In my circle of friends, I was one of the last to be a "Mommy". There were times I felt left out. Like when a child had a birthday party, I was the only adult without a baby. At times, I felt awkward. I couldn't talk about bedtime routines so I'd smile and nod. Yes, there were days where I even felt clueless. My mama friends spoke of Stage 1 baby cereals and how Gymboree clothes fit their baby. I was focused on All-You-Can-Eat sushi places and how End of Season jackets fit me.
Now however, I see the advantage of being last. It's actually not so bad, and in fact, very good. Why, you ask? Well, after so many years of listening to the wisdom of my girlfriends, I've picked up a few things. As if by osmosis, I've learned through their experiences. Their mistakes have become my lessons. In fact, being one of the last mamas in my group has its benefits.
Here are four lessons I learned from my girls and they don't even know it:
1) Be patient before filling up your house with huge boxes of diapers. I didn't stock up even though there were many (hard to resist) sales during my pregnancy. I had to see which brand suited my baby best...turns out, she's a Pampers girl!
2) Buy a few toys in the beginning. You don't know what your baby will be attracted to. If you can't resist purchasing though, rotate the toys every week so your baby will constantly be stimulated by something new.
3) Family will always want to give you advice. Be polite and listen, BUT you don't have to take it.
4) Breastfeeding is recommended, however, if it doesn't happen for you, DON'T put extra pressure on yourself. Feed for three months, six months, or beyond a year. It's your choice. Not breastfeeding? Multi-billion dollar companies created formula for this reason. Don't stress.
For those and many more tidbits of information, this is a thank you to my wonderful girlfriends (a lot of whom are Hip Teacher Mamas themselves) who taught me to be a better mama just by being around.