Alcohol and…. Nappies?!

I read an article last week entitled ‘Too old to get drunk and party, too young to talk about nappies: A Young Mum’s trials.’ Riiiight…. Why should anyone have to do either of those things, exactly? After reading the title and getting suitably riled up, I proceeded to read the rest of the article with a look on my face that Phil described as ‘post-chewing-on-the-bouquet-garni-bag-when-I-forget-to-take-it-out-of-the-spag-bol’. You know the one.

                                                                              via here

It gave the impression that anyone under the age of 30 will be looked down on by mothers in their 30s as being inexperienced and unappreciative of their child. And as if that wasn’t mean and unfair enough-those in their peer group without children will judge them as being no fun and too consumed with their child. Nice. Is this really what it’s like for so called ‘young mums’? Reading this article was genuinely sad, the author gave the impression of a quiet, sometimes lonely life where her year-old baby was her only regular companion.
Given that my best friend has just had a baby and we’re all currently rallying around with dinners, feeding shifts, Galaxy chocolate and  teeny babygros (as Mattie was 3 weeks early and soooo much littler than we were ready for!) I cannot even begin to imagine that we, as a collective, would ever tire of this new chapter in our best friends lives. Equally, as the first one of us to take the leap into motherhood, we’re all relying on Abs to prepare us for what lies ahead! And on the flipside, I know that Abs’ older workmates and even some of our mothers are right there to offer advice and reassurance and guide her through the unknowns.
Is the 25 year old author of this article just unlucky? Does she not have her own group of awesome (modest, I know!) friends? Or a gaggle of older, superbly experienced ladies to call on? Or is this a genuine problem for first-time, ‘young mums’? I honestly hope not. Have any of you lovely ladies lucky enough to have your own bundle of joy experienced anything like this? As much as I desperately hope not, I’m interested to hear your stories.
And whilst we’re on the subject…is it me, or is 25 NOT ‘young mum’ territory? I don’t know what exact age you stop being a ‘young mum’ but to me, and I don’t believe any mum is an ‘old mum’ either…so many shades of grey!

Oh and, everyone cross your fingers and toes for Fliss to feel better soon-biiiig cuddles!

Categories: Becoming a Mother, Family, Friends and Relationships, Life Experience
6 interesting thoughts on this

6 Comments

  1. Posted October 26, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    I read the same article, and had the same kind of thoughts. I'll probably be 27 by the time we have our first little one, and in medical terms, this makes me an 'elderly prim'. Yup, old to be having a first baby. When I barely feel old enough to be looking after myself sometimes. I wont be the first in my group of friends to have a child, and will have plenty of un-coupled-upped, not-broody-in-the-slightest chums. Good friends remain a constant, wherever life takes you…but sometimes a child can bring to an end a friendship that was perhaps only built on one part of your life. I lost a friend last year when I settled down with my lovely husband to be. She couldnt cope with the fact that I didnt want to go out all the time. Seeing me for a meal, or coming round wasnt good enough. She needed me to go out and get drunk so she could feel validated about her life decisions.

    Anyway, I digress. I know a lot of my friends with children have lost people because of their child. Obviously they gained the wonderful experience of motherhood, but it seems us women can be slightly petty when it comes to sharing their friends with a newborn. Sad indeed.

    Personally, I love being the mad auntie and having an excuse to buy teeny tiny baby things!

    xxx

  2. Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    The arena of baby blogging scares me. People are so opinionated and nasty, it's amazing.

    I don't know what is considered young. I've been told the age of first-time mother's is higher than it used to be. But who the heck knows…

    I think the judgment as a whole just needs to stop. It's worse than weddings – someone knows better, someone is wrong. Why can't we all just be right? Aren't all first-time mum's (regardless of age) just scared as heck? Don't they all want to be supported? Frankly, the whole too old to drink, too young to talk about nappies is insane.

    And maybe she doesn't have the type of support group Mattie's mother has… but personally I steer clear of this kind of stuff b/c it only ruffles my feathers.

  3. Posted October 27, 2010 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I don't have children so I can only go on the experiences of my close friends who do….But I think a lot of first-time mothers do find the experience quite lonely – the first few days/weeks are fine, when everyone is flocking around you and your partner/husband is able to have time off work, but once you're on your own during the day (when most/all of your friends are at work) it can be quite lonely. Fortunately, many of my friends have made good friends with people from their NCT classes, which has been a great help – people to go for coffee and lunch with who are in the same situation – but I do have one friend who is a "younger" mum (in her mid-20s) and she's found it a lot more difficult because all of the mothers in her NCT class were at least 10 years older than her and did look down on her a bit. Which is shocking, really.

    25 shouldn't be a young mum – especially considering we're built to be able to have children from a very young age! – but I guess as many women are having children later in life it does become seen as being "young". There's so much pressure on women, it makes me mad – as long as you love and care for your baby, what does it really matter?

  4. Posted October 27, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    This article seems to be nothing more than one woman's crappy experience. If you live like a party girl and only nurture those kind of relationships, then you're going to feel lonely when you stop partying.

    Most people, however, have much more varied social groups nowadays. Because we're less likely to stay in our hometowns, we make more friends through shared hobbies and work than school.

    The judgment thing is tricky. Baby forums can be extremely harsh – it's all part of the "Let's find someone to exclude!" attitude that is all-too-common on the internet. On the other hand, there are some Mummy bloggers who actually boast about their poor parenting as if it's some kind of badge of honour.

    Frankly, I'm looking forward to the social possibilities of being a Mum. There are NCT meetings, toddler groups, using playdates as an excuse; as well more common ground with our existing parent-friends. I've been practising the "thanks, but we've decided to do … instead" response to unwanted advice about the puppy, so I should have perfected by the time anyone criticises my parenting!

  5. Posted October 27, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Becca – apparently you have to become a pro in the nod-and-smile-and-then-ignore technique when you become a parent!

  6. Posted October 27, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Good points all round ladies-I am always interested to hear opinions on a topic when it provokes a reaction in me. Hopefully there are more women out there like you lovelies than the kind of friends who do abandon those closest to them!

    Feather ruffling for the sake of it, whether it be about weddings, shoes or babies is not cool. That's why I love you lot!

    And Becca-Meg is too gorgeous! Too, too cute!

    X

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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