It’s a Must-Have For New Moms!
Time is a gift. Lost time is never found. The only constant is time. Why is it that time is always characterized as something we passively receive? Is it because in this fast-paced world it can become so hard to take the time to slow down, enjoy the moment, and just be present?
How many times have you been sitting at a party and because everything looks so beautiful all you want to do is get your phone out and take photos and videos so you remember it all. But, instead of living moments through our cell phones, what if there was another way to capture memories while remaining present?
We often hear the saying, “there is no time like the present” but when our daughter Kennedy was 2 weeks old I wanted to take that saying and shove it out the window, along with my nursing bras, empty used bottles, and a boatload of dirty diapers. Why was this? When I became a new mom (and maybe you or a loved one can relate) my concern wasn’t savoring every precious moment with my baby or husband, it was sleeping, eating, and just downright surviving. But like all things in life, the nights turned into days, the days into weeks, and before we knew it that little needy newborn started to become an independent baby babbling her way to and from daycare.
As a new mom, I’ll admit that at times I struggle to find joy in what can feel like chaos.
Whether it’s a late-night feeding or even a weekend drive to the beach. Little, meaningful moments that we often take for granted but look back on wishing we could revisit. As our daughter started growing up right before my eyes I knew that if I wasn’t careful all of these precious moments would slip away. This is right around the time I discovered VoiceGift. VoiceGift is a small recorder tag that allows you to record up to 60 seconds of sound and replay it as often as you like. The recorder tags also come with individual envelopes that you can write on or decorate with stickers. The tags are designed so that you can tie them onto the outside of a gift or hang them in your house. So why is it so important to reconnect with nostalgic sounds?
There is a powerful connection between sound, emotion, and memory.
For example, neurological studies have found that the sound of rain evokes relaxation and the sound of laughter is identified as a positive feeling. Researchers wanted to find out why this is and the answer was surprising and interesting. The same way that when someone laughs or smiles it is hard not to laugh or smile back helps explain why simply hearing the sound of a familiar voice can quite literally lift our spirits. On top of this, hearing familiar or calming sounds also invokes powerful, visual images that can help transport you back to that time and place where the sounds were first heard. I have found that one of my favorite things about Voicegift is that in-between the never-ending to-do list, conference calls, and diaper changes, it allows me the chance to slow down for one minute and reconnect to different sounds and their associated memories. I was so excited to discover VoiceGift because I felt I found a universal gift that everyone (including myself) would cherish.
Trying out VoiceGift for the first time I wanted to experiment and see what sounds I could capture throughout the weekend.
This particular weekend was very busy. One of our new horses had just arrived and my lifelong friend was having her baby shower. Seeing as this is her first baby, I knew I wanted to surprise her with a VoiceGift and do something special. While at the baby shower when my friend had stepped inside, I ask a group of her friends to each think of something they wanted to tell the baby (around 10-15 seconds each). I then moved the selector switch to “REC”, pressed and held down the button so each person could share their thoughts in the recording, then when we were done just moved the switch back to play.
Now, I have to admit one person didn’t love the way their voice sounded so we did have to go back once and re-record. After the second take, I slide the card into its envelope and put one of the stickers on it. When my friend opened the envelope, saw the recording tag and clicked the “Play” button her eyes immediately teared up. Since the baby shower she has been playing the VoiceGift message every night to her baby so he can start to get used to his extended family members’ voices.
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With the baby shower being a success, I headed back home to make sure the new horse was settling in well. There is something about the natural outdoor sounds such as the birds chirping, the horses whinnying, pawing the ground, and the wind blowing through the trees that make it hard not to smile. I remembered I had put an extra VoiceGift in my bag and quickly decided to make a recording for my husband who is a businessman and constantly traveling. Unlike the baby shower recording, this one was shorter and didn’t even involve words. Instead, it was the sounds of the horses in the barn and the simplicity of nature. I know my husband enjoys hearing these sounds after a long day of work so I then hid this tag in his suitcase so when he left Monday morning for his business trip he could find a surprise that would make him feel closer to home that evening in his hotel.
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My last stop this Saturday was now to the backyard with my daughter. She had just woken up from an afternoon nap and was full of all the energy that many babies have and all parents’ envy. While she is not yet speaking it is her babbles that take on an ever-changing language of their own. It was time to record another VoiceGift, but this one was for me. While sitting outside I just wanted to record our mother-daughter conversation, even if no one else would understand. In the background, you could hear the dog barking and the occasional car passing by but most importantly I heard my little girl’s voice.
A voice that will soon be speaking words, then sentences, a voice that one day will sing songs and read stories but for that day it was speaking perfect coo’s, chirps, and babble-babbles.
And I know one day when she is talking, maybe about something she is excited or nervous about, I will miss those simple sounds. The sounds of her just playing in my lap. While it can be hard to enjoy those late-night feedings or the sunburnt drive home from the beach, I take comfort in knowing that some of these fleeting moments, during these precious months, are captured and kept as more than just images on a screen. And I can use my VoiceGift recordings on days when she starts to feel so grown up and I just want to remember the simplicity of a baby playing on the grass. So, thank you VoiceGift for literally providing the gift of sound, time, and smiles to those in my family.
Now, if we could just find a way to make it do the dishes…
Article originally published to vocal.media.