As you know by now, Shannon and I (Allison) do not have children…yet. We are both 31 and have spent the last 13 years taking care of ourselves, figuring out who we are as a person and what we want out of life. However with turning 30, becoming a mother is a constant thought for women. We are forever being asked when we’ll be having children or why we haven’t had children yet. While we don’t have children, we know that motherhood is a huge part of being in your 30s (or just being a woman in general) and we wanted to make sure that it was part of The Middle Edit as well.
Today we are launching a new section of The Middle Edit that talks about all things motherhood! The four amazing women below have all entered motherhood in their 30s (or right before 30) and are sharing what becoming a mother has meant for them. They are women from different parts of the country, have different dynamics and different journeys. They are real women and are all rocking motherhood in their own way.
Becoming a mother was the biggest, best, and hardest change of my life and something nothing/no one could’ve prepared me for! I was a nanny for years, have two much younger brothers, and read all of the pregnancy books (okay, maybe not ALL of them) so I totally thought I knew what I was doing. WRONG! But I quickly realized so much of motherhood is based on instincts and trusting yourself to do what is best for you and your baby. Social media totally had me fooled into thinking I’d be up and at ‘em and back to normal life a few weeks after having my daughter but that just wasn’t the case for me. And that’s totally okay. It just looked so easy and effortless. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t.
Asking for help was the hardest and most necessary part of becoming a mother for me.
I’m someone who has a hard time adjusting to change and I thrive on a routine. Giving birth to my beautiful, amazing, hilarious, smart, and sassy but mostly sweet daughter was the biggest change ever and my whole routine went out the window! It took a few months of getting into a groove and lots of help from loved ones to finally feel like I could rock this whole motherhood thing. So what I’ve learned is becoming a mother can be harder than it looks for some women and to never be ashamed to ask for help!
During those tough times, remind yourself that everything is a passing phase and as overwhelming as it feels, you’ll miss it once it’s passed. I also make it a point to reach out to new mothers during those first few months and let them know that I’m always here for whatever they need, whether it be a hot meal, a clean house, a nap, or just someone to talk to who can relate. Clearly I’m not trying to sugarcoat how hard those first few months can be but I also want you to know that it is SO worth it!
Becoming a mother has taught me more in the past 15 months than I’d learned in the previous 29 years.
It has taught me to be more patient, more selfless, more compassionate, and to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Nothing has made me happier or more proud than seeing my daughter take her first steps, say her first word, or learn something new. And nothing has made my heart swell more than her kisses and hearing her say the most magical word, “Mama”.
I felt as prepared as I could be becoming a mother in my 30’s. But nothing totally prepares you until you are in it! Being in a gay relationship, getting pregnant for me was very intentional and required a lot of planning. I was very ready for that chapter in my life. I could not imagine myself having children in my 20’s because I wasn’t ready. Lots of respect for people who do though!
In my 20’s, I was not as developed of a person myself nor would I have had the emotional, and mental stamina it takes to have a little one. Having a child after 30 was the perfect fit for my partner and I! I feel like I am not too young or too old. I came into myself as a person, feel confident in who I am and where I am in my relationship, career, home, etc. and felt excited coming into my new role as a mother.
Since becoming a mother it has opened my eyes to new pieces of who I am.
I feel as strong and warrior-like as I ever have! My body feels the most powerful and the most beautiful it ever has. The Mama Bear is in full effect! My pregnancy was not easy. I was on modified bedrest and went into pre term labor which was terrifying. After my experience planning for the pregnancy, the pregnancy itself, the birth and now being a mom, I have gratitude for the whole process so much more!
Before getting pregnant I made sure my body was as strong as it could be. I was taking the prenatal vitamins enough in advance, exercising 3-4 days a week, visiting my doctor to check my fertility. In addition, we had to make the decision of who, what, when and where the insemination would happen. During the pregnancy, along with the complications, I put everything I had into it! My mind, body, spirit into getting pregnant and to stay pregnant until he was fully developed.
Now that our son is here, I feel like the first four months was a lot of transitioning and talking myself into being strong enough to survive motherhood.
I had to have radical acceptance of the pieces of myself I had to leave behind. A piece of my life I didn’t think would be as difficult as it is; work! Work has been much more challenging because I don’t have the mental capacity as I did pre-child. My mind is full of thoughts of my child like when and where I’ll pump? Who will be home in time for our baby sitter to leave? Not to mention just longing to be home with my babes! I miss him! Before my child, I feel like I could have gotten double the amount of work done in the same time period. Now I have to give myself grace.
Another thing, people don’t really talk about is how your friend circle shifts when you have a little one. The things you enjoy doing and how you spend your time. Not to mention the flexibility needed to do them with a little one is sometimes hard for friends without little ones to understand.
Lastly, your relationship changes tremendously when you have a baby.
Not in a bad way but a different way. Your time and energy is going to your baby instead of each other (especially those first 6 months). It takes intentional effort to organize date nights and time for each other and your marriage in a way that you didn’t have to do before baby. That said, it has made appreciate and love my partner in a depth that I have never experienced. Seeing her nurture, and love our child is a the most beautiful and attractive thing EVER! The way she has provided for us, took care of me and Greyson while I was pregnant and on modified bed rest and organized our life together shows me that I picked a good one. She is the best momma!
Most of all, the depths of the love I have my child are unbelievable! It is like I have my heart walking around outside of my body. People tell you how much you will love your child but until you experience that kind of love first hand you just couldn’t imagine the amount of love you have for this little human! He is our world!
I was very excited to be a mom, but motherhood is hard. To be honest it is harder than I ever thought it was going to be. I was excited to have children in my 30’s, once my partner was ready, that was it. Given that we could not get pregnant by “accident,” we had to be extremely intentional in the process.
I thought I knew what to expect, but now I realize, there is nothing that can prepare you for the ride of becoming a mother. There were a lot of things I didn’t think about, like pregnancy for instance. I remember sitting next to my partner during the first ultrasound and feeling confused when I realized our baby was not growing in the placenta. This was the first of many pieces of misinformation I came to realize. Kristy’s pregnancy was scary, a miscarriage scare, preterm labor, and many stays in the hospital. There was a ton of uncertainty, a lack of control, and the person you love most in the world struggling on a daily basis. Pregnancy was hard.
Then our son was born and he was beyond perfect.
But then we had to leave the hospital. When we first got home it was terrifying. I found myself questioning things I had never questioned before. Nothing seemed safe, everything was a suffocation hazard. The first few months took a lot of adjusting, patience and help. I had to go back to work two weeks after Kristy delivered our beautiful baby boy. I found myself questioning if I was making the right decision staying with a job that was extremely demanding.
A few months after our son was born, I was feeling like I wasn’t making a connection like my partner was. I ended up seeking treatment for postpartum depression. It was hard to talk about and I felt a lot of shame but speaking up was the best thing I could have done. Most people think that it can only happen to a person who gave birth to a child but partners can also experience it, in fact, its more common than you think. Since then, I am so proud of the connection we have built and look forward to growing that each and every day. My son and my partner are my everything!
I wasn’t planning on having children just yet so becoming a mother in my 30’s looked a little different than most. I was 34 and still not ready! 9 months into dating (my now husband), we found out I was pregnant with our daughter, Isabella. Leading up to her birth, I was extremely nervous but excited. I had everything planned out exactly how I wanted including how I wanted to give birth. That went out the window shortly. Between the emergency c-section, NICU stay, breastfeeding complications, exhaustion, allergic reactions and colic, I was a mess! The first year was a huge adjustment.
It took a year (yes, a year!) to feel normal again.
That year went by and we decided that we wanted Isabella to have a sibling. A year and half of trying and 3 miscarriages later, Ariana was born. The birth was easier with her because I knew what to expect. But then week 6 hit me like a ton of bricks. Colic again! Every night for 2 months I was awake 8-10 times a night breastfeeding, changing and comforting her. All of this with a toddler! I live 3 hours away from my family but thank goodness my mother came to stay for 3 months after Ariana was born. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her help.
In my 20’s, I could not have done what I do now. On the other hand, being on my own for 16 years (18-34), it was hard to give up my freedom. No gym visits whenever I want. I can no longer wake up, drink coffee and just go. It takes me 2 hours to get the girls dressed, fed and prepped to get out the door for the day. For me, it was an adjustment to put my “not so serious” needs after their needs. Now, I live a life where every decision I make is for them.
On the bright side- becoming a mother in my 30’s, I feel wiser, more secure and confident.
Who I am now is a great example for my girls. I feel like my emotions are more controlled, and through my life experiences I have become a COMPLETELY different person than I was in my 20’s. They’ve made me a better person, more patient and more responsible with my money. The days of buying $200 jeans are over! I do not take for granted those moments when my girls are visiting their family in Michigan and I can walk around the mall handsfree…ahhhhh it’s nice! I am still me but a different version of me. These little girls are my greatest accomplishment!
P.S. Stop asking women: “When are you going to give your husband a boy?”….boy bye!!!!!
These four women have traveled different journeys but all have the same thing in common, they love being a mom!
Shoutout to the husbands too- Colton (Brie) and Jaime (Sarah)!!