My friend Samantha (mom of twins) said to me, “The valuable mom is the one who is six to eight months ahead of you in parenthood; any bigger gap than that and they’ve forgotten what you’re going through.”
As a new mom of a little wobbly baby, I woulda thought 2 to 3 weeks max. I remember looking at my friend with the youngest baby in moms’ group (by a week!) and pitying her for having the last baby to go through “the famous six week peak of fussiness.”
Whitney really seemed to have it all figured out by the time my firstborn Holden arrived (6.5 months after her rookie baby, Julian). At the time, I thought she knew everything and had left me in her dust. But time is elastic. I also thought I’d have a crying six-week old forever.
A few years into parenting and I see the beauty of Samantha’s theory. A six-months-more-seasoned mom has the best you-only-needed-it-for-five-months gear, the best hand-me-downs, and the greatest tips on what mistakes to avoid. She has already researched the playgrounds with the shady benches and clean bathrooms as well as which coffee shops look at you funny if you wheel in a stroller.
When you hit toddlerdom, she’s freaked out about researched preschools before you even thought about it. But, unlike your annoying sister-in-law, she still remembers your nap schedule and why separation anxiety is normal and not a fault of your crappy version of parenting.
How could anyone forget what you’re going through? Isn’t this the most life-changing event ever? Yet now, if a friend hands me her 6-week old so that she can tie her shoe, I think Holy wobbly head! Were my babies ever this small?
Your assignment: go forth and find thee a mentor mom! Or tell me why this theory is bunk.