Seemingly overnight, Alivia is 6 months old and I’m halfway through my maternity leave. Ok, not quite overnight but the weeks have flown by. I have a new understanding and belief in the phrase, “the days may be long but the weeks are short”. That’s how I feel every month as Alivia becomes more mobile and more interactive. Today, it was easy to write about Alivia, the words kept flowing and I could have continued for pages about her developing personality. I had a harder time writing about myself, because I feel stagnant. While she’s growing and changing, I’m not. And I wish I was.
M O M M Y
Mind: Some days I feel like I could be a stay at home parent and love it. Other days I just want to hide in my room, alone. I don’t miss work and being quite the introvert I don’t miss the daily adult interaction either. I do miss feeling of being productive and accomplished. Oddly enough, the days I feel most balanced are the ones when it’s just Alivia and I. On those days I’m more focused, more task oriented and more mindful of my time. On days when I have help I feel listless and unmotivated, like I should be doing more than I am.
Body: The scale is moving so very slowly. I was worried that lowering my calorie intake too much would affect my milk supply. I think I’ve found a happy spot, now if only I could stay under it after months of bad habits. I’ve also upped my exercise more, which to be honest I should have done a few months ago. It is disheartening to see other moms in such great shape while I’m still 15 lbs over my pre-Alivia weight and 25 lbs away from where I’d like to be.
Balance: Going into my maternity leave, I had planned to devote the first 6 months 100% to Alivia and incorporate more self-care the second half. Now that I’m here, prioritizing myself more feels overdue. I don’t feel like I’ve lost my own identity, but I don’t feel like myself yet either.
A L I V I A
Milestones: Alivia’s mastered sitting up all by herself and hasn’t toppled over in days. She’s doing her best to crawl and have figured out her leg movements but not her arms. There were a few weeks where she did the most adorable butt wiggling. Then scooting backwards, which resulted in lots of frustration as she got further away from her targets. Lately, she’s been perfecting her downward dog pose. I’m not ready yet for a fully mobile Alivia.
We’ve started solids at 5 months! So far, Alivia’s showing a odd preference for green foods (avocado, zucchini, peas) and not so much the orange ones (carrot, sweet potato). She’s tried apple and peach as well and seems to be loving fruit. Also, a total carnivore. I just introduced proteins this week and it was the first time I saw her smile with a new food. She’s also showing much more interest in feeding herself the past week and working on her finger dexterity to pick up foods. Now at 6 months, I’m hoping to transition away from purees and into table foods.
There’s so much learning and new vocabulary to being a new parent.
Sleeping: Both Alivia’s naps and overnight sleep has gotten much better. I feel like we’re making progress to better sleep for all of us, but it’s slow going. I haven’t felt the need to sleep train yet and I’m still bed sharing while Stephen has his space in the guest bedroom.
Win, we’ve managed to establish a consistent bedtime routine that does not include nursing to sleep! We’re attempting pick up/put down and Alivia’s getting better at self soothing. This week, she’s getting better and better at falling asleep by herself. Only one night of sleeping through though. But now I know she can.
Not Win, 99% of the time, she’s still waking up 3-4 times a night. I’m trying to limit overnight feedings to maximum 2 times. The plan is to move her to her crib after our trip in September.
Naps have become more consistent and longer, but I still nurse her to sleep. I am now usually able to sneak away.
Play: I have a hard time with playtime when it comes toys and I’m always wondering if she’s bored with her toys and what kind of toys to get her. Alivia loves her shakers now and to interact with her toys, mainly to chew on them and bang them around. She loves being read to, being swung, checking out her reflection in the mirror and watching bubbles.
Alivia’s all signed up for swimming lessons and we have our first trip booked for September! Stephen has a work trip to Seattle and I’ll be tagging along to visit friends. It’ll be an adventure for sure. I’ll also have a few solo days with Alivia in the city, any and all tips welcome!