I skipped my college graduation ceremony and unintentionally got pregnant instead. Welcome to the real world, said the real world. Here’s a child.
Of all the times to get pregnant! I had “dream job” interviews lined up in Manhattan, a depleted bank account (thank you, unpaid internships), and—oh yes!—I was just dropped from my parents' health insurance. (This was back in 2008; before the law was changed to accommodate the crippling recession I brought a child into. Timing!)
It was stressful, for sure, but life has a funny way of working out.
Now that I have some perspective, having a baby straight out of college wasn’t all that bad. In fact, my college lifestyle may have provided the perfect set-up to the new-mom lifestyle. Here’s why:
1. Sleep deprivation
If there’s anything that rivals the sleep deprivation of new motherhood, it’s the sleep deprivation of finals week. I was so used to being up all night studying (or partying), that having a new baby wasn’t as jarring as it could have been. If I had spent the next 10 years adjusting to a healthy sleep cycle, those first few weeks would have been way harder.
College students are well-versed in the art of napping. So while some new parents might find it hard to sneak in satisfying catnaps during the day, it was totally natural for me. I could fall asleep just about anywhere, anytime. Naps for everyone!
Morning sickness or a wicked hangover? I was used to it.
4. Living with strangers
It’s never easy to invite a new person into your living space, but I had spent the last four years moving in and out with roommates, adjusting to different living styles and making compromises. I had no routine to disrupt, no “alone time” to miss.