When I think about how my mom was 25 when she had me, I shudder. At that age, I barely felt like an adult, let alone one responsible enough to care for a helpless little human. When I had my first baby, at 35, I felt much more “ready” than I did at 25. At that point, I was fully grown. Then, I had a baby and realized I had a lot to learn. Luckily, my newborn taught me some mom skills before celebrating that first birthday that have continued to serve me well.
It didn’t matter that, by the time I started having kids, I was on a solid career path, my partner and I had zero debt (other than our mortgage), and I had a significant amount of life experience. However, I was an amateur mom that no amount of babysitting could have prepared me for. Still, beyond the typical diaper-changing and getting used to sleep deprivation, I developed a very specific skill set thanks to my tiny sidekick. Having a baby forced me to find creative solutions to problems I never dreamed of having, such as folding laundry while simultaneously putting your kid to sleep. (Pro tip: forget folding and use the rolling technique instead. It's just as neat and much easier to execute with a baby in tow.) I was basically MacGyver Mom.
So if you think you have a handle on this mom thing, get psyched about cultivating these new parenting skills. You might not be able to put them on your resume, but you’ll make a hell of a Girl Scout troop leader.