Yesterday was baby Elizabeth’s 6 month birthday! Half a year since she came into the world, and only half a year left until she’s made her first full trip around the sun. I can’t even wrap my mind around the fact that I have a 6 month old baby now, let alone the fact that she will be ONE this year and walking/talking by the end of the year! It’s too much for my brain to handle. I’ve been stretched thin, pulled in every direction, had my hair tugged, my heart strings tugged, been bitten, been smacked and splashed these last 6 months and I thought I would share 6 key things I’ve learned in my first 6 months of being a mom ❤ Scroll down to read them!
weight: 16.25 lbs
height: 27.5″ (ped said she’s super long for her age)
diaper size: 3
eyes: bright blue
hair: light blonde!
Sleeping through the night?: she will sleep 6-8 hours, then wake up, then sleep another 4-5 hours. So getting better!
Mommy or daddy preference: mommy – but she lovessss daddy and knows who he is – she looks around for him whenever i say “where’s daddy!”
teeth?: she got her two bottom teeth at 4 months old, but none since
crawling?: she is totally crawling! She started about a month ago, and is now pulling and scooting herself along any chance she gets.
sitting?: she is sitting up on her own! And can “fall” forward onto her tummy to crawl.
LIKES: any guy with facial hair or a beard/long hair, tummy time, banging toys together, vigorously shaking toys that rattle, sucking on her binky (which she puts into her own mouth by herself), being outside, looking at our cats (she laughs at them), chewing on my phone, sticking everything in her mouth, and being thrown in the air.
DISLIKES: “strangers”/people she doesn’t recognize, whenever she can’t see mommy, not being held, and not being able to flip onto her tummy (if she gets stuck somehow).
6 things i learned in the first 6 months of being a mom
1. you just gotta roll with it.
Being flexible and quick to embrace a change of plans is definitely a superpower. I’ve been flexible in the past, but never as much so as I’ve had to be since becoming a mom. Not letting stuff get to me or ruin my mood is a game changer! Learning to just roll with it has totally deepened my patience and challenged my flexibility. Poopy diaper right as I’m headed out the door? No problem. I’ll just tell my friends I’m running late (they always understand! LOL). Spit up all over my new blouse while we’re at church then lunch after? No biggie, I’ve got tide to go. Fussy breakdown in the middle of a grocery trip? That’s fine, I know she will calm down if I hold her instead.
2. you most likely wont really get “good” sleep. for a while.
And you need to be okay with that! When we first brought baby izzy home from the hospital, I thought I’d try to “sleep when the baby sleeps” but as a brand new mom whose hormones are raging and stomach is deflating and muscles are cramping and walking/sitting on the toilet is the hardest thing you’ve experienced next to contractions — “good” sleep is out da window. And no, I didn’t sleep when the baby slept. Because by the time I actually got to a place where I felt I could definitely pass out right now, the baby would wake up and start crying or need to nurse and well, bye bye sleep. For now. It gets better after a routine is developed, and they’re a few months old. Which by then you’ll be getting just 4-6 hours at a time….which is glorious compared to the 1-2 hours you WERE getting!
3. Routines are life.
Developing a routine and (sort of) sticking to it was one of the best things I did for myself, my husband, and our baby. Granted, we didn’t really have a regular routine established until Izzy was much older (around 3.5 months) — after what they call the 4th trimester. By that point, she was recognizing us, she had regular-ish nap times, was nursing around the same times every day, and I finally felt like I could actually sort of map out my day. Now that she’s 6 months, we have a pretty solid schedule down 🙂 She eats takes naps and goes to bed at the same times every day, which helps her developmentally and socially, and helps us make plans more than one day in advance.
4. do what you can to maintain a sense of identity and keep a creative outlet.
Being a stay at home mom is the BEST thing I’ve ever had the privilege of doing. However, there were days and weeks where I felt like ALL I did, all day, was pump and nurse and clean. Around the clock. And it was hard! At times I felt like my sense of identity of who I was before I became a mom was slipping through my fingers. I wasn’t keeping up with my blog, I missed doing photography, I missed being artsy, I wasn’t doing yoga or practicing my headstands and handstands anymore, I hadn’t worked out or gone on a run in forever…..I missed my “me” time and how those things added to my life.
But what I came to realize is those things didn’t have to be let go of — I had to accept that I was entering into a brand new season of life and was trying to embrace and understand my new role as a mom and find balance with being a wife. It’s NO walk in the park, and really tests your heart. So I gave myself grace and threw myself into community, made new mom friendships and gave Izzy to John for a few hours at a time so I could recenter myself and start to do the things I enjoyed doing again. And after a while, I was able to entwine my new identity as a mom with my “wife” identity and my “self” identity. I realized I didn’t have to just have one of those…I could have all of them at the same time.
5.your marriage won’t wait fo’ no one.
And it’s SO important to maintain and nurture your relationship as husband and wife while you’re learning to be parents — you can’t place that part of you on the back burner while you learn to be a mom and dad. We found that regular quality time, intimacy, and communication (about things other than the baby) really kept our bond solid and strengthened/matured our relationship after becoming parents.
We were in a young married’s small group since we got married in early 2016, so we continued to attend even after we had Izzy. We simply brought her with us! We stayed up together after Izzy went to bed to hangout and have date nights in (Netflix, cook together, snuggle, kiss, hold hands, laugh, whatever we did before we had kids). We went out often: on walks, to the mall, to the beach, to Disneyland, to visit family, and out to eat because that made us feel like we were “us” again. Even though we had the baby in the stroller 😉 It’s so so easy to let your marriage fall to the wayside after a life change (or even in general if you become too comfortable with each other) so we really made it our priority to continue to put effort into US.
6. really focus on being present.
For a while after being home with Izzy, I became super eager to go back to work. I would lose my focus and start to scroll through Instagram as she was playing. I would put too much thought into what I had to get done around the house, or think too much about my week or next month. I was losing my mind staying home all the time at first — I’m talking breakdowns, wondering where my life went. And I just couldn’t figure out how to slow down, take (several) deep breaths, and just be present with izzy. And that’s how it is, when you go from a career job/always on the go to immediately staying home or inside all day with someone who won’t reciprocate intelligent conversation and who wants your attention 24/7.
Learning how to be present and slow down is something I have worked on tremendously these last 6 months! I am reminded every day several times a day at how rewarding and incredible it is that I get to stay home with my baby — to be able to see her every milestone, to be the one to teach her new things, be the one to hold her when she needs comfort, and to be there every minute watching her take in the world around her with curiosity and wonder — there’s just no comparison to how complete it makes my life. There’s nothing more that I could ever want or need in the world other than to experience life alongside my little girl!! Seeing her grow every day is the greatest gift and blessing I could ever receive here on earth.
Nothing compares to learning to embrace the journey of motherhood — complete with all the emotions, tears, sleepless nights, coffee runs, late mornings and my new mom bod. Please share in the comments the best things you’ve learned since becoming a mom! Xo