I'm 39 and pregnant with baby #1. Needless to say that is a lot of years spent wandering around on the earth never entering a Babies R Us and skipping the diaper isles on all major grocery excursions. But that is all about to change. And let me tell you - if getting pregnant and leaping into motherhood is intimidating for the immortal 25-year old, it's nothing less than jumping out of an airplane without a chute for someone at 39.
Why? Because we've heard the stories. Our friends have had the worst pregnancies. We watched them gain 200 pounds and grow tumors in their ovaries and hair on their backs. We watched them puke every day for 9 months and bleed from their eyes and gestate for 50 weeks. We've heard every labor and delivery horror story that exists - and at 39, you can get cankles from eating a really salty steak, never mind being pregnant. So let's just say our expectations are a little skewed.
That's why everyone needs a mommy mentor. Someone to be straight with you but hold the drama, please. Someone to tell you the real baby necessities versus the ones you can get by without. Need a stroller recommendation or someone to give you advice on which of the zillion car seats to get? Call your mommy mentor.
I know what some of you are thinking; I'll just ask my mom. What better mentor is there? Well, in most instances I'd never argue with you. My mom gives sound advice and knows me so well that her delivery of said advice is exactly how I need to hear it. But let's just say that things have changed since the last time my mom had a baby. Car seats were just being invented - I think. Cloth diapers still required diaper pins and plastic pants. And you couldn't really get away with saying the words "pubic pain" in the work place the way you can now.
So move over mom and hello mommy mentor. I'm lucky enough to have my best friend Kym a few years ahead of me in the mothering game. Our tastes are very similar and there is a huge amount of trust there. So when she said, "don't bother investing in a bassinet, just borrow one, I listened". And when she suggested I get the BOB revolution stroller (in orange) and the nicely corresponding Peg Perego Viaggio car seat in apricot, I ordered both. She also encouraged me to start having conversations with my OB about my birth plan and letting the doctor know my concerns about forceps and epidurals. Done. She has also made suggestions for baby monitors, cribs ("don't spend a ton of money on the crib, just get one at IKEA and call it good") and strongly encouraged me to get a rocker/recliner for the nursery...done an done.
Don't get me wrong, my mom will be the one to help me during my first week of motherhood. She'll show me how to bath the baby, swaddle it, and perform baby massage. She'll help me figure out when the baby is hungry, needs to be changed, or has gas. I'll call her a million times a day to ask her questions like, "does it hurt Clementine when I cut her nails?' or "if she spits up a lot, will she be hungry again soon?" And my mom will have all the answers just like she always does. She'll teach me how to nurture. And when it comes time to take Clementine to her first concert, I'll call Kym to help me pick out the perfect set of kid noise canceling headphones.