February 21, 2013

6 Months

Things are changing around here.  On the evening of Miles's half birthday I noticed two little jagged teeth, breaking through his gums.  This explained the fussy days we'd been having and the faces like these that he'd been making--exploring the new addition to his mouth with his tongue and his lips.  
Our little baby is growing, that's for sure, although he still remains pretty lean (and long).  We're using size 3 diapers, 6-12 or 9 month clothes, and his infant socks no longer fit him. There's a little bit more hair there, but it's very blonde, just like his eyelashes.  I grow more and more in love with his little face every day.  And these little feet.
Miles loves being outside.  He could sit forever on our laps on the porch, watching cars go.  He gets fussy sitting around the house, but hardly ever outside.  Miles loves going on walks and taking trips in the car, something he used to really hate doing.  He is becoming much more observant of his surroundings.
I can't believe I've been a mom for over half a year now.  When I look back on my posts from the first few months of motherhood, I realize that they don't really capture how difficult it was.  Of course I loved our baby from the moment he was here, but it was all such a haze of new learning, sleep deprivation, and figuring out who this new little person was.  I remember feeling relieved when I'd put Miles to sleep for the night--we had made it through another day.  Maybe, just maybe, I'd have a few moments to myself where I wouldn't have to nurse or burp, or soothe a crying baby.  I couldn't identify it then, but I realize now, I felt guilty for feeling this way.  Shouldn't I be in love with being a mother?  Shouldn't I miss him while he's asleep?  Shouldn't life always be like the happy picture of our family that's framed in the dining room? I struggled with feelings of self doubt, frustration, and a bit of resentment--and--looking back, it really distracted me from enjoying my time with my little guy.
Then, I went back to work, and since then, life has gotten crazy in a different way.  Mornings are the busiest, as I run around the house, putting together the diaper bag, milk for the day, pumping supplies, lunches for Steve and me...I get to work, often 20 minutes late, teach, pump, teach, pump, go to meetings and rush home to pick up Miles.  Then, with a cranky baby (by evening, he's pretty tired), I attempt to make dinner, give him a bath (dinner sometimes burns), and put him to bed.  Around this time, Steve usually arrives home and I finish up dinner, we eat, and then I begin an evening routine, which involves prepping meals, lesson planning, pumping and cleaning up the house.  I can't say it's relaxing, but after almost two months of being back at work, I think I'm finally becoming more efficient.  Steve and I often talk about how different evenings are now--if there are spare moments, you take advantage of them by getting something done, and if you don't, that task that you were avoiding may come back to bite you. I had always heard it was true, but now I really know: sitting on the couch and watching a movie is truly a luxury once a baby comes along.
But I have to say, in these past few months, I have noticed many changes in myself and my outlook on this new life.  I've accepted the busyness, and I enjoy the sense of productivity each day.  It's tiring and often stressful (finishing an IEP, five minutes before the meeting, while pumping in the staff bathroom can't be good for one's blood pressure), but it's becoming my own new rhythm.

I don't enjoy being away from my little boy though.  Lately I've been struck by how deeply I love him.  There's a new joy when I'm around him.  Now, I miss him when I put him to sleep, and look forward to playing, walking, and nursing him while he's awake.  Miles is becoming my little sidekick, my little buddy.  I think I'm beginning to realize--truly realize--that I'm his mother forever.
So many things could be responsible for this new outlook.  I'm away during the day, and it's probably natural to miss my time at home with Miles.  He's also growing and changing so much, and becoming more responsive.  But I attribute this shift in my mind and heart to God, and the power of His spirit to change me.  Lately I have been aware of peace in the middle of a busy schedule and joy that is unlike other feelings of happiness I've felt before.  This can only be from God.

There's a song I love that captures this idea that God knows us so well, and desires that we're always changing and growing to better reflect his light.  I heard it the other day and it was a perfect reminder:

As the dew falls on the blade 
You have touched all this fragile frame
And as a mother knows her baby's face
You know me, You know me

Savior, you have known me as I am
Healer, You have known me as I was
As I will be
In the morning, in the evening, You have known me
You know me

And as the exhilaration of autumn's bite
You have brought these tired bones to brilliant life
And as the swallow knows, she knows the sky
This is how it is with You and I
This is how it is with You and I

From the fall of my heart
To the resurrection of my soul
You know me God, and you know my ways
In my rising, in my sitting down
You see me as I am

I love that God has a plan for me--in my job, in my roles as a wife and as a mother.  I love that He has given me eyes to watch my baby grow and to see myself change.  I am thankful that He knows my heart.


  1. I am so impressed with how gracefully you handle such a busy schedule. It can't be easy to teach and be mom and wife. I don't think I could do it. I'm so grateful for the way God loves and teaches us in the midst of these very challenging, very beautiful days. Miles is such a cutie, and a lucky guy to have you as his mom.

  2. What a cutie!!! I love his BLUE eyes!

  3. Everything you are feeling is perfectly normal...and you are handling it with such grace. That first year of motherhood is so hard and you're already half way through and learning some important lessons that will help you savor this time of Miles being little.

    You are an awesome mom Rachel, I know Miles feels so much love from you and Steve.

    I heard an interesting stat...you only need to respond to your baby 30% of the time for them to form a healthy attachment...not that I only respond 30% of the time, but it was actually kind of a liberating statistic- thought I'd share!

  4. Miles is just getting cuter with every photo you post. I love your thoughts about motherhood...they are helping me to get ready!