What I wish I knew when I had a baby at 25
I am a 25 year old, married, financially independent, career woman. My life isn’t an episode of 16 and Pregnant. Looking back in history, 25 was never young to have a child. In fact, it’s still fairly normal. But among my friends, it was still considered pretty young. Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby Charlotte. But, there are definitely things I wish I would have known before making that leap into motherhood.
You will feel as if Britney Spears was talking about you in the song “Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman”
Once I had my sweet baby girl, I did not morph into someone else. I was still me, with the same personality, goals, likes, dislikes and emotions. When I was pregnant, for some reason I felt that once she came into the world, I would somehow just become my mom. Not true. I still love rocking out in my car to rap, eating Taco Bell, and having one too many drinks now and again. The different is that I have to be up at 6:00am every day, taking walks with a stroller, handling my responsibilities at work, and paying the mortgage. So I feel like a grown mom-woman (yes, I made that up), but also that girl who wants to gossip and stay up drinking wine with my old friends all night.
Trying to control yourself at Target gets much harder
As if going to Target without spending a ton of money wasn’t already hard enough, once you have a baby, it gets harder. You’re not only perusing the clothing for you, there’s also a whole section of too-cute-to-be-real things for your child. Tutus, bows, slippers, hoodies, bath robes—things a baby doesn’t even need all of a sudden become items you MUST have. Staying in control of your budget just got that much more difficult.
Your life and friendships are going to be different, and that’s OK
We can all pretend that nothing will change once you or your friend has a baby. But it does, and that’s OK. You’ll grow apart with some friends, and closer to others. It’s going to be harder to stay out with the girls until 2 am, and you’re going to be obsessed with what your baby is or isn’t eating, not who is hooking up with who. That’s totally fine. Realizing the relationships you have with your friends will inevitably change is important. The change can totally be for the better.
You will long to see a movie in a movie theater
There are quite a few things you will wish you could do on a whim that are much harder when you have a wee one. For some reason, in my nine months of motherhood, the thing I miss the most is just going to catch a movie in a theater by myself. It was one of my life joys. I love seeing movies alone because I don’t have to worry if the other person is loving it, hating it, or sleeping. I can also sit where I want, cry without worrying if my makeup is messed up, and have the popcorn all to myself.
But not long from now my little Charlotte will be old enough to enjoy movies and we can watch the newest Disney flick together, something I am honestly excited about—so giving it up for a couple years is totes worth it.
You’re more ready than you think, and also less ready
Adulthood happens so fast. Be ready to talk developmental milestones, health insurance, school districts, and minivans. All the types of things you skimmed over as you were Pinteresting the baby room, buying cute hair bows, and getting pre-natal messages will be part of your daily life.
Having a child is an amazing and also strange thing. People now assume you can handle more because you are responsible for a human life. There is definitely some truth to that, but it’s OK not to have everything figured out. Adulthood means a different thing to everyone. You will be thrown in the world of motherhood while some people you know are doing the same thing they’ve always been doing. All you can do is hold on tight. It’s going to be great.
Mallory Fox lives in a rural small town in Michigan with her husband, adorable baby girl, and her two extremely fat indoor cats. Follow her on Instagram @madepuydt
[Image via MGM]