“Writing It Down for Mom,” Ensign, Feb. 1986, 71
Within our first year of marriage we were blessed with a baby. My husband had two years of university work left before he could become a pharmacist. In order to have enough money for him to stay in school, we decided I would work as long as possible, quit long enough to have the baby, and then go back to work until he finished his education. I remember the feeling I had handing my newborn baby to a babysitter when I went back to work. I cried going to work that day and had to fight back tears many other times. I prayed earnestly that the lady who watched her would give her the love, tenderness, and attention babies need. I also remember being very curious about what she was doing all day.
One year later, I was able to quit working. That was fourteen years ago, and to this day I feel bad about missing out on so much of my baby’s first year. When I remember how awful it was, I feel determined to help others who are in the same situation.
I tend children in my home. To help their mothers, I keep a daily journal for each child I tend and periodically give it to the mother to read. When the journal is full, I give it to her to keep. While this will never take the place of a mother’s journal, it helps. I write in it what the child did to occupy his time, cute things he said, the first word I heard the baby say, his physical progression, etc. This way, mom doesn’t miss out on quite so much. It also gives a written account for mom, dad, and kids to read years later.
It has been good for me as well, because, although I was a firm believer in writing in journals daily, I wrote in mine only every four or five days. Now, because of the commitment I have made to someone else, I also write in my own journal every day, so I won’t forget what my own six children are doing. Terrie Colleen Card, American Fork, Utah