The more kid-trends I see on social media, the more I realize that I am no longer a young mom – although in my head I'm only 30-something, but I have to face reality at some point.
However, Facebook will never let me forget.
Now, my youngest is turning 12 in a little over a week, so my chance to post pictures every month with little number patches on tiny onesies, is out.
Half my children were born in the 20th century and the other half in the 21st, which makes my oldest kids millennials. (What are 21st century kids called? Do they even have a name yet?)
For a moment, let's go back in time (did you sing that in your head? – Gotta get back in time…) to the last century.
The 90's- back before we partied like it was 1999 and felt the Y2K panic. To a time when phones were just for talking and capturing the moment meant portraits taken of our offspring at…
Come on, say it with me…
Oh, my fellow parents of young adults, let us reminisce. Let's tell the parents of today how they have missed wriggling little bodies stuffed in tiny cradles and plopped in bathtubs positioned to make them look naked.
Oh how to make the perfectly-timed appointment, somewhere between feeding and nap time in order to get the "happy" window. Because you don't want to have to pack up and come again.
At least not before next month. You had to next month.
Because you bought the package. The "Watch-Me-Grow" package.
Tons of cash and lots of pre-planning, because you must buy just the right amount of pictures so that when you have to sit down, address, and mail them to friends and relatives, you must not miss anyone.
Because they would know. Somehow, even before Facebook, they would find out.
Thus, the overbuy.
Today, in the backs of the baby books sit sheets of unsent pictures that you can't throw away, because that's your kid.
And that would be wrong.
Oh, young ones, #thestrugglewasreal.
Social media has made it so easy for parents to share their babies. Not to mention, cheap.
The package prices – can we talk? But how can you put a price on memories? And every picture is adorable.
Every. Single. One.
Then, as more kids come, you get the cute Christmas pictures of littles looking at books in front of festive backdrop that is clearly not your house.
Now I know many have pictures taken by professional photographers. But even these are trends are different.
Maternity pictures. Which are stunning and I'm very jealous I didn't have those done.
Did Olan Mills even offer? I think not.
Now, mommies-to-be post pictures of every stage of the "bump" along with chalkboard signs and comparing baby size to fruit.
I just know when my girl was the size of a rice-Krispie. I'm not sure that would have qualified.
My bump was a boulder by the time we got pictures. Like right before labor.
Pregnant pics were mostly afterthoughts – like, "Oh, we should probably get a picture," usually for the baby book in the "While Mommy was Waiting for Me" section so that I wouldn't face the shame another blank space like the "Daddy before Marrying Mommy" slot.
I could have least worn a shirt without a stain.
Nowadays there is so much prep.
The gender reveal. Not sure when that actually started but we have been finding out the gender of our babies for at least the last 20 years.
But now there are parties? Are there presents? Why didn't I think of this?
Speaking of presents, I need enlightening on this one.
The Push Present.
Mom gets a present from Dad for pushing out the baby? Didn't he just give Mom a baby?
Seriously, it a sweet way to commemorate the occasion. Not that you will forget it. I never had a push present but my husband and I recall each and every birth by what food he ate while I was in labor.
Back to the present -can it be anything? I do see lots of jewelry.
Yet I keep thinking this could be problematic. Apparently new dads don't know what babies do to necklaces.
They eat them.
If this had been a thing in my day (I sound so old and grandmotherly – I actually kind of like it in a weird way), I would want him to give me the gift of a nap. Or maid service.
Alas, we generation X mommies and those from earlier generations only had baby showers. Sometimes only one and some only for the first or second baby.
Somehow, people figured that after a couple of kids, we really had everything we needed. Except sleep, but that still hasn't happened in my case.
But back to Olan Mills and that monthly appointment. We just keep signing up and packing them all up and praying that the squeaky duck would make baby laugh. Then came baby three, and then four.
And one day, your youngest may or may not have asked why his picture looks different and you don't actually tell him that you may have forgotten to set his three-month picture appointment and his was taken at home and developed by Walgreens.
All purely hypothetical, of course.