09 Oct Rookie Mom: Our first six months as parents
How time has just flown by, we have been parents for 6 months already! From being a small baby with very little personality stretching further than crying, pooping, drinking and sleeping to being a cheerful, adventurous, bubbly little baby that Esa is now. He is already showing us early signs of his personality and revealing things about ourselves we never knew was there.
POO is the word
I guess what kids do, they expose parts of you, you didn’t know you had like – patience, love, perseverance and a strange excitement for the strangest things. I swear, my husband and I have never gotten so excited about the colour, texture and frequency of one human being’s poo like we do with our son. Never have we discussed poo as much as we do now. It’s a strange yet comical right of passage I guess for every new parent.
Another right of passage is the lack of sleep, people warned us, but in the grander scheme of things it could be a lot worse. Esa sleeps relatively well. The one thing my husband and I miss is our morning lie-ins on the weekend, we loved to just laze in bed, scroll through our phones, watch YouTube videos and then get up at about 10/11am when we were hungry and have a long breakfast. Those days are long gone! We are up with our first alarm at 5am, by alarm I mean Esa, then we will wake up again at 7am and then that’s it – we’re up for the day.
Kids will get sick
One of the hardest things to deal with over the last six months was when Esa got the flu. It brought on such a rush of mixed emotions – guilt, concern, paranoia and a little bit of anger. Guilt, because I had just stopped breastfeeding Esa when he got sick and I thought perhaps had I been able to breastfeed him longer he wouldn’t have got sick. Concern, obviously just seeing my son in discomfort with a fever and feeling bad was very concerning. Then the paranoia just being scared it would get worse and become pneumonia or something more serious. A bit of anger came from the thought that he caught the flu from his nanny because she came to work sick. I think that would anger anyone. What this whole experience taught us is that kids get sick, and then they get better. They are a lot more resilient that we think.
All Babies develop at their own pace
Esa has two teeth that started coming out just as he turned 5 months old. This is a bit early. He also started solids as he turned 4 and a half months old. He showed all the signs of a baby who was ready for solids and subsequently has been thriving and growing well. However, I was mommy-shamed for feeding my son solids so early – what we decided to do was not be phased at what other mommies have to say, we listen to our health professionals and what our son is showing us he is ready for. Remember, no two children are alike and develop differently, so always never judge what one mom has decided for their child. Do what’s best for your child.
Since we’ve become parents we’ve become home bodies. Establishing and maintaining a routine is so important with a baby. This is all part of maintaining your sanity. So with that, we know around 5-5:30pm is supper time for Esa, then followed by bath time and then bedtime by 7pm. With this strict regime, it’s meant we plan our days around being home by 5pm even on the weekends and not going out at night because we don’t have a live-in nanny. We are totally okay with this though, we have made sure we have everything we need at home to be comfortable and entertained, so we are quite happy to be at home.
Team work is key
My hubby and I are quite good at sharing responsibilities but our teamwork abilities have been stepped up a notch now that we have our little man. I cannot emphasize this point enough, sharing the responsibilities of parenthood is the only way to maintain both your sanity. When the one is physically and mentally exhausted your partner should be ready to be tagged in and take over. If you want to avoid unnecessary fights (because you are generally always sleep deprived), be sure to share the parenting duties, it also lightens the load on both of you.
We are so excited to see how our son develops and grows in the next 6 months.
Happy Healthy Fabulous
Photography: Tegan Smith