When I first learned I was pregnant with Annabelle, I had just turned 23.
This put me squarely in the "young mom" category, and it also instantly labeled me as the first of my close friends to have a baby.
Most of my friends were barely married or out of grad school, and they were nowhere close to being “baby ready.”
This is why I spent a great deal of time thinking about how little I would have in common with them after the baby came.
I was so worried they would be bored with my new, motherly life and leave me behind in their fabulous dust.
Since the arrival of Lady A (and Graham 13 years later), my friendships have only grown stronger.
I have found out exactly what happens when you're the first of your friends to have kids, and it's pretty awesome.
These are my top five reasons why being the first mom in your group is the bomb:
1. They have no idea if you’re screwing it up.
One of the best things about my close friends not yet being moms is they have absolutely no idea if I’m practicing voodoo magic on my children, so they support every decision I make.
Oh, swaddling your child until he or she is 1 is a thing? Cool.
Putting your newborn son in smocked, monogrammed clothes is in? Sounds good.
It’s normal for the kid to take off his or her diapers and pee in the crib? Whatever you say.
Breastfeeding is a gift from God? You go, girl.
Breastfeeding is from the devil? Give that baby a bottle.
My friends who don’t yet have babies — even my BFF who just finished med school to become a pediatrician — just assume I know what I’m doing.
It’s pretty awesome.
2. They listen to (and actually kind of enjoy) all the gross and terrifying moments during your pregnancy.
People who have already had kids have no desire to listen to you whine about how terrible pregnancy is.
They also don’t really want to look at your first sonogram picture a million times, trying to help you decide, “Is that little thing right there a penis or an elbow?”
People without kids love this stuff.
“You think your what is in the toilet? Send me a pic.”
3. They’re just as excited as you are because none of you have any idea what you’re getting into.
My kidless friends loved playing Name The Baby.
They sent me parenting articles and wanted to FaceTime while I was in labor.
I’m the closest they’ve ever been to pregnancy, and their curiosity was intense.
“I can’t wait to squeeze that baby.”
“Your pregnancy skin is amazing. Which prenatals are you taking?”
“I want to buy the baby some outfits. How many tutus are too many?”
Coworkers and relatives who already have kids never — not even once — asked me questions like this.
They were all about the business.
“When is your due date?”
“Make sure you get the epidural.”
“Make sure you get enough sleep beforehand.”
4. Your kids will have the undivided love and adoration of all their bonus aunts and uncles.
When your baby is the first baby in the group, he or she is everyone's baby.
My friends routinely request pictures of the kids (or steal them off my social media) to show off to their other friends and coworkers.
Sometimes, they post the photos to their own social media accounts.
“Auntie Cort’s #MCM goes out to #monstergraham again.”
“Look at my best friend’s baby. Is she not the cutest? I know. She should totally be a baby model.”
“Why are your kids so cute? They make me want one. Kinda. Like in 10 years.”
Don’t get me wrong; our relatives with kids love our babies and totally think they’re the cutest ever.
But their hearts and news feeds are already too full with their own kids for mine to be the stars.
5. One by one, your friends will all turn to you for advice.
Slowly but surely, each of your kidless friends will fall pregnant.
They will, of course, turn to your expert advice. (Remember: According to them, you can do no wrong.)
They will find their own parenting legs like you did, and you will now have a new baby in need of all those tutus and swaddles.