When my husband and I first found out we were pregnant at 26 and 28, we were scared. None of our friends had children or were even pregnant. We had concerns about how it would affect our friendships. After our son was born, our friends were still going out on the weekends and on lavish vacations. We felt really left out and sometimes even questioned whether we had started our family too young. However, being the first of our friends to have kids really was a huge blessing and worked out really well.
Some of the best things about being the first of your friends to have kids are:
1. So many “aunts” and “uncles” – When our first son was born, I cannot tell you how many friends stopped by to visit us . We received so many visitors at the hospital and then also when we got home. Everyone was so excited to meet our son and he got so many pseudo aunts and uncles to love on him – and still does.
2. First choice in baby names – Choosing names for our children was not an easy task for us. We went back and forth for months with both kids and had a hard time agreeing. However, it was significantly harder with our second. Many names we liked had already been taken by friends and family members, but with our first we had way more options to choose from.
3. Unwanted parenting advice– Sure, I still got advice from strangers and family members on my “parenting” choices, but never from my friends! None of them had experienced being a mom yet, and so therefore couldn’t offer their two cents.
4. Your friends can still plan around your schedule – Since our friends didn’t have kids of their own, their schedules were so much more flexible. They were able to cater us and often times come to our house to hang out. Now when we want to go out with our friends, we have to calendar weeks or sometimes months in advance.
5. Experience with baby gifting – Most of our close friends are now growing their families. At their baby showers and when their children were born, I use our parenting experiences to buy the gifts I think they will appreciate the most.
6. Continuing to get my baby fix – Just like our friends were initially able to come visit us when our son was born, I now have more flexibility that our children are older. I am able to go visit them when their babies are born. It also satisfies my baby fix in a way my hubby appreciates.
As time goes on, I am so glad we started our family when we did. I look back on those first few weeks and smile. Those days of feeling left out were really tough. However, now our lives are filled with so much love, and we are the “experienced parent” friends!