Real Life

Megan’s memories: in search of a silver lining

The former lawyer has created a series of journals to help you treasure life’s special moments

There’s a saying that life can either happen to you or for you – and for Megan Hutchison, it is unquestionably the latter.

That doesn’t mean she’s had it easy – you could say far from it – but the 33-year-old mother of Teddy, three, and nearly two-year-old Emmie, has prioritised an optimistic outlook and treasuring special moments.

“Despite the hard stuff, if things didn’t go the way they did, I wouldn’t be doing what I am today with these special people around me,” she tells Woman’s Day. “I don’t want to look back and blame certain situations for anything. Every tough situation I endured had a silver lining – and it was just a matter of recognising what that was.”

With husband Blair, son Teddy and a newborn Emmie.

The lawyer turned founder and director of Forget Me Not Journals lost her father suddenly as a nine-year-old, when it was just the two of them living together in the UK.

“Mum was living over in New Zealand with her new husband and two children, so after Dad’s death, I had to move my entire life across to the other side of the world to live with them,” she explains.

Despite the pain of losing her father so young, Megan turned her thinking around to what she had gained from the painful experience.

“I ended up having some special years with my mum, brother and sister that just wouldn’t have happened otherwise. How could I look back and feel sad about this?”

Mum Jenny’s writing gave Megan the inspiration to jot things down.

Even after her mother tragically passed away when Megan was only 24, she continued to seek that silver lining. “Mum’s passing brought me even closer to my brother and sister, and in a way, that was the seed that flowered into growing my business many years later.”

It was her mother’s diary that made Megan realise the importance of jotting things down. “Her journal was filled with golden nuggets and words of wisdom Mum had leant on throughout the years.”

“Golden nuggets and words of wisdom” on every page.

In August 2016, Megan launched her first wedding-planning journal, Little White Book, which was incredibly well received, then later she added a pregnancy diary.

“My journals have grown organically with my family and as I’ve steered myself through different milestones,” she says.

“After I got married, I developed the wedding planner that anyone could use to organise their special day – one I wish I’d had at the time of my own wedding. When I was pregnant, I created the pregnancy journal.”

Now, as a mum of two, she has launched the To My Child diaries. “I loved the fact I was able to still have that relationship with Mum even after she passed thanks to her journal. It was like she was still here, helping me navigate the new world of motherhood, still being part of her grandchild’s life. These were just so special and utterly irreplaceable.”

Emmie’s getting a wonderful introduction to reading.

This inspired Megan to write little letters to her daughter after she was born.

“Like many new parents, with my first-born, I filled in a baby book,” she tells. “With my second, I didn’t have the time to dedicate to do this, which made me feel a little guilty.”

So Megan began to write sweet little notes to her daughter – whether it was a couple of sentences or five pages – whenever she could find the time.

The COVID pandemic was a challenging time for many people, Megan and her family included. However, with two small children, she used her husband Blair being home to squeeze in some child-free breaks and work on her new journal idea.

“I’d burrow away for an hour at a time, working as frantically as possible while my husband took the children for a long walk,” she shares. “You could say this was my lockdown silver lining!”

Megan cherishes her family memories.

Megan explains that finally completing this journal and bringing it to the world almost feels like completing a family.

“To My Child is a special nod to my own mother and the generations to come,” she says. “Because of Mum, I brought this to the world – and I hope others share in these special and irreplaceable little notes for years to come.”

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