Thomas Oliver Higgins is coming up to 6 months. Half a year old. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN. It only seemed like yesterday when I was holding a tiny person in my arms, so delicate and fragile. Fast forward 22 weeks and we have a happy, healthy, energetic, smiley little boy who makes my heart melt every day as he develops his own character. It’s taken a bit of time to adjust to this new life as a parent but I absolutely love it – here’s what I’ve learnt so far along the way!
The feeling of unconditional love
When Tom wakes up in the morning and smiles at me I can’t express how happy it makes me. This little person looks into my eyes like I’m the best thing in the world (other than Daddy of course!) and it just makes my heart melt. It’s still insane to think that we created him, he’s our son, we’re his parents, we’re the ones who are solely responsible for keeping him alive. When you meet your partner of course you love them, but this is a different type of love, one that is nurturing and extremely protective.
Enjoying every moment
Time flies faster than ever when you have a baby, and I can’t stress enough how each stage of your little one’s life seems to pass in such a flash. While I can’t wait for Tom to be walking and talking, I make a point of living in the moment and enjoying each phase as it happens – before long, he will want his independence and not need to be cuddled and fed every few hours – which at this stage I can’t imagine, hence why I’m not wishing this time away! Right now Tom loves flipping over onto his front, jumping with his legs while being held, gurgling away and grabbing his feet (he tries to eat them urgh!).
Teething is testing
On the contrary, for the past few weeks Tom has been teething which I must say, hasn’t been the nicest thing to experience. Our usually happy and content boy will at some point in the day be in so much pain that no amount of cuddles, playing or teething gel/granules/rings will help. He cries and is obviously in a lot of discomfort which is heartbreaking to witness, especially when you seemingly can’t do anything about it. I know this phase won’t last forever and it can sometimes be tough to not let it grind you down but being there for your baby is the main thing.
Life is different
Yes it can be exhausting and yes having a baby changes what you and your partner are used to. James and I can’t go to Warehouse Project and stay out all night, or meet spontaneously after work in the Northern Quarter for a few drinks. But when you have a little person in your life, you want to be with them, doing things together as a family. You want them to be happy and feel loved, so cuddling up on the sofa, throwing them around on the bed and making them laugh, or going out for walks on weekends and having friends round for dinner rather than going out on the piss is a swap I’m happy to make.
Keeping a sense of identity
On that note though, it’s also important to make sure you are still YOU – and that works for yourself and your partner. James and I are stronger than ever and work together even more as a team; you have to otherwise being a parent can feel even more challenging and stressful. In the morning James looks after Tom while I smash out a workout in the lounge; after work James goes to the gym or boxing, or goes to a United match as a season ticket holder. We both need our own space and time to feel ourselves, so we make sure the other person has the opportunity to do their own thing – not stop it.
Since Tom’s been born I’ve also kept up my freelance work and going to blogger events and restaurants to review them, that’s not changed. In fact most of the time Tom comes with me! From an early age we’ve made a point of being around lots of different people so when it comes to social situations he’s more than happy to be held and cuddled – even with strangers! This helps a lot and means I don’t feel alienated when being invited to things.
Being more organised than ever
I get quite a few messages or comments saying how do I manage being a mum, working for myself and fitting in exercise (as well as keeping the flat clean because I have a tidiness OCD!). The answer? Well, I wing it haha but also organise and plan everything to a T.
I’m a proper geek and make lists – life admin stuff, work, blogging things – and now that Tom has a rough ‘routine’ I know when it’s best to fit these things in. For instance, I know that if I take him on a long walk he’ll sleep well in the afternoon which is when I tend to smash out as much work as I can. He loves to play in the morning so when I’ve finished my workout and James has gone to work, Tom will happily sit in his jumperoo or on his playmat while I do jobs and clean the flat. Of course some days things don’t always go to plan – a few times he has been teething relentlessly all afternoon and very unsettled – and I tell myself it’s ok if I haven’t done as much as I wanted to, making sure my baby is ok is my priority.
Sometimes it can be exhausting, especially if I’ve not slept very well the night before, or I’ve got a lot going on with work and blogging, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I feel like I’ve stepped up as a person, I’m more sure of and confident in myself and my body. I’m a mum, a wife, but I’m also still me 🙂