The Benefits of Being a Young Mom
When I had my first child at twenty-two, I knew I was younger than usual but I hadn’t realized how much younger until I began attending playgroups. On average, most of the other mothers were ten years older than me – well-established, mature women in their mid- to late-thirties, starting their families after years of working on a career. I found myself in a strange in-between spot, because I didn’t have the work experience that was common ground and a popular topic of discussion for them, but neither did I fit into the young, unmarried or single mom crowd that was the alternative.
Initially I was a bit jealous of those women being in the positions they were. To have had a career, earned money, had a chance to make a name for themselves, years to build up a solid relationship with a partner, no kids to disrupt and distract, the time and means to travel, decorate a home, shop freely – it seemed more like a fairytale than reality to my student lifestyle at the time. For the first two years, I was juggling part-time university classes, paying off tuition loans, hunting for second-hand baby gear, and figuring out a relatively new relationship that had begun only shortly before we got pregnant.
Now that my second child has arrived and life is feeling more predictable, I’ve grown to love being a young mom. There are real benefits to being twenty-five with two kids. While I may not have a career or extensive life experience under my belt, there are other gifts and abilities I can offer my kids. I have lots of energy for wrestling, running, and carrying heavy little bodies around. Instead of spending sleepless nights out on the town, I’m up doing nighttime feedings and soothing while recovering quickly. I will be done with infancy before I’m thirty and my kids will be out of the house by the time I’m forty. I like to think that, since my own teen years were relatively recent, I’ll be more in touch with what my kids are going through when they are teenagers. Once our kids are older, my husband and I hope to do lots of travelling and adventuring because we’ll be able to afford it and still have the stamina. We never had any struggles with declining fertility. When I start working full-time and building a career throughout my thirties, there will be no maternity leaves or major interruptions.
There are pros and cons to both sides of the debate, but instead of urging all young women to establish their careers first before thinking about having a family, as seems to be the norm nowadays, there should be more mention about the real benefits of starting early. It’s not for everyone, of course, but it can be a great option for both parents and kids.
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