And a general rant on why I think the world is a backward place.
These days, young parents are viewed as “irresponsible” and “stupid” They receive abuse not only the older generations, but also their peers. They are disowned by families and rejected from social groups. They are labeled “sluts” and “whores” and told they should’ve “kept their legs shut” This is nothing more than narrow-minded name calling. This is what I have to say to people who do not understand why a person would want children at a young age.
1. It is healthier and safer to have a baby when you are young. The older you get, the more likely it is to have complications during pregnancy and birth. Not only is it harder to conceive, the chance of genetic disorders such as Down’s Syndrome increases rapidly as you age. Like every other part of our bodies, the pelvic floor muscles weaken over time making it more difficult to have a natural birth
2. The longer you wait, the more habits there are to break. One thing people often say to teen parents is “A baby will change your life, you won’t be able to hang out with friends etc..” but nobody ever considers how difficult it would be for older parents to adjust. If teenagers (who have little freedom to start with) will have to learn to cope with the restricting nature of parenthood, I’d imagine a couple of “DINKies” (Duel Income, No Kids) would have an even harder time. Everyone knows it’s hard to break a habbit and if you’re used to spending all your time, money and energy on yourself, it’s going to be hard to adjust to the selfless lifestyle that is parenthood.
3. I won’t be 60 when my child graduates University. If you start your family when you are 35, by the time your first child graduates University you will be 57-58 years old. (http://pediatrics.about.com/library/quiz/blcalc_pntg_mlstns.htm) I also think there are many other benefits to being a young parent. You will have more energy, better health and in some cases be better able to relate to your child. You will live longer and experience more. Young parents have a greater chance at getting to know their grandchildren, great grandchildren etc. Plus, as a nifty bonus, the brunt of childbearing will be finished by your 40’s.
4. “You’ll miss out on travel and experiences” So, maybe I won’t be able to spend 6 months backpacking around Europe. That’s okay with me, that wasn’t how I wanted to travel anyway. It’s always struck me as odd as people tend to go travelling in their 20’s when, generally, they have very little money. I would rather wait until I am in my 40’s before I go travelling anyway. I feel that at that age, you are better able to appreciate the cultural aspects of travel. A lot of the people who’ve been on “Overseas Experiences” can’t even remember where they were at what time because they were so blindingly drunk. And if you’re not doing that, you’re trying to pack a whole continent of sights, smells, sounds and tastes into 6 months of back-to-back trips before they return for Uni. When I go travelling I want to take my time and see the world fully, every aspect. I believe that your 40’s and 50’s is the time at which you should RELAX. But many people nowadays don’t get to do that. They spend their 20’s at University, their 30’s climbing the career ladder and their 40’s onwards raising children. When do these people get to have a break? As for the “missed experiences” part, I can’t really think of anything I will miss out on doing. Drinking and Partying? Did that in highschool. Travelling? I’ll do that later. Waking up next to a stranger after a one night stand? I’d rather not thanks. I don’t believe I will be missing out on anything. Au contraire, I believe that I will GAIN valuable life experiences through motherhood.
5. Babies don’t care about how much money you have. A lot of people want to wait until they are “financially stable” but what does this mean? How stable does one have to be before you are “financially stable” Honestly, a baby doesn’t care whether you own your own home or are renting. A baby doesn’t care if you earn 40k or 90k. All babies and children REALLY need are love and protection. Now I’m not saying that you should have a baby if have no money at all etc. I believe that yes, you should have enough money to support them. But I do not believe you need to have two parents earning 60k+ a year to be “financially stable” These people raise spoilt, greedy children that have a lot of crap they do not need. We are led to believe that babies need lots of things, but really they don’t. The mother is nautrally equipped with all the care facilities her baby will need for at least the first 6-12 months.
8. Okay, so you have the money, but what about the time? More and more young children are being placed in full-time childcare facilities because both parents work full time. What is the point in having children if your local daycare is going to raise them? Some children are placed in full time childcare from as early as SIX WEEKS OLD. That is far too early, in my opinion. CATS get to spend more time with their young than some parents in our society! (I think a kitten has to be eight weeks old before it is taken away) Spending time with your child, making them feel loved and safe is the best thing you can do for them.
7. We are not all “Teen Moms” or “16 and Pregnant” In the same sense that not all black people will steal from you and not all homosexuals have AIDS. It’s a STEREOTYPE, people! Yes, there are a lot of unplanned teen pregnancies but that does not mean they will be bad mothers. The large majority of parents step up to the plate and do what needs to be done for the sake of their child. But of course, that never gets broadcasted because it wouldn’t make for very dramatic television, would it? The fact that you are growing a human inside you is just amazing. I think we should honour these brave, brave people for having the courage to become parents rather than abuse them in the streets. Then there are the smaller group of people that are just born mothers. I’ve had a very strongly mothering instinct my whole life and my dream career has always been to raise my children. I’ve never really wanted to be part of the “working world” I think I will work part time when they are in school, but my main focus will always be my children. It annoys me a little that nowadays it is not acceptable to want to be a stay at home mother. These woman are labeled “air heads” and “bimbos” The way society now views women like us, the way feminists were viewed in the 50’s and 60’s. We faught for freedom but are we really free?
I know that there are many very competent older mothers out there who are doing a good job. And I commend them too. There are pros and cons to both sides of the story, in some cases it is BETTER to be an OLDER mother. But I just wanted to clarify why I will PROUD to say that I am a young mother.