There's much to appreciate about being a new mom in your 20s. There's the energy, the ability to endure the baby's sleepless nights a little easier, and the utter excitement of not knowing what lies ahead. I've had a baby both in my early 20s and early 30s, so you could say I'm "experienced" when it comes to the parallels of motherhood. My 20s were quite the roller coaster, while my 30s taught me to accept things I previously hadn't. I also know about the ways moms in their early 30s differ from moms in their 20s, again, because I've been there.
My daughter came into the world at a time in my life when I was used to going out every weekend (and some weekdays), had no career or plan to get where I wanted to be, and my relationship with my partner was good, but not secure enough to build a future on at that point. I look back on my 20s as being a mixed bag of emotions. While thrilled to have a baby, I also had no idea what I was doing. As most mothers, I learned as I went along, and still continue to.
By the time I had my son, I'd just celebrated my 30th birthday and, in so many ways, felt more secure compared to when I was a new mother with my daughter. However, of all the things that changed the most from my 20s mom life to my 30s mom life, it's my confidence that has endured the greatest shift. I felt ready to mother my rainbow baby, maybe because I'd been through so much before him, where the birth of my daughter was a completely different experience. On that note, here are just some of the ways I think moms in their early 30s differ from moms in their 20s, with one true constant — we love our babies.
Moms In Their 30s Are Patient
I'm not saying all moms in their 20s are impatient, but I sure was. Part of living through those ages was learning how to manage my impatience via life experience. When I had my daughter (early 20s), I couldn't sit with her for very long before I got antsy, but with my son (early 30s), I could sit all day if I needed to. It's not only the patience that came with age, but the gratitude for each special moment that comes with it.
Moms In Their 30s Tap Into Life Experience
Even if I'd had my first child in my early 30s, I'd still have had more actual experience than when I had my daughter years before. A lot of it has to do with maturity and, well, I didn't have much of it. When I had my son when I was 30, the differences were suddenly so clear. Not only did I have to figure things out as I went in my 20s, I had nothing to compare motherhood to. In my 30s, at least I had other life events that (kind of) compared.
Moms In Their 30s Don't Sweat The Small Stuff
I used to freak out about everything. While I'm still a worrier by nature, I've learned to let a lot of things go now that I'm in my 30s. Maybe some of this comes with having my first child at a young age, or maybe my new-found calmness came with parenting through my 30s. Either way, these years fly by all too fast so I'm doing everything I can to enjoy every moment as it comes.
Moms In Their 30s Are (Typically) Financially Stable
I wish I'd been more financially stable when I had my first baby, but I wasn't. My partner and I struggled frequently, and for a long time, to make ends meet. That, along with a high-risk pregnancy, complications, and skyrocketing bills, it was nearly impossible to get ahead.
There's some moms in their 20s who have it all together and that's fantastic. Unfortunately, my finances didn't improve until years later (in my 30s) when I finally found my career, and honestly, myself.
Moms In Their 30s Are Secure In Themselves
I can honestly say I'm more confident as a mom in my 30s than I ever was in my 20s. Again, I can attribute some of this to life experience, learning to be patient (with my baby and myself), and knowing I've got my path set and my bank account handled.
Moms In Their 30s Are Great At Prioritizing & Time Management
It took me a long time to figure out a schedule that works. My time management has always been pretty good, but it was definitely the birth of my son that cemented the skills. In my 20s, I always felt frazzled as I tried to get everything done — or tried and failed to get everything done — only to feel like a failure at the end of everyday. Now, I know there are better ways.
Moms In Their 30s Know Who Their Friends Are
As much as I wish I'd known which friends would stick around through my journey as a mother in my 20s, I didn't. I don't speak to hardly any one of the people I once considered to be close friends. Becoming a parent changes a lot of things, and if your friends are going on separate paths, it's harder to stay connected (sometimes). In my 30s, I adopted a no-bullsh*t approach to friendships.
Not everyone has to have children (and I covet my friendship where that friend is single and child-free), but we need to be on the same page. I need my friends, regardless, to know that I do have children and they're a big part of my life. In my 20s, I think I was a bit too flexible in that regard, hoping to keep friends who'd ultimately leave anyway.
Moms In Their 30s Are Set In Their Careers
I'm impressed with anyone in their 20s who's sure of their career path, especially when you're about to become a mother. At the time I had my daughter, I was dabbling in different jobs. I had big dreams, but no set plan in place to make any of it happen. I think the second time around, with my son, I developed the determination and thick skin to get it done. As a mom in my 30s, I gained more confidence because I knew my place and ways I could contribute to the world, aside from motherhood.
Moms In Their 30s Don't Care What Others Think
I've spent a lot of time in my life feeling insecure for not living up to other's opinions of me. As a mom in my 20s, it changed the way I parented, but in my 30s, I know better. I've learned what works for me and my family, and don't owe anyone any explanations.
There's certainly more ways moms in their 30s differ from moms in their 20s, but there's also one thing that's remained the same, for me: I've never not tried to be the best mom I could be, and I think most moms would find common ground and say the same.