This post might cause an uproar but I’ve had this topic on my mind a lot recently. I know all babies are different, that’s for sure but when it comes to raising a child at different stages and ages of your life, I feel like I’m finally understanding that being a young mom was selfish. My dreams were to get married around 25 and have my first kid when I was 27. While I was 27 when I had Baby M, Little E came at the young age of 21. Maybe that’s not young in some people’s eyes but for me, it was.
Constantly I reflect back to when Little E was a baby and how I cared for him. I did everything for him but honestly, I don’t think I was as great of a mother as I could have been. I was surrounded by plenty of young moms around my age and we collectively raised our children the same way to a degree. We had our lives and the kids had theirs. We had errands to run and the kids always made everything difficult. Going out was a struggle because we would have to pay for a sitter to enjoy ourselves. We loved our kids but they could be more of an inconvenience then the coping mechanism many had hoped for. Gasp! Yes, I said that. Its a hard pill to swallow and maybe some of the moms would never admit this but in reality that’s what they were back then. Believe me, I feel terrible for saying that but the more I reflect, the more I realize how selfish I was.
I was young and had my own agenda. I would hang out with my closest mom friends and we would have get togethers at each other’s houses and when the kids would cry, we would get irritated. You know, babies are suppose to know what they want and sleep through the night, duh. Everyone matures differently but after being a military wife and witnessing many young mothers with the same struggles I had back then, its really eye opening to look back on.
I honestly loved being a military wife but the rumors are true most of the time. You marry a man in the military young and you start popping out babies. Why is that? Well the military can easily strain your marriage. I saw many couples struggle on deployments, I saw cheating to no end, I saw wives completely shut themselves out of everyone’s lives because they couldn’t cope. So when your husband finally comes home you inadvertently make babies. Babies help heal the loneliness. Or so everyone thinks.
Now that I have had my second child at 27, I’ve realized even more so how being a young mother was incredibly selfish. Yes, my oldest was loved and cared for and was never put in harm’s way but the level of mothering is so different now that I’m older. I’m not as naive about my children’s healthcare options or the foods I allow them to eat. I’m more conscious of what they know and are learning quickly on a daily basis.
I’m so proud of the boys I have raised thus far but if I could offer any advice to young couples out there it would be to wait. Enjoy being young and married. Enjoy the freedom of not constantly worrying. Enjoy dashing out of town on a whim with only the clothes on your back. Just enjoy each other until you know without a doubt that having a child together is not a choice out of boredom, loneliness, pressure, or to keep your relationship together.
Robin Masshole Mommy says
I had my first at 28 and never would have done it sooner. I don’t think it would have been fair to me to give up those years . 28 was the perfect age for me.
Shirley Wood says
I’ve always heard ‘With age, comes wisdom’. We improve with age in so many ways. My children are 8 years apart and I think I was a much better parent with the second one. Now that they are grown, I’m close to both of them and neither of them complain about their youth, whew!
I actually feel the opposite. I got pregnant at 17, and he was born at 18 and I wouldn’t change a thing. Doing it on my own for the first almost 4 years, and that bond we had was incredible. He didn’t miss out on anything, and although I did it was amazing. Now we are expecting #7 and I feel like all I know came from that time, and if it happened any other way it may be SO different.
I actually was “late “when I had my first child at 32. I think you’re right being a little older and a little more mature helps your child to grow and mature also. I do know a lot of young mothers my best friend had hers at 18 but I can tell the difference between her first child and her last child. She loved her first child with all her heart and took care of him the best she knew how but as you get older you naturally mature and you just seem to settle in better.
GiGi Eats says
I am not yet a mother. I am getting married this year though and with married comes baby… Like the song goes, ha! He and I have been talking about kids. We are both in our late 20s, early 30s. I think living your 20s without restraint like children, or even serious relationships, is very important in order to figure out who you are as a person. That being said, each to their own.
Katrina | TOTSFamily.com says
I think you made an interesting point. I think at the end of the day the takeaway is no one is prepared to be a mom the first time. We all do the best we can and sometimes we wish we could have changed something.
Couldn’t agree more!
Thanks for sharing your honest story, we all have different opinions, feelings and such with life – that’s okay. It’s great to have a platform to share it on!
Liz Mays says
I can definitely understand where you’re coming from. I was pretty young when I had my first. I think waiting is becoming increasingly common for the newer generations.
I think when you have babies is definitely a personal thing. You have to be ready for it, and everyone is ready at different ages.
Jenn @ EngineerMommy says
When it comes to deciding when is the right time to have kids, every woman is different. It’s a personal decision and I don’t think there is always a clear-cut answer. I was 26 when I had my first and I loved it!
Jeni Hawkins says
I’m not a mom, but don’t think I would EVER be prepared! Kudos for you, and making the best of your situation!!!
I had my first baby at 25 and my 2nd one at 27. I don’t think I was too late or too early
I’ve never had kids so I can’t really comment on this but I can say that timing his everything.
Amanda @ Adorkablii says
I don’t think anyone is prepared to be a mother at any age. It’s a totally different ball game. I was 19 when I had my son. For me , he saved my life. I didn’t want any children but because of him I am here.
Being a mom can be a blessing but it is the most difficult job ever. You are judged by everyone and anyone. You are starred at for letting your child cry or always picking them up. You can never win in the eyes of others. You just have to do your best and hope your child turns out somewhat better then you did. That’s all you really can do…
Being a young mom defiantly has its disadvantages but I have no regrets. Everything happens for a reason and I am glad I had my kids when I did.
I was a young mom, and then had my second daughter at almost 30. They were totally different lives. Different experiences for myself and for my girls. I totally understand what you are saying here, and agree with some of it.
I’m due next month with my first child and I’m 29. SO many people asked us for years when we were going to have kids and I never had the answer because I, too, felt too young. It wasn’t the right time for me despite the fact that everyone I knew seemed to be having kids. I feel so much more ready now, even if I still feel pretty unprepared!
Ashley Whipple says
I think you had some additional stressors than just being a young mom. I imagine being a military spouse is incredibly difficult and stressful too. I think no matter what age you have your children, you’re going to be a little wiser and better with the second one. Just comes with experience, even if your children are very close in age.
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I think we change as women throughout our years. We mature it’s inevitable and our priorities change. We come into our own mindset. I believe we begin to figure out who we really are and we begin to find different parts of ourselves at different stages of our lives. Then instead of having friends because we were in school with them or because they are other military wives or neighbors etc we find friends who are like minded as we get older. All of this effects our mothering. I was a different mom at 18 and thought everything MUST be routined and that my child should be pushed at 2 and 3 years old to academic achievement (of course she rose to the occasion 🙂 ) I spent my day teaching her and filling her full of anything she showed interest in. I was a different mom at 25 letting go of some of that routined craziness and super over achievement that I thought my children needed and that I thought that I had to do and was expected to do. I was a different mom and 30 when I asked myself why my babies were forced to sleep rooms away when I was nursing and we were both exhausted it made no sense to me any more not to co=sleep. Then when Eli was born when I was over 40 I am a way different mom. I learned that before you know it time is gone and the most important thing is one more hug, one more snuggle one more kiss on the sweet little cheek of that precious baby because truly you only have them for a moment. I’ve learned the importance of nurturing is way different than meeting needs and really in my opinion is much more important than anything. I think that is why Nanas are so awesome they have come to a point in life it’s just about being happy and safe while bringing joy into children’s lives. I loved this article! I love you and your honesty as well. It’s beautiful my sweet always amazing talented daughter who could write her name at 2 years old like a pro and who I always knew could conquer the world in any way she chose becuase her strength radiates from her! <3
Edwin Wong says
The word “selfish” you mention is very natural for a human being. I think in this world we are all selfish on our own terms. What you did is not an evil deed. We are human, in thousand of work we seek to comfort where we can release our stress. When we can do this our work efficiency improves a lot. You did great as a mom to your child and I belive you would be a great mom to your children.