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Is it wrong to just want to be a mom?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
So here I sit, inching into my mid twenties with two wonderfully beautiful inspiring sons and a loving husband. I truly feel fufilled. I hope I am lucky enough to have more children someday. And yet, part of me says, no, this is wrong. I feel like society says, you're too young for all this. You should've finished college first, worked a while, discovered yourself- who you *really* are, before you had children and a family.

But what if *discovering* myself meant becoming a mother? What if the true inspiration in my life was raising children? Having a family. What if the meaning of my life is to raise my children in the healthiest most loving setting possible? Why does our society assume I couldn't do that unless I complete a certain list of prerequisites first?

One of the biggest things I struggle with in parenting is the fact that I feel like people are constantly making assumptions about my parenting skills, marital status, or hopes in life (ie. so when are you going back to school?) because of my age. I'm tired of the constant remarks. "Are those your children? Ooh wow. Young mom."

I'm sorry but I would never go up to an older mother and say, "Are those your children? Ooh wow. Old mom." Its hurtful, and inconsiderate.

I'm tired of having to defend my right to have a family. I wish people would think before they speak. I wish American culture would change so that *any family* would be accepted. I wish people didn't have to fit into a certain set of ideals to be deemed okay. I wish women - mothers- of all ages and races, marital statuses and socioeconomical backgrounds could just be accepted as mothers. For what they really are, instead of having to be put into different groups. Our is experience is so much more the same than different, right?

I'm losing my train of thought now. I just wanted to write something as I wait up, at 2 in the morning, watching to see if my 10 month old will barf in his sleep again.

Is anyone else in this boat with me? Anyone else getting harrassed for putting their "life" (hee, hee) on hold, while raising their children? Anyone else want to stand tall in their decision to just be a mom? I guess thats kind of what "mothering" stands for, but come on! Stand up with me anyway!!
post #2 of 40
mamamaya, I like your post! You sound like a cool person to me!
I was 25 when I had my son, 27 when I had my daughter. I never finished college because I figured out what I really really wanted was to get married and have my babies. So that's what I did!
I remember my ob telling me when I was pg with number 2, he said (and he was being positive), you are so young. Having 2 so close together will be cake for you. And you'll be in your 40s when they're teenagers!
He made me feel good with those comments.

I know what you mean about people wondering when you'll get back on your career track. I used to get that too, and I used to think well, what the heck can I go to college to be so I can impress other people? I couldn't think of anything, besides I was digging being a mom.
It sounds cliche, but as I got older I started to think more along the lines of why the hell do I care what other people think of me being "only a mom". I'm a great mom! They all know it too. I only really care what my kids think of me, kwim? I have plenty of time when they are grown to think of some other thing to do. Right now I am 100% dedicated to them. I think you can include me in your standing tall and proud as a mom category!! No shame in that, mama! It's a very excellent job to have.

I hope your babe is feeling better today, btw.
post #3 of 40
Your post made me think of my mom. She was young when she had us (four kids by the time she was in her late twenties) and she says that she used to get remarks too. But I loved having such a young mom! She had so much energy, and always seemed so pretty and young next to my friends' moms. And it's even better now that we're grown -- we're such good friends, and I also love that she'll be so young and energetic throughout my son's life too, (barring sickness and such, of course). I also know that being a mom is all she ever wanted to do, and she definitely felt fulfilled by it and never regretted it. I think it's totally cool.

Hope that helps!
post #4 of 40
Oh my!I wake up this morning to see your post and just have to reply!Congradulations for listening to your heart!Your children will grow up with not only a loving mom but a secure and loving home versus a stressed out mom and some place to sleep.i've stayed home with mine since the first was born at 19.I went back to school after no 3 and worked as a sub to help pay bills.At that time we weren,t going to have anymore due to the chronic pain I was having from back surgery.Guess who turned up pregnant with no.4? After that I decided to stay home and home school.from what I'd seen at public school it was a little like sending them to school in the third world any way.we're now waiting for no.7 to make an apperance.I look back on the choices I've made and can clearly see how they affected my family for the better.The oldest 3 are smart happy intelligent well adjusted young adults.the oldest is a naval officer,the 2nd is in college and working,paying his own way,the third has won numerous scholorships and awards for college-started at 16-to be a translator,the youngest three have hobbies and instrests that will carry them far in life.So when people look at me with a condesending smile and say "and what do you do" I smugly reply "oh I just sit around all day watch soaps and eat bonn bonns".......
post #5 of 40

Yep, mama, I know what you mean....
I was 22 when my dd was born and I *looked* about 17, and I was in college. I'm now 27 and MAYBE look 24 (especially with my DH who's 25 and looks 21!) and I get crap for it all the time ESPECIALLY other moms thinking that I must not know as much. :

You know, I did it....I stayed in school, I travelled, I got my degree....and what truly MADE me...what truly caused me to discover who I REALLY am was having my daughter. Don't get me wrong...I am glad and proud of those things I did, but what caused to me REALLY REALLY discover *ME* was becoming a mama. Now, thats not true for everyone, I know. But maybe it's true for you. I really believe that CAN happen....some women (me included!!!) have a CALLING and that calling is motherhood. People ask what I want to do next...what I'll do with my degree....and all I want in the world is to be a MAMA. That's all.

I feel so lucky because I see so many women out there who DONT know themselves, DONT know who they are, DONT know what they want.....I'm truly blessed to know myself so well and so deeply and I know what I really want in life and I know what I'm meant to do. Some women go their whole lives and never know that, you know?

Feel lucky that you KNOW...you have something over some women and you are lucky to know yourself so well. Your children will be lucky to grow up with that example. Don't let our messed up culture make you doubt your gifts and your knowledge.

post #6 of 40
I had a career before ds was born, something that I was very good at and could have done for the rest of my life. But being a mama, is all I've ever wanted. I ditched that job as soon as I could!! Most of my friends don't get it. They ask, what are you going to do with yourself, are you going to go back to school, how can you stay home all day?? It's crazy. They give me the impression that my life is over.....I see it as a beginning. My life with my dh and ds and hopefully a few more little ones is what I have lived for my entire life. When other kids were saying they wanted to be dr's or firemen, I always said I wanted to be a mom. I am only now getting to know myself. I've been so busy working my whole life, I never found my passions, what moves me. At almost 31 I am just starting to come into my own. My dh told me that about 9 months after ds was born, and it is true. I AM mama!! The life I have now gives me the ability to dig deeper into me.

So, basically, I agree with you:LOL
post #7 of 40
I'm a "young" mama, too. Married at just over 21, ds#1 at 22, ds#2 at 25, and now I'm 26 but am still told I look like a teenager. I get a lot of inappropriate comments. But I am doing exactly what I want to do! Before I got married I was in college just to learn. Most everyone I knew was there to get a career, but not me. I wanted to study for the sake of learning. I knew that what I wanted to "do" with my life was nurture a family. Still, it took my almost a year of marriage before I finally decided to leave school and start having children. I feel so lucky that in a society that embraces irresponsible youth as the norm for people in their 20s I was able to find and fall in love with someone who wants the same life for himself.

Both my mother and maternal grandmother were "just" homemakers, so it was a shock to me when my grandfather (who never wanted his wife to work) started pressuring me to go back to school, or atleast put the boys in daycare and go out and get a job. My dh is an amazing writer and had a chance to get his MA in creative fiction from the New School in NYC the year my son turned 1. Unfortunately he had to quit after a semester because relocating was just too dificult and commuting too costly. My grandfather constantly tells us how disappointed he is that we failed to make it work (because I didn't leave my son and work). He completely disregards the fact that while my husband is still able to write while he persus a career in education, I would have had to give up MY dream. If ever I go back to school it will be solely for my own education, NOT as a stepping stone to a career.

I am so proud and feel so privlaged to be able to nurture this family of mine. I stand with you (though I'm not very tall).
post #8 of 40

Not wrong

just lucky . . . . if you can do it, financially. I'm not talking about 2 incomes, either. I am the breadwinner (currently unemployed) and I've often wished that I could be the mom at home. Sigh, if I knew then - I probably STILL would have married my DH, a musician
post #9 of 40
Mamalisa- I so totally relate to your post. I went the college/career route and found that only as a mother have I been able to truly find me. I worked three jobs to put myself through private school and then went straight to work for a news station. I looked up one day and realized that I didn't even like working there. I had no idea who I had become over that past six years and I didn't like where I was headed. I didn't want to sell my soul to be a successful career woman and that's what it felt like I was doing.

After I had dd, dh and I agreed that it made the most sense for me to stay home (my dream all along) and he has knocked himself out to make it possible for me. We decided it was important to us to make sacrifices so that our children could be raised with our values and love as opposed to the values and attention of day care providers. I don't mean that to be a jab at those who choose daycare for their children and especially not to those who have no choice. This is just where I feel I belong and can be of the most use to my family. Staying at home is not for every family, but it is the best choice for our family. Dh has really blossomed since becoming a father/provider and I believe that me being home to nurture him as well as my dd has helped that along. He has expressed a desire to spend more time with dd, so occasionally I substitute teach on his day off so he can have some one on one time with dd and I can have some $$ of my own. Recently I worked a full week and I noticed the difference it made in my family. I was stressed, dd was a mess, dh was unable to pick up the slack and work too and it left a wake of chaos. I'm sure if I went back to work full time we would get the hang of it, but we don't want to. We want our family to be more relaxed than that.

Mamamaya- I'm impressed that you discovered your joy young. My mother was young when she had us too. She had two by the time she was 21 and I was always proud of her youthfulness. She was truly ready for it, my father on the other hand was not. Had she been supported in her role, she would have been happy remaining there. You sound supported and happy. I think people hear of young mothers and think they have missed out on something, but trust me, I would have loved to have missed out on the vapid lost years I spent being irresponsible and out of control. I guess some people have to go there to see that there is something better out there. You didn't. Congratulations!
post #10 of 40
What an incredible post! I am a young mama too and love it. I think when people go to work in the morning they ought to love what they are doing or they are in the wrong job. I wouldn't trade my job for any other.

My SIL did not find her dh until age 38. They got started immediatly trying to have children. She is almost 44 and they have seen many fertility specialists and been through all types of procedures pouring their heart into trying for a baby. So far they have been unsuccessful. I am so sad for them.

Dr.s say that female fertility starts to decline at age 27! They reccomend completing your family by age 35. I have met a lot of career women who never had children because they waited too long and they regret it. So being young definatly has advantages regarding natural fertility.
post #11 of 40
I can also relate to what you are feeling. I was married to the man of my dreams and the father of my two beauties at the age of 19. I am a young momma of two. I had Madison 2 weeks after I turned the tender age of 18 (Sean was 19) and Olivia when I was 21. Although Madison was a "surprise" for us it was only "normal" to get the flack of being a young parent who graduated from High School 5 months pregnant. I had wonderful support from my family and friends, the only ppl who gave me the flack were strangers who thought they were know it alls. Of course their remarks hurt and I did take it to heart.
When Sean proposed to me, we were so excited (I just knew that he was my soul mate and that we were meant to be *hence* Madison) Sean was my first love, my first everything, we actually concieved Madison the frist time the both of us lost our virginity, anyways, it was the same situation our family and friends were so excited and happy for us and the ppl who frowened upon the idea were strangers : and still it made me feel upset and torn.
I went to school when Madison turned 1, I took a Medical Assistant course and graduated with Honors. I got a well paying job immedialtey. After working for about 4 months Sean and I decided that we wanted to start ttc #2. Our families were very excited for us. We were blessed to get pregnant our first month of trying. Sean and I decided that after this baby was born I would stay at home with our children until we are done having babies and they are all old enough. This is a decision that we both strongly agreed on and would have it no other way.
I still do get the flack from ppl and all I do is sluff it off. I wake up in the morning feeling so blessed and so happy that I have my wonderful husband, my two precious daughters, and that I am a stay at home mom. Sure it hurts when I get the *oh you are so young* but I would have it NO other way. This is what I want in my life, and I couldn't be happier. Growing up I was always told that I was a "Born Momma" I knew that I wanted to have children, and when Madison came it was just pure bliss and I knew that this was just the beginning of a very joyful, and blessed life. Sean and I feel very led that we were meant for eachother and that we were meant to have a lot of children, and we are going to do so, and we are both so excited about that.
So whenever I get those remarks I try to not let it bother me, I look at my husband and children and see how blessed and happy I am, and some stranger's rude comment isn't going to change that.
When asked if I feel like my young "party/do whatever you want" kind of life was wasted by wanting to start a family, I just giggle to myself and say absolutley not. Sean and I are going to still be quite young by the time our last child is moved out of the house (or old enough to take care of him/her self) We will have tons of time to travel and spend time together. I would have my life no other way, and I also think that society is starting to get married and start having families at younger ages also, it is going back to when our grandparents started having children (at young ages)
Well this reply turned into quite the novel (oops)
But I just want to let you know that you aren't alone, and to just ignore those "know it alls". You are a wonderful momma
post #12 of 40
Thread Starter 
Oh wow! Thank you for all the replies. Baby seems to be feeling better today. I think he just overate. Thankfully, that terrible flu hasn't hit Hawaii yet. Knock on wood.

I suppose the reason all these feelings/thoughts are coming up for me lately has been my oldest son's school situation. Dh and I have decided that we are going to homeschool. We really have to. If you know anyhting about the the school system in Hawaii, you know it is absolutley atrocious. Really bad. And we live too far from any good private school. Well, as far as you can get on a little tiny island. But we don't want to commute. So we're homeschooling.

I look forward to this with excitement and joy. But a part of me knows I am going to be a stay at home mom for a long time. I guess a part of me always assumed I could go finish college, or work or whatever - when my kids were in school. In all truth, I probably will finsh college. I only have a couple classes left. Theres always nightschool! Of course, people question me and my ability to make that kind of decision based on my age and experience, yada, yada, yada. Oh, your making such a sacrifice. It hurts and it makes my confidence waiver. But really we have no choice. We have to do it if we want our kids to have any sort of education. And I'm totally happy with the choice I have made. I feel so relieved actually. Now I don't have to go back out into the world and "search" for something thats meaning pales in comparison to whats really my one, true calling.

As far as traveling, there's no where I can't go without my babies. We have traveled all over the mainland and we're going to New Zealand for the summer. I love seeing ds's excitement and enthusiasm in the places we visit. Personally, I think it makes it more fun. My kids do travel well, though.

I'm not going to care what other people think of me anymore. I know that I'm a good mama. Dh is a good papa. We love our family. Whoever makes those comments has their own stuff to deal with probably and I shouldn't take it so much to heart. Thank you mamas for standing up with me. I love reading about all of your experiences.
post #13 of 40
It sounds like you know exactly what you want, and there's nothing wrong with that. I went to a university for 2 years right out of high school and left with a 1.7 GPA and $5000 of student loans to show for it. I moved to community college for another year, got gpa up to 2.3 and quit before getting a degree. (By that point I had too much debt and couldn't handle working 2 jobs (1 FT, 1PT) and school full time.

I moved to another state, planning on taking a year off to establish residency and get instate tuition. That never happened. I got a job and worked FT. I got married, had my dd, went back to work, had ds, stayed home after ds. I had always planned on going back to school, but after the kids were in school.

Then Dh and I were talking about how we would need 2 incomes when the kids were in school and I would need to go back to work. We also weren't making it on dh's salary alone, so I needed to bring in some sort of money. I knew I wouldn't be able to work full time, school full time and still be happy with the amount of time to spend with the family. I decided to go back to school, get student loans, and finish in 3 years, right before ds starts school (he'll be 4). The timing would be perfect.

I'm taking 12 hrs a semester- I have friends, MIL, and DH to help watch the kids, but I have enough financial aid that I could pay for daycare if I needed to. This fall was my first semester and I pulled off a 4.0 for the first time ever.

So for me, becoming a mom is definitely helping me to decide what I want to do and find who I am. I'm in school for elementary education, so I'll be able to spend as much time with the kids as possible, even when I'm back to work. The old job I had- I loved dearly and enjoyed all the people I worked with, but it was 9 hr days, M-F, plus 1 hr commute each way. Way too much.

We also got surprised with another pregnancy. We're very happy and the timing worked out really well. The baby is due in June, between semesters, so I won't even have to take any time off (assuming the last half of my pg is uneventful).

I'm glad your baby is feeling better.
post #14 of 40
I did everything the *right* way (please hear the sarcasm in that ). I went to school, got a Ph.D, waited to get married, waited to have children. Then the miracle of dd. And then I have this epiphany, what the he!! was I thinking? If I had known what I know now, I would have skipped all the sacrifices that school took out of me and had babies. Every particle of my being just clicked when she was put in my arms and this is reinforced every single day. I don't have huge regrets, I try not to go there, but there is a huge part of me that wishes I had done babies first, I don't know that I would have done the rest. Being her mommy is more *me,* if that makes sense than the Ph.D could ever be. I hope I'm making sense...I think it's awesome that you found who you are without having to wait, that's awesome! I think being a mommy is a calling just like any other, congrats on that discovery.

PS people are always so amazed when I tell them that I would have given it all up *just* to be dd's mommy...kinda sad.
post #15 of 40
Wow, I could have written your post. I was in college 3 years to be a teacher when I realized what I really wanted to be in life was a mom, and to be the mom I wanted to be I wanted to stay home. So we conceived our son and I had him at 21. I am now 23 with two and am am completely happy and confident that I made the right choice. People can be so judgemental though. The boss I had when I got pregnant with my first who I was very good friends with completely changed when I got pregnant. Her first initial question when I told her I was pregnant was whether I planned it and when I said yes, she acted as if I was negligent and wrong. She questioned every decision I made. It hurt me very badly because prior to this I had looked up to her and respected her alot. I know that she was wrong though, I am an incredible mother. I love being a mom, it speaks to my soul and gives me great satisfaction. We are planning to homeschool so I too know that it will be quite a while before I get a career, but being young helps that because I will still be young. By the time I am 40, my sons will be 19 and 17. I get so much satisfaction from every day with my boys watching them grow and shaping who they are becoming. That is better than any career for me. In fact working as a preschool teacher is what made my drive to be a mom even stronger. I remember working with others children and getting so attached and then watching the parents' doing damaging things to their kids and being depressed because I couldn't do anything about it. With my children I get to make all the decisions and that is empowering. So don't let anyone put you down for being young. There is no "right" age for motherhood, it is unique to each woman.
post #16 of 40
I was 17 when my oldest was born. I still haven't finished collge and I'm 22. I had another kiddo this year and I love staying home. I wish we could afford for me to never work again. I'd be the happiest mama on earth. I love being a mama more than anything else in the world! Good for you for listening to your heart rather than the naysayers! The world would be so much better off if there were more mamas like you.
post #17 of 40
How I envy all of you strong secure stay at home mamas. I would give anything to be there with you. Actually I was a stay at home mom many years ago. (Before many f you were born.) But life got complicated with abuse and divorce and other issues. So I had to go to work to take care o my kids. Now my big kids are grown up. Some of them have children of their own. I'm married to a wonderful guy and we have a 17 month old boy we adopted from Guatemala. I enjoyed working in the past. Up until the day we brought our son home, I liked my job. But since the day he came home, one year ago last Thursday, I have grown to hate my job more every day. I want to be home with my little guy. He has changed so much in the last year. And other people have seen all those firsts before me. He took his first steps into my boss's arms. His day care provider taught him to hold his bottle and to blow his nose. They will probably teach him to use the potty. Because I'll be working. I don't want other people teaching him. I want to see all those special firsts. We want to homeschool him but I don't see how we will be out of debt by the time he is 5 or 6. And by then he will be so used to "school" will he want to stay home with me.

I'm not in my 20's. I have kids in my 20's and 30's. I've worked, I have a career. But what I want more than anything is to be a mom. To have two or three more kids and stay home with them all. For all you young moms, enjoy your kids. Don't let anyone tell you that you are shortchanging yourself. You are ding the best thing you can do or yourself, for your kids, and probably for the world.

post #18 of 40
Dear Mamamaya:

I just want to underscore what you have said and tell you that being a SAHM is the best career any woman can have!

I do want to tell you that you may want to finish college at some point in the future because life is unfair and unpredictable. I am glad that I finished college and became a teacher. I have summer and weekends with my children.

I also now have a nice way of earning a living since my DH has left this life and passed on. This alone has made things very tolerable for me.

My DH was sick for seven years and having this job/career did give me piece of mind. Also DH knew I enjoyed working at this particular school, so it was easier on him if that can be said at all. My DS attends this school now, after being homeschooled for six years by my DH and I.

I was a SAHM for ten years, with my oldest three children. I am glad I was established somewhere before my DH passed on.
post #19 of 40
Let me also add that I have a cousin who is many years older than me.

She put in two years of college in the late 1950's, married, and had four children within six years.

Her DH died suddenly of liver cancer. She was left with the four children to raise by herself. She went to work as a teacher in her parish school (she is Roman Catholic), and finished her teacher training for years after as her children grew.

She made her children her life; they came first. She has never remarried. She is retired now.

I feel she is a very fulfilled woman. She did an excellent job with her four children, tow boys and two girls. I sincerely admire her.

If her DH had not died, she would have been a SAHM.
post #20 of 40
When did we decied that it was ok for us to postpone or even trade the most important job we have for a "career"?

I am very much with you. I would never give up the chance to raise my kids and I would never want to do anything in it's place.

22yo mother to 19mo dd.
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