Ever reminisce about your child’s chubby legs, their toothless smile or baby giggles when he or she were a newborn/baby? I have. I am extremely nostalgic about my son in all his growth stages – and he’s only four years old! Parents, like myself, go back to the past to remember their children as babies because it’s a reminder of your life’s purpose.
“When you’re nostalgic about something, there’s a little bit of a sense of loss – [the moment has] happened, it’s gone – but usually the net result is happiness,” said Social psychologist Clay Routledge of North Dakota State University.
Nostalgia Helps When Parenting Gets Hard Too
And nostalgia is so much more than just a walk down memory lane. Because let’s be real, parenting can be hard, challenging and can sometimes feel downright draining. This is when parents really reap the benefits of nostalgia.
“…You can reach into this reservoir of nostalgic memories and comfort yourself,” said Routledge. “We see nostalgia as a psychological resource that people can dip into to conjure up the evidence that they need to assure themselves that they’re valued.”
Sure, over time the past becomes an idealized version of what we want it to be. Even when revisiting hard moments, like the sleepless nights after bringing home a newborn – yet we’re filled with a sense of hope and love when reminiscing. That’s because nostalgia isn’t about a specific memory, but about an emotional state. This is actually one reason why I photograph my expecting and newborn families the way that I do.
Reliving The Past Puts You In A Good Mood
When I flip through one of my son’s baby photo albums, I’m filled with nostalgia. It’s an opportunity for me to recall those moments, in a way that fills my soul, and I get to relive it all over again and again. Kids don’t stop growing and they don’t wait for us parents to soak in all the feel-goods. Sometimes as a parent, it can feel that time is moving so fast that life almost looks blurry. One day your baby is in booties and the next they’re tying their shoelaces. So nostalgia is as close as we get to hanging onto these fleeting moments.
Recalling happy moments can boost your mood. Simply put, by recalling a happy memory it puts you in similar emotional state as you were in the memory. So parents, soak up every moment with your babes. And enjoy taking a walk down memory lane – you’ll be happier for it.
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