I was 23 when I got pregnant with Oliver. This time around, I’m 27. Maybe it’s just me, but boy it seems a lot different with four more years under my belt!
So here’s what I learnt as a younger Mum…
Your marital status is nobody’s business.
Throughout my pregnancy with Oliver and after he was born, numerous people asked me if his father was still around. From the dentist to the lady in the street.
And you know what, I used to tell them. I would explain away and qualify myself.
And then one day, a lady in the pharmacy asked me, and then asked to hold Oliver and I snapped. I was just done. No, I said, and it’s none of your business.
And you know what, it’s not! No matter what your situation, it has nothing to do with anybody else.
Funnily enough, pregnancy round 2 just three years- and a lot more wrinkles- later and I’ve not been asked once.
Nobody is truly ready for their first baby.
So I used to think it was normal for people to ask me if we’d planned our pregnancy. And what’s worse, I actually thought it was okay.
And again I used to bumble along and explain this one away.
But once Oliver came I realised that no matter how planned or unplanned kids are- nobody is ever truly ready for their first child.
It’s kind of like trying you prepare yourself you jump in the pool on a freezing day. No matter how ready you think you are, it completely shocks all of your senses.
Funnily enough, the only people who have asked me this question this time around are single middle aged white men.
Mothers groups are great, Instagram is better.
I lucked out with my mothers group in Sydney. Seriously, such a wonderful group of women. But at that time in my life I was in a very different place to most of them.
We had our kids on common, and that was great. But I didn’t feel like I had anyone I could talk to about the issues I was facing.
But then my Instagram community began to grow, and I met mothers a similar age to me in similar situations. It was somewhere I could go to debrief and relate.
It was, and still is, an amazing support network!
You can go to the pub occasionally and be a good Mum.
Sometimes, the hubby still needs to remind me of this one. But seriously, your child sleeps at night. If you decide to bang on some lippy and head out to the pub, you are NOT a bad mum.
As a younger Mum I particularly felt like I was opening myself up to judgement with this one.
But, you are not just a Mum (yup I said it) you are also a person and it’s okay to let go occasionally- no matter your age.
You don’t have to do it all.
When I had Oliver, I had a lot to prove. I didn’t want to ask for help, and I wanted to be the perfect mum.
Not enough people talk about how tough being a new mum can be, particularly a first time mum. So we just kinda get on with it and portray this picture perfect lifestyle.
Well it’s all crap!
It doesn’t matter if you’re 17 or 47 you will probably still need help and that’s okay.
This time around, I will be spending a lot more time time crying on the phone to my mum instead of alone in the shower!
Age is irrelevant!
Age is just a number, not a defining feature. In my four years as a mother I have met an enormous amount of amazing parents and let me tell you, their age had nothing to do with it.
At 23 I was the best Mum I could be, and at 27 I’ll do the same thing.
I felt so much pressure about being a first time Mum at 23. I’m not sure if I’m the one who changed, or if maybe being a mum at 27 is a lot more acceptable in societies eyes, but things are a lot more relaxed this time around!
What did you feel pressured about as a first time mum? And did it still matter as much the second time?