6 Months of Motherhood

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

Coffee Date

How has it been a month since I last posted? Life has been busy and time is flying by! In one week I’ll officially have been a mother for 6 months and my sweet Enzo will be half a year old. I can’t take it. I thought I’d be good to catch up coffee date style…all the things I’d tell you if we were having a cup of coffee. What would you tell me?

It all works out. I feel like with summer wrapping up, our nanny quitting abruptly on us, working on our house, and balancing our jobs life has been rather full. And stressful. To be honest, I really didn’t think about blogging much because I was too busy worrying about finding a new nanny, and having child care coverage so we could go to work, worrying about house projects, and fitting in a million things around plans with friends and end of summer trips, and googling sleep regressions and baby teething, and oddly enough obsessively reading my horoscope hoping that it would magically tell me that it will all work out. It does. I don’t know why I read those.

Seriously though, our nanny quit abruptly. She went out guns blazing. I’d love to share the gory details but that would be in appropriate. And I try to be appropriate. In my pre-parenthood life I used to hear parents talk about how stressful it was when they were in a childcare pickle. I understand it now. I also understand that good nannies are hot commodity and you must move quickly when you have a lead on one. Lucky for us our nanny chose us from a few families she’d been interviewing with. I thought we had no chance so I was pleasantly surprised to get that call. Enzo loves her, we love her, she fills our home with her humming and sing songs, and baby laughter. I can actually leave for work on time, smoothie and coffee in hand. I come home from work to an organized home and a happy baby. It all works out.

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Tootsies!

We finally got our act together and have a plan for our yard. We ripped out our lawn and landscaping last fall with plans of planting in the spring. It never happened (we had a baby!) so we’ve been those people with no lawn. Then we decided to level the yard, remove trees, put in a retaining wall, put in a patio, a new deck, new garage doors, paint the foundation, and expand our driveway. Originally we planned to do it ourselves but I think we’ve realized that it’s a little bigger than we have time for.  The trees are coming down tomorrow, we have quotes coming in for the lawn work, and the hubby is making progress on the rest of it. Will it be done this fall? Maybe not. But it’s all working out.

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Family time

Summer came and went and I think we’re pretty grateful for a quiet fall. We had quite a summer filled with many firsts for Enzo and lots of family adventures. It was awesome actually. But packing up a kid every week for said adventures with everything else going on is exhausting. By Labor Day weekend our fun weekend away felt more like a giant stress. We had a good time but we are happy to be close to home and enjoying our quiet weekends. The fall came at the perfect time, giving us the break we needed. Again, it all works out.

As for that sleep regression Enzo’s finally back on his normal schedule and is sleeping well through the night again. He’s teething and according to Wonder Weeks experiencing nightmares so he cries out in his sleep but he’s sleeping. We’re sleeping. All my googling and worrying was really for nothing. As we always say when it comes to Enzo, this too shall pass. And again it all works out.

I’m getting fast. In the midst of all the craziness above I have been really great about sticking to my workout routine. As tough as that 4:45am alarm can be it’s usually not worth sleeping in. The sleep I get for an extra hour isn’t quality and usually I just lay there thinking that I should have gotten up. I love that “me time” to start the day and I love coming home and devoting my time to Enzo, Michael, and whatever else needs to be addressed that day. It’s so much better than trying to squeeze in some miles or strength with Enzo after work.

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Getting Fast! 6 miles at an 8:56 pace!

I’ve been doing an easy 3-4 miles on Monday, speedwork on Wednesday, and a long run on Friday with strength work on Tuesday and Thursday. Usually we fit in a family walk or an extra workout over the weekend. It’s working for me and I feel really good. I’m learning that on the nights I don’t get good sleep I need to just adjust accordingly. It’s better to run 6 miles that are really solid instead of 8 mediocre miles. I’m also recognizing that despite running for 5 months now I’m still not strong enough to do much more than 8-10 miles once a week. My knees ache, I get really sore, and it takes a long time to recover. Right now 12-15 miles a week is just right. I am excited to be running with a pace in the 8’s again. It’s really exciting and motivating.

I’ve continued to lose weight and have about 7 pounds to go. I’m getting really motivated to lose the rest and need to mentally make that commitment to myself.  I’m losing weight slowly but know when I commit (weigh my protein, skip the sweets) I’ll get there faster. Maybe I’ll start today. Either way I feel more like my pre-pregnancy self each day. I’m back in all my clothes and feel like this body is getting to be what it once was, although it will never truly be that. It just can’t be.

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Our first 5K!

I also ran my first 5K postpartum over Labor Day. I ran with the stroller and ran 8:35min/miles. It was awesome and rewarding. I felt like my hard work paid off a bit and I also felt a bit like supermom. Go me?!

Looking forward. If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I’m looking forward to the future and feel like I’m enjoying the present. We have weekends with relatively little plans and I find myself enjoying the simplicity of things. I’m excited for Enzo’s swim lessons each Sunday morning, looking forward to apple picking, and Columbus Day weekend, our trip to Wellfleet for the Oyster Fest, cooking and relaxing during Enzo’s naps on the weekends, walks in the cool weather, our family photo shoot to celebrate our second wedding anniversary and so much more.

So that’s where I’m at. Enjoying the calm after a stressful bit and reminding myself that life ebbs and flows. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for updates on my runs, and lots of baby pictures!

What would you tell me over coffee?