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Sunday Finest (or, Being a Good Mom for Dummies)


I love talking to other parents and reading blogs and seeing baby pictures and the sweet things people do to record memories. There are tons of great ideas—a line a day journals for baby’s first year, special photo albums, onesies with the months numbered, pictures of baby sitting in the same bucket each month til he’s too big for it, then eventually carrying it around and being precious. This dad’s time lapse video of his daughter from birth til 12 years old  is incredible . . . he wins!

But with all that beautiful creativity comes the inevitable guilt. I should be doing these things! I’m missing the memories! My advice if you want to do something like this is to choose one or two simple items that will be easy for you to do (and remember to do), and then don’t worry about it anymore. You’re not going to out-do the Dutch guy’s time lapse video.

Incredibly, we stumbled upon something that works for us and I think is pretty awesome: Sunday finest. The first few weeks of Mary Tobin’s life, I happened to email or text a “Sunday picture” to the grandmas and aunts, since Mary Tobin was wearing some sweet church dress, or Santa outfit, or at least a huge bow. (That was the time when people were asking for pictures every day, but I’m a slacker, so at least they knew they could count on Sunday.) At some point, Israel and I made a decision that we’d try to get a decent picture to share once a week, on Sunday; and at the end of her first year, we made a photo book for the grandparents.

This simple system works so well and makes me feel like such a good mom, that we continued into year two! And I decided to streamline even further: now all the Sunday pictures are on Instagram, which saves me from trying to organize a folder on my computer, downloading or uploading to the right place, etc. (So, take heart! Whatever family traditions you start can be adjusted, amended, nixed later. Just make it work, people.) Now that Mary Tobin’s cousins have arrived, they’ve been joining in the fun with their own version: #multiplesmonday!

If you follow me on Instagram, you can rely on #sundayfinest, at least for now. When Bebe Dos arrives, should she get something different? Should we try to get both girls in the pic every week? Oh the pressure . . . except the whole point of doing it this way was to take off the pressure . . .

These photos are great triggers for memories, but I do wish I had a better method for writing down snippets of every day life. (Watch out, blog readers—this may affect you!) Do you have any ideas on that score?

Finally, a disclaimer: the above “Ignoring the paparazzi” photo garnered maybe my most “likes” ever on Instagram. I won’t lie, social media affirmation is fun and feels great. But that day we were in the middle of dealing with some kind of sleep regression . . . I’ve blocked out the details . . . all three Ortegas were crabby, to put it mildly, and I remember thinking that I’d sure as heck trade those “likes” for some peace in real life. So remember, Real Life > Online.


2 thoughts on “Sunday Finest (or, Being a Good Mom for Dummies)

  1. Well, speaking from a grandparent’s point of view, we just want to see as many photos as possible! Seriously, it would be wonderful to see Mary Tobin and Baby Dos in the same photo every week, but sometimes that might not work – so just do the best you can. That’s what most parents do anyway – the best we can, day by day.

  2. Pingback: Mommy Blogging: In or Out? | tell me a story

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