Sometimes I see moms who look 10 years younger than me and I think to myself, "How are you making this look so easy?" Then I tell myself that maybe that younger mom is thinking the exact same thing about me. Possibly? Maybe? I'm just going to say probably. Just like there are misconceptions about young moms, there are common misconceptions about new moms in their 30s, too. So really, we're all just trying to do our best regardless of our age or when we decided to become parents.
In my experience, the assumption about moms in their 30s that's thrown around repeatedly is the idea that we know what the heck we're doing, simply because we're older and more mature. Yeah, I can tell you from experience that's just not the case. In fact, I would venture to say every new mom is equally clueless, regardless of age.
Maybe I had a tiny edge because, by the time I had my daughter, I had heard my friends talking about their experience as new moms and absorbed a little bit of their shared, heard-earned knowledge. However, I don't think anything prepares you for being a new mom, no matter what age you are or how many stories you've heard.
So, while you might think us new moms in our 30s have it all together, we don't. In fact, I think it's best to just rid yourself of the follow misconceptions about new moms in their 30s. After all, we're no different than any other sleep deprived, nervous, excited new mom out there.
We Know What We're Doing
I was closing in on 32 when I became a mom, and I had no idea what I was doing. I was recently in an adoption training class with several women who were 10 ears older than me, and they appeared to have even less of a clue than I did before we adopted our daughter. With motherhood, age does not equal experience. Only a baby in your arms can give you that.
We Have More Patience Than Younger Moms
In fact, we might have less patience than younger moms who have lived less of their lives attached to their own schedules and routines. I spent 10 years post-college building a life, and having a tiny human enter into it at that point was a little jarring. Moms in their early 20s have arguably had less time to grow attached to their own routines, meaning they might be a bit more flexible when baby arrives on the scene.
We Have Less Energy
I've never had more energy (and somehow simultaneously less energy) than I do as a mom. I accomplish 100 percent more in a day than I ever did before. I may only be 33 now, but I feel like I still have as much energy as I did in my 20s. I make a point to go to bed early, because I know how awful I'll feel if I skip those few extra hours, but beyond that I still have as much energy as a 20-something mom.
We're In A Rush To Have More Kids
Some of us, sure, but certainly not all of us are itching to have kids in rapid succession. Even though society tends to think time isn't on our side, just because we're in our 30s doesn't mean the baby-making window is closing imminently. Heck, for some of us it hasn't even opened yet.
We Have Everything Else Figured Out, Too
Maybe some moms in their 30s have everything else figured out (house bought, finances secure, retirement fund started), but I can assure you I most certainly do not. The same goes for many of my friends, too. We haven't waited to have everything in line before starting our families. In fact, if we did, our families might never have happened.
We Don't Need New Mom Friends
I could see how easy it would be to assume that, because we're in our 30s, we don't really have room for new friends in our lives. Yeah, that's just not true, either. Before I had my daughter I had friends who were moms, but I so appreciated making new friends with women who were also new moms. It's nice to be going through the same thing with people who haven't known you forever (and who might not have been around that time you promised that when you finally became a mom, you definitely would never complain).
We Stick To The "I'll Never..." Parenting Rules We Made In Our 20s
All those things we told ourselves we'd never do when we were in our 20s and child-free are things we definitely do now that we're parents. Time and maturity didn't save us from resorting to the Beat Bugs so we can get dressed in the morning or from handing over a tube of lip gloss in the grocery store to keep the child from screaming.
Waiting to become a mom may have given us more time to make up some of those "I'll never...." rules, but certainly not more stamina in sticking to them.
We're Selfish For Waiting To Have Children
Many of us didn't wait to have kids because we wanted to, and if waiting until our 30s to have our children was our choice it doesn't make us selfish. Most of us decide to have kids in our 30s, or end up having kids in our 30s because we've chosen different paths first. If there's one thing I hope we can all agree on, it's that no path is better than another when it comes to motherhood. They are all equally beautiful (and exhausting).