I’m the Youngest Mom at the Playground and I’m Cool With It

Hot Mom

Being a young mom can sound scary. After all, you’ve just figured out the whole adulating thing, and suddenly you have to be the adult-iest thing possible – a mom. Being a mom is kind of scary no matter how old you are, but there are definitely some benefits to being a young mom. As it turns out, being the youngest mom at the playground is pretty damn awesome!

It’s Easier to Keep Up

There are plenty of things you see and hear on the playground and on playdates. I was always a younger mom, so there were certain kinds of moms who were more willing to talk to me. Stay-at -home moms were always up for a chat, but moms who were clearly just off of work always seemed a bit off-put by me. I can’t say it had anything to do with age, as I personally fall squarely into the hot mess mom camp with a healthy does of crunchy mom thrown in. Despite all that, I could still keep up with my crazy kid! I might have forgotten to bring an extra pair of pants and diapers for emergencies, but my kid looked pretty adorable wrapped up in a blanket like a toga.

The Transition Was Easier

Change is always hard. Full stop. But it can also be exciting if you let it  – and that’s how I felt about motherhood. I was just settling into my serious adulating groove when I got pregnant – so instead of having two separate transitions, I really only had one. When I became an adult, I didn’t have to fit a child into a life I already had. My child was my life, and I had to fit myself in around her. There was no giving up of luxuries or me time because I was always working so much that I never really had it in the first place. It was one of the rare situations where ignorance was truly bliss.

My Friends Changed

I did lose some of my old friends. That was a bit sad, but looking back, I think it was for the best. I wasn’t going out clubbing at night, and I couldn’t drop everything for an impromptu trip to Vegas. Frankly, when it came down to it, I didn’t want to. I wanted to take my kid to the park. Kids today spend about 50 percent less time in unstructured play than they did in the ‘70s, which my parents like to remind me of, so I make it a point to spend time outside with my little bug to let her do her thing.

I wanted to make new friends who also wanted to take their kids to the park. Other moms understand that they can’t offer random children food, since they don’t know who’s allergic to what. They know that if my child is fighting, they can come and get me to handle it, instead of trying to do it themselves. I wanted new friends who I would have something in common with, and I found a few – all older than me – since the age of first-time moms is climbing in the U.S.

It’s Worth It

Ever since my baby girl was born and I knew that she would be mine, forever, I have felt nothing but joy. Sure, I’ve done my fair share of complaining about breastfeeding an 18-month-old and the joys of teething, but I would never change any of it. Besides, I’m young yet. I’ll only be 44 when she graduates high school, so I’ll have to take off work early for my daughter’s graduation. I’m fairly certain that I shouldn’t have any trouble seeing her get married, or meeting my grandchildren, assuming I get any.

Ultimately, being a mom is hard. Being a young mom isn’t harder than being an older mom, or the right-aged mom – whatever age that is. It’s just different. No matter how old or young you are when you’re on the playground or anywhere else, you’re a mom. That means more than any number.

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Kara Reynolds
Kara Reynolds is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Momish Magazine. A mom of four and matriarch to her big blended family, Kara wants nothing more than to normalize differences in family structures. She enjoys peeing alone, pancakes, and pinot noir - but not at the same time.
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