Reflecting on 6 months of parenting

Here are a few non-sequitur thoughts on parenthood at 6 months. This and that, from our everyday. Moments in our routine, and changes we made both reactive and proactive. Adult friendships after baby, and self care for the new mommy. Everything you didn’t know you wanted to know about life after having a baby.

The Moment that Changed our Life

I love him so much my heart hurts and can not imagine life without him. What a miracle. What a year!

Choosing to Keep Doing the Things I Love

Everyday I make choices, how to spend my time, what activities to do with Little N and so on. Overall, I feel that Baby Boy has made me more conscious of the decisions I make regarding everything from feeding our family and other practical matters, to my attitude and demeanor.

However, one of the biggest choices I keep making over and over, is to prioritize the joy in my life, and to do the things I love. One of my favorite things is travel, and I have not let motherhood interfere with that. Rather, I have embraced it as a new adventure. It’s not life or death, but it is choosing to Live.

Our Daily Walks

Baby Boy and I take a walk every single day. Sometimes we go to Blockbuster or the supermarket, other times we just walk down the path and back up, and still others we go into the residential streets.

I have a mostly-love relationship with our walks. I love them because I really do enjoy walking: taking the time to be outside and using my body as a form of mild exercise. Sometimes though, I really want to veg on the couch, but my kiddo gets whiny inside the house and I reluctantly take him out just to avoid having to play entertainment committee. Cop out parenting: guilty as charged.

Brazilian Music

Music is dancing for Baby Boy. As I don’t drive much, nor wake up to my ipod or radio anymore, the only time I listen to a lot of music is with Baby Boy.

Often time in the evenings, I’m too tired to play on the floor with the kid. But putting on music, and dancing/cooking or dancing/folding laundry or just plain dancing, I can do. Baby Boy loves happy upbeat music and Latin music tends to be a happy fit.

Early this year, M and I went to a concert of two Brazilian stars and it was pretty fabulous. So how fitting that Baby Boy loves it; perhaps he heard it in the womb.

Appreciation

Having a baby make you appreciate the little things. Baby Boy wakes up at 7:30 every single day, without fail. Staying up late, crying, no matter- the kid is like an alarm clock. And when M picks him up and takes him away for a little bit. I could not be more appreciative. Love this guy!

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Adult Friendships

Mostly I love moving. I like discovering new places, experiencing new activities and food and the ubiquitous “culture”. But anyone who has moved more than a couple times in their life will inevitably tell you the same thing: it’s hard to make real friends.

It’s not too hard to “meet people”, or even to make superficial friendships. The first semester we arrived here I made friends with a bunch of exchange students. A year and a half later, they’ve all gone back to their respective countries, and the friendships have been demoted to facebook only.

I feel lucky that there’s a Wive Club here in Guad. In many ways, it has enabled me to connect with a lot of really nice girls, that are in the same situation as I am: in Mexico, away from family, living the schedule of a student, and not really able to work.

I’m grateful for the companionship, the support of well versed mothers, and opportunity to connect and discover together. At this point though, I’m not sure of the destiny of these friendships.

Changing our Routines

When looking back at little moments that had long consequences this year, other than the birth of Baby Boy, I first thought of my Mother-in-Law’s visit. Baby Boy was 6 weeks old and M and I were struggling. After her call and offer to come, while I gladly accepted, I also finally was ready to be proactive in figuring out a routine that works for us. M and I took responsibility for ourselves, and made a renewed effort to not drown in the new baby madness.

During the visit, MIL tried to get our kitchen drawer fixed. The particleboard was completely mangled, and the rail didn’t stay in place anymore. When we got it back, as she was leaving, we realized that the drawer didn’t fit (by a few milimeters). For months and months we were without a silverware drawer, since this was the ONLY drawer in the whole kitchen. It sat around in our living room, waiting for us to go across town back to the carpenter who botched the job. Meanwhile, our silverware was on our windowsill. Two weeks ago we got our drawer back, but I still go to the windowsill every time I need a spoon. True story.

You may also remember our cleaning lady saga. MIL tried to help with that one as well. She talked to an employee of one of the neighbors. (I had never even seen that neighbor beforehand). She asked the young woman if she knew anyone that was looking for work. A week later, the neighbor says her babysitter’s cousin needs work. And the cousin is finally the solution to our cleaning lady woes. Now that she’s away for the holidays, I can’t wait for her to come back. Yes getting used to help is very very easy.

And so it was a visit that changed some of our most basic routines. For the better.

Self Care: Giving myself a free pass

That’s how I give myself space nowadays. Instead of worrying about the holiday decors which I haven’t put together, I just sit on the couch and watch a movie, read a book, or blog (or all of the above).

Instead of worrying about another dinner that I didn’t make, I just whip up some guacamole and pull out the chips (yum yum). Instead of being concerned about every email I didn’t reply to, I just star it and leave it for the next day (or week).

This past year I have become an expert at giving myself a free pass. Occasionally the Type A in me rears it’s head, but then I remind myself that Happy Mama= Happy Baby, and being Baby Boy’s Mom is my most important job right now.

If everything else is not perfect so be it. There will be years to be perfect. Or maybe there won’t. Right now “easy” is not a bad word, so I’m embracing it. Also, I wonder if I am a reformed Type A? How does that work?

 

Things I Can Do with One Hand

On a lighter note, here are things I have discovered I can do with one hand, meaning, while holding baby!

  • Pour myself a glass of water
  • Reheat leftover pizza
  • Make an espresso
  • Hand wash a bottle
  • Load the washer
  • Transfer clothes from washer to dryer
  • Hang prefold diapers to dry
  • Put on pants
  • Apply eyeliner
  • Read emails/blogs/magazines
  • Open the door and pay delivery boy
  • Water plants
  • Pick-up junk and take up/down stairs
  • Open fridge, lament how there’s nothing I want, close fridge

*I cannot, however, manage to take pictures of these, so you’ll just have to believe me.

How have you adjusted to being a parent? What would you want to know about parenting a 6 month old?

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