6 months.

This is how I would sum up the last 6 months:  Holy crap I love her so much but oh my god, this is tiring.  It is fair to say that my admiration for other parents have increased exponentially since I've become a mom, perhaps to infinity...especially stay at home parents.  Taking care of a kid or kids full time is WAY more tiring than working outside the home.

As E turned half a year old, I found myself reflecting a lot about these 6 months.  Our lives have changed so much, I have changed, and because of E, I am learning about myself, ICM, and our marriage in ways I never have before.  I worry more now, I am more patient (even if it is only with her haha), I try harder to live in the moment because she is growing up so quickly, I am more cognizant of my own actions because she is constantly learning from me, I depend on ICM much more, I count my lucky stars all the time that my husband is my best partner in crime, and the thing I cherish the most is that she is teaching me to love more deeply and selflessly.  Motherhood has been so very humbling.  I knew it was hard but not like that.  I didn't realize that breastfeeding could be difficult and that pumping for your baby requires dedication and determination.  I didn't realize that there are all these decisions to be made - when do we introduce solids, what type, do we sleep train, the list goes on.  Juggling tasks and responsibilities, finding time to do things that I love as an individual, and being a wife and a mom all at once is hard, especially when I am running low on sleep.  But it is amazing how much she motivates me, perhaps because there is no choice.  When I am nursing her at night and she is cuddled up against me, I am still shocked that she is all mine (well, ICM's too).  She crawls towards us, she holds her arms up to be held when she is crying in her crib, she wants us, just us.  How can we not do our best, or at least try?

But there's guilt too.  Even though I really enjoyed maternity leave and I missed her like crazy once I returned to work, I could not imagine being home full time.  I don't know if it's because it is ultra tiring and I am lazy, if I just really enjoy having my own time, or I feel like I don't know how to entertain her the whole day.  But I do feel guilty.  Sometimes I wonder why some people can't wait to stay home with their baby all day and I would feel stir crazy after two or three days holed up with E.  Who knows, I think this might change as she gets older.  For now, this works for us.

I think the coolest part about being a mom is watching her develop new skills and a personality.  Evolution is amazing.  Biology is amazing.  One week it is watching her on all fours rocking unstably, two weeks later, she is sitting up and crawling.  You couldn't teach me much in 6 months time, haha.

Here are some photos.  Ahh, I love her chubby thighs.

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