Sunday 3 March 2013

My Maternity Journal

I was given this Maternity Journal at the start of my second trimester by a very sweet cousin of mine, but I was very slack and it sat empty for all of this time!

I think I was overwhelmed by the fact that the journal had a spot for each week of the pregnancy, plus space to document your weight for the week, and also lots of room for journalling.  Firstly, I was thinking how in the world am I going to remember what happened in each week of the pregnancy?!  And secondly, I was feeling guilty that I hadn't regularly recorded my weight/girth or taken weekly photos of my belly.  Even though these sound like minor things, they were the two major blockers to even getting started!

So, I gave myself permission to NOT complete a page per week.  And I forgave myself for not documenting my weight/girth and taking photos each week too.  I would just add the photos that I had, and I would just write in the weight/girth information that I had documented, and it was ok if every week wasn't exactly the same!  

Then I decided to break the project into baby steps.

First, I took out the journal (on Saturday afternoon at Mooloolaba - under the shade of a beautiful tree by the pool) and wrote in the dates for each week of the pregnancy.  As mentioned above, I wasn't worried that I wouldn't have something for every week, so I planned to just rip out any pages that were unused at the end.

Second, I took the pile of cards/photos/memorabilia that I had been collecting for this project and slotted them into the journal 'around' the time that they linked to.  No cutting or gluing yet, just simply putting the item on the page where it was meant to go.  I obviously didn't know the exact dates that people sent the cards, but I found a blank page around that time (generally within the trimester) and popped them in there.

And that was all I did on the weekend!  Just starting a new project can be so rewarding, and I felt good that now I had broken that initial procrastination :)

Then on Tuesday night, I got out the leftover cardstock scraps and baby embellishments/stickers from my niece's baby album (which I had stored in a 12x12 envelope to use for my baby's album).  I then stuck down all of the photos/cards/memorabilia on the pages, and decorated the pages with the cardstock and embellishments.  I did it super quickly, and didn't fuss over it being 'perfect'.  I just wanted it done.

Next I went through the 'blank' pages and noted the dates.  Then I went through my iPhoto library to see if there was anything that I could print off for these pages.  I saved these photos (using my photo printing system that you can read about here) and had them printed the next day.

Finally, I sat down and journalled for each week - starting at week 4, right up until week 31 (the current week when I did this).  I used the pictures/cards/memorabilia as a prompt to get me started, and before I knew it I had filled up each page!  I couldn't believe how much I remembered!  And after only an hour and a half, I was done.  

And now I have this awesome record of this amazing pregnancy journey that has been my life for the past 7 months!  I plan to keep up weekly for these last few weeks - which shouldn't be hard now that I know how easy it actually is to get it done!

I know that I am not the only one who puts off doing projects like this, and we each have our own reasons for procrastinating.  For me, perfectionism is a big one.  I like to think that things will be 'perfect'.  Well, life is NOT perfect and my scrapbooking/memory keeping is NOT perfect.  And I have realised over the past few years that it is better to have an imperfect journal/album/whatever, than to have nothing at all!  I am not doing this for anyone else but myself and my family, and we are all going to appreciate whatever it is that gets done, whatever it looks like!  

I overcame my procrastination on this project by recognising what my two biggest blockers were, and then working out a simple solution to overcome these things.  I broke the task into babysteps, and didn't expect that I would complete it in a day/weekend or even a week.  I just gave myself permission to work on it as I felt like, and it was completed before I knew it!

I am so happy with my maternity journal!  I have documented such a monumental time in my life, and I know I am going to just love going back and reading it in years to come.  

And I just want to send an extra special thank-you to my cousin who gave me this gift, as it is going to be something that I treasure for many years!!  xxx


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