I read an article about the age women decide to get pregnant and begin a family. It included the opinion Dr Barry Walters an obstetrician who said
“There are far more women over the age of 38 getting pregnant than there ever were 10, 20 years ago.”
“The medical side is only part of it. It is selfish and self-centred of older women to have babies because they are not just babies – they are babies for a little while and they become people.”
To be honest age is only one issue.
I was a teen mum. I had Bella when I was 16 a couple of weeks off 17. I honestly had no clue what I was doing, and the reality didn’t hit me until I held my baby in my arms.
In having said that I wouldn’t change a thing. I think being so young I avoided a lot of the pressures I think women put on themselves to be the ‘perfect’ mum and to do everything ‘right’ I wanted the very best for my little baby and I did everything for her but I didn’t get anxious or worried about every tiny thing either.
She was just my little pal.
Keep in mind however that Bella was unplanned I had no expectations as to the kind of parent I wanted to be because I’d never thought about it. Anyone in the process of planning a baby has obviously thought about what and how they want to parent.
I had always told myself that I would have all the children I would have before 25 years of age. (I was 26.5 when I had Buddy) I decided this because I want to have a career for myself, I want to be able to some day retire from that career and travel the world.
Having children at a younger age I feel in my own experience that I have plenty of energy to keep up with them, I feel that I have a long life ahead of me to witness their marriages and still have enough non-wheel chair time with my grandkids.
Knowing that by the time I am 50 my youngest child will be 23 years old gives me peace of mind.
Sometimes I wonder if my life would have been different should I have never fallen pregnant so young. And I think that it would have been. I LOVE being a mum and had always wanted kids but knowing what I am like now as an adult I doubt I would have had any!
Maybe one at most.
I am really ambitious and driven and I think that should I not have had Bella so young and jumped into a job that I loved, I would have focused all my attentions on that instead and never wanted to take a ‘break’ to have babies. I know I have done everything totally backwards, school, babies, education, literally gave birth to my last the day I got married.
And only now getting into career mode?
I am glad it has all turned out the way it has. I am happy that my kids, my girls especially can witness their young mum work hard and achieve her goals not ‘just’ have babies.
My own mum had me when she was 19. She then had my sister Nicole, then Matt. 10 years later she had Riley and not long after that she had Gracie.
My mum is now 46 with 5 kids.
Me 27, Nic 24, Matt 19, Riley 9, and Gracie 7.
My mum didn’t cope to well with being an older mum, she’d had quite a while without sleepless nights and nappy changes. She used to joke that she’d be close to 60 and still driving kids to school.
My baby brother and sister now live with their younger dad.
I think it is sensible to wait and have children but I think it is practical to have them younger. (not necessarily teen, my sister is almost 25 with cute Lily nearly 2. She gets her age questioned! Hey I had 4 by then!!!) In my opinion there are many teen/younger mums who do wonderful jobs and there are also many older women who do wonderful jobs.
I think if your going to be, or want to be a good mum you will be regardless of age. And to be honest everyone has an opinion. I copped heaps of raised eyebrows and weird looks when people found out that the little lady walking through the shopping centre with a big swollen belly was only 16. But then again 40-year-old mums cop just about the same.
I think it is funny how people judge the pregnancy but no one judges the final product.
I also think that sometimes society and people being worried about what others think may come into play when a woman decides to have children. I don’t understand how a woman with a degree, a wedding ring, a fancy house, a full-time job, even living in the streets is going to be a better mum than one who is the opposite of those things.
everyone is going to have an opinion. People think its ‘wrong’ for a mum to be teenage, they think its ‘wrong’ for a mum to be older, they also think its ‘wrong’ if a woman chooses NOT to have kids at all. The moment people hear that I have 5 kids they say things like ‘you look too young to have that many.’ I reply with ‘I am! I’m 27.’ But I say it with pride.
The amount of kids or the age I have them at is no ones business but my own, unless of course they are the one who’ll be up in the middle of the night to feed my baby, unless they are the one who drops everything the moment they are sick.
My friend Naomi said once (whilst I was freaking about what people would think when they found out I was pregnant for the 4th time.) ‘Your an adult, you’re the one who has sole responsibility of that child. You do not need ‘permission’ from anyone. The only person this baby will affect is you.’ It is true.
Such a simple thing to say and I hadn’t realised that I’d been explaining myself and my situation, OR my choice to have kids -at any age- to people until then.
I know some teens and younger women who are far more mature than some adult women.
And I totally disagree that age, education, location, situation, relationship or job status, should dictate the quality of a mum.
I agree with one statement the doctor made which was
“I’m looking at 20 years down the track. We’ve got 20 year olds with mothers who have had heart attacks, strokes and are on dialysis for kidney failure for diabetes.”
I agree, but also think that I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and need full-time care myself. Also what about drug addicted mothers? Alcoholic mothers? Morbidly obese mothers? Shouldn’t these things come into play if we’re talking about the quality of life for our kids futures? I think some of those things would have far worse effects on our children’s future than age!
My biggest fear is that I will not be around for my kids while they are small. Having them younger I feel like my chances of being here (without some freak accident happening) until they are old enough to fend for themselves are pretty good.
I think it is harder for older women to adjust to a new baby, they’ve spent a lifetime watching others parent, learning, and listening. They’ve stored away years of tidbits and tricks that they whip out when all of a sudden they have their own baby, only to find that it isn’t as simple as they once thought.
They don’t just ‘go with the flow’ they have exact plans and expectations. Being a teen mum I had no expectations, I had nothing but a whole bunch of baby sitting experience and as a teen baby sitting was all about fun. I had fun being a teen mum, Bella was my full-time baby sitting job, my goal was to make her laugh and smile and that was about as far as my planning had gone.
I totally went with the flow and we grew up teaching each other.
I am not suggesting teens begin planning pregnancy! I know that not everyone is the same, I just think if your mum material -which all women are naturally created to be- then at the end of the day, relax and do what YOU think is right.
At any age, stage, relationship status, whatever.
Who cares what people say or think?!
When I went to check into the hospital when pregnant with Buddy, I saw an older lady with her daughter. She looked like she was 12. Skin tight jeans, big knee-high fluffy boots, black eyeliner and bleach blonde hair.
For a moment I thought ‘poor’ girl’ but I mentally slapped myself in the face. She’s having a beautiful baby. Planned or not that’s a new baby.
Once she has that baby in her arms all her priorities will change in one big happy sob. Just like with ALL brand new mums.
Young. Old. White. Black. Blue or purple. Tall. Short. Thin. Fat.
New babies are tough. For anyone.
No one can ‘plan’ or expect anything. Having a child is a totally new situation to each and every woman in a different way. And EVERYONE is a critic.
Making a new person is a special thing, no two people are the same. Why? Because no two mums are the same. I was interested in what the doctors opinions were but at the end of the day, a baby needs its mum and that little baby isn’t going care how old she is; or anything for that matter.
As long as that little baby is loved.