Never in my life have I experienced a period of 6 months passing as quickly as it just has. Somehow, my tiny, squishy newborn baby is 6 months old. Time has disappeared right before my eyes. She is no longer falling asleep on my chest, but rather sitting up at her high chair playing with her toys. She’s got no interest in napping all day, she’s far too busy chattering and learning new skills.
Where did my little baby go?
Before I became a mom, I was warned. I smiled and nodded when people would say things like “you’ll blink and they’ll be grown!” or “don’t worry, this phase will pass!” Down in the trenches of newborn sleepless nights and day/night confusion I laughed (okay cried) at this idea. The concept that a phase could pass was foreign. Now, looking back, we have survived phases and leaps and shots and more. While I’m sure we have so many new and fun and difficult things that will come to face us, I know that we will prevail. I believe that this phase will pass.
I desperately claw at time hoping that it will slow down. Hoping that I can soak in more of her littleness, hoping to get one more minute of sleepy snuggles, or one more whiff of the top of her head as she leans in to me. I know she will never be this little again, and in some ways, my heart breaks. She will continue to grow, and thrive, and learn new things. She will become more independent and I’m sure strong-willed, just like her mama. So if we can’t stop time, what can we do?
I am taking full advantage of my iPhone’s camera. Am I taking too many photos? Maybe. But they’re free! I don’t have to keep them all, but I can take all the photos in the moment, and go back when things quiet down to pick my favourites. It’s only been 6 months but I already catch myself flipping back to photos of our first few days and feeling my heart (and ovaries) swell.
I am continuing to remind myself that this too shall pass. I am relishing in the good moments. The goofy smiles, the messy meals, the water-logged bath time. And I am breathing through the difficult ones. The teething, the random wake ups through the night, the tears for seemingly no reason. Just as the tough times will pass, so will the good ones. So I am doing my best to stay cognizant of this fact, and taking it day by day.
I am stepping away from technology (in some ways). You can bet we are using our phones and FaceTime to connect to my family who is an ocean away. BUT I have stepped away from the mindless scrolling, from having the tv on just for background noise, and the need to always be texting/snapchatting/messaging people. I save my social media (and blogging) time for after she goes to bed. Instead I find myself on the floor playing, making faces, singing songs, and just generally being present with my little one.
I am staying thankful. This little life was not a sure thing. We spent over a year trying to get pregnant, and endured a tough pregnancy/delivery. When I find myself starting to struggle, or go negative, I remember how hard I fought for her. I remember the days spent crying on the bathroom floor begging to be pregnant. When she is up for the umpteenth time in one night, I am reminding myself of how much I willed her to survive in utero. Reminding myself how thankful I am for this little life somehow helps make the wake ups and tears worth it in the end.
I am reminding myself that I am not in control. I cannot stop time. Nor can I make time slow down. All of my worrying and anxiety about how quickly it is passing will not make a difference. In fact, it will just rob me of the time that we have. So when I feel my mind start to wander, I redirect it to this fact. When I feel my anxiety kick up wondering if this will be the last time I rock her to sleep, I remind myself that no amount of my worrying will change what works for her now, or tomorrow. This isn’t to say I don’t still find myself tearing up when she doesn’t want to nurse to sleep for the first time, it just means I give myself the grace to feel how I feel, and then move on with my night.
And possibly most importantly…
I am filling my own cup. Ever try to do a workout without eating first? Or tried to stretch that tank of gas and found yourself stranded on the side of the road? Motherhood is no different. Taking care of yourself can be difficult as a mom. Somehow we are the keepers of the schedules, the grocery list makers, the chauffeur, the nurse, the chef, the maid and so much more. It’s imperative to take sometime for yourself. For me, I take time to blog, take a hot bath, go for a run, or just throw on some headphones and toss my husband the monitor.
By filling your own cup, you can be more present in the moments with your little ones. Filling your cup gives you that much more patience, grace, and creativity for your kids. So as hard as it may be to ignore the dishes in your sink, go take a hot bath. Go to yoga. Go knit, sew, crochet or whatever else makes your heart smile. Your kids will thank you!
So what’s the point. Why am I sitting here typing away instead of going to bed. Because somehow, as a new mom, I felt unprepared for how quickly time would go. Even with the warnings. So I wanted to get it written down so mamas who are gearing up to have their first kid could save it for later. Or so the more experienced mamas can send it over to their pregnant friends. So more mamas can share the good, the bad and the ugly in a productive way! No more fear mongering, no more “just you waits.” Instead let us build each other up with useful tips and tricks and articles that help a new mama see that it is all normal.
So what are you waiting for? Share this article on Facebook & let me know what you think about the concept of time after becoming a mama!