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If you could, would you have started having children at a younger age or older? - Page 5

post #81 of 105
When I think of this issue, I often wonder whether our society is sending women the wrong idea. My parents raised me with the expectation of me becoming a successful, wealthy career woman. There was no question about college, I was going. I stumbled into having a baby at 23 and only after becoming pregnant did I realize what a viable, fulfilling, and perfect choice this was for me. Like someone mentioned before, if I knew how great having a baby would be, I would have started earlier. But I didn't know.

Of course, I did get a chance to party, work, and study but those things are certainly less fulfilling spiritually, emotionally, and physically to me than being a mother.

If you would have asked me the day before I took a positive pregnancy test if I was ready for children, I would have scoffed at the responsibility. Hell no, I still had places to go and people to see. But I know different now and would like to make sure that other women do too.
post #82 of 105
oldster here. had my first at 36 and second at 39. i wouldn't have minded being younger, but i think i was ready and mature enough when i had them. so far i'm keeping up just fine. many of my friends around here had their kids in their 30s. i have a few friends my age or older and many about 5 yrs younger. i really don't know too many young 20s moms.

i wonder if the reason the young 20s/teens moms are drawn to this thread is because they got flack from other sources about having kids young and wanted to respond that they had no regrets. maybe the older moms (like me) do have some regrets (i don't really -- just sorta wish i'd been who i am now 5 or 10 yrs earlier in a way, but i wasn't and am now, so it just doesn't matter). i had a great time in my 20s. i wish i had done more traveling and other stuff then, but our kids will just have to travel with us and do other things with us. i'm trying not to be too much of one for regrets about anything in life so this isn't a big one for me.

we've got two beautiful wonderful girls and they wouldn't be who they are if we didn't have them when we did and i wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.
post #83 of 105
I was 32 when DS was born, and the way things are going I will be 35 or 36 when #2 comes along, if I am so lucky. The only reason I wish we had started sooner is because it would be nice to have all the time in the world to have as many kids as I want, instead of having to beat the clock. I don't want to be pushing 60 and parenting teenagers, so there is a limit to how many kids we can have, even without the declining fertility issue. I'd like to be the person I am now but in a 25 year old body. But, this is the way it worked out and I'm glad it did, ultimately - I could not have been the mother I am today when I was 25. Other people are good moms at that age; I would not have been, I am sure. So, it's for the best.
post #84 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuniperJoy
What I've noticed is that younger mothers who have been raised in loving, attached families, are ready, much earlier, to have children themselves. They are more grounded and more mature than I ever was, at the same age.
...
Maybe it's an overgeneralization, but I think the really good young moms have loving families of their own, while the older moms have come from slightly more troubled backgrounds, and they needed time to sort themselves out.
I didn't have a stable family life at all, and at 26 have two children under two. I think it makes me more aware as a parent. I'm not saying that I'm a better or worse parent as a result, but I think I'm more aware of the decisions I make and of how they'll affect my children.
post #85 of 105
I sometimes wonder if the "stresses" of Motherhood and the "demands of self-sacrifice" are more felt by the younger moms who didn't get a chance to "get it all out" before they had kids.

I mean, I see so many posts here about "getting a break" and "having a life" etc...I have not felt deprived of that at all, and have been very happy devoting myself to my children. It helps that my peers are not all out partying, but I think the biggest reason I've found motherhood so easy is that I've BTDT. I've experienced years of "freedom" and so it's not hard to give things up for a short few years and totally devote myself to my kids.

Anyways, it's just a theory I have....it's not that I don't think young moms can be good moms. I just wonder sometimes if it's harder for them to "give it all up for the chidlren". I wonder if all the "mommy stress" we hear about is related to not having had enough "me time" before baby.
post #86 of 105
It's funny Piglet, because I think if you read back I think you'll see that its most of the older moms who said they had to party and "get it all out" before they had kids. Although a couple of the younger moms have said, I think if you go back and look, you'll see that most of them said they didn't care.

It's funny because I hear this a lot from older moms. There is a mom in my playgroup who I was talking to the other day and she was saying how sorry she felt for moms in their 20's because they must be jealous of her because they didn't get to travel, and have time to themselves, and "party". WTF? I know for most of the younger moms I know, they just kind of roll their eyes when they hear this kind of talk. Its kind of a stereotype about young people, IFYWIM. Then again, maybe just the majority of the mamas I know are really good mamas .

Not everyone who has kids in their 20's is wishing they were down in Cabo on spring break partying it up.
post #87 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamaya
Not everyone who has kids in their 20's is wishing they were down in Cabo on spring break partying it up.
Yeah... some of us did that stuff in our teens. :LOL Seriously, I know I did more partying from 14-21 than Mike (age 35) did in his entire life. I've probably done more than my share of it, and since I got started early I was ready to be finished with it early.
post #88 of 105
I didn't mean to suggest that all young mamas are wishing they were out partying. Nor do I think that older mamas felt they "had to get it out"...I didn't plan my kids that way. I just happened to be older when the time came, and noticed how easy it was for me to give things up, when I know I would not have found that easy when I was younger.

And also, I'm not really talking about "partying" so much...just being alone and independent. Being able to go the store when you want, shop at a mall, eat at a nice restaurant, take yoga five times a week, participate in your local sports club, etc...all those things that we did just for ourselves b/c we had the time and the freedom to do so.

And again, it's just a theory/idea I have. The stereotype of the "stressed out mother who needs me time" gets me wondering why I don't feel that way. And for me, at least, the answer is that I had all the me time I could ask for and it's therefore not hard to give it up. Who knows if that holds true for anybody else?
post #89 of 105
I was a couple months shy of 19 the first time I got pregnant. That one ended in miscarriage a week before my 19th birthday. I got pregnant again later that year and my daughter was born when I was 20. She was a surprise baby and I love her dearly but I wish we had waited a while longer. My son was planned and was born two months (to the day) before my 24th birthday. I felt more "normal" when he was born. Lots of people assumed he was my first until I told them I had a 3 year old too. lol I just wish I had finished college first and then got married and then had a baby. Oh well. I guess life works out differently than you had planned most of the time. ;-)
post #90 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
And also, I'm not really talking about "partying" so much...just being alone and independent. Being able to go the store when you want, shop at a mall, eat at a nice restaurant, take yoga five times a week, participate in your local sports club, etc...all those things that we did just for ourselves b/c we had the time and the freedom to do so.
I don't really need "me" time to do most of those things. I usually take the kids with me when I go shopping and we've always taken them with us when we go out to eat, except on the rare special occasion (like maybe once or twice a year). Why wouldn't you be able to go to the store when you want? Just take the kids with you! We've gone shopping late at night with the kids...just make them a little bed in the cart and you're fine. It's actually less stressful to do that anyway. lol No kids grabbing things or saying "mommy, I want one of those!"

Quote:
And again, it's just a theory/idea I have. The stereotype of the "stressed out mother who needs me time" gets me wondering why I don't feel that way. And for me, at least, the answer is that I had all the me time I could ask for and it's therefore not hard to give it up. Who knows if that holds true for anybody else?
I'm usually only stressed when I am behind on something and dh is not helping with anything. For some reason he thinks it's ok to sit on his butt watching tv while I cook dinner, finish up some sewing, deal with both kids and do laundry. Sorry bud, it's not going to work that way! lol I rarely feel so stressed out by the kids that I want "me" time away from them. I'm cool if I just have some help from dh. Maybe those super stressed out moms don't have any help at home? My mom has been in "me" mode lately. She still has three boys at home - ages 16, 14 and 8. They don't require much work anymore but she's all into her stuff and doesn't want anyone bugging her. I don't know why she's suddenly acting selfish, but it's really starting to bug me. :/ I don't ask her to do much for me and my kids but she acted like she didn't want to watch Collin for a few hours this weekend so we could go work on the house. Anyway, I guess this turned into a vent.
post #91 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
Yeah... some of us did that stuff in our teens. :LOL Seriously, I know I did more partying from 14-21 than Mike (age 35) did in his entire life. I've probably done more than my share of it, and since I got started early I was ready to be finished with it early.
LOL! Me too! I haven't been drunk since high school and I have rarely bought alcohol since I turned 21. Kinda funny how that turned out.
post #92 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
I sometimes wonder if the "stresses" of Motherhood and the "demands of self-sacrifice" are more felt by the younger moms who didn't get a chance to "get it all out" before they had kids.

I mean, I see so many posts here about "getting a break" and "having a life" etc...I have not felt deprived of that at all, and have been very happy devoting myself to my children. It helps that my peers are not all out partying, but I think the biggest reason I've found motherhood so easy is that I've BTDT. I've experienced years of "freedom" and so it's not hard to give things up for a short few years and totally devote myself to my kids.

Anyways, it's just a theory I have....it's not that I don't think young moms can be good moms. I just wonder sometimes if it's harder for them to "give it all up for the chidlren". I wonder if all the "mommy stress" we hear about is related to not having had enough "me time" before baby.

This is very interesting!

See now I have a different theory....I've seen many "older" (LOL yes I realize I'm an older mom...I've been on both sides of this topic) mom's on different boards having a difficult time adjusting to having children. It seems that many that even go through years of infertility then have a difficult time thinking that their lives shouldn't really change once the baby arrives...the baby should adapt to their parents lives. Maybe they aren't so realistic about what life with children is and aren't really willing to "give things up". Many of these "older" moms will be very concerned about keeping up with their careers and such as well.

So overall....my theory is that it is not about age so much as the individual. I think it makes a huge difference as to how one approaches life in general and what their mindset is about having children.
post #93 of 105
My "me" time is getting up early every morning while dh and the kids are still snuggled in bed and running or working out. I'm back about the time the kids wake up, refreshed.

I'm much to controlling to allow myself to drink for fear I'd lose control of myself. Medication just throws me for a loop, some good stories about me on codeine and my drunken labor with dd when the nurse bullied me into accepting a shot of nubain. :

I'm a young mom who has gone out twice without the kids (went to a birthing class with a friend once and went to dinner with dh once) in the last year. I like it this way.

Regardless of age, it's your expectations when you go into parenthood that make the difference.
post #94 of 105
busybusymomma wrote: "Regardless of age, it's your expectations when you go into parenthood that make the difference." And I totally agree!

I know a 40+ y/o momma who has 4 kids that has full day help twice a week for "me" time (hair/nails done, shopping, etc.), and two mothers helpers alternating evenings so she can spend time with the two older kids and the two little kids at seperate times. Not to mention the help she has from family for overnights and the weekends the older kids go away with her dh.

I also have a 20 something friend who has someone in her family always taking her kids overnight so she can just be alone.

I get out once a month (to scrapbook ) while dh stays with the kids. Other than that, "me" time is "us" time...pretty much all the time. I don't think I would feel comfortable with either situation. But they are both quite content with their situation. I don't think it has as much to do with age, more so with the personality of the individual. Whatever works
post #95 of 105
Clothcrazy: you raise some very good points. As do you, busybusy....I guess it is one of those really subjective things.
post #96 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
And again, it's just a theory/idea I have. The stereotype of the "stressed out mother who needs me time" gets me wondering why I don't feel that way. And for me, at least, the answer is that I had all the me time I could ask for and it's therefore not hard to give it up. Who knows if that holds true for anybody else?
Do you feel you have 'me' time when you are away from your DD at work? When you can 'sip tea' in peace and go to the bathroom alone? I think for a lot of women who do not work outside the home, they can easily NOT have that sort of 'me' time or 'breaks' at all. So they can be stressed and need the break that perhaps a working mama gets freely (depending on the type of work, not an ER nurse, of course!)

A mother to small child(ren) can easily be holding, nursing or caring for a little person all the time. Even when the little one is sleeping on you. That's very different than a mama sitting at a desk, drinking a latte and sending an email. The stresses are not comparable, imo.

I guess I'm wondering if someone has all the 'me' time they 'could ever ask for' then why pursue anything (including work) that is 'me' gratifying? Why have a child and return to work (whatever the amount of months in between) if one is so content not to have any 'me' time?

Just because one has loads of 'me' time doesn't mean that one won't wish for that time, if it is with held for weeks, months or years. On the contrary, a taste of honey is sometimes worse than none at all and knowing what joy there can be in work pursuits, leisure activities, social times and physical recreation can be harder for the person who has known it all, but now must do without.

Lots of moms can be depressed, not want to go out of the house, not feel fulfilled with staying at home with a child. They need more 'me' time and ime, the moms who had 'me' time knew that time would keep them from depression.
post #97 of 105
I've been thinking about the same thing, Playdoh. I work on Saturdays and tend to think of it as a "break", too. But it's not really a break, it's just a change in routine. It's not "me" time, it's "doing something different for a change" time. I like my work, but it's still work. It's weird because it does recharge me in some ways, but takes energy out of me in other ways. Let's see.... is there any other way I can make the same point?? lol

Here is something interesting, though - I always make dinner, because I figure DH is tired after having just gotten home from work and needs some time to just hang out and play with DS. But on Saturdays, I still make dinner but now it's because I figure DH is tired from taking care of DS all day and doesn't need the hassle. That makes absolutely no sense. It's like I don't consider any of my jobs to be real work, but when DH is doing it, suddenly it is. (I know this is totally OT, sorry.)
post #98 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd
Here is something interesting, though - I always make dinner, because I figure DH is tired after having just gotten home from work and needs some time to just hang out and play with DS. But on Saturdays, I still make dinner but now it's because I figure DH is tired from taking care of DS all day and doesn't need the hassle. That makes absolutely no sense. It's like I don't consider any of my jobs to be real work, but when DH is doing it, suddenly it is.
Anyway! What's up with this? Why is it that when Mike is home all day with the kids, he's doing work but when I'm home all day with the kids, I'm not?
post #99 of 105
post #100 of 105
Off topic, but...

[QUOTE=busybusymomma]My "me" time is getting up early every morning while dh and the kids are still snuggled in bed and running or working out. I'm back about the time the kids wake up, refreshed.
Hey, same here! I'm out the door at 5:30 in the morning. It's the only time I can do it without feeling like I sacrifice time w/ the kids, as well as the only time I can truly relax because I know no one needs me!!
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