Young Motherhood

young mom with son
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Looking back on my baby making journey I don’t have many regrets.

Sure I wish I would’ve done a better job at controlling my seriously-I-NEED-French-fries-to-dip-in-this-milkshake cravings that hit me every day at 3pm, but other than that I’m generally pretty pleased with how things worked out for me.

One question I do get asked a lot is if I wish I would’ve waited, because maybe the impact young motherhood has had on my life hasn't been entirely pleasant.  My answer is always, 100%: no way, man.  No way.

I had my oldest son shortly after celebrating my 23rd birthday.  I’d received my undergraduate degree and was working on my graduate credits while teaching middle school.

Probably I could’ve had more money (1st year inner city teacher’s salaries are a joke), probably I could’ve been more married (I wasn’t even engaged), probably I could’ve traveled more, paid off some debt, learned a foreign language, and been Miss California.

Okay, so maybe not that last one, but you get the picture.  Having a baby is one of those things that, no matter how prepared you think you are, you’re never really prepared for.

Owning a house wouldn’t have prepared me for the fact that my baby never slept when the sun was down.  Having backpacked through Europe wouldn’t have made me more knowledgeable about what to do when he spiked a fever and started spewing vomit across the room.  Being married, debt free, or the proud owner of a tiara wouldn't have made me a boss at breastfeeding, although I would've looked spectacular nursing my baby with a tiara on my head.

I would’ve looked spectacular nursing my baby with a tiara on my head.

I was fortunate to have a large wealth of experiences before I started my career as a mommy (I didn’t backpack through Europe because backpacking is dumb, but I did travel around that continent quite a bit), and I am looking forward to restart those adventures when these Dudes are all off in college in T-12 years.

Plus, I love being a young mom.

Certainly, I’m less young now than I was then (after all, the kid is going to middle school in a couple of weeks), but compared to many of his classmates whose parents celebrated their 40th birthdays right about the time I celebrated my 30th, I’m still quite young (for the sake of perspective: our neighbor whose daughter is in my son’s class is as old now as I will be when my son is 20!).  And, it’s something that I have truly grown to appreciate.

It was sort of a pain when we were both younger.  People always assumed I was a teen mom (thank you genetics!), even my husband joked that he felt weird hanging out with us because he looked like the pervy old man with the young girlfriend he got pregnant.  People would stare; the bold ones would straight up ask (they still do actually).  He’s a vast two years older than I am (a fact I never let him forget) and he looks his age while I sorta just look years younger.  Genetics are just funny that way.  And people are so quick to judge.

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Point is, I didn’t realize then the benefit being a young mom was to me when older moms were busy judging me and not inviting me to mommy group.  I didn’t appreciate that I one day I would be sitting here with a son who actually thinks I’m sorta cool because I have the same sneaker wedges as a girl in his class (but, mind you, not the same shorty shorts!) and know all of the words to Thrift Shop. 

And, my husband and I have so much to look forward to!  We have grand plans for when these kids graduate from college, and we intend to be sober enough to remember them and financially stable enough to be able to shower and sleep in a real bed while we’re making them.

Sigh, adulthood, here we come!

What do you think?

Young Motherhood

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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6 comments

  1. Nadia says:

    you have really inspired and motivated me to be the best i can be for my baby, still feels like yesterday when i was being criticized for getting pregnant at 21. 2 yrs past already and i can’t see myself doing things any differently if i had the chance.

  2. ProudMomma says:

    I had my first at a young age

  3. Koalabear says:

    I so know what she means I was 19 and Prego had my son 13 day after I turn 20 and my hubby was 21 ,now I’m 33 and my hubby 34 and im 6 1/2 months Prego with our 5th baby , I still get judged and older women still say I look like I should not have that many kids.. Yep u go girl

  4. AprilPrice says:

    this was so sweet and true! i got pregnant at age 19 and had my first baby a month after i turned 20. with that said im on my second and im 26 now i do agree with her! (my hubby was 24 and 30 now) yay you go mommy!

  5. Phammom says:

    She at least owned up to at and was the best mother she could be.

  6. Stephanie says:

    I think you can be a great inspiration to many young moms.. As I will be soon enough, at age 20. This will be my first child and my 24 year old partners 2nd. (Has a 3 year old) So this post deff helped relieve some of my anxiety

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