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How to immediately be reminded of how great it is to be a parent

Sometimes as parents we have days or in the case of today, just an evening, that makes you feel like you are going crazy.

I have three kids, all of which are 3.5 years and younger. My oldest is going through a stage where fear now seems real so he contemplates everything. I recognize this is just where his brain is developmentally. My middle child will be 2 on Thursday and besides piggybacking off of my oldest sons neediness, has decided he can’t go a moment without my wife’s or my attention. Then there is my 3 month old daughter, who is extremely chill and patient, except for when she needs to feed or sleep. When the evenings hit, which is when I am home, all three of their craziness levels seem to be at peak.

Let me just stop for a second to mention that I am well aware that my wife has situations like this unfold sometimes multiple times per day while I am at my office writing code and listening to music. I am no where near as resilient as my wife.

So, as my wife and I crawl into bed this evening she opens her laptop and we start looking through old photos and video clips of our oldest when he was the age of our youngest. Nothing reverses the stress and anxiety faster than watching our big boy smile and laugh at 3 months old.

Sometimes I feel bad for holding a camera or a phone up to capture what seems like every single thing my kids do but having these moments to reminisce on like we did this evening quickly reminded us of how much we love our kids. The short spurts of craziness may temporarily overwhelm us but we have countless reminders saved on our computers and phones to remind us of how lucky we are to be parenting three fantastic little children.

So I have three tips for you:

1. Take a lot of short video clips of your kids. With smartphones, this is easy. I love using Google GLASS to capture little 10 second video clips of my kids.

2. Back up these moments to your computer. Sync them using iTunes, iCloud, Dropbox or whatever you can get. Just make sure they are backed up. I would die a little inside if I didn’t have these precious moments available to play whenever I wanted.

3. Take time to watch them often. We have all of our photos play as a screensaver slideshow on our AppleTV. Whenever we have the tv on and a show ends or is paused, within 2 minutes the photos start scrolling by. Sometimes my wife and I just sit there and watch photos instead of watching another tv show. A couple of times we have sat there for an hour looking at them and laughing about those moments. It helps keep the memories fresh and our hearts full.

Pardon my writing. I thumbed this out on my Nexus 5.

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