Confessions of a scrapbooking slacker

December 29, 2008

by Jen Bakken

Scrapbooking – yes, I am one of those people who like to put pictures together in photo albums in creative ways. Making beautiful photographs into neatly decorated pages to last forever is something I enjoy.

The stickers and themed papers for any occasion, the variety of scissors and trimmers, the embellishments, the stamps, photo corners, punches, glitter, and the pens in every color of the rainbow – I love them all.

Over the years, whether they were gifts or purchased a few at a time, I’ve collected enough supplies to keep any “scrapbooker” busy.

Eagerly and excitedly, I save nearly anything and everything involving my children – pictures, their school achievements, activities, and sports. With high expectations, they are organized by name and year.

Unfortunately, now that another year is nearly behind us, I must confess that I am a scrapbooking slacker.

Even though my oldest son graduated from high school last year, his scrapbook is left at his days in middle school. The other two children’s photo albums prove that I haven’t touched them in a couple years.

Is this mommy’s way of not admitting that her children are growing up? Did I just lose interest in all of the neat scrapbooking supplies? Is this mom busier now than before and simply lacking in creative time?

Honestly, I can’t say what happened. Even with the best intentions, I haven’t kept up. In fact, for the past year, most of our family pictures haven’t been printed at all.

Those memories and the cute smiling faces are all left in the digital camera or on the computer. A few have made it to a CD, but I’m afraid moving to a digital camera has enabled me to be a scrapbooking slacker. I always tell myself, “Oh, I can develop them later.”

The guilt I feel sometimes overwhelms me. Every once in a while, my children ask to look at their photo albums and ask, “Mom, are you ever going to put new pictures in?” Well, of course I will – someday.

Maybe when I’m not spending all day at work, coming home to laundry, dirty dishes, and messes. Maybe when I don’t have to argue with a certain child who avoids homework like the plague (you know who you are!)

One day, I won’t be running to this sport, that activity, or being treated like an unpaid taxi driver. One day I won’t be exhausted by playing a detective and trying to figure out “who started it.”

At some point I will not only find quiet, uninterrupted time, but will have the energy to take advantage of it.

Yes, I envision spending evenings putting fun photos in page protectors. But, for now, when the kids are finally out of the way and in bed sleeping, this mom can’t help but fall asleep herself.

Hopefully, there are other moms out there who haven’t kept up with the scrapbooks as planned, and I am not alone in my slacking.

Quite possibly, all of us scrapbooking slackers should unite and start a support group. We could rally together and share all of the excuses we can think of as to why our photo albums are years behind.

Maybe we could actually help each other to complete this task. Instead of “one step at a time” our motto could be “one page at a time.” Together, we can find a way to make amends to our children who are disappointed in us and the lack of pictures in their lives.

I believe our first step in recovery is admitting that we have a problem. My name is Jen and I am a scrapbooking slacker.