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21 April 2009

Hats Off To The Young Mamas

If, like me, you are addicted to Momversation, then I'm sure you've already watched the recent session. This one's all about the young mamas and it makes me happy right down to my toes that they are talking about this.

I was twenty one when we decided to have a baby, twenty two when I delivered and I'm now twenty three years old. In my social circle (and in general) I am not the "youngest of the young" when it comes to joining motherhood. I have friends who were in their teens when they began their families & I look up to those mamas everyday.

Us young moms are often at the dirt end of the pity stare down, but we really don't need to be. We're a tough crowd & sure we may need help, but this isn't exclusive to young moms, heck no! It's not even exclusive to new moms! At any age there are going to be difficulties in raising babes -- those difficulties are just packaged differently.

I recently had an ageist experience where an older woman asked me, "Well, who's baby is that?" as I was rocking Gretchen back and forth in her car seat. If I had been in my 30s I doubt she'd have been half as curious. I've also had the, "Was it planned?" conversation a few time which is basically like being told, "You look too young to have done this on purpose."

Don't pity us younger mamas, just smile & know that love is love and our age has nothing to do with how that love translates to our wee ones.



Blogger Tiny House said...

Oh my goodness--here in WA state, it's no big deal that I had my son at 24. But when we lived in Boston (where I delivered,) you'd have thought I was a high school dropout! So many comments, rude conversations, etc. My favorite was, "So what's it like to be a young mother?" Seriously, sometimes I wanted to ask them what it's like to be an old mother. Sheesh!

April 21, 2009 at 11:50 AM  
Blogger Nadia said...

Amen. I haven't had any negative comments but I have felt singled out by the older mothers because of it. I've had the looks and the raised eyebrows. People are so quick to judge regardless of the situation.

Funny how things change. Decades ago you were considered an old maid by 25 and now if you decide to have a baby before 30 people look at you strangely.

Thanks for the link. I hadn't heard about momversation before reading this and now I can't get off of it!

April 21, 2009 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Elly said...

I loved the GGC post about just this, and this post is just as great. I loathe the judgemental attitude that just because your young means you shouldn't be a mother, or that your mothering skills might in some way be compromised because of your youth. It really is ridiculous. Go you for this post :)

April 21, 2009 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger heartshapedbox said...

Hm I have to say I think there's a lot more to the equation than just simply being a young mother. As far as teens go I think the general point of view is just most teenagers didn't PLAN on having that child, (and let's be honest, you know your maturity level is world's different now vs. when you were 17) so the judgment begins there. Also another big factor if you're just in your young 20's or whatnot is marriage. Everyone looks differently at the importance of marriage but I think in general as a society people probably would look differently at a married 21 year old mother vs. an unmarried one. I think all the judgment roots back to them thinking it was unplanned/irresponsible/you have an estranged baby daddy somewhere.

(none of this reflects my personal views, just food for thought)

April 21, 2009 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger naptimewriting said...

Hey, if it makes you feel any better, as an older mom (baby in my mid-thirties) I can tell you that part of that dirty look is jealousy. Honestly. (I don't think I give the dirty look, but i might, and only because I haven't slept in three years.) Older moms find out how hard it is to have a child when they're used to making their own decisions, creating their own successes, and having that screech to a halt if they plan to actually take care of their child. We often talk together, we ancient and wrinkly moms, about how it might have been better to do this earlier, before we knew any better, while we had energy and the promise of a whole life after the children moved out. As it is, we have a hefty chunk of life behind us and have hit the pause button for what might be 20 years. That's really scary and life-altering.
So just smile when you get those looks and rude questions and assume that the other person is jealous that you are young enough to have this wonderful time with children and still have time to build whatever life you want later.

April 24, 2009 at 1:02 AM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Aw, wow. Thank you so much for being so honest. It is great to hear from your perspective!

April 24, 2009 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

I've been a mum for almost 14 years now and just yesterday experienced the turning of the cogs in a coworker's head when I said as much. I've had some pretty nasty judgement calls thrown my way but overall I have no regrets. I'm glad I had my babies while I was young and poor and had the energy to keep up with them. They're the centre of my universe and shape all that I do. I couldn't have chosen better people to pilot my life. The only drawback is facing the world's worst case of empty nest syndrome ;)

April 24, 2009 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Awe yay for the youngins -- and yours turned out fabulously!
But don't say empty nest!! In my mind Gretchen is almost out of high school as we speak -- too fast too fast!

April 24, 2009 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger Holly Noelle said...

Hear! Hear! I look even younger than I am. I definitely got a dirty look or two while I was pregnant.

But this is what I wanted to do with my life, and I LOVE it!

June 25, 2009 at 1:24 AM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Me too!
Thanks for commenting, Holly!

June 25, 2009 at 8:36 AM  

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