tears. Since she sewed all of our clothes and household items, she really deserved that machine and it got a lot of uses. We have this wonderfully funny picture of the whole family in 70’s double knit red, white and blue striped shirts she’d sewn. Later, I inherited that sewing machine and used it sewing for my family.
Journaling Love Languages
How do you show people that you love them? Perhaps you’ve read the book about love languages. Whether you’ve read the book or not, you will probably recognize the fact that there are different ways to express our love. I think it is important to tell our children how we give and receive love.
Our journaling will focus on how we received and gave love when we were children. According to the author, Dr. Gary Chapman, the five love languages are giving gifts, words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, and acts of service. You don’t have to use these terms in your journaling, but they may help you to remember different experiences which helped you to know you were loved as a child, and to recognize the ways you sought to give love to others.
Sometimes the love we express is not received—you may or may not want to share that in this journal. In case you had a difficult relationship with your parents, you may want to substitute brother/sister, grandparent, teacher or friend
Love Languages Journaling Template
When I was a child, I knew my parents loved me when they ________________.I especially liked it when my mom ______________.My dad made me feel special by _________.One of my best memories was when ______________________.I still feel loved when I remember ___________________________.I showed my parents that I loved them by ______________________________.I would always ___________________.One time I remember that I __________________________.
Journaling Sample: Love Languages
I always think of my love language as giving gifts of service to people, but I also think that my love language is making gifts. I don’t necessarily like buying gifts very much, but I love coming up with different gifts to make, and I love to give out lots of gifts to lots of people. Part of the fun for me is finding a new recipe or craft to make and then figuring out a way to streamline production or make it less expensive or more beautiful.
I think I started doing this earlier, but I distinctly remember making gifts for friends in Junior High out of spools of thread. Years afterward I would occasionally remember this and be embarrassed—what was I thinking! Then, when I was in my late 30s, I encountered a woman at a park when I was visiting Riverside. She remembered me from school and even commented about how nice I’d been to give her that gift made from a spool! God is gracious. I think the love language I most like to receive is words of affirmation and acts of service. My dear husband Chris is wonderful at both of those and so are my children.
Did you have a particularly memorable birthday? Maybe it was magical, or maybe it was a disaster. Were you embarrassed? Upset? Describe it in detail and tell why you remember it so well. You can also use this page to tell about how your family celebrated birthdays when you were a child. What were the unique traditionsyou had? What did you do every year?
Perhaps you would like to talk about how that is different from how you celebrate your children’s birthdays or how your husband celebrated. Did you have a secret wish for a particular way of celebrating your birthday that was never fulfilled? Is there anything about how you viewed birthday celebrations that tell about who you are as a person? Or what it tells about your parents or family?
Journaling Sample: Birthday
When I was eight, my mother had just given birth to my brother Michael. She wasn’t up to getting a party ready for me, but my Grandmother, who had come to help out, gave me a great gift. She decided to help me make my own birthday cake. Idid, and discovered a great joy and pride in baking.
After that, I always made the birthday cakes for everyone in the family. I remember being particularly proud of a train cake I made for Michael. I would pour over my mom’s cookbooks and read through all the interesting recipes. I was always particularly enamored of Baked Alaska, which is ice cream on a cake, which is covered with meringue and then baked at a high temperature for a few minutes. I have always wanted to try to make that, but I never have!
My other most powerful birthday memory shows my stubbornness as a child. My mother had devised a game where the kids would take a balloon and have to sit on it to pop it. That terrified me and I refused to play! I sat out the whole game. This picture is my fourth-grade birthday with just a few friends and my brothers.
Great Tip: How to make your own glue dots!
This section can cover any part of your schooling—from elementary through college. The school is where we learn, where we grow up and where we experience the rough and tumble of competition with others and social expectations (and our own inadequacies!).You can talk about positive or negative school experiences. You may want to focus on just one year or just one particular memory or person.
School Journaling Template
My favorite school memory is ____________. What I most remember about _______grade was_____. My favorite subject was ______because______. I remember when I got in trouble_____________. My favorite teacher (or year in school) was _________________. People I went to school with would remember me as_________. Activities I participated in were________________.
Journaling Sample: School Memories
My favorite School Memory is from my English Master’s program in1990 through 1992.College had been all studying for me as I jammed five years into 3 1/2.During my masters, we studied, but we also had fun. After substitute teaching for a semester, I decided I’d be better off just taking a regular job and by God’s provision; I landed a kindergarten job teaching with my mom the week after I’d prayed for it.
The year-round schedule and kindergarten hours let me continue in the Master’s program without too much stress and it also allowed me to buy a house. Since I was the only student in the Master’s program with a house and three other students lived with me, our place is where everyone gathered to study and talk. We had a wonderful time learning to cook Indian and Thai food and comparing thoughts about literature. The group pictured here came to my bridal shower.
What makes you unique? What do you enjoy doing, having or experiencing more than anything else? You can talk about favorite Bible character, movie, book, music, food or hobby. You can focus on one thing or talk about all the things you especially like to do.
Favorites Journaling Template
What I love to collect is_____________. If I had a day to do anything I wanted, I would ____________________. My favorite _________ is ___________ because ________________. What really energizes me is to ___________________.
Sample Journaling: Favorites
My favorite Bible character is Ruth who gives up her life for a widow even needier than herself, only to find that God has an amazing surprise in store for her life. My favorite move is Babette’s Feast where a famous master chef, Babette, serves an austere religious community and uses her lottery winnings to create an amazing feast, which helps them to see, experience, and give grace.
My favorite Christian author is Edith Schaeffer, who says home-making is an art that is essential to the soul. Like these women, I seek to live a life of service to others and find the greatest satisfaction when I can bring about grace, beauty and harmony in others. I love to create memorable moments through food, hospitality, and art. I love to talk to my husband, walk in nature, read to my children, teach my children about God, keep an orderly home, cook, welcome visitors, spend time with friends, mentor college students, create new crafts, plan parties and scrapbook the history of our family.
Being a Mom is a Great Job!
Why I Love Being a Mom
Here is when you want to write a message to your children about what you have concluded is most important in life. Especially, you may want to tell them why they are important to you
Journaling Sample: Why I Love Being a Mom
When I was in High School, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, make a lot of money, have a round house on a cliff overlooking Northern California and eventually become a Supreme Court Justice, which to me seemed a more important job than being President. However, when I surrendered my whole heart to God right before my senior year, I began to find him softening my ambition and making my heart yearn to be a nurturer of little ones rather than a powerful leader of multitudes. I became a teacher and enjoyed leading my class to love to learn. At church, I became a junior high worker and loved leading kids to God. I worked hard at both jobs and also enjoyed buying my own house and making it my own by remodeling it and decorating. I learned to paint, make curtains, put in light fixtures, garden, and many other skills. Every week, I hosted people in my home. What I always longed for, though, was a family of my own to cherish and love forever.
I love being a mom because it is a challenging and completely fulfilling job. When I was single, I longed to have a family to care for, love and serve. When I was married, I began to see that dream fulfilled; however, it wasn’t until I had our first daughter, Maggie, that I began to see how God would grow me through parenting her, and use me to nurture this precious being he had created. Each child has been a unique gift. Maggie Joy is a leader and motivator of people. She is compassionate, kind and creative. Brendan Michael is our only boy and has an amazing intelligence, focus, and sense of humor. Sophie is the closest to me in personality. She is thoughtful, independent and artistic. Mollie is the most like Chris. She is affectionate, compassionate and loyal. Steffi is perhaps the most grateful, positive, cheerful and friendly person I’ve ever met. They are all my favorites!
Finding Myself so I'm a Better Mom
Make a Scrapbook to Recover Sense of Self
Although I’d envisioned it as a way for us to tell our stories to our children, I think many of us found that it was a way of re-telling our own life stories for ourselves. As you move from adulthood into mommy hood, we sometimes lose parts of ourselves that we had before children.
By going back over these memories, it helped me to recover some parts of my life that I had left behind. For some people, going through these memories of childhood can be painful, but I have learned as a teacher of writing that when we allow ourselves to re-tell our stories, we can often find healing and a restoration of those memories.
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