I can’t imagine life without you now Elliot. You are teaching me so much about life.
I was so scared when we drove you home from the hospital. Every truck that ploughed past us made me shiver. I cried most of the way home but you took it in your stride looking around in wonder at the world outside the window.
Month one was spent in a daze. I was so exhausted and in pain. Days were broken into 3 hour chunks, feed, change, sleep, repeat. I could stare at you for hours when you slept. You went to sleep whenever we left the house. So tiny, delicate and sweet. I was shocked by how anxious and protective I felt.
Month two and you had already changed a lot. You were growing fast and getting stronger every day. You literally grew out of a whole set of onesies overnight.
When you were six weeks old we ventured out to a party for New Year’s Day. We had been up till midnight the night before making pikelets and it took us three trips back to the car to unload all the stuff we’d bought to contribute to the party. The car was miles away because we were an hour late. You were screaming your head off because you were so hungry, you weren’t used to leaving the house.
Within ten minutes of our arrival I was soaked in breastmilk from head to toe. I tried to feed you but it wasn’t working. We made a big mess. You needed a nappy change but during our attempts to get you clean and dry you managed to annihilate all three spare outfits in quick succession. You ended up going home wearing a nappy and a muslin cloth. Lucky it was a warm day!
At that point your Dad and I declared our party debut a disaster and vowed to never leave the house again. The hardest part for us was feeling like we had failed. We were so stressed! It was obvious that we couldn’t just return to life as we knew it. Lots of adjustments needed to be made. If we could have gone back to that day we would have just stayed home and enjoyed it with you (and the associated unlimited outfit changes).
When you were three months old we took you on a trip to the UK to see your Dad’s side of the family. We were so nervous about taking you on the plane but you were a dream to travel with. On the way over you slept so sweetly, everyone that walked past looked at you with adoration and many commented on how tender and gorgeous you are.
You loved meeting your granny, grandad, aunt, uncle, cousins and many others. They loved meeting you too. You took a trip through London on a double decker bus and visited a bluebell forest beside an English manor. Well travelled for someone so young! You took it all in your stride too.
Making our way home was a bit more stressful but that’s another story.
Four months in to this parenting gig we were adjusting to life back in Australia. You didn’t sleep much at night for the first two weeks after we returned home from the UK. My body ached from lack of sleep. It reminded us how hard those early days were. We couldn’t help but smile when you kept us up all night though – you were so cute and playful. You gave me a crash course in letting go of how I thought things needed to be. I learned how to simply respond to what was needed.
Once we got through the jet lag we spent lots of time enjoying you and being fascinated by your every move. You are growing so fast.
Five months in and we felt like we began to hit our stride as a family. We were getting used to this parenting thing and it didn’t feel like such a big shock anymore. We can’t imagine our lives without you. You’ve begun to eat food, grab your bottle and make lots of new sounds. You seem to change overnight.
Today you are six months old! Time really has flown. For some reason I don’t completely understand I really really wanted to be able to breastfeed you for at least six months. There were so many times that I thought we wouldn’t make it this far but together we did it and I am so glad.
I want to keep paying attention to what you need and not get swayed by ideals about how it ‘should be’. We’ll have to keep navigating that together. Your first proper tooth broke through yesterday! It’s razor sharp. You love chewing things with it! Food!
I have spent so much time worrying about you, it started well before you were born. It seems like such a waste of energy that I could have spent simply loving you. Recently at a party (yes, you came with and we did find the courage to venture out again) another mum shared that being anxious about the safety of our children isn’t a selfless and caring act at all but is in fact … all about … us!
That was a big ouch but it was so great to hear, the anxiety I felt seemed to melt away with the realisation that I’m not worried about you, I’m worried about how I would survive if anything happened to you. I can see that I have a responsibility to live in a way that supports me to stay steady and true to myself. Nothing in life is a given, we cannot control what happens to us, we can only choose how we will respond. Living this by example is the best gift I could give you sweet darling. I’ll keep working on it.
You are surrounded by so many people that love you dearly. When people come over it’s hard to get you to sleep because you love being part of it all. I love the way you express what you feel, you don’t use words but I can usually tell what you are trying to say. Let’s just say you make your feelings known! You are very wise, I’m amazed by all the ways you communicate this.
We love you so much Elliot. This time with you has been the most amazing six months of our lives so far. Thank you for every moment.
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Parenting and Self-Care – Crashing the ‘Helicopter Parenting’ Myth
One Reply to “Six Months”
Leonne, this is a beautiful and intimate sharing reminding me of my first six months of motherhood….it felt like it took that long to get my head above water, above the swampy stuff at the start…a bit like a lily actually! But wow, aren’t you all flowering now and in another six months there’ll be even more of you out of the water, standing tall together as a mother, father and child can when the honouring of who we are is lived in joy – and with no perfection whatsoever! I loved reading this. Thank you, Leonne.