When I woke up this morning, it dawned on me that I have a 6-month-old. My daughter has been out of the womb for six whole months. We’re HALFWAY to having a 1-year-old! Some days I think to myself, how on earth did we get here so soon? Other days, I wonder how I still have a sliver of sanity left in me. Although, if you ask Bill, he might say otherwise.
The past six months have been a whirlwind of emotions, learning curves and invaluable life lessons. Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy and couldn’t be more in love with my Lily bug. Even still, it’s hard getting used to this new life that some days still doesn’t feel like my own.
When I find myself getting frustrated, I try to step back and look at how much I’ve learned. I could probably name 100 things, but these are the first six that come to mind.
- No amount of reading can truly prepare you for your first child.
Two days after that little blue line appeared, I hightailed it to Barnes & Noble and bought a handful of books on pregnancy and babies. I was determined to soak in all that I could in the next nine months. After all, being prepared usually lessens the chance of mishaps or failure, right? Not necessarily. Every baby is so different that sometimes you just have to figure out what works best for you and your family. Just because X worked for this person doesn’t meant that it’ll work for you. Granted, having a little info in your back pocket certainly doesn’t hurt, but I would advise against taking the words of others as the gospel.
- I need to give myself an extra 30 minutes (at least) before trying to go anywhere.
When you have a baby, you run on their time. Lily has this wonderful habit of dropping a big one as soon as I buckle her into the car seat. No joke, it’s like clockwork. Because of this little gift of hers, I’ve learned to budget extra time for “surprises.”
- Poop doesn’t gross me out.
I think my German Shepherd played a small part in my desensitization to poo. She had an intestinal issue that cause frequent diarrhea for three months when she was a puppy. Suffice it to say, I’d seen my fair share of fecal matter before Lily, but it still used to gross me out. Now? Now I am elated when I see poop! Poop means her pipes are working properly and baby is feelin’ good. Admittedly, the introduction of solid food has made things a little more … interesting.
- My body isn’t back to “normal.”
Six months postpartum, and my body still isn’t where I hoped it’d be. Real talk: I’m envious of the moms who leave the hospital in their skinny jeans because I’m certainly not one of them. Things still jiggle in places that had never been jiggly before. Even though I can fit into a few pairs of what pre-baby me would refer to as “fat jeans,” things definitely aren’t the same. But that’s OK. I’ve come to realize that babies teach you patience, including how to be patient with yourself.
- I still feel hormonal.
I was a hormotional roller coaster throughout my pregnancy. Tears, rage, laugh, repeat. Six months out and—while I’m not crying during State Farm commercials anymore—some days still feel like I’ve been hit by a train.
- Postpartum hair loss is no joke.
The fact that I still have a full head of hair while simultaneously losing large clumps of it every day blows my mind. I check for bald spots every so often and am always thankful when I don’t find one. How is that even possible? I have no idea. I really should invest in some Drano stock because of how often I buy it, or perhaps create my own brand specifically for PPD moms.
The past six months have taught me more than any college course, book or seminar ever could have. I’ve also experienced more love and joy than I ever thought possible. When you hear parents say, “I didn’t think I could ever love someone this much,” they aren’t lying. Even though life is demanding, at times, the love I have for my child makes everything else feel inconsequential.