I became a mother a little bit earlier than most. We were fresh out of college and I had enough of a baby face that the old Irish women in our neighborhood would routinely stop me and (rudely) ask “How old are you?!” For some reason I would humor them and tell them I was 23, which generally made them think twice since they were my age or younger when they welcomed their first bundle of joy.
But I digress.
One of the difficult things about having babies on the early side is that you feel like more of a guinea pig than the typical first-time mom. It’s normal to feel completely out of your element when you first dip your toes into the seemingly shark-infested waters of early parenthood. Everyone does. What can make it even more nerve wracking is feeling like you’re the first.
I mean, obviously, I was nowhere near the first human to ever birth another human. But when you’re the first in your group of friends and the first in your family to have a tiny human burst into your life within the last, oh, 15 years oh so, you feel like you’re navigating uncharted territory.
Suddenly there are things that are a little more important than going out drinking on a Friday night. Or taking a girl’s trip. Or doing anything besides taking care of the tiny little being whose world revolves around you. Things that seem of the utmost importance to your friends seem totally trivial to you.
Worse yet, your new-found mindset and obsessions seem completely ridiculous to them. She doesn’t want to go out because she’ll worry about the baby? Why can’t she just leave the baby with someone? Can’t she just pump or give the kid some formula if she’s so worried about how it will eat?
I learned very quickly that when it comes to babies, everyone has an opinion. Especially people who don’t have any kids.
Fast forward almost eight years. Today, many of those same people have new-ish babies of their own. And I can’t even begin to tell you how effing satisfying it is to read their neurotic Facebook statuses on a daily basis. These same people who couldn’t begin to understand the crazy-eyed look I’d get when it came to my baby are proving themselves to be even more insane than I was. And I have to tell you. It feels good. So. freaking. good.