I was 20 (and a half!) when I got married. CandyMan and I knew before we got married that we didn’t want to wait long before we had kids. A big family was our goal and we figured there wasn’t any reason to wait. Eleven months into our marriage, when my birth control pill ran out, we decided to start trying to have a baby. We were both shocked when I was pregnant 2 weeks later. Two months after my 22nd birthday, I was a mother.
I had a baby approximately every 2 years after that until I was 30. I loved having my kids while I was young. I had energy, and my body recovered from each pregnancy well. My only disappointment was a lack of respect from many other mothers in my area. I heard comments about being “so young!” frequently (along with the “you’ve got your hands full” comments). I am now a mother in my mid-30s with a daughter in high school. Although the baby years were tough, I really do feel like it was best for me to have my kids while I was young. I put several things on hold while I was caring for several little ones, but I don’t regret it a bit. I have so many years ahead of me, as well as a bunch of wisdom behind me to carry me through the older kid years.
I thought it would be interesting to ask some other moms when they had their first baby, and what they loved (or didn’t love) about their timing.
* Kadi from Social Media Moms, a mother of 7 kids between 12 and 4, said, “I was 19 when I had my first baby. I was young and selfish. I had the energy to survive 7 consecutive pregnancies but little patience and almost no real life wisdom. This caused me to be impatient with my kids, not enjoying them the way they should have been.”
* Jenn aka MommyB from MommyB Knows Best, a mom of two girls who are almost 4 and 1, said, “I was 26 years old. I love that waited so much longer than a lot of people in my family. I feel like a lot of people (not all) have regrets when they have children young and feel like they miss out on life.”
* Shana from Shanamama, who has 3 kids between 2 1/2 and 7, said, “I was 21 years old, two months shy of being 22. Quite honestly I loved everything about it. I had always known I wanted to be a mother so for me it was living a dream come true.”
* Suzanne from Crunchy Green Mom is another mom of 7, between 3 and 19 years old. She said, “My first child was born when I was 18 years old. What I did not love was the man I was with, but I wouldn’t trade it looking back. It taught me that I was strong enough to be an advocate for my daughter and myself.”
* Kristen from Rage Against the Minivan has 4 kids – a 2 year old, two 4 year olds, and a 6 year old. She said, “I was 30 when we adopted our first child. I wanted to be a mom much earlier but I had a hard time getting and staying pregnant. I do feel very exhausted but I’m not sure if it’s my age or the number of small children I have running around.”
* Astacia from mamikaze, mom to 2 kids, ages 6 and 8 1/2, said, “I was 24. It was a good time for me because we had been married for a few years, owned a home and I had a good job.”
* Katja from Skimbaco Life has 3 kids, ages 8, 9, and 11. She said, “I was 25. I loved how it made the relationship with my husband even deeper, that we felt like a family, an unit. It was different than just being married. Of course I adored the baby too, but it was all exciting and new, and a bit scary too to become a mom, and take care of something so small and vulnerable. My husband was deployed in Kosovo war during the first few months, and I guess I just felt deeper connection to him for having his baby, and having his child gave me strength to know that everything was going to be OK one day again and he was coming back home.”
* Candice from Fashionably Organized has 3 kids, 2, 5, and 6 1/2, and said, “I was 28. I love that I will be young when my children are gone and out of the house. I’m already tired I cannot imagine starting 10 years after that. I don’t judge those who do don’t get me wrong I’m just glad I did it when I did FOR ME.”
* Erin from Tales from a Marketing Mama has a 2 year old boy and is expecting a baby girl later this month (yay!). Erin said, “I had my first at 30. I loved it all except the lack of sleep.”
* Jacki from The Raven’s Spell is mom to 2 kids, 8 year old son and 11 year old stepdaughter, and said, “I was 26 when my son was born and my stepdaughter came into my life when I was 29. Twenty-six was the perfect age for me because around 25 I finally started to feel like a grown-up but I will still be pretty young when my son is grown-up and out of the house.”
* Kathy from Marriage, Motherhood, & Mental Health, mom to a 16 year old son, said, “I was 36 years old. I loved that I was established in my career, we had a nice house, and we were settled in a good marriage. I was very happy. What I didn’t love was that it took a while before I conceived, and then after he was born, I was unable to have more children.”
* Amber from AmbyLand, mother to two kids, ages 1 and 2, said, “I was 26 – It was a great age to have babies. I was young but old enough to have patience and to really enjoy her.”
* Safire from Waterfalling Up has a 5 year old girl and 2 year old twin boys. She said, “I was 25 when I had my first. I love that I was young and as she is getting older, we are still pretty young with her! When she is older and out of the house, we will still be young enough to live our life. The thing I didn’t like about it, was timing. It took us forever to get pregnant and I wish we would have had her sooner. However, it worked out for the best and now I wouldn’t have it any other way…mostly.”
* Carly from Living The Scream, mom to three daughters ages 7, 5, and 1, said, “I was 22 and had only been married for a year and 2 months. My husband and I learned A LOT about each other during this time. It was stressful and wonderful all at the same time.”
* Annie from Savor This Moment is mama to 4 kids between the ages of 7 and 16. She said, “I was 20 when I had my first, and I love that I had the energy of youth to help me handle everything. What a change, going from working/school to staying home/working part-time from home. The only thing I regret is putting my education on hold. I didn’t finish college, and at this point I don’t have the budget to do anything about it. But it is still a goal of mine!”
* Valinda from Life with ElCid and The Girls has 3 girls who are 6, 9, and 11. She said, “21 …. and a half. I was young and invincible. I didn’t know what I was losing (freedom, sleep, etc.) so when it was gone it was just part of life. We had been married a year and a half when she arrived so having kids was fairly easily integrated into our life together.”
* Amy from The Family Trifecta, mom to 2 girls ages 5 and 8, said, “30 – almost 31. I got to experience a wonderful and adventure filled life before I needed to become a nurturer and care giver. Now, I’m not so antsy to have them grow up so that I can have “fun”. Been there, done that. Now I’m loving the journey of motherhood.”
How old were you when you started your family? Would you do it any differently if you had a choice?
If you would like to contribute to future Parenting Tips are Better in Bulk, I would love to get your feedback on this Parenting Survey.
© 2011, Lolli. All rights reserved.