My baby has turned half a year, which baffles me, as I still remember him being handed to me the moment he was born. Now with those newborn days over, I often wish I had those early days better sketched out in my mind. However, with those early weeks being filled with sleepless days and nights, I know that secretly, I am glad those days are over.
But as I continue to watch the changes that take place each month, I have realized that being gracious towards myself is something I wish I would have emphasized and practiced early on. For example, there have been many moments that have taken place where it has been easy to feel like a failure. For example, since my baby was born, he has always slept the longest while sleeping on me. Now six months later, he is still unable to nap unless he is sleeping on me. We had progress at one point, but then those sneaky first teeth decided to come early, causing him to revert back to sleeping on me. It’s easy for me to view this as a failure, but then I consider how he mostly sleeps through the night, which has made such a difference to my energy and emotional levels. So even though we are still trying to transition him to napping on his own, I have decided to be gracious towards myself in the meantime.
In addition, I wish I would have been more gracious towards my husband and baby. Motherhood is different for everyone, and I have learned that our response to each moment and situation dictates a lot of how we end up feeling, how we remember those moments, and how those around you remember those moments. There have been many times when I have responded to stressful and frustrating situations by complaining, shutting down, or getting angry. And since time truly flies by, it is easy to overlook the good moments by dwelling on the tiresome or stressful ones. By being gracious towards myself in those moments of stress, I have seen my level of frustration decrease, allowing me to be more centered on how to better love and serve my baby and husband. This has made a big difference in my experience as a mother, and has resulted in a lot more joy.
Six months have truly flown by, and I am amazed by the amount of changes that have taken place, especially in this last month. I am trying to remember milestones and things that are unique to my son’s personality, while being intentional about being present. It truly has been exciting to watch him grow. I’ve watched him become obsessed with trying new foods, sitting up on his own, being read rhyming books, and putting everything in his mouth. And I’ve become obsessed with trying to make him giggle, which is most effective at night when he is a bit delirious; hearing him talk, because he always sounds like he has lots of opinions; kissing him nonstop, because his cheeks just call for lots of kisses; feeding him solids, because he loves food; and watching him explore new places. He is such a smiley baby and brings so much joy to our lives.
I want to remember these days, the hard ones and the good ones. But I don’t want to remember those hard times with feelings of regret. So as I continue on this journey of motherhood, I am hoping to be more gracious towards myself, my baby, and my husband, especially in moments when grace is needed the most.