We are blessed. As parents, we are so lucky to have these little people who look up to us. They are cute and adorable and take our breath away. Their button noses and adorable eyes make my heart melt. Sometimes, however, being blessed comes at a price of sanity, or insanity.
Although I’m only four years into parenting, I must say I really really really hated the first six months. Moms posted about this immediate bond they felt to their child or their desire to stay home forever and all I could think was, “how can you be enjoying this?” I spent hours on the discussion boards trying to figure out what was wrong with me in those first few weeks and months. I took postpartum depression quizzes. It turns out that I wasn’t depressed, but the baby stage just wasn’t my gig, and that was going to be okay.
Here are the top things I love and hate about the first six months of my babies’ lives in case you are feeling over the moon or really down about your new little bundle of joy:
LOVE – Watching my babies sleep. Both my babies, while difficult with sleeping, had the most adorable faces while sleeping. They are just so comfortable to snuggle with and sometimes I wish they would do it forever. They still feel a part of me when they do that even though my husband cut the cord.
HATE – Watching my babies sleep. They sleep all the time. This can be so boring with all this sleeping, breastfeeding/bottle feeding and diaper changing. Why isn’t there anything else? They just lay there and eat, sleep and poop. Then they do it again, and again, and again. Playtime consists of some tummy time and staring at the wall. I remember staring out the window hoping someone would come visit me for some adult interaction. I hate how much they sleep! And then they became toddlers, and I wished they’d nap all the time!
LOVE – the excuse to eat everything and anything due to breastfeeding. I was lucky because breastfeeding wasn’t painful for me after a week of some growing pains. However, the only way I could successfully produce milk was to stay healthy and eat as much as possible, as often as possible. In my first week, I lost so much weight because I wasn’t eating enough. I was in danger of not producing enough milk so I needed to eat more. This brought the opportunity to start eating lots and lots of food to keep my body able to provide for my little ones.
HATE – the excuse to eat everything and anything due to breastfeeding. It may be my own insecurity about weight, but it always seemed like a competition as to how quickly moms lost their baby weight. Some moms (lucky them) would lose their weight very quickly. I wondered if those ladies really existed. All the discussion boards talked about how breastfeeding allowed them to lose weight quickly. I was the COMPLETE opposite. Breastfeeding kept the weight on; however, within a month of ending breastfeeding, the weight came off. My body needed me to eat more to breastfeed so I wasn’t able to lose the weight till I stopped.
LOVE and HATE – figuring it all out. There were moments when my husband and I looked at each other completely lost. He would look at me like, “I’m the mom so I should know what to do,” but I was always guessing. I loved reading the books about parenthood and trying things out. I hated how most of the books couldn’t even begin to prepare me for my heart to feel so much love and ache at the exact same time. They would say there are different cries: hungry cry, sleepy cry, poopy cry. They all sounded the same to me.
The first six months are hard. They are especially hard if you don’t feel an immediate bond to your child. They can be difficult if your baby has colic, seems high needs or you are just feeling overwhelmed. Cut yourself a break. My bonding moment came when my son started walking and talking at 15 months. Be kind to yourself as you get to know this little person. While many people say it gets easier, I like to say it gets different. Seek professional help if you are struggling and don’t spend too much time on the discussion boards like I did.