Thursday, October 21, 2010

six month reflections of a mother

parker will be six months old on tuesday.  six. months. old.  half a year.  closer to a one year old than a newborn.  crazy talk.  and of course there have been many milestones, he has grown, & he's doing so many new things this month.  so yeah, there will be a six month update.  but this isn't that post.

i've been a mom now for six months.  i guess this is where i should insert a disclaimer that some people would argue you're a mom as soon as you're pregnant.  while it's true that when i was pregnant i felt love, worry, compassion, & cared for another person more than i had experienced up to that point in my life, the love that i felt for parker while he was in my tummy multiplied by amounts i could never have imagined the second he came out.  so this is that post that talks about my first six months of being a mom to an outside baby.

like just about every other first time mom i've ever talked to, there was nothing anyone could have said to prepare me for motherhood.  no word of advice, no story, no online forum, no amount of babysitting {which i really never did as a kid}, & no amount of book reading.  people told me it was hard, that there would be sleepless nights, & i might get the "baby blues" but that was ok, it's normal.  i shrugged those words off & thought, "eh, that won't happen to me."  plus, i knew sam would be home for four weeks of paternity leave so i thought i had it made. 

what part of "if you want to breastfeed you won't sleep any longer than a three hour block straight for a month" did i not understand?  well, apparently the whole part of it because that was a huge shock.  what part of "you really won't feel like yourself for at least two weeks after the birth because your hormones will be all over the place" did i think wouldn't affect me?  i realized real quick while crying on a daily basis just because it felt good that it definitely affected me.

i don't know how all the moms out there without their baby's daddy around for weeks after the birth do it.  having sam home was amazing.  those first four weeks he had home with us were so special & during that time he probably did more fathering than i did mothering, and he just let me recover & heal.

but yeah, at times those first couple months weren't easy, & by all standards, parker was an easy baby.  despite some relux issues, we were extremely lucky.  he wasn't colicky, he didn't cry just to hear himself cry, & he started sleeping for 7-8 hour stretches at about a month.  thank goodness.  you know how they say God only gives you what you can handle?  i guess he knows i'm a wimp, because he gave me a pretty easy baby.  i try to remember to thank Him daily for that. 

but i don't care what anyone says.  having a kid is an adjustment.  it's life changing.  but you know what it is?  it's life "bettering."  life doesn't end when you have kids, it just begins.  it's the beginning of learning how to love something more than you ever thought you could, & truly caring for someone else more than yourself.

and of course, i was naive about a lot of other things too.  i thought i would be able to keep my kid from ever having a snotty nose or a dirty face.  while i try to stay on top of it, i really had no idea how much a nose could truly run before parker had a cold.

i didn't think i'd be the mom that would stay awake through exhaustion just to watch her baby breathe in his sleep, but yeah, i still sometimes think that parker won't breathe unless i'm in the room.

i was pretty sure i would know if my kid wasn't cute.  what i didn't expect was to truly think i had the cutest kid to have ever been born.

i didn't think i could fall in love with sam all over again, or get butterflies while listening to him sing the abc's to quiet a crying baby.

i never knew what it was like to wish for more hours in a day, while simultaneously counting down for tomorrow to get here.

i didn't expect that having a baby would make me look at other people differently.  that i would look at that handicapped man struggling to walk down the sidewalk & get teary eyed hoping that people are nice to him, because that is someone's little boy.

i really could go on forever & ever.  i didn't even touch on the spit up in the hair, the yoga pants uniform, the struggle to find a work-out routine, & so many other cliche things i didn't think applied to me.

but one thing i know is that having a kid has been nothing like what i expected.  it's been better, it's been harder, it's been amazing.



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18 comments:

  1. Beautiful post! I agree with you on everything, especially looking at people differently. I think back to when I was young and pray to God I was kind to others. The thought of someone teasing my girls truely makes my heart hurt.

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  2. I'm getting teary eyed over here :/ What a wonderful post. :)

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  3. ah so sweet. all of that is so true! thanks for this post :) happy 6 months baby boy!

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  4. Love this! I agree with you that I don't know how single Mom's do it the first few weeks after birth. I was so lucky to have my Hubby home, too. He helped out more than I could have ever imagine! And... I kinda laughed when you said "God doesn't give you more than you can handle" and he knows you're a "wimp" cause you have an easy baby. I thought that, too. Then Bennett turned 6 1/2 months and started getting up 2-3 times a night (he had never ever done that since he was like 4 weeks old). Then I though, okay... I guess I'm supposed to learn something here... and I have. I've learned to be more patient. I love that our babies teach us things every day.
    Okay I just babbled on and on forever! Sorry!! Ha ha.
    Happy 6 months Parker!!!

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  5. ok seriously I am crying right now! After our phone convo we just had and then reading your post I am crying like a baby!! :) Parker is so lucky to have you as his mommy!

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  6. Really enjoyed that! Thank you.

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  7. Congrats on 6 months of motherhood! It truly goes by too fast.

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  8. This is really sweet and made me tear up a bit. One thing I realized after having a baby is how much I really appreciate my own mom and everything she did for me when I was a kid. You don't understand what your parents go through for you until you yourself are a parent.
    I love you! Happy six months to mom and baby!

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  9. Been reading your blog for a while now and thought it was about time to stop lurking and leave a comment! My little one is turning 4 months in a few days, and I can hardly believe it! Loved this post. Happy 6 months of motherhood to you! :)

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  10. I'm so glad you wrote this post, it's exactly what I needed to read this evening. Selfishly enough, it kinda feels like it was written for me... or atleast God knew I needed to read it. Because as I sit, on the night my life has revolved around for the last eight (first month doesn't count) months, it almost feels empty. I've been expecting this date to change my life forever, yet it's not that different. I'm still pregnant and still waiting. It's almost a relief that I haven't birthed this baby, but at the same time it helps me realize that life is going to go on despite having a baby--I'll still be me, I'll just be better. And I can't tell you how much reading this post has made the future seem that much more possible.

    Thanks, lady. :) Parker's a lucky little boy, you should be proud of yourself.

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  11. Ahhhh I wish my baby was 6 months again. Such a beautiful post. The ride is awesome. A good one!!! Happy 6 months of life Parker!

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  12. Aw. Don't you know better than to make posts like this for hormonal pregnant women like me to read? My eyes are a little sparkly, here.
    I can't wait to be a mommy to an "outside-baby", as you called it. :) It'll be a rollercoaster though, I'm sure.

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  13. Hard to express feelings put into words. All so true.
    I love it.

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  14. This was such a wonderful post!! I kind of felt like crying!! I can't wait to have a baby!! (Um, just not yet)... Parker is so cute. YAY for being a mommy to an outside baby for 6 months!

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  15. Love this post! I remember all those feeling like it was yesterday! Now my baby is 14!!! Love you!!

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  16. Written so well and so truely! Thanks!

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  17. This post made me teary-eyed. Yet again something I would not have related to before 3 weeks ago...

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