Enzo is officially 6 months old! It’s hard to believe my teeny tiny baby is turning into a little boy. He’s 29.25 inches tall (100th percentile), 20lb.s, out of the infant car seat, comfortable in 12 month clothes, and looking more boy-ish each day. The other day it also dawned on me that I’ve been a mom for 6 months now and that is pretty incredible. I worried a lot about being a mom when I was pregnant. Would I be a good mom? Would I have enough time to do everything? Would I still be a good wife and partner to Michael? Would I have patience? All of these thoughts ran through my head. So far I think I’m doing pretty good with being a mom but some things about myself have certainly changed and I thought I’d share them.
Beauty is simplified. Pre-baby I’d spend about an hour getting ready for the day. I’d often curl my hair for work, and put on a little extra makeup. I’d always have my toenails painted, and most of the time my fingernails too. I put effort into my beauty routine and was always conscious and aware of how others were judging me. Now days it’s different. My haircut is simpler and takes 5 minutes to blow dry. I only curl it on special occasions. My makeup usually takes me 3 minutes to put on and is super simple. It still takes me an hour to get ready each morning but that also includes time to put laundry away, make the bed, and get Enzo ready for his day. So yes, I spend about half the time getting dressed each day. I went more days this summer without toenail polish than with, yes that means I went to the beach with unpainted toenails. My former self is cringing. It wasn’t a priority and was honestly one less thing to worry about. The funny thing is that I don’t feel any less beautiful or put together. I’ve just learned to simplify. I’ve also learned to stop judging myself so hard and to love myself a bit more. Love makes everyone more beautiful.
Priorities, priorities, priorities. We say this word almost hourly in our house. Is that a priority right now? Enzo’s napping, what’s the priority? There’s more on our plate and less time to do it and with that comes the ability to let things go. Pre-baby I’d definitely spend time on Saturday’s checking social media or cruising the web while putting off my to-do list. Now I usually try to cram a lengthy to do list into a 2 hour period of time. Once Enzo falls asleep I GO! I’ve learned to clean my house in half the time, and to prioritize the process. I’ve also learned to prioritize myself. The weekdays are tough. Getting out the door in the morning, then working all day, setting aside that stress to enjoy 2 hours max a night with my boy, then focusing on dinner, sharing my day with my husband, addressing things that need addressing, before finally sitting down can be exhausting. So we’re learning that on the weekends it’s good to sit and relax while Enzo naps. Things can wait, they’ll be there when they become a priority.
Family first. When Enzo first came a long I worried about how things would go when I went back to work. What if he needed me when I wasn’t there? The reality is that when he needs me I’m there. I’ve learned that when you have a child family comes first. Always. I’ve had days I need to miss work, or leave early because I need to be there for Enzo and Michael. Pre-baby I’d feel horrible, now I don’t even think twice. I’ve also learned this applies to matters of our family life. If something is not working for us we are much quicker to make the change and address it. Pre-baby I’d hem and haw, feel bad about it, and be optimistic and hopeful that it’d all work out. After taking this approach once and it failing miserably for our family we’re much quicker to address things head on and make the changes necessary to give our family the best situation possible.
Found my voice. I think this is partly age, and partly motherhood but all of a sudden I’ve found my voice. I used to be timid about speaking my feelings honestly and openly. I’d be concerned that I’d hurt someone’s feelings or offend them but often I’d just end up offended, hurt, and mad that I didn’t speak up. Now I’m less afraid to speak up, especially when it comes to Enzo. I’m his parent, his guardian, and there to protect him. I need to speak up when it comes to him. Speaking up has also spread to my relationships and professionally. I still feel like I’m growing into it but so far, it’s been worth it. Being a strong voice for yourself and your family is pretty empowering.
Learning to let go. I’m pretty OCD and can be rather rigid in my ways. For example, I refuse to give up exercise and running so to make sure this happens each day I get up at 4:45am. I always make our bed, we never leave with dishes in the sink, and our house is always organized. Being a mom has changed that in some ways. I still make the bed each day (some things never change), and for the most part we never leave with dishes in the sink or the house a mess but I’ve learned that some days Enzo’s nap schedule goes out the window, and that some days we’ll go through 4 baby outfits, multiple drool bibs and burp cloths, and that I might come home from work to a kid in a mismatched outfit. Those things definitely annoy me but I’ve learned to let it go. It’s just another load of laundry, you can always buy extra drool bibs so you never run out, and it’s not the end of the world if his clothes don’t match. I’ve learned that some days he’ll eat 3 meals happily, and other days he won’t. I’ve learned that it’s OK to leave the house a mess, run errands, and clean up the mess after. I’ve learned that sometimes you need to do things out-of-order to get order when you have a baby. And most of all I’ve learned that at the end of the day if I have a healthy, happy, clean, well-fed kid the rest can always be cleaned up and put back in order when he goes to bed.
The past 6 months have shown me a lot about myself and life in general. I’m surprised at how much patience I do have, and how much patience I lack at 3am. I’m surprised at how dealing with frustration can be hard for me. I’m not surprised that I’m the first one to lay on the floor and play with Enzo. I’m not surprised that I don’t ask for others help as often as I should when it comes to caring for our child. I’m not surprised I feel like I can and should do it all myself. The past 6 months have shown me that Amazon Prime is truly amazing and can solve so many problems, that all the articles about how having a baby can be hard on a relationship are true, but they also often leave out how incredibly bonded to and loved by your partner you can feel. The past 6 months have shown me that in life, the simple moments can give you the most joy and happiness. In the past 6 months I’ve learned that being a mom is truly the greatest job in the world.
I’ve learned a lot in 6 months and I’m excited to see how I’ll continue to learn and grow over the next 6 months and the years ahead of me as a mom.
How has motherhood (or fatherhood) changed you?