As our children grow from infant to toddler to school age, so much takes place in each of these young stages of life. Same goes for us Moms. From Newborn Mom, to Preggo Mom, to Two under Two Mom, here are some of the many stages of a young mom.
The Newborn Mom: A new mom, brand new, with big eyes of excitement and a little (or a lot) of fear of the unknown. This stage is so beautiful, and one of the greatest transitions of your life. You try so hard to do it all perfectly and sometimes it can feel like you are failing. Just working on the basics, sleeping, eating and changing diapers can be overwhelming. This is unchartered territory. You are constantly searching for the right answers and struggle to find them between our instincts, and input from others and what a book or website says. It can take a while to find your groove and get into a routine. As new mothers, you strive for perfection. You aim high and hold yourself accountable.
The Amazon Mom: When I discovered Amazon, I felt like I hit the jackpot! At the time, Amazon Mom was a new thing and I happily paid my annual subscription to have 2-day delivery and diapers and wipes on my doorstep. I was on maternity leave and my baby slept a lot, to my surprise. After the first few weeks home, I then had time to research and look for all of the things that could possibly help me and my baby. And of course, I didn’t want to leave the house very often with a newborn. All of the things I thought we needed were at my fingertips, right there on Amazon: pumping accessories, lanolin, muslins, pacifiers, diaper cream, teething toys and even nursing bras. A new humidifier, why not? The baby things in our house really began to accumulate.
The Organic Mom: You reach a point where you are ready to begin introducing solid foods and swear you will never feed our baby McDonalds or processed food ever. You strive to make our baby only organic, homemade fruits and veggies and later grains, and chia seeds and then document and chart all of the new foods weekly. If your baby is in daycare, you may provide the most specific and lengthy instructions about the feeding of your baby to their caregiver. You stress and worry if they are getting enough nutrition and healthy balance of fruit, veggies, protein and Omega-3s. If their dirty diaper looks weird, after eating said fruit and veggies, you Google it.
The Pregnant Again Mom: Pregnant Mom, aka tired as hell mom. Now you have a toddler and are afraid of introducing your first baby to a new baby almost as if you are cheating on them. You fear for the full 9 months of pregnancy about how they are possibly going to handle not being an only child and how you will divide your attention. The worry is so intense you forget that you yourself actually have a sibling, you are fine (mostly), and in fact realize your sibling may have been the greatest gift in your childhood life. (I know my brother is.) You need someone to remind you that giving your baby a sibling is a beautiful thing, a friend for life. But regardless, you are a tired, pregnant Mom and begin, for the first time in your motherhood, to let things slip a little. You consider dozing off on the couch while watching Saturday morning cartoons. You might skip bath night here or there because you are simply exhausted. You also worry about the costs of another baby and naturally, your mind starts thinking about efficiency in your budget, time and life. Can we reuse these clothes, the crib, car seat and stroller? Yes, you definitely can.
The Two Under Two Mom: Hello second baby and that amazing sensation, all over again. The incredible smelling head, teeny tiny feet, sweet yawns and the newborn size diapers. How much you have already forgotten! Things really start getting into perspective here. And then there’s guilt. Your first cries because you are holding your second. Your second cries because, well, babies cry. And then you cry too. So much transition has to take place for months to come. But eventually #1 warms up to #2 and actually likes their new baby. You see them interact for the first time and it warms your heart like nothing ever has before in your entire life, ever. And you cry again. Happy tears, sad tears, this stage is the fullest of emotions.
The Mom of Multiple Kids: A few months pass and once again you have found your groove. You learn that you can reuse all of those blankets, the car-seats, bottles, stroller, etc. But you upgrade your diaper bag from your old designer one to a new handy, extra-large duffle bag to handle your size 1 and size 6 diapers, bottle and sippy cups, wipes, snacks, and change of clothes for two. And you couldn’t be happier! Yes, you are running off coffee and fumes but you feel like a million bucks when you get everyone dressed and out the door in the morning as if you have conquered the world. Now two lives depend on you and Dad and you realize THIS is the time of your life. Who needs sleep anyway?
If It Isn’t Broken Mom: Your new routine becomes normal, you match their clothes for fun and your oldest can talk now, is potty training and can be a sweet little helper. You can start bathing them together and maybe, just maybe, things are getting easier. You feel yourself relax a little and you don’t worry so much about the small stuff. You are a pro by now! A fly on the wall might say, “Aren’t you going to do something about that?” when the kids are in disarray. But no one is getting hurt, or in danger and for goodness sake, you just sat down. You might even rip tags off clothes and put them right on your kids without even washing them! (Ha! Newborn Mom would have never done this.) This may also be the stage where you realize your social life is nonexistent (unless you count meet-ups at the park) and your clothes may be going out of style. Have you bought any new clothes since you purchased your maternity wardrobe? When is the last time you and your husband had a date night?
The Soccer Mom: This is the season for mini-vans, huge SUVs and soccer, baseball, ballet, piano, gymnastics and karate. It is all about efficiency and running from one extracurricular to the next. How do you run kids in different directions when both parents have extraordinarily busy and demanding jobs? I do not know because I am not here yet. But I know plenty of parents who do it and juggle everything else on their plate. I know this stage will certainly be busy but I am prepared, with a three row vehicle and all, for when the time comes.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel: Whether existent or not, this is the stage that we all aspire to. The days get easier. They have to, right? You lean on your Mom tribe to give you insights and to tell you that it does get easier. One day they will be wiping their own butt, reading a book, doing homework and maybe even caring about their grades. This transition may hard to accept when they don’t need us for every little thing. It may be freeing and equally saddening. But as strong, amazing mothers to littles, who feel as though we have already lived a lifetime at this point, we will reflect fondly. We have to cling to and remember all of the beautiful stages we lived through with our babies, when they were young.