New Adventures of an old mom. OK – so I borrowed the title a bit from a sitcom. It serves as an indication that both my creativity and productivity may be at an all-time low. I’ll just have to live with that. It also is indicative of the way that it feels to be “almost 40” (OK – not really – I’ll be 39 next month, but my kids always say “you’re almost 40!”) and caring for a newborn. I realize that lots of women my age are having their first child, but when I stop to consider that when Child #3 leaves home, I’ll still have an 8 year old, I feel my age acutely. And when I consider that I have both a child in high school and another barely out of the womb, I know that I am, at least in my own mind, an “old mom.” So, what have my lessons been for the past 11 months?
1. Someone has to be the statistic on the packaging for condoms. Sorry for my bluntness.
2. Email can often be the best way to present very surprising news to your spouse.
3. The image on a ultrasound does not ever lose its ability to humble, astonish, or move you to tears.
4. Women in France are expected to continue to drink alcohol in moderation throughout their pregnancies – Viva la France!!
5. There are approximately 1, 492 varieties of cloth diapers and covers. This includes 884 acronyms such as AIO and PUL. It is crucial to make the right choice so that you can avoid being bashed by other mothers out there in cyberspace.
6. Cloth diapering is more environmentally friendly than disposables.
7. Disposables are more environmentally friendly than cloth.
8. In order to participate on parenting community message boards, you have to know how to describe yourself properly. Otherwise, how will the other baby-wearing, attachment, BabyWise, cloth diapering, exclusively breastfeeding, exclusively pumping, family-bed sharing, Waldorf-education-espousing, Christian, non-Christian, atheist, home-schooling, EC’ing (Elimination Communication) families know whether or not your comments are to be trusted?
9. It is possible to look like a fool while using a birthing ball, if you haven’t done your homework.
10. Ditto for the squatting bar.
11. It is not possible to change your mind about wanting drugs for labor, when you are in the last 5 minutes of said labor.
12. It is nice to have your mother in the labor & delivery room but, sadly, she can really do nothing for the pain! (and how come??)
13. It is a myth that all newborns are beautiful. But mine really are.
14. If you decide to give your child a double name, maybe you should add in a hyphen. No matter what your husband thinks.
15. You haven’t lived until you’ve worn a $60 nursing bra. Really.
16. No one is on Facebook at 3AM.
17. Nothing is on television at 3AM.
18. The Moby wrap is the longest piece of fabric known to mankind.
19. Even if you dress your daughter in a pink shirt and pink pants, someone will ask you how old your little boy is.
20. It’s a good thing that babies are cute (remember – only some of them are) because they excrete a lot of bodily fluids.
21. They grow up pretty quickly.
So, I’m sure there are many more things that I’ve learned, and unfortunately, I probably have many more ahead of me. Things change in 10 years. How was I supposed to know that I’m supposed to give the baby Vitamin D drops? I don’t recall seeing a lot of kids out there with rickets, but supposedly this is the new threat. Will scurvy be rearing its ugly head again in the near future?