I see babies everywhere, and they make me feel old

All the books say it, and so did everyone I know who’s been pregnant – when you’re pregnant, you see babies everywhere. Or I guess what I should say is that you notice them like you’ve never before. And this is where I veer from the pack of bubbly expecting moms who coo at every passing toddler and strike up conversations with anyone holding anything not yet able to walk on its own. I see my independence disappear a little bit more with every passing sippy cup.

That’s not to go so far as to say I’m completely on the other end of the spectrum. I don’t avoid children, they don’t cause me a panic attack, and while I do take note of what brand of stroller passes me by, I don’t run home and alter my registry (either to not be the mom with that stroller or to be that mom, as those wheels sure appeared to handle the brick surface with ease). Babies don’t scare me, they just don’t excite me, either.

It’s more like a recognition than a dread, really. Like getting engaged and then passing by a store that sells clubbing clothes and thinking “I am never going to need to buy anything from there, unless it is for a costume.” I see moms hurrying around with children in arms and think “I will never just go run an errand again.” I sit in my backyard staring blankly but not actually reading The New Yorker on a Sunday morning after sleeping in past 10 and think “It will be a very long time before I can just idle away a Sunday.” I watch the parade of stuff that accompanies my brother-in-law and his wife when they come to visit with their 2 year old and realize that I’ll rarely just hop in the car and go somewhere without the orchestration currently only reserved for trips involving the airport (and even then I usually only have one bag).

Once the chaos of baby and toddlerhood have passed, the second (and god forbid, third) child have been had, the diaper bag long retired, the play dates transitioned to summer camp and sports teams, and I finally have the time to steal a lazy Sunday morning to myself, I’m going to be, well, old. If I were prone to the dramatic, I’d go so far as to say I’m sacrificing the twilight of my youth to motherhood, but that sounds so Lifetime Television for Women that I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. But really, isn’t that sorta what’s happening/what always happens?

I imagine this feeling may be compounded by the fact that I only just turned 27 and come October, I’ll be an honorary member of the 30-something breeder class. To this end, I’ve also become acutely aware of all things related to my high school years. A local radio station here plays 90’s nostalgia music (seems a bit soon, but whatever), so it’s easy to walk into a store and find yourself remembering lyrics to a song that you haven’t heard since sophomore year and didn’t even really like all that much then. Contrast that déjà vu with being pregnant and I feel sorta out of whack (while I’m not the only married one of my high school and college friends, I am definitely the first to have a kid). And no, I don’t want to be 15 again, but I was pretty damn good at 26 and was looking forward to being 27 as, well, a 27 year old – a finally have a job you’re proud of but still spend half your paycheck on dinners and drinks, buy designer clothes for the first time (albeit severely on sale), start taking nice vacations and actually have a closet full of clothes that you love and look good in (the kind that does not result in a pile of discarded dresses on the bed after every attempt to attend something formal), be the most comfortable in your own skin and own life as you’ve ever been 27 year old I would be if I weren’t about to be a mom.

Getting married never really freaked me out, but now I seem to have gestational cold feet.

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One Response to “I see babies everywhere, and they make me feel old”

  1. Maria-Elena Says:

    That’s too funny – you will be old by the time you’ve had a few babies and put them into summer camp and I didn’t even start having babies until I was at the point (37) that you call old! Now I am 45 and I am thinking that old starts in your 70s…

    Perhaps because I waited so long for them, I never had a problem with what I had to give up when they arrived. I think that once that little one is in your arms looking at you as if you are the most special person on this plant, what you have to give up for a little while won’t bother you so much. But, just in case I am wrong, be sure to take every opportunity now to do the things that you won’t be able to later – or at least those that you can do while pregnant anyway.

    Good luck!

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