Being a new mom: at 32 and again at 42
My first child was born right at the end of my 32 years. I was like all new parents, wondering where the baby manual was and if I was ready to take care of this helpless little package. I was older than most moms at the time, but not quite at the flattering geriatric maternal age of 35 and older. Motherhood was a fun time. I already had a career and traveled quite a bit. So when my maternity leave was ending, we were lucky enough to be able to stay home and decided not to go back to the office. Forward ten years, I’m sitting here with my one-year-old son. I’m definitely in the older mom category now. You’d think you’d remember what it was like the first time, but nature has a way of overlooking those details.
So what has changed this second time as a new parent? Well, there are more nifty baby gadgets, a lot more safety and nutrition information, and my body is definitely different. Below are 10 things I noticed.
1. This time I didn’t need a Boppy nursing pillow; apparently my breasts have dropped enough to reach my nursing baby on my lap; sadly, the dark side of getting bigger breasts from pregnancy.
2. I don’t know what I did without my smartphone back then. Even though I didn’t have it when I was 32, I know that having access to my email, the Internet, Facebook, and those addictive Word games with friends prevented any postpartum depression with this second baby. I never felt the isolation that sometimes comes with motherhood, when I can read and write about it with the internet in general.
3. I am more tired. Wow, I thought I was tired at 32, I’m doubly tired at 42. Definitely, this time, take the time to nap with the baby.
4. I am more patient. Maybe because I’m more tired, I don’t feel like I have the energy to rush things. I can read the books over and over or re-stack the glasses for the umpteenth time without feeling like I’m freaking out (probably because I’m making moves with Words with Friends or checking my email on my smartphone at the same time). hour). This is also probably the second child syndrome in which parents are more relaxed about their expectations from the first time.
5. Baby food comes in disposable bags with resealable lids! Much easier to travel than jars or plastic boxes that once you took the lid off you had to use it. Now they even make the kids drink directly from them.
6. So many baby carrier options. When I had my son, I was the strange mother who carried her son in a sling. Now at least where I live, you see babies in all kinds of baby carriers or front / back / hip girdles which is truly a fashion statement.
7. More organic / natural options for baby food / products. People are becoming more informed about what they are using and companies are responding. I’m happy to have access to non-toxic baby products and cleaners for my home, more organic food options than ten years ago that didn’t make me look like a radical environmentalist.
8. Babies are encouraged to remain rear-facing in their car seats until 2 years of age or 30 pounds. Ten years ago, we waited until their first birthday as the big milestone to put them face to face. For my son, that made a difference in his happiness in the car. I couldn’t bear it any other way. Now studies show that there is a 500% increase in crash survival rates if the car seat is kept facing rearward. Too bad for my daughter. She hates her seat too like her brother, but she’ll be looking back as long as she can keep it that way.
9. Baby bullet and Easy Squeezy feeding spoon. I bundled this together because I just have to go back to how good baby feeding appliances have become. Ten years ago, I had to use a regular steamer and my blender if I was making my own food. Now there are dedicated gadgets. And I love traveling with my Easy Squeezy Spoon, where I don’t have to carry a separate bowl and spoon to feed myself on the go. Just close it if the baby is not finished.
10. Each child is definitely his own personality. I know we say to each other, don’t compare the kids, but you can’t help but comment on how each of them reached different milestones at different times. Such a different current topic is weaning. This second baby loves to suckle and I have no idea how I’m going to wean him. I bumped into a year with the first one, but he accepted a sippy cup. She, on the other hand, doesn’t drink well from a sippy cup, but does like to drink from a regular cup (and splashing it across the front, which doesn’t help fill her tummy when she lies down to sleep). I will have to write another post on how I solve that dilemma.