It’s now been half of a year since we had our beautiful baby girl and in this half of year I feel like I have learned more and grown more than I ever have before in my life. I don’t think anything makes you grow up and mature faster than having a child. I’ve heard that before but now I fully understand it. There have been so many blessings in the past six months, as well as there have been some struggles, as is expected with such a life-changing event. I do feel like right around six months is when myself as a parent can fully embrace being just that, a parent.
One of the biggest struggles I have had has been with me back at work. It’s something I want and something that I think I need but when troubles arise due to me back at work I am the first one to blame and the guilt instantly sets in. With the trouble and turmoil we had securing a good nanny there were countless mornings debating my back up plan and countless hurried walks home from work that I was questioning my decision to go back to work; no matter how good my day was at work. I’m wondering if that guilt of being a working mom will ever leave me. I’m thinking probably not.
There is the pure exhaustion at times. Reese hasn’t been a good sleeper for months now and at times I feel like a functioning human being but there are other times that I don’t feel competent to hold a conversation, think straight, or honestly have fun. There are many mornings when baby girl is wide awake at 6 am, after waking several times in the night, ready to go for the day and I just want to lay there just a little bit longer. In the end, it’s rare she lets me stay in bed that much longer and after some time I’m ready to greet the day with her, as tired as I may be.
There is the stress on your marital relationship. This is hard when the tension that builds is usually purely due to differing views on parental necessities or responsibilities resulting from the love for your child, nothing really related to hate or anger. That is frustrating! The immediate needs of your child unfortunately conflict with the wishful needs of your spouse at times and these relationships are very tough to balance.
Then there is the loss of freedom. It’s been six months since I have had a happy hour with a friend, gone out solo with a friend, and I have had only one girls night without Reese. There have been very few times I have taken time out for self-care. There has only been one time in the past six months that I stayed late on a weekday and that was to get my hair done and after it was taking longer than it should (as it always does) I started to question my decision to do something for myself vs spending those two hours with my daughter, and right then and there I could have broken down in the stylist chair crying. What I would do to have one day to go do something after work and not need to or feel the need to rush home to baby girl and stay a little longer sans guilt.
There are many more things that have taken a definite backseat in my life and most I am okay with. All I am okay with, actually, because I love my daughter more than anything. At six months now I am getting a glimpse of what I think I daydreamed about while pregnant. I certainly loved and cherished the naps, milk drunk faces, and sweet newborn moments but it is the sharing of experiences with my daughter that I am most looking forward to. Her personality is certainly coming out and taking her to the pool I think was the first time we fully got to share an experience with her and were delighted to see her reaction. I’m thinking it is only going to get better, both her fun loving nature and the stresses I listed above. I’m looking forward to the next six months of parenthood.