My Initiation into Motherhood – reflections on the first 6 months.

Being a mom is a fascinating, exhausting, and endlessly challenging job. However, it’s also one where the rewards are given in laughs and smiles and reach the greatest depths of your heart.

This is what I’ve learned in the first six months as a mom.

Our bodies are amazing. Not only did I incubate a life for 41 weeks, but her ENTIRE first six months of life have been sustained from my body alone. That’s amazing to me!!! I mean, no additional food, no additional liquid, just breast milk. I’m STILL amazed by this.

My husband is a fast and eager learner and an amazing father. Our little girl has so much fun when she is with him. Her smile lights up the minute he walks into the room and he makes up the best songs. She is totally daddy’s little girl and I can’t blame her for it.

Babies bring joy to everyone, not just the parents, the grandparents, aunts, and uncles, but to random strangers. People stop to ask how old she is or share a piece of advice. I’ve overheard little kids say to their mom or dad, “Did you see that baby? She is really cute.” That’s adorable being overheard by a 5 or 6 year old.

I have completed my initiation into the not-so-secret moms club. That’s the club where you have a silent understanding with any women towing around a child, or children, and do whatever you can to be of help if necessary. Sometimes that just means being patient, other times that means lending a hand. It’s the empathy that comes with the lack of sleep and really rough nights, especially in the beginning. It’s overlooking the lack of makeup on a daily basis. It’s the silent smile you give just to let her know she’s not alone.

Every small task, that once required minimal effort, now not only takes effort, but more efficient planning and preparation. There’s no such thing as “running a quick errand” anymore. Each errand is an unpredictable adventure! Sometimes is can be productive and without issue. Other days, the baby is crying, needs to be fed, changed, and consoled while running the errand. However, on the bright side, I’m never alone, I always have company and I’m inevitably getting some type of a workout thanks to toting around my growing child and all of her accessories. I’m a silver-lining-on-the-cloud kind of thinker…most of the time.

Babies are awesome, funny little humans. Without talking, they communicate their needs to you. Some are easier to read than others, but it’s really amazing how it’s done. It’s really cool to see them grow and change on a daily basis. One day they are staring at the ceiling, the next, they are making eye contact with you. One day they aren’t holding on to anything, they next they are able to grasp items. One day they are just lying there, the next they are rolling over.

I believe smiles and laughter are the gifts to the caretakers of the child to encourage them to keep going. To keep going when you are exhausted and can’t think straight. To keep going when the baby is screaming and you haven’t the slightest clue why. To keep going when you feel frustrated because you don’t know how much longer you have to wait to have a moment to yourself. No matter what, hang in there and keep going.

There are three things that I have found so helpful in these first few months: the support of my fellow moms for fellow play dates, walks in the park, and our monthly moms’ night out; being able to spend a few minutes by myself (whether it’s running to the supermarket or taking a shower), and getting fresh air. Those three things really helped make this journey so much more enjoyable.

Babies make you think twice about everything. They make you drive more carefully, look more often when crossing the street, and challenge you to eat more healthily. They make you more conscious of your words and actions, more grateful for the simple moments, and teach you the necessity of being flexible. They are the cause for a heightening of your senses and awareness of everything around you. At the same time, they teach you how to be a more patient, kind, and compassionate human being. They love you and depend on you. They change your life and you can’t imagine it without them. They truly are an amazing gift.

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