I am also 30, had DD at 28, but I never thought I would have kids so "young". I got lucky and met the right guys when I was 22, and by that age I already felt so grown up but there was so much to do: grad school, Fulbright, work experience. I did a lot of living before DD, but I can see with my peers they just aren't ready, and it makes sense. For most people adult life starts when you go to college, for me it was so different, I moved out at 16 then went abroad for a year as an exchange student the same year, I was wild, by the time I was 22 I was ready to settle down, and I did for the most part.
As for the career stuff.... here was a recent experience I had, that just turns my stomach every time I think of it. I consult for a start up and the CEO is incredible (this is the company I would like to work for when I am done providing consulting through the non profit). I am working remotely from Barcelona, so a lot of times we have telecons in the afternoon after I already got my daughter, he can hear her running around, demaning to go poo poo on the potty and has been an all around good sport about it, often telling me about his kids and their time living abroad early in his career. He has tried to poach me for my current job numerous times despite having had the toilet fulled in his ear, and sheer chaos on my end. So the story, this was looking for an admin/marketing person for his company. They are a start up so they don't need someone full time, so I suggested looking for a stay at home mom who really wanted to go back to work (i figured who would be more motivated??). He was completely against it, said I don't want someone who has been out of the work force so long (what 2 years, really!!??) I lost a lot of respect for him (though I would still work for him) I just couldn't believe that is someone like him actually thinks that, which tells me that that is probably what most people think :-(. I work on and off and an technically a consultant so I bill my real hours, sometimes I don't work a week a month, it just happens, thank goodness i have a job like that, but because I have a job I still look like I am in the game which is all that matters.
So maybe we need to cover our asses as new moms and make sure that whatever we do looks good on paper, whether it is an online MBA, or starting your own consulting business (who cares if your cousin is your only client).
I agree that last bit is really sad, I wish there were more information for young women. I mean we just grow up thinking we can do everything a man can do and there really is no good example of "having it all". I am totally on the second shift, and my husband is great but if it really comes down to it (if the argument turns ugly) the fact the he out earns me always trumps me being overwhelmed/exhausted.
This is a great thread, it feels good to share.