By Paula Rollo
These are only a few of the pros and cons to being a young mom. The last two aren’t really “bad” things, just things that are harder! I’m sure a similar list could be made for those that became mothers later in life as well.
- Young enough for sleepless nights – Even though it’s hard to be up all night with a teething baby, or waking up every hour to feed her, I’m glad that I can still function the next day. I might not be the cutest or happiest mama in the world if I haven’t slept, but I can make it through the day with my eyes open. Maybe it’s because just a few years ago I was choosing to pull all-nighters as I stayed up watching TV or chatting with friends. Maybe it’s just mama magic. But I’m thankful to be able to make it on no sleep.
- Remembering what it’s like to be a kid – I feel like I’m a pretty understanding mom (so far), and part of that is because I remember what it’s like to be a kid! My son was born when I was 20 years old, I was practically still a kid myself, and it has helped me to be more patient with him because I remember being the kid too!
- Energy – This one kinda goes with number 1, but I’m thankful that I have the energy to run around on the playground with my kids, or have “dance parties” in our living room. It’s exhausting now, so I can’t imagine trying to chase toddlers any later in life.
- Life after kids – Hubby and I had both of our kids by the time we were 22 years old. Which means they will potentially both be out on their own before we’re even 50. There’s a lot of life left for us to live post-kiddos, we have no idea what we’re going to do with that time, but it’s pretty neat to think about after a tiring day.
- Grandkids – Okay, my oldest is only 2, so I have awhile before any grandkids will be on the scene, but it’s exciting to think that because I’m a young mom, I’ll probably be a young grandma too! Lots of time to play with grandbabies and spoil them rotten!
And the worst:
- Judgmental stares – Glares in the middle of Target if my son is out of line for even an instant, the “nice” lady at the grocery store who asks me, “You are done now, right?” when she sees that I have a young toddler and I’m pregnant again. When pregnant I got long over exaggerated glances from my bare left hand (my fingers were too swollen to wear my wedding ring) to my swollen pregnant belly. I could go on and on. Maybe older moms get all this too, but I’m sure tired of it!
- I’m not his sister – If one more person “assumes” I’m my child’s older sister or nanny I might just scream! I’m proud that my kids are mine and I want credit for them 😉
- Not knowing what I’m doing – Yes, I do get annoyed when strangers assume I need their unsolicited advice just because I’m young, but really, a lot of the time I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, it can be scary at times, but I’m learning and we are figuring it out as we go! I’m definitely not a perfect mama! I doubt that I would be any more sure of myself if I was older, but I might have been a more confident person in general had I waited to have kids until later in life. That could have helped.
- Marriage – Marriage is different after kiddos. Hubby and I had barely been married for a year when we found out we were having a baby. It definitely changed our relationship a lot, and we have to work a lot harder to stay connected, but it is well worth the extra effort, and we are having fun “beating the odds” together. (Marrying young, and having kids right away)
- Friendships are different – It’s hard to be close friends with people who don’t have children. If most of your friends aren’t having kids yet, it can be a challenge to stay close with all of them because they have more freedom and can be more flexible with their time. Kids change everything about life, and that’s hard to understand until you have your own children. I’m not saying it’s impossible to be friends with
people that don’t have kiddos. I’m just saying it’s hard.
The point is. Motherhood is wonderful. And fun. And hard. No matter your age, or your kiddos age(s) there are going to be challenges, there is going to be laughs and there is going to be lots of LOVE. I love being a young mom. I love the chaos and the giggles. I love watching my kids grow and I love that they are teaching me so much about life, even as I attempt to teach them.
All things considered: Young motherhood is just plain awesome.
Paula is a 22 year old wife and mommy. She and her hubby eloped when they were both 18 and became parents less than 2 years later. They are now a family of four learning and growing together! Paula loves writing and encouraging people. When she’s not playing with her kids, reading, or hanging out with her hubby she can be found writing about life on her blog
Beauty Through Imperfection.