6 things I’ve learnt in six months as a parent

December 11, 2016

I actually can’t believe I’m writing this post.
Well I can, but it’s come around so so fast. Every single month when I write Henry’s update I can’t believe another month has gone by.
It’s singularly been the hardest and best six months of my entire life.
I’ve grown so much as a person and changed so much in these short six months, but bringing my little human into the world has been the best and biggest achievement of my life.

There have most certainly been really really hard days, hard hours, more tears than when Alice in Wonderland tried to drown Wonderland and many a frustrated moment. But there’s also been the biggest smiles, smiles that hurt my face and brought happy tears, laughter from an entire room, and the biggest sense of pride.

Every day brings a new challenge and a new adventure, even on the days when we’ve stayed at home away from the cold. And honestly, I could not imagine my life any other way. Henry, my little boy, the light of my life, has taken my breath away.

So he’s to six months, and six things I’ve learnt in that time.

1. Instinct will take you far. 
I wasn’t always sure I’d have a maternal instinct. Other peoples kids if they were upset or crying would put me on edge as I was sure I wouldn’t know what to do in those situations. But it’s kind of amazing how much instinct kicks in once you have your own little one. Don’t get me wrong, it does take a little time to kick start, but I now feel at a stage where I really understand Henry (well at least 90% of the time anyhow) and life is easier.

2. Absolutely no one agrees completely on how you should parent. 
I’ve met so many amazing mummas on the internet through blogging, and I know a few real life mums too, and every single one of us is completely different. We teach in different ways, feed in different ways, cope in different ways, and have children that are all so completely different. What works for one, won’t work for another, and that’s ok. It’s great to get different perspectives and advice, but really everyone is just guessing at this parenting game.

3. The tiredness can be overwhelming and is the hardest part.   
I never thought I’d miss sleep so very much. It really does make a huge difference to your mental state. I can definitely understand why it is used as a torture method, because sleep deprivation is a hardship like no other. Those sleepless nights in the early days are hard hard work, and you don’t truly understand that until it’s you rocking the baby to sleep at 3am after being awake since 1am, when you only went to bed at 11:30pm. But luckily it does get easier… I absolutely promise. Henry still doesn’t sleep through the night, but it is much easier (although the sleep regression is a killer and reminds you of the early days….. reconsidering that second baby…maybe).

4. You’ll wish for the next stage, and then miss the last one because they’ve grown up so fast.
When Henry was a newborn I really looked forward to when he could smile, and when he got to that stage at about 6 weeks, I was dying (figuratively) to get to the laughing stage, and then the playing stage…. you get the point. Now I look back and kind of wish I’d taken in more of those newborn moments. When he would just curl up and sleep on me, never wanting to leave me. At the time, sleep deprivation and new parent worries had me wishing for the next step when he’d be more independent. It’s completely normal. These little ones of ours grow so fast, and the early days are so overwhelming for new parents. But they will get to the next stage, so soak in the stage you’re in, because soon it’ll be over and you’ll miss them wanting you so much.  

5. Absolutely nothing compares to seeing them truly happy. 
With little ones, they can’t hide their true feelings. There is no second guessing if they’re sad, they don’t pretend, or hide it. And the same goes for when they are happy. That smile is always genuine. There’s no falseness to it. They are truly happy. And you made them happy. That, that right there, makes every poo explosion, wee in the face, sleepless, crying night, completely worth it.

6. You’ll change as a person, and you’ll be perfectly OK with it. 
To be honest, as a mum, the changes start before they’re even born, and aside from the huge body changes (I think I’ll save that for a different post, or I’ll be here forever) you’ll change as a person. One of my closest friends Anna always says that I’m a natural mother, and apart from always disagreeing with her (let’s be honest some days I feel like I’m fighting a small angry octopus instead of a little baby boy) it truly makes me feel very happy. I know I’ve changed, and it’s all because I want to do the best for Henry, so I really try everyday, but to hear that people think you’re doing it all with no effort, well, it’s one of the absolute best compliments you can give a new parent. I know I’m different. Yes I still love going out with the girls, but now it’s for coffee and cake, maybe dinner. I couldn’t think of anything worse than going out drinking and clubbing. I wear sensible clothes and shoes. I’m kinder, more caring and make more time for the people who make time for me. I don’t waste time with those who don’t put the effort in. I think I’m a better person, and Henry made me that way, so I;m perfectly OK with the person I’ve become.

Also these photos I just loved… they’re from a Sunday morning on my phone, when I wanted a photo for my Instagram ala Hannah Gale, (but with a baby) and I just loved the photos so much that I decided to use them on this post – hope you like as much as I do! Bobble hats for life!

Here’s to the best six months of my life, thank you.
I know the next six months are going to be even harder and better!

8 responses to “6 things I’ve learnt in six months as a parent”

  1. Sarah McDonald says:

    Happy 6 months Henry! It really does go so quickly! my little girl is almost 8 months old! I have loved watching her grow, learn and experience new things – it is such a blessing, I do wish time would slow done though because it is going way too fast. I feel like I am going to blink and she will be a year old. I definitely agree with everything in this post. Seeing them happy is amazing. Lily is a very happy baby which leaves me with the best feeling ever. Anyway I am going to stop rambling on. Glad to see you are enjoying motherhood. Henry is such a cutie!Sarah's Abode -xx

    • Rachel Bradford says:

      I totally agree! Time is just flying by!! Henry is the same, he's a very happy boy generally. And thank you so much for your lovely words. xx

  2. Lucie Loves It says:

    YAY happy 6 months Henry! 😀 He's so handsome! I don't want to wish away the next few months but I can't wait to see Amelia grow. I love this post as alot of it is so so true. You are doing fabulously and I LOVE the person you are and know you'll continue to be an amazing Mother to Henry as you continue to grow 😀 xxLucie xx | LucieLovesit.com

  3. Babiesandbeauty says:

    This is so true Rachel, especially wishing for the next stage and missing the previous. I miss P being a newborn so much, it's making me broody!Emily // http://www.babiesandbeauty.com

  4. Tinyfootsteps Blog says:

    These are all so, so true. I definitely find the tiredness the toughest part because it makes everything else seem so much harder. They're totally worth it though, aren't they? Happy 6 months to Henry. Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

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