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younger dads

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
yello,

i'm 23 and just had my first kid in july. i've always been more mature than my buddies and a lot of them are finding it very hard to believe. that goes for my folks as well. my wife and i feel that we were in the right place to start having kids and all that jazz, yet i still find people looking at me in a almost disgusted way. their eyes seem to say "you're too young to be having kids, you should still be going out getting wasted every night and sleeping with oodles of girls."

i was wondering if anybody else has had this happen to them?

ps.
i'm not trying to cast judgement on people choosing to have kids later in life, i also feel that when people look at me with my kid, they are upset because it makes them look at themselves in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. just a thought though
post #2 of 53
This is arlecchina's partner posting. I'm 19 and we're well over 15 1/2 weeks in. I still get funny looks from my shift due to odd situations. I've only told a few people but during break when more people are around and someone mentions something about it it, everyone stares, gasps and gives a shocked face. Then again I don't exactly look 19.

These are usual conversations about it when people find out:

I was talking to a girl at work about something while stacking and my manager comes over

manager: (to the girl) Agneska, stop flirting with him. He's going to have a baby soon, off limits
agneska: really?
me: yeah
manager: I'm not joking
agneska: you must be joking. so young. really?
me: really...
agneska: seriously, guys?
me: ... *long silicense* seriously

another time with a friend who I knew from prior to work about 2 years now

me: pregnant weman are dangerous. She's eating upthe household. But not everything just specific items and I have to replanish all'a that.
ebe: what the hell?!?!?! *shocked* you're having a baby?!?!?!??!?!!
me: well technically my gf is but yeah, that's the basic idea
ebe: dude..that's too young! you ARE too young!
me: nah, don't worry about it
post #3 of 53
My DP doesn't post on here...but he's 18. We had DS when he was 17 and I had JUST turned 17.
I think he really struggles with it at times. He wants to be 18 and yet he has a family and a different life than other kids his age. He's coming around definately.
I think judement is hard...maybe more so on papas.
I think he also loves his age and his place in life. He can run and jump and play and be a kid easier than most...he's not too cuaght up in himself.
post #4 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by USoutofVT
i'm 23 and just had my first kid in july.
i was wondering if anybody else has had this happen to them?


Yes! as a matter of fact I was 23 and having my first kid last July.
Quite seriously, I can completely relate to your position and experiences.
My parents and just about everyone I know was surprised and nay-saying right from the start. "Babies having babies" and all that. What a load of ....

We chose to have a baby and we firmly believe that he was the best decision we ever made.

I am just finishing my degree, and it is ironically and disappointingly sad how my "peers" at the university are, for the most part, still living the lifestyle of the media-glamorized young 20-something who is trying their best to waste their life in as many ways as possible. Both my partner and I have always felt totally beyond our age demographic and the popular culture that surrounds it.

It is astonishing to me the way younger parents are often treated, when one or two generations ago, it was standard fare for 20-year olds to have children (my parents were among them!). I am trying to understand what has changed since then, to shift the public perception of the nature of the family with regards to age. There are going to be positive and negative implications of having children at 20 just as there will be at 40.

People have kids. They try and make it work as best they can. Chronological age is meaningless. It's too bad that such cultural biases exist... but the only thing we should be concerned with is just to raise our families right!
post #5 of 53
I think a lot of the negative reactions to young parents is due to the fact that people look at you and think of themselves at your age. You're 23. They see you in the light that they see themselves at 23. If they were not nearly responsible enough for a child at that age, they tend to assume the same about you. DH and I have both been blessed with looking older than we really are (well, it's a blessing for now, lol!) I'm 19 and he's 22.
post #6 of 53
Yep. I agree. I'm not a dad. I'm not even that young any more. I'm 25 - feel so old!!!

I had my first baby when I was 19. My partner was 18. It was not the happy event it should have been. Everyone was like "OMG What are you going to do!!!???" Not one single person said congratulations. I felt we were treated badly at the hospital. I think they thought we were stupid and irresponsible.

I've never found it easy to fit in. I felt judged by the older parents, and I didn't fit in with the younger parents.

Although our kids grandparents wouldn't swap them for anything, I still feel they would rather we hadn't had them. I think MIL feels I have deliberately trapped her precious son, and my parents are disappointed I didn't go to university or "make something of myself".

People at my partners work think he is crazy. "Three kids and you're only 24!!!!" Sometimes they make him feel he is missing out on something. But missing out on what exactly? Going out drinking? He doesn't even like drinking. I can't even imagine what we would do if we didn't have kids. It would be so boring!
post #7 of 53
A big Amen to everyone's comment. I am 22 soon and my DS is 1 year old, I, of course get rude looks from everyone because I don't look old and tired. Everyone also leaves the playground or play area when they see me there.

I think we young parents need to think about the advantages of being a young parents and stop caring about others' comments or looks.

My DH said to me one day that, the next time someone looks at him or me the wrong way, he would seriously go up to them and say "Who the f*** are you looking at?"

post #8 of 53
my daughters father is 22 but he looks about 16...i swear, im not a creepy perv! i never really noticed it but everyone else says that and i guess he does to some extent-he can not shave for 4 months and get all of about 3 facial hairs...its mildly entertaining. anywho, around christmas last year we were at the mall looking for an opal ring for me and the lady in this one store said "your not the parents are you?!" and we said "yeah, we are" and she said "but your SO YOUNG" and we were like "yeah...anyway, opal rings?" and she just kept saying
"YOUR SO YOUNG!" so we left....ooooo she mad me mad, but he gets it more than i do...or maybe i just dont notice it anymore
post #9 of 53
We had our first ds when my dh was 22 and I was 19--he's six now, and we had our second ds in Feb--the difference in the experience is amazing--there's a lot less unsolicited advice, and fewer strangers asking us our ages (seriously, they think it's okay to ASK OUR AGES)--I think the people in our lives stopped acting shocked and horrified and preachy when they saw how in control of the situation we were--and that we weren't going to ask them to raise our baby or pay our bills for us. Another difference is that a lot of the peers that gawked at us (and I'm sure pitied us privately) now wish they were settled and ask us to introduce them to people.
post #10 of 53
Not a younger mom here, but popping in to say that I am jelous of how young you are!!

You are lucky you found partners to have children with while you are young. I think that is an awesome blessing, not a curse. I would have loved to start a family when I was in my early 20's, but the right man didn't come along until I was nearly 30! If you are of a family mindset then why in the world wait? There are plenty of advantages to being younger. I think there is a trend towards older parenting now which puts you in an awkward position. 30 years ago if you didn't have a kid by the time you were 23 you were an old maid. Now you're a "baby having a baby". It doesn't make any sense!

I admire all of you and I think that when people give you a hard time you should just tell them where to stick it!!

OK, bowing out your thread now!
post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by coloradoalice
Not a younger mom here, but popping in to say that I am jelous of how young you are!!

You are lucky you found partners to have children with while you are young. I think that is an awesome blessing, not a curse. I would have loved to start a family when I was in my early 20's, but the right man didn't come along until I was nearly 30! If you are of a family mindset then why in the world wait? There are plenty of advantages to being younger. I think there is a trend towards older parenting now which puts you in an awkward position. 30 years ago if you didn't have a kid by the time you were 23 you were an old maid. Now you're a "baby having a baby". It doesn't make any sense!

I admire all of you and I think that when people give you a hard time you should just tell them where to stick it!!

OK, bowing out your thread now!
ours wasnt on purpose...but we love her anyway!

the nicest person to me about the whole thing was my daughters ped in the hosp-EVERYONE kept asking if she was planned and not that it was their business but i kept feeling crappier and crappier everytime so when her ped finally asked i mumbled no and she ...exclaimed... its the only word that really describes it- "I LOVE SURPRISES!!!!" i could have kissed her!
post #12 of 53
I should send DH over here. He's 25 and we just had our second
post #13 of 53
My dh and I were married when I was 18 and he was 23. We were both in the Army on active duty, so it's not like he's creepy or anything...we didn't even know each others' ages when we met!

Anyway we had our oldest dd when I was 20 and he was 25. We received lots of 'looks' when we were out with our baby, lots of unsolicited advice, etc.

We had our second dd when I was 28 and dh was 33. What a difference! Strangers' comments during my pregnancy focused on the positive...'You are glowing! You must be so happy!' etc etc. Not the snarky 'I hope you're enrolled in one of our parenting classes' type comments I got the first time around.

Now...I am 32 and dh is 36...we are sort of swinging towards the other end of the parenthood age spectrum...many of dh's colleagues have kids in high school, preparing for their empty nest, etc...and just shake their heads when dh tells them we're expecting again in an 'oh, man...what were you THINKING?' kind of way.

So...if you are a young dad, don't be discouraged...because you can't win anyway! In a few years people will be telling you you're too OLD to be having babies!~ :
post #14 of 53
DP and I are both 22 and we haven't gotten much unsolicited advice. And on top of that - WE'RE NOT MARRIED!!! If anyone has any issues with it, they can pretty much put that in their pipe and smoke it
post #15 of 53
Tell them that when your child leaves for college, you will ONLY be early 40s -- lots of time to party, better budget for the good booze.
post #16 of 53
I'm chiming in for DH here. He's 25 and we have 3 kids!! I had one in high school, so we have DS that's 11, DS that's 4 and DD that's 8 weeks. I'm 27.

We get a lot of looks from people, but we've lived in this community for the last six years, so most people now know how old we really are. We both look like we're about 12 . The PTA meetings and parent teacher conferences were the worst. It's difficult to get past the "you're an ignorant, young parent" stereotype that seems to come with looking young and having older children. Eventually, though, it gets easier.
post #17 of 53
my dp was just 19 when our son was born(i was 21).. ill get him to post later when he's home
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by USoutofVT

their eyes seem to say "you're too young to be having kids, you should still be going out getting wasted every night and sleeping with oodles of girls."
Well heck, if you're "still going out getting wasted every night and sleeping with oodles of girls", you just might end up with a baby sooner or later anyway, and it will be a lot less pretty of a picture. If you sow your wild oats, you reap them. Welcome to Earth, third rock from the Sun.
post #19 of 53
I'm a future mama. DH doesn't post on here, so I would love to post in his stead!

Dh and I aren't terribly young- I'm 24 and he's 25. We're expecting our first next Spring.

My mom had my sister and I in her thirties. She didn't exactly take good care of herself, and being a single mom had to work multiple jobs. She's approaching her late fifties now and my 17 y/o sister still lives at home. She complains because everyone asks if my mother is her grandmother!

It's rough because my mom was always too old and out of shape to run around or play with us. We didn't go hiking or camping or swimming or running. There were daycares, babysitters and church nurseries. We took a lot of drives, watched a lot of PBS and went to see plays and operas. It was nice, but definately not the active, younger lifestyle my sister and I needed. Now, both of us struggle with our weight and lack a lot of energy due to our very inactive lifestyles growing up.

I have chosen to have as many kids as I have, whenever I have them. However, I have always wanted to start young so that I can be the active parent I always wanted. DH and I are looking forward to running around with our kids, taking them swimming, hiking, going to the park, picking them up and giving them piggyback rides. I don't want to be beat up and out of shape and too old to be involved.

I believe that children are a blessing whenever they arrive. However, having your children while your still young enough to truly enjoy them is always a blessing and shouldn't be looked down upon!

Kristi
post #20 of 53
I am 26 with 2 kids and all I can say is that I wish my dad had started earlier because I am positive our relationship would have been better if there hadn't been a 40 year age difference between us.

My wife's father was 19 when he started and he is closer to his kids than any other dad I have known.

I get some questions and sideways glances from people about being a young dad (especially about adopting our daughter) "Why would you adopt so young?"

I have recently found out that the west coast is way different from Texas as far as attitude toward young parents. In Washington we have definatly been judged pretty harshly for being "young" (26 is not that young). But everyone on the street loves the kids and engage my son and talk to him.

In Texas everyone seems to love young parents, but few strangers speak directly to kids.

Very weird difference.

Most of the mothers we have seen in Washington with infants (at the park and mall etc) would be the grandmothers in Texas.

My wife says "Don't you want to be around to see how that worked out?" Refering to having the opportunity to know your children when they are adults.

I am so happy to be a young dad. And when people question me I usually get defensive and often say some quip back.

"Oh so you had kids young and close together... don't you know what causes that?"
"5 years of fertility treatment and private adoption."
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