Writing Love Letters to Your Children

Kids are forever asking, “What was I like when I was little?” So many mothers have said to me, “I could kick myself for not writing these stories down,” but inevitably we don’t.

I wanted to be Max and Lily’s memory, so that if they were ever lost along the way, these letters, these little glimpses into their early personalities, might be the lamp they would need to light their way back home.

These letters can be your lamp as well. One day when they go off to college or get married, rereading these letters will help you relive some of the happiest times of your life.

Judy Siblin-Librach in Love, Mommy

As parents all of us try to capture those fleeting moments of childhood one way or another. It could be through photos, video, scrapbooking, journaling, blogging or a combination of these methods.

If you’re like me, you’ve focused on each of these at one time or another without achieving that end-result that you desire. I often beat myself up for the little and big moments that I have neglected to preserve in the lives of Amanda (9) and Kyle (3).

I always enjoyed scrapbooking for the detailed memory collection that it produced through photos combined with journaling. However it’s just not something that I have the time, or desire to make the time, to do these days.

I started a journal when Amanda was an infant to capture my thoughts about her at various stages of her life, but even after writing a long entry about a week in her one-year-old life and declaring how I was going to make this undertaking a priority, I never did write on a regular basis.

A wonderful byproduct of blogging is that I have been able to capture some photos and record my thoughts on a variety of topics such as Kyle’s first black eye, the self-examination that has come with Amanda’s tween years, and memorable Halloween and Easter celebrations.

I recently came across a resource that I think is really going to help me. Judy Siblin-Librach’s book, Love, Mommy: Writing Love Letters to Your Baby will help those of you whose intentions have proven stronger than your follow-through. Yes, I wrote a letter to Amanda telling her about the day of her birth. I bought cute folios and even a box to store letters that I would write to her looking back over each year of her life, but once again, I have failed. Poor Kyle has not even gotten a letter about his miraculous birth, although thanks again to blogging, it has at least been captured. Also thanks to blogging, I didlove-mommy.jpg write him a somewhat tongue-in-cheek letter about starting preschool this fall.

Why is this book a better resource than some out there? Why do we even need a resource when we know that we are probably going to be inconsistent with our efforts anyway?

This book is excellent precisely because of those lapses between our intention and action. Siblin-Librach outlines the ideal situation of writing the letters at each specific life stage, but she offers the writer a way to focus on the “magic key” of the memory that you are trying to capture, as well as suggesting similar topics that you could mine for forgotten memories related to that topic.

She offers prompts that might evoke details that you might have otherwise forgotten. She shares samples of the letters that she has written to her own children around the topics of developmental milestones, first friendships, celebrations and more.

Is your baby already having babies of her own? It’s not too late to give her the gift of her childhood.

Are you so busy raising your houseful of children that you don’t have a moment to reflect on these moments? Read a quick chapter and seize those moments that it takes to make a precious keepsake.

This is a book that every mother should have, and every writer will want to add to her collection for the windows that it helps open from your past. You can buy it at amazon.com, and one of you will win a lovely gift set–the book tied with a ribbon and containing a journal to keep track of some of those memories.

Go ahead and buy it now. If you win, it will make a perfect baby shower gift or Mother’s Day gift for your favorite mom.

Leave a comment here if you’d like to win. I’ll post the winner on April 5.

Comments

  1. Joy says

    This sounds like an amazing book! I take picture after picture in hopes of freezing moments in time. I have tried scrapbooking both paper and digital and yet it is so hard to keep up. My hope is htis book would give me the motivation to my daughter this amazing gift of the story of her childhood and the overwhelming love and admiration I have for. My own mother died when I was just 15 years old and oh, what a gift this would have been for me to have had.

  2. says

    One of the main reasons I blog and scrapbook is to allow my children to always have a record of their lives. I hope they will look back and see how much love and fun has always been in their family.

  3. Valerie says

    Oh, I so keep meaning to record so much stuff down, so this would be really good for me to read. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Nicol says

    This is perfect! I started a journal for my dd when she was a few months old. I did great writing about the cute things she was doing and the many milestones, until recently. This would be perfect for me to kickstart me in preserving thoses perious memories!

  5. Laura H. says

    Sounds like an awesome book to read!! I might just have to buy it if I dont win!

    laura_licious101(at)hotmail(dot)com

  6. kelli in the mirror says

    I want to give this to my mom so she can go back and write down MY childhood! :) Or I could use it for my kids too. Either one would be good.

  7. Ginnie says

    You’ve described me and my good intentions perfectly. I’ve tried journaling, I’ve tried scrapbooking, but I never seem to consistently follow through with anything. I’d love to read the book and see if it would help me do better! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.

    Ginnie

  8. Donna says

    I have my 5th child on the way and have often wished I recorded more stories of all of them. This book looks wonderful.

  9. Shannon H says

    Yes please! I haven’t had time for long letters or journal entries, but I have started writing my son’s milestones or cute moments on notecards as a keepsake.

  10. Tanya Moyer says

    What an awesome gift! I know all Moms have the best of intentions when it comes to remembering all the memories we want to! I think this book will be a great resource! Thanks for offering it!
    ~Tanya~
    the4moyers(at)msn(dot)com

  11. says

    I have 6 children, 3 who are adopted. I would love something that can help me document all the kids’birth stories and how they came to be in our forever family.

  12. Jennifer C. says

    I really need this book to encourage me! Thanks for bringing such great resources to our attention!

  13. says

    I have a letter I started… and never finished! thankfully it’s to my teenager (which I don’t have yet) so I can still finish it!
    This would be handy I’m sure.

  14. says

    Oh, that sounds lovely. My mom kept a journal with anecdotes about her children, and we treasure it, but there are far too few entries. I haven’t even started one for my children!

  15. says

    This books sounds wonderful! My favorite part of blogging is it’s a natural way for me to get these ideas down the day (or week) they happen. I will get this book whether or not I win it, but how fun would it be to win!

  16. says

    I heard about this book a little while back and, wouldn’t ya know it, like my scrapbooking, the thought got lost in somewhere between our two diaper pails and the 5 loads of laundry waiting to be washes :) !

  17. says

    I have a journal that I started for each of my kids when I found out I was pregnant, and I continue writing in them after they are born whenever I get the chance. Which is not much, but I try to get at least a few entries a year in! :)
    I would love to see what the book says about writing to them once they are a little older. :)

  18. says

    I also started a journal for Brea but have not kept up with it as planned. I would love this book I want to preserve memories for both her and I. I’m keeping my fingers crossed on this one. Thanks.

  19. Adrienne says

    This soundds great. I have a 2 yr old and one on the way and it would be great to capture my thoughts. Please count me in.

  20. Aimee B says

    This truly sounds fabulous! I have been unable to commit myself to scrapbooking. However, it is so important to leave marks along the way that my children can look back to when they have grown. This seems wonderful, doable, and to me, exciting. Please enter me in the book draw!

  21. says

    oh, this is such a lovely book.

    i was almost teary-eyed while reading this entry for i have this overwhelming love for my baby. he’s so adorable and i love him so much.

    this book is on top of my wishlist! a must-have for mommies. :)

  22. says

    One of the reasons I started my blog was to preserve memories. I would love to know how better to do this for my daughter and any other children I may someday have!

  23. says

    Many years ago, I was reading a magazine article where a teenage girl was giving her mom a hard time and saying that the mom did not love her. The mom pulled out a journal of things she had written to her daughter and the journal was started when she found out she was pregnant. I thought that was a wonderful idea and gift and decided to do the same for my children. I don’t write in them often, but every now and then I write something cute they said, something special we did, or something about them. I think it will be a wonderful gift to them some day.

  24. says

    I too have written off and on about each of my children – I wish I had done more. When I come across the “journal pages” now and then…I love how each one takes me right back to that moment.
    I can only hope that one day it does the same for them.

  25. heather martinez says

    This is great! I couldn’t beeven begin to describe how happy i would be if i had something from child hood to reflect on when i am going though motherhood for the first time,just alittle something to let me realize that i once was a child doing these things.I defintly want my son to have something someday to let him know how i felt every second of everyday when he was small.

  26. says

    I would love to have this book. I am not as diligent with writing about my children as I should be. I like how this book has specific prompts in it.

  27. Terra Heck says

    I’d love to have this book to help me put into words all that I want to say to my children to remind them how special they are to me and to jot all of the occasions and milestones they’ve gone through.

  28. says

    Oh this is an amazing idea and I hope a wonderful book! My sister is due May 8th and I have a 16 month old. It is getting harder to remember the silly, sad and wonderful stories from when she was a little baby. I may have to order one for me and (I hope) win one for her!

  29. bob keck says

    This would be a great thing to have – it preserves the art of writing. Kind of ironic to post that via my keyboard.

  30. says

    Sounds like a fantastic book. I never really seem to get enough journalling on my scrapbooking pages or find the time to write down the memory when I still have it fresh. maybe this is what I need to get those things happening, or at least help me afterwards when the initial moment has passed.
    WOuld love to win. Might buy it if I dont.

  31. Elizabeth says

    I’ve been journaling to my babies too but I’ve done it in spiral notebooks. That’s not too cool but the words are what counts.

  32. says

    sounds great! I’d love a chance! *In each of my children’s baby books, I wrote a letter to them, but have not continued since then.*

  33. SJ says

    What a precious idea. I try to write a letter on each birthday, but haven’t gotten them all done.
    I’d love a copy of this book!

  34. Ann says

    With 3 kids there’s so many special moments. What a great give away, I would love to win this one. Can’t wait to read the book.

  35. says

    This book looks great! I added it to my amazon baby registry, altho I would love to win it as well! ;)

    nifferjeno at gmail dot com

  36. Tarah says

    This would be a perfect gift for my sister, expecting her first child. If I don’t win, I will be buying!

  37. Cindi says

    Hi, You have the most wonderful giveaways. What a lovely memory idea! I would have many to write down.I have been fortunate enough to be at home with both of my sons. I was witness to the laugh, first step, first word, etc. Please enter me in your fabulous drawing. Thanks,Cindi

  38. says

    Oh, I love this idea…I’m already a lot of those ideas with Cherish Bound. I love writing my kid’s stories and I’ve written them letters before too. Great book…I’d love to read it and teach my customers how to implement the teachings in this book! Thanks for the great giveaways!!

  39. cassie says

    I started a journal and eventually moved into doing a blog about my four year old. I printed out the posts for him for when he gets older. He already loves to hear the stories of when he was “little”.

  40. says

    Wow! Anything that would help me have more follow through with archiving memories is appreciated. It sounds like an amazing book!

  41. says

    The book looks promising. Trying to preserve bits and scraps of life before they fade to memories is one of the main reasons I write–and blog.

  42. says

    This was such a great reminder! I am seeing that mini-scrapbooks are a great way to help start and finish something. Just taking one idea and being able to finish it is so encouraging! It is helping me to not feel so overwhelmed. I would like to look at each of my mini-scrapbooks as a letter to my children. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  43. says

    This is right up my alley! I’ve been keeping a journal for my Sarina since I was pregnant, but I don’t always feel like I’m doing a good job of capturing the right things. I’d love some guidance.

  44. Denese S. says

    Right now I use a calendar and write little notes every time I think of or he does something cute. This would help me out!
    Thanks!

  45. says

    I am thrilled to here about this book. I have actually been gathering info to devote a whole section to the importance of making memories and keeping and making family traditions. Not only did my parents did not really do this for me but I feel like many people are so caught up now days they are putting this on the back burner. Thanks for the reminder post.

  46. says

    This looks like a beautiful book – and it might motivate me to do something that I’ve been meaning to do for the past year…I want to write down the precious little things that my daughter does and says so that I can remember them forever.

  47. Suzie says

    I too slacked off on filling out the baby book and preserving memories. I spent hours researching the “perfect” baby book when I was pregnant with my daughter. I’ve filled out maybe 3 pages of that book and she turned 2 in November! I had my son last month and this post made me realize that we didn’t even buy one for him!

  48. Julianna says

    Since my daughter was born in December, I haven’t had the time to devote to starting a scrapbook or anything like that. But writing letters — that’s something I could do as I go to bed each night! This book could be just the thing to motivate me and guide me along. After all, I’m not the best writer.

    Julianna
    pineneedleroad@aol.com

  49. Leisa Wooten says

    Oh, please let me win this for my sister and her new baby. I think everybody in the baby’s family should write to the baby at some point!

  50. says

    My mother wrote me a letter while in labor that has remained very special to me. My son is 6 weeks old now and I’m still procrastinating! I could use the help! :)

  51. Donna Rinas says

    Wish I’d done that when my kids were little. But, I’ve got grand-children and maybe this would encourage their parents to do a book of stories for them. Thank you.

  52. Vickie Couturier says

    wow,what an nice prize,we are adopting our foster daughter an this would be perfect,count me in please

  53. says

    Actually what I’ve done has been a use of my scrapbooks. Each December I put together one page (front and back) for each child. The front had one pic of the child with a full page written to them about everything on.. (ie “you’re such at such a great age.. 12. Half woman and half child. So responsible yet so silly) and then on the back I’d put a bunch of pictures which were examples of whatever I had written (for the above example I showed my daughter feeding the baby and another being a goof ball with her brother).

    Then.. as each child moves out.. put all of his/her pages into one album and give it to them.

  54. says

    Dear Jennifer,
    Thank you so much for your beautiful review of my book, Love, Mommy: Writing Love Letters To Your Baby. I loved how you opened by saying very aptly that as “parents all of us try to capture those felleting moments of childhood one way or another.” And I think it’s great that you offered all of the possible suggestions to get started from photos to video, scrapbooking, journaling, blogging or a combination of these methods. Memory triggers are so important for moms, because don’t always get a lot of sleep, (Understatement!) and we have lots on our plate. Thank you for the lovely line you wrote about how “the book is excellent beecause of those lapses between our intention and action.” It is so true. I believe this so passionately, because I know that children love stories about what they were like when they were little and they seem to crave all of the information they can get. Even adult children and teens enjoy hearing all of the stories and by writing them down, you get all of that rich, evocative detail. I am amazed by some of stories I wrote when Max and Lily were little, because even though I wrote them, I’ll catch myself saying, “I forgot that happened. Wow.” It’s so lovely to have these letters and stories, because somehow it allows you to capture some of the happiest moments of your life and make them live on forever. I often tell moms in workshops that if they don’t have time to write a whole letter, just write even five headlines a year-after their birthday is a great place to start. So you can write about Their Birthday, First Day of School, Family Holidays, Celebrations, not to mention First Bath, Birth, First Time They Caught a Baseball, First ballet class or times spent in the playground, just to name a few. I give lots of suggested topics in the book to stimulate your memory and imagination. Another way to get started is just to keep a shoebox and cut a letter sized opening on the top of the box and everytime you get an idea, just dash it off on a piece of paper, (even just one line) and pop in the “suggestion box,” THen on a rainy day or whenever you have the time, you can take these notes, headlines or ideas and write out the story in a journal, or some pretty stationary, or even just tap away on the computer and have that memory preserved. I also say even if you can’t write a number of letters, write one masterpiece of a letter, (there is chapter that outlines how to do that.) Also you know those cute words and phrases they say? I call them Maxisms and Lilyisms, so what are your Davidisms, and Susyisms, etc. That’s another great way to get started. And Jennifer thank you for mentioning “The Magic Key” as I think that is one of the greatest keys to the book. A mom read the book and started writing love letters to her daughter Brenna. So she wrote a story about how she painted Brenna’s bedroom and then noticed that Brenna was waiting outside the room, propped up on her elbows and just waiting. When her mom asked her “Brenna, what are you doing?” Brenna answered: “I’m waiting for the paint to dry.” So after the story, the mom ended the story with this Magic Key: “Brenna, I love your patience. Your patience and your innocence are some of your most wonderful qualities.” So even if Brenna forgets the story about the paint, she will always remember that her mom wrote this wonderful line about one of her best characteristics. That noticing and acknowledging lands in a very deep place for all children, young and old alike. Thanks Jennifer and I am so thrilled that moms are writing. I really believe it is the greatest gift you can give to your children and to yourself.
    With appreciation and thanks,
    Judy Siblin-Librach
    “Love, Mommy”

  55. Regina says

    I’m more of a picture taker as well, but writing letters would express the things that the picture can’t tell.!

  56. says

    I recently gave up scrapbooking because it became a burden (by to do list was much longer than my “done” list.) The thought of what I hadn’t done (and the money I had invested) did not bring me joy. So I got rid of most of it. I’ve begun blogging, but I’m not really spending much time on Mommy Moments. But I want to have a way to share my love with my kids. This book sounds incredible.

  57. alishia says

    What a terrific book. Even if I don’t win I will be inspired to write down more memories of my children for them and me.

  58. pat says

    This is such a good idea.
    I can only remember snatches of the wonderful things that my kids said when they were little. Hardly anyone used computers then. I’ll not miss recording the wonderful things that my grandchildren say. Thanks.

  59. BlapherMJ says

    This is wonderful for moms and their children to have! I’ve written different memories about my children over the last few years, but having this book would be incredible!

  60. Ilissa H. says

    Looks like a wonderful book. I’d love to win! Please count me in :) Thank you for hosting such a wonderul giveaway!

  61. Liz Sawyer says

    Yes, those lapses between my good intentions are too many. I could use this book’s help to gain a focus. Thanks for the thoughtful introduction to this useful resource!

  62. susan george says

    Just reading about what you are making for your daughter makes me emotional. I would love to win and make for my 7 grandchildren.

    Susan George

  63. Jamey says

    What an awesome book! I started writing letters to my future children a few years ago. I’d love to have some ideas about letter to write to them about their childhoods!

  64. K. Cleaver says

    I would love this book. I have a scrapbooks for each of my children that I have invested a lot of time in. I so need to get caught up.

  65. Jennifer H says

    I would love to win! I already feel like I’ve missed capturing so much in my son’s 8 months!

  66. Samantha says

    I, like so many, also have intentions of making photobooks and writing letters, but there’s always something so much more immediately pressing, like feeding my baby!

  67. Danielle says

    I kept a pregnancy journal when i was pregnant with my daughter right up to her birth me & my husband both wrote in it all about how the pregnancy was going & how happy & excited we were. We put the ultrasound picture and the baby shower invitation. Even a section for dad to write to. He wrote her all kinds of story’s and letters. After she was born we added baby pictures to it. Its fun to go & look back at those things. you can feel the excitement & joy just reading it. She’s not quite grown up yet but when she is i know she will Treasure this & share with her children. I’m so glad i kept it cause there’s so many cute & funny little things you don’t always remember. They grow so fast.

  68. says

    Dear Joy,
    It is never too late to begin and your heart is already in the perfect place to start. Even one letter, or three headlines a year and you can fill in the blanks later will mean the world to your child. Thank you so much for writing and good luck! Let me know how it goes.
    Kindest regards,
    Judy Librach
    “Love Mommy”

  69. Priscilla Guilbeault says

    I would love to have a book to guide me to write a special letter from “Mom” who is a grandmother.A special love letter to each of my four chidren before my time on earth ends. Priscilla Guilbeault

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