10 signs you're the first of your friends to have a baby
Being the first one of your friends to have a baby is really exciting, but it can also be kind of lonely and confusing.
You're starting down a road of baby wipes and breast pads and weak pelvic floor muscles while they might be somewhat bemused by your newfound specialist knowledge of and interest in 'The Infinite Varieties of Infant Poo Texture and Their Possible Meanings'.
Luckily, good friends that they are, hopefully, they'll bear with your new obsession with baby sleep patterns and wipe clean clothing and you'll still get to have nights with your pals where 'up all night' is a good thing.
10 signs you're the first of your friends to have a baby:
1. No one calls
This is either because they are terrified that you're going to blurt out some horrific truth about childbirth that they will never be able to unhear... OR... they are afraid of bothering you and are trying to be considerate and give you space.
2. Everyone calls
And stays WAAAAAAAAAAAY too long. Forgive them they know not the error of their ways. They don't realise every minute of idle bitching about who said what at the pub last week is a minute you could be sleeping right now.
3. No one knows what the hell to do
You, them, NO ONE. The first time my best friend and I tried to erect the pram on a trip to town was like an extended, elaborate piece of physical comedy. At one point she was actually trapped inside it while I tried to flag down passing families and Google YouTube tutorials of pram unfolding.
4. You will get LOADS of pressies
If your Bitch Herd is anything like my Bitch Herd, they will go M-A-D on the adorable outfits; the sheer novelty is irresistible to them. By the time there's a few more babies kicking around the group this may have worn off somewhat though by then, there'll be lots of adorable hand-me-downs.
5. There're a few willing babysitters kicking around
This is a particularly useful one. The Bitch Herd were keen to have "a go" of the baby. They were also keen to bring their other halves along to road test their abilities with babies and rate their father-potential. Three hours of infant colic was more than enough encourage them to consider voluntary sterilisation. We didn't get a whiff of another baby on the way in the group for a further three years. I've decided not to take this personally.
6. You are forced to take parenting advice from the internet (or worse: Your mother)
There are two reasons why this isn't a great idea. 1) The internet doesn't know you or your baby and as we all know the Internet can be a touch hysterical when it comes to making and raising small humans. 2) Your mother knows you far too well and is liable to find ways of pissing you off (in your highly sensitive, sleep-deprived state) simply by the tone in which she asks "How are you?" Also, while our mothers are glorious, all-knowing beings, they are not contemporary parents. They come from a prehistoric parenting age when giving up drinking while pregnant was the height of eccentricity and babies were expected to feed and clothe themselves and help with the younger ones by about 15 months.
7. It can be a bit lonely
Sometimes it takes having a life altering shift like a baby's arrival, to show you who your real friends are. Lots of women talk about losing touch with their friends after having children. It's important to remember that friendships take work from both sides, but if you feel that you're the one making all the effort perhaps it's better to concentrate on making some new friends too. See point 8.
8. You are forced to stalk other mums to make them your friend
I felt a bit like how I imagine a serial killer must feel when stalking his prey as I followed a few paces behind a vulnerable new mum, lurking and waiting for a favourable moment to strike up what would inevitably turn into a nervy, awkward exchange worse than any teenage boy at the youth club disco. "Oh...uh... I see you have a baby... I have one too... I've got it right here... see?" Incredibly, however, I did have moderate success with this stalkerish approach and am now the proud owner of a few bona fide mum-friends.
9. It's tempting to try and induce them to 'come over to the dark side.'
RESIST! There is nothing more annoying for a woman without children than womb-watch. You won't encourage anything except eye-rolling with this 'motivating'.
10. You become the baby oracle
I feel kind of sorry for my friends that I'm the person they come to for baby advice, a quick glance at my snot-encrusted, deviant child will tell you everything about my sub-par parenting skillz. Be that as it may, I'm still thrilled to be of any help at all. We all feel honoured when asked for help and advice and there's nothing more exciting than watching your best friend become a mum.
Were YOU the first of your gang to make a baby? Tell us in the comments...