11.17.2011

Being a Young Mom

In the 21st  century being a young mom isn't exactly a popular trend. I recently was reading an articile in Today's Parent (a Canadian Parenting magazine), and the articule discussed the pros and cons to becoming a mother in your 20's, 30's, and 40's. The pros and cons presented for being a 20-something new mom were:

Pros:
1. As a young woman in your 20's you are most fertile, therefore conceiving is most likely during this age.
2. In your 20's you're likely to have less complications in your pregnancy.
3. You're also more likely to "bounce back" post-baby and have more energy and fit into your skinny jeans sooner than a 30 or 40-something woman.

Cons:
1. Your career plans are put on hold at such a young age. You may have to quit school, or delay further educational pursuits.
2. You won't be able to travel and experience the fun parties and exotic islands that the 30 and 40-year old mama's experienced pre-baby.
3. You probably aren't as mature as older women, so you'll have a harder time connecting with your partner, and disciplining your children.
4. Over all, you may feel like you've missed out. While your friends are climbing the corporate ladder, travelling to wonderful places, and getting to know themselves, you'll be trapped in your home with your small, screaming children.

I may be over-exaggerating my "summary" of this article a bit. But, in reality, this is the reaction of so many people to young moms. You only have to be a young mom to figure out what everybody else thinks (or in my case, a young mom-to-be).

Instead of accepting this list of pros and cons, I have decided to come up with my own list.

Pros:
1. You may have an easier time conceiving, a less complicated pregnancy, and have the ability to "bounce back" quickly in your 20's.
2. If being a mother is something that you've always dreamed of, you get to start your career early! As a young mom you can master the art of diaper-changing, nap-taking, and constant cuddling. Being a mom is the greatest career that you could ever choose. But, if you want to balance a career outside of the home, and your family you can do that too! Nobody is stopping you from doing both, no matter what your age is.
3. Travelling is not off-limits just because you have a family. If you can't afford to travel to Peru you can always find less expensive places to travel to (Canada is full of amazing destinations!) Not to mention the fact that you will likely be an empty nester in your late 40's. You bank account will likely allow you to travel more frequently and in better style in your 40's than in your 20's anyway.

Every single person is different. Most 20-year-olds that are married and having children are doing this because they want to. They wouldn't be happy travelling alone or with a bunch of girls to Europe. They wouldn't be happy working 12-hour days, climbing the career ladder. They don't need to save for expensive purses, or fancy shoes, because their priorities are just different. A 20-year-old with a growing family has a very fulfilling life, and is not looking back regretting their choices. They are holding their wonderful children and thanking God for such amazing gifts.

Cons:
1. It's hard. But so is being a mom at 30 or 40. Being a wife, mother, daughter, friend, and the many other roles that women take on is hard.

With all that being said, I have nothing against women who want to travel before having kids, or want to enjoy their husband, or want to work for a few years. Everybody makes choices for their lives that suit their desires and their needs. But, being a young mom doesn't mean that you're missing out. I have no desire to work outside the home. That may sound crazy, but it's true. I have no desire to spend thousands of dollars on clothes and shoes, when I could be building a home and a future for my family. I have no desire to travel if its not with my husband, and hopefully one-day my kids. This is my desire for my life. Nobody can make a pros and cons list for someone else. We each make our own, and that's how it should be.

13 comments:

  1. Brianna, I was looking forward to this post and wow, it has surpassed my expectations! I really really enjoyed it, and I agree with your pros and cons, not the 'usual' ones. The best thing about your blog is that I kinda indentify myself with mostly everything you talk about and this post so far is the one I like the most.
    I was surprised when you said you are pregnant, straight away I thought ' Wow, just got married, so young and...a mom-to-be ' but hang on, whats the matter? You are not missing anything, and your pros are so TRUE. When we are young, we have fun, we go out (mostly kids just think about getting drunk and parties), we are into different things. I had this 'time' too, and Im 20, nearly 21. As time goes by, our priorities change. I think its much more fun to stay at home, watch a nice movie, cuddle my beautiful boyfriend than going out every single wknd, kissing different guys and stuff.
    Congratulations, Im pretty sure you will enjoy ( and are enjoying life ) as much as any other kid, the difference your focus is your family, your husband and of course your mates, but in an 'adult' way (could I sayd that? Any way...)

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  2. Hey Brianna
    It's Kirsten. I totally agree with this post - I have gotten a lot of odd reactions from people. I just did everything early though. engaged at 19. married at 20. pregnant at 21.

    I am curious though - do you ever wish that you didn't attend University? I loved my 3 yr. Gerontology program and it was a fantastic experience but I sometimes wonder if I would have been better going to college for something shorter and working an extra year or two to make money.

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  3. Tiffany (you dont know me lol)17 November 2011 at 17:03

    I loved this article!
    First off, I have to say that this line: "You bank account will likely allow you to travel more frequently and in better style in your 40's than in your 20's anyway"... is exactly my thought too!
    I have never regretted my decision to have my daughter young. I do regret that our financial situation has been on and off, but that has nothing to do with the child we are raising.
    I met my now fiance at 19, had our daughter together at 21, was engaged at 22, and am getting married this upcoming fall, I'm 24 now, I'll be 25 then. And we plan on having our next soon after that. I love being a young mom, and I think I do just as good a job, if not a better one, than my older-mommy freinds. :)

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  4. Really great entry. I'm pursuing further education and working towards a career because that's what I want to do with my life. However I don't expect every person my age to want to do the same. I have the utmost respect for people who choose to do with their life something that may be against the norm, or what is expected of them. Do with your life what will make you the most happy and set you up for the future you desire for yourself. You should be proud that you're pursuing a life that is atypical of people our age because it is what is right for you. Don't let anyone else dictate what is right for your life. Too many people cave to the pressures of society that tell them they need to do a certain thing at a certain time and end up unhappy and not living a fulfilling life.

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  5. I love that you are going to be a young (yummy) mommy! You are going to make the best mother ever and I am so glad to be by your side :) I can't wait for our little bubu to be born! I love you :)

    Daniel

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  6. I love this:)

    The thing is God has a perfect timing for everything, even if it is not what we thought would happen. With this pregnancy coming before my University Graduation, it's a surprise but I am so glad that we get to add onto our little family!

    I guess I have always been early for everything, started dating Wes at 14, engaged at 18, married 19 and now pregnant at 20, but that's just us and it's true, I would much rather be starting a family then out drinking.

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  7. Interesting but there is nothing worse than seeing a child giving birth to a child.......Not cool, babies are not accessories that you can put away. Girls, please grow up a little before you get preggers

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    1. Gabrielle, thank you for not posting this comment an an anonymous user. For this reason, I will leave your comment up here. Maturity has nothing to do with age, as you have so clearly proven.

      I have many words I'd like to say to you, but I'll just say that attacking a woman for having a family and saying that what I have chosen in life is "the worse" thing that I could have done is totally misguided. What if I chose to be a drug addict? what if I chose to rob a bank? what if I chose to work a corporate job and scam people out of there hard earned money? I guess there's nothing worse than devoting your time and energy to raising up children to be loving and caring people.

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    2. Well....maturity might well be an issue is you feel attacked in anyway! It is just a shame that our physical prime doesn't occur when we are emotionally ready. I know that at 22 ( or whatever) you might well feel like the world is your oyster and that you know everything and you're ready to take it on but as time goes on you realise how niave you were at that age. All that I'm saying is that kids are a massive commitment that is going to be around for the rest of your life so a) don't rush into b) don't be pressured into it and c) don't feel like you have to have kids. So, just take your time, live a little, have fun as a couple because, if you do choose to have kids, it will never be just the two of you ever again. The same goes for marriage, I know how some Christian communities promote early marriages but, again, if you do want to get married, take your time..... You're not going to be young and single for the rest of your life so take your time and enjoy being single for a few years. It's great!

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    3. well yes I did, and do feel attacked because this is what I feel called to. I AM married and I AM also a mother to a six-month-old. Perhaps some people may view children as an accessory, but the moment your child is born and you feel that magnificent bond, nothing but pure love is born. At least for me. To make a sweeping and general comment that I am naive, or other young mothers are, is just very unfounded. Until you yourself are married and have children you can never understand the hard work but also the beautiful rewards that come with having a family of your own.

      I never felt pushed into marriage or motherhood. It's something I purposefully chose for myself. It's something I'm proud of and rejoice in each day. And "despite" my age, I think I'm doing a pretty good job with both.

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  8. Hey Brianna.
    I agree with you 100%. Gabrielle, I don't think it's fair that you are judging young moms. With the rate of single parents and broken families why are you attacking a young woman that CHOSE to have her baby in a loving, stable, and 2 parent home.

    Yes, at 22 (which I am as well - with an 8 month old) you don't know all the answers. But will I at 30, 40, 50? Life is a continuous learning experience. No parent is perfect no matter the age.

    We WANTED early marriage and early babies. And we sought the Lord before making our decisions.
    Your life is your life. Our life is our life.

    Kudos to you if you get married at 30 and have kids at 40. Enjoy your choices and let us enjoy ours.

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  9. Good on you both and all the best but having grown up in a baptist and anglican community where getting and having kids really young was promoted ++ and felt that there was NO alternative. My comment wasn't a judgment but just a flipside to your argument.... Btw, I am completely happy being single and having no kids. With all the sleepless nights, nappies, and teenage drama involved in having children, rather you than me, any day!

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  10. http://goinswriter.com/travel-young/

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