People assume that if you get married/have children young, then you are missing out and you will always regret not being 'young' and having time to party.
..... I'm not going to wake up in 10 years and wish I had enjoyed myself more... I know how to enjoy myself, it just doesn't happen to include 'doing young things'. KWIM?
Really the whole idea of "being a teenager" (which is now being carried over far into the twenties) is a recent development. There's never been a time before when people were given a decade-plus to "party" or whatever. So actually it's those who embrace that lifestyle that are "abnormal" (in the wider scheme of things), rather than those who are ready to embrace husband/children/family in their late teens/early twenties.
That's why I said my MIL had my DH at "a (culturally) young age." 21 would ONLY be considered "too young" by very recent developments.
((I am the queen of () and "" today!!!! ))
I quit school 3.5 years into a degree (would have taken around 12 to finish the WHOLE thing), and for the longest time people assumed that I quit JUST to have kids. They didn't get that I just wasn't passionate about it anymore, and didn't want to do that career! People seem to think you should keep going anyways, just to have a degree, even if you won't use it. But if you won't use the degree, then it's just a really expensive piece of paper! ie- if you want to be a SAHM- then that degree won't really help you- so you're better off taking time off, getting a job, and saving up money.
To the point- you're a LOT like me. I got married when I was 18. It wasn't a "teen" marriage at all and really drove me nuts that people treated me like I was so naive and immature for going through with it. I have always been more mature than my age group (it's been really hard at times because I have trouble "fitting in" for that reason), and having met my DH when I was in high school, marriage was naturally the next step once I'd graduated. While all of my friends were off at college partying, I was able to start living my dream and really the ONLY thing I feel called to in life- being a wife, and soon after, a mother. I have NO regrets.
I quit school 3 years into my degree as well. I went the last year pretty much only to make others happy...I'd been going for nursing but decided to stop and continue after my kids are grown, because being a SAHM is an absolute for our family and so I wouldn't get my working hours and therefore would have to do it all over again anyway once I DID want to work (which I'm all for being a SAHW anyway- was one before being a SAHM, so who knows!). So I even changed my major to something I wasn't really interested in just so I could keep going, mostly to keep people off my back about it. Stupid.
As for babies, we had started TTC when we got married and we didn't get pregnant (well, "stay" pregnant...we had 2 miscarriages prior) for 1.5 years. It was a hard journey, considering a few things- that most people my age get pregnant on accident or at the drop of a hat and don't miscarry, and that also, people (like I've seen mentioned here) just expected that I could get pregnant easily at any time so I should just wait until later. For that reason, I'm glad we started when we did. It was painful and heartbreaking at times, but it taught me so much. I'll admit I harbor bitterness but I'm slowly overcoming that. Sadly, though, I don't feel one bit comfortable telling people that we've "tried" to conceive both children...and while I hate that most of them think my kids are either accidents or surprises, I know its a lose lose situation- they'd give me all sorts of negative remarks if they knew we TRIED.
Okaaaay, I just realized how much I've written...sorry!! I don't even really have advice, as I really just wanted to pop in and say that I understand!!! So sorry for the novel...just wanted to let you know you're not alone!!
Me (27) DH (30)...9 Years
DD (7) ~ DD (4) ~ DS (3)
Babies in Heaven... 9/04 2/05 3/11 4/11 6/11 11/11 2/12 (along with my tube )
I didn't have the baby fever for a long time. I couldn't even imagine myself with a kid. And Babies and kids never seemed to like me, either--someone would hand a perfectly happy and calm child to me and the minute I touched them they'd start starfishing--you know, spread out, wiggling and screaming. I figured babies just weren't for me. Even after I'd met my DH when we were 23 (got married at 25, just before we turned 26--it'll be 2 years in May!) I couldn't imagine it. I already had my degree at 21, had a great, stable job even though living in NY is stupidly expensive. DH was still in school finishing his degree...
then all of a sudden 25 hit me like a ton of bricks. I just felt different. The baby fever crept over me slowly...I was meeting pregnant women everywhere, my sister was pregnant, boss was pregnant, women in my dance company were pregnant. Even my parents were asking when I'd be giving them grandkids! I fronted--still am, at least to my parents--that i didn't want kids. But I have IMPOSSIBLY strong baby fever! DH and I have finally started TTC#1. I am ready. I was holding out for grad school for awhile, but only because I felt like I "should" go, not because I wanted to go. It's been 6 years since I finished college and I haven't been the least bit interested in grad school yet. people keep telling me things like if I don't go back now, I never will. That's a bunch of b.s.--I'll go when there's something I actually want to go *for*. I'm doing a 10 month weekend program right now, but i don't want to do more than that. And I love my job, but have been here almost 4 years and there's no higher position for me to get other than the one I don't want. I want to start my own business eventually, and I am working on that slowly but the way I really see my life moving right now is towards having a family. My sister is 31 and has 2 kids--my 7 year old niece and my 1.5 year old nephew. I feel like if I wait any longer, I'll be doing it now for me, but for other people's expectations of me.
It's a little difficult for me also because I live away from most of my family--they're mostly in the south. My cousins who are my age are also married. One is pregnant right now, one, the male one, and his wife just lost their first baby at 6 months in utero--it really hit the entire family pretty hard (my dad's one of 7--I have 16 first cousins on that side). Everyone in my family in my age group or older, except for my one gay cousin, is married, pregnant, engaged, or has kids, or some combination thereof. That makes sense to me.
On the other hand, all of my friends here who have gone to Ivy league or elite colleges and are into the NY rat race and all of that, or are LGBT and my age, are not even anywhere near thinking of babies--I am all alone! Whenever I mention it they're like "oh boy, can't imagine that!" :
I am rambling--sorry! I guess it struck a nerve. The last thing I'll say is that reading Rebecca Walker's book Baby Love last summer confirmed something for me. She talked about being the child of a famous feminist and all of that, and getting all the great career encouragement and so forth, but no one ever really just talking to her about motherhood and how to plan other aspects of her life like she planned her career. All of the "you can do whatever you want" never told her that fertility was finite.
That said, I have a boss who just had her third child at 42, so I know it varies person to person. I also know that I am SO ready to have my kids now! Even with all of the mixed messages--some people are like "oh god, 27, you're still a baby yourself"--so I can only imagine what you're getting at 20. And other people are like "you're not getting any younger, tick tock!"
I think that after awhile, you'll just become sure enough of your own conviction about it, and figure out what you need to do to make it a reality for yourself--aside from the obvious things you need to do to make it happen
We don't do things "in order" either.
Got pregnant at 19 ON PURPOSE! , married (in our defense our wedding was already in the works before we got pregnant!), and had first baby at 19. Bought first house at 20 (we rented in apartment before then) and had second baby at 21. Third baby was born when I was 24 and now I'm in my first year of college part time. It's ok to do things in whatever order you see fit. I love that we did things this way.
Kris : in love with J , "auntie" to W (6yrs) and Z (4yrs) and "mommy" to Katie
→Waiting to start our own little family after college and marriage←
Back to school May 2013!
Someday it will be my turn:
I am so very mentally ready. My DP is mentally ready (7 years older then myself). We have talked about EVERY angle of parenting numerous times. I can see myself loving a baby, toddler, child, preteen, teen! I still get nervous, but I'm so sure of myself on this.
We aren't TTC or TTA, just letting it happen. We moved into a new home over the weekend, and my DP said "well have our babies here" speaking about a HB.
I work with children (nanny) and am around trying/pregnant/mothers all day long. I feel as though just because I am a nanny, they think I don't want kids....or am not capable.....or have no views on motherhood. Drives me batty (not all moms are like that, but many....sadly).
We aren't married.
We RENT a home.
We don't have a full savings account.
I have no gone to university (and don't plan to), DP has, but didn't finish, and isn't planning on returning.
It's VERY hard and I know exactly how you feel. I've been feeling this way for years now.
I really get upset when women try to make you feel lesser for wanting a child when you 'should' be older, 'should' be married, 'should' be done school. It's so hurtful and closed minded.