My friends have been getting engaged, married, and having babies since I was 21. I’ve been watching other people live the life I wanted for 19+ years. So maybe you can understand the annoyance, the irritation, the bitterness I feel when yet another mom-friend in their 20s tells me all about babies.
- “At her age, she just sleeps a lot.” – new mom 6 days after the child’s birth. AT HER AGE? Her age is ZERO.
- “He really likes how crinkly plastic bags sound! Watch this!” – new mom of a barely 3 month old. Did you know that is why so many baby toys have crinkly plastic embedded in them?
- “Their eyes don’t open for at least a week.” – ok, just kidding, this one is about kittens.
Yes. I’m aware. Should I also go on about why newborn baby toys are black and white? Did you know about their eyesight? Are you aware of the definition of a colicky baby? Do you know to not give them honey? Why didn’t you just have a kitten instead.
Since I graduated college, I’ve wholeheartedly supported my friends who have become mothers (realistically 95% of them), usually wanting to learn along with them for when my turn came around. I sat with my best friend who struggled with depression after her first child was born and listened to how hard it was endure four bouts of mastitis. She cried and I let her. The only other time I remember her crying was getting a tooth knocked out in PE in grade school.
I learned a shit-ton about infants, toddlers, potty training, diaper changes, feeding, breastfeeding, soothing, etc. from my roommate in college when she had a baby at 27. We rearranged our vacations to accommodate the new babies and toddlers. Each year, I thought about how she would adapt when I had a baby.
I’m really good with babies. I love holding them and finding ways to engage them and keep them from fussing. I’ve always wanted one. People tell me that they look good on me. It is incredibly hard to have all that experience, all that knowledge, all that time and support and understanding under my belt and have someone 13 years younger than me automatically assume that just because I’m not a mother I don’t know the first thing about babies.
All these moms get accolades and honor and admiration for raising their own kids. Their OWN KIDS. Their own DNA. I have helped raise many many children who do not have my genes and just because I don’t have kids, everyone assumes I’m an idiot around them.
It would be less infuriating if I ever had a child of my own and was recognized and admired for a thing that comes to many but not to everyone (something that isn’t really an accomplishment at all).