Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Why I'm not ashamed to be a young mom.

In the eyes of most Americans, I'm probably way too young to have a baby. I mean, how could I possibly be a good mother? I haven't even had time to sow my wild oats yet! I haven't traveled the world! I haven't built my career! I haven't discovered who I am as a person! I haven't MATURED!


I'm a mom, whether you like it or not. And I'm proud of it.

I'm not saying everyone should have babies in their early 20s. It's up to each individual woman to decide when (or whether) she's going to have children. Each woman is so incredibly different that there is no "one perfect time" to start a family.

I'm not going to apologize for finding an incredible man that I wanted to spend the rest of forever with. I'm not going to apologize for caring more about a family than about a career. I'm not going to apologize for creating the most beautiful little person in the world.

Sorry, but no.

I don't feel like a foolish child who "accidentally" had a baby too young. I created this life for myself on purpose. I have a college degree, an amazing husband, and a beautiful daughter. And I was supposed to give this up for...partying every weekend? Gallivanting around the country like Jack Kerouac? Dating a bunch of losers?

Playing board games with friends is enough party for me. There will be plenty of time for gallivanting (I'm not dead, you know). And I can do without the losers.

I didn't have to give up any of my biggest dreams in order to be a mom. Having a family always was my biggest dream.

That's not to say that there aren't many other worthwhile things in life to do. I still have goals and dreams separate from my family--but being a wife and mother will always come first.

I'm not going to walk around being ashamed of the life I've been given (and that I've joyfully accepted). Not everyone can have what I have, so I'm not going to be ungrateful and act as though I deserve something different. I already have way more than I deserve. I feel incredibly lucky to have this opportunity so early in life.

I'm tired of concealing my age because I know people will make judgments. I know I'm not a perfect mother, but I also know that I'm just as dedicated to my child as any 35-year-old woman would be. And it's not anyone else's job to judge whether I'll be a good mom.

Today I'm going to let go of caring. Today I'll freely tell you that I'm 22 years old and I have a baby. Today I'll tell you I'm proud of my life, and I hope every woman who reads this feels the same way.


  1. Yay! Good for you. Love the photo.

  2. Well said! It drives me crazy when people try to label a certain age when it is "okay" for you to have children.

  3. As far as life goals, there are some things that are hard to do with a child, but some things actually get easier. For example, before Summer was born, it was just too tempting for me to plop in front of the TV and relax instead of engaging in life-enriching activities. When Summer was a newborn and nursing all the time, that was still the case. But now that she's almost 3, she motivates me to do more with my life! We moved into our neighborhood surrounded by farms a few years before Summer's birth, but it was just last year that I started taking advantage of the great stuff all around us. Now we buy fresh local produce (because Summer has to be exposed to healthy food) and go to U-pick places (for a fun outing and some physical activity). It's a delight to do those things with Summer. By myself, it didn't happen. As Summer gets older, I'm figuring I'll get to learn all sorts of things that I wouldn't have been motivated to learn on my own. I'm looking forward to doing science experiments and going on field trips and taking classes with Summer. Kids make everything more fun because of their natural energy and enthusiasm.

    Summer does interfere with my "career." I work fewer hours because someone needs to be with Summer, and I don't try as hard to brush up on material that would make me a better tutor. But I think most people work primarily as a means to create the life they want, so it doesn't make sense to pass up on the experiences they want in order to work more!

    Travel is easier and cheaper without kids. But I think it will be much more rewarding with children (when they're old enough to appreciate it). Ken and I want to travel with our kids when they're older. I guess there's a risk that our health won't allow it, but that's an advantage to having kids when you're young! You'll still be in your 30's (barely) when your daughter becomes an adult, and I bet you could have a blast traveling the world with her!

    1. I agree! There's not a lot I can do with my baby right now (and when she was first born, I definitely felt restricted), but I'm already making a lot of positive changes in my life because of her. I'm just more motivated to be a better person and to fill my life with good things now that I know I'm creating an environment for my daughter to grow in. I'm excited for all the fun and enriching things we'll get to do when she's older. And I'm totally looking forward to traveling with her!

  4. The other consideration is that so many people lose their fertility when they're "older." It's shocking to me how many women I learn about that have trouble conceiving, even in late 20's and early 30's. People assume that in this day and age, with the technology we have, that it will be easy to have as many kids as they want, even if they delay it. I am really glad we started having kids right away, or we might not have any!

    1. That's so true, and so sad. And even if a woman's infertility doesn't have to do with age, she will need time to learn about it and try different methods if she wants to have children biologically. I think people believe that getting pregnant is always easy because of how much pressure is put on teenagers to use birth control. "All it takes is one time!" They don't realize that it's much easier when you're 16 than it is when you're older.