I’ve made it through my first six months of motherhood! Yay me. This journey is a beautiful nightmare. One of the most rewarding yet challenging things I have ever done, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!
The first few months are probably the hardest; I’ll keep y’all posted though.
As a new parent you are getting to know your baby, and your baby is getting to know you, their family, and the world. Right after my C-section, they handed me my baby girl all wrapped up, and I said “wait, are you sure, I’ve never held a baby before?”. They laughed, but I was so serious. I immediately fell in love nonetheless knew that this was going to be the best, and some of the hardest times of my life. These are the 6 lessons I’ve learned from the first six months of motherhood.
*Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you love what you see and decide to make a purchase.
1. You Know Nothing, Still You Know Enough.
When I found out I was pregnant my first thought was “shit, I don’t know anything about babies.” I literally did research the entire pregnancy, I Pinterest EVERYTHING, read the baby books, took the prenatal classes, and still, when I held her for the first time I felt like I wasn’t at all prepared. Honestly, you don’t know how to really parent, until you become a parent, if that makes sense. Her first feeding, her first diaper change and her first bath were all a learning process. Even though it was all new for me, it came quite naturally. I knew nothing, still I knew enough to keep her alive, thriving and happy. Which is all that really matters anyway.
Six months in, I still feel like I’m winging it most days, but maternal instinct is REAL. Trust your gut, embrace your instinct, and I promise you know just enough to kill it!
2. Love is Truly Unconditional.
This may be a no brainer, even so, I have never felt a love like the love I have for my daughter. It sounds so cliché, but from the very moment I held her I was so deeply in love, I am getting teary eyed as I write this! You will never know a love like the love you have for your child. They will bring out so many different emotions in you. My daughter is truly an absolute blessing, and the love I have for her makes all the late nights, early mornings and exhaustion all worth it to say the least.
3. Your Baby is One of a Kind.
Once you’ve done all the research and listen to your family and friends about how their experiences were, and what they do and/or didn’t do, you’ll learn, your baby is one of a kind. Your child will not be like other children. Learn your child, and don’t let anyone else convince you what you are doing or not doing is wrong, you know your baby best.
For me, my daughter hated her $200+ 4moms mamaRoo swing as a newborn. I had read everywhere that the mamaRoo* was a lifesaver. It was a must have on all the registries; babies loved it, moms loved it and it was basically the holy grail of baby gear if you wanted to get anything done. So, as you can imagine, when my daughter refused to enjoy it as a newborn, and would cry hysterically in it, I was not only surprised, but upset.
I quickly realized, that not all babies are alike. Once she turned 3 months she LOVED her mamaRoo*, and I would recommend it in a heartbeat, however, I’d suggest trying many different brand, makes and models of products and find what works for you, your baby, and your family.
4. It Takes a Village, and Then Some.
THIS! My advice, if you have family or close friends nearby, let them help you! I was blessed the opportunity to stay with my parents the first six months of my daughter’s life. Her father was able to take a week and a half off work and then after that I was on my own most of the day.
My parents, my mother specifically, were a real lifesaver! I was able to shower when I needed, was able to nap, and she even cooked dinner for us most nights. My brother, father and friends also were a huge help! Friends stopped by to entertain the baby while I got a chance to relax a little, get work done, and gave me a chance to have a little adult interaction.
Raising a child is not a one woman, or even two-person job, it absolutely takes a village. Let people you love and trust help you. It’s usually their pleasure to have some time with the babe, and give yourself, and your partner, sometime to do normal day to day things. It’ll really help you and your sanity.
5. Self Care is Essential.
Being a new mom is a whirlwind of emotional and physical changes. It is essential to take care of yourself throughout the process. Self-care means different things for different people, whatever it is, make it a priority. Getting a chance to do my hair and brush my teeth everyday made me feel better about myself and made me feel as normal as I could the first few weeks.
I was also able to clear my mind at night once the baby was down for bed with the Headspace app, and I highly recommend trying it free. Headspace gave me the opportunity to go into the sleepless nights level headed, and at ease. Meditation made the long nights so doable.
Whether it’s something small like making it a priority to shower daily without the baby in the bathroom with you, or practicing meditation, make time for you! Motherhood is tough, and many times you sacrifice yourself for your child, I get it, but make sure to prioritize time out for YOU.
6. This Shit is Hard, BUT Worth It.
People will tell you about all the wonderful things about being a parent. And they’re not lying, still at the end of the day, parenting is hard, as hell! Having a little human solely rely on you for everything gets exhausting, very quickly. There are so many things about motherhood that were hard, breastfeeding the first few months, the inconsolable crying, and the lack of sleep is tough. Being a mother to a six-month-old is probably the hardest thing I’ve done thus far. BUT let me tell you, it is all worth it! I wouldn’t trade any of it.
Motherhood is the best hood, and I am so glad I get to experience it with her! My first six months of motherhood have been full of lessons and blessings.
*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you love what you see and decide to make a purchase.