I will be honest with you, this post is inspired by another post I recently read called, “Dear Thirty-something Mom’s – I see you.” It’s a great reminder that we are all in this thing called motherhood together and there will be sacrifices we will have to make. Overall a great uplifting read for all mothers. Except, she shares a situation where the twenty-somethings have no idea what is about to hit them while seeing them layout at the pool. But I am a twenty-something mom who goes to the pool. So for me, I felt a little left out or like there wasn’t a place for me, because some of her “thirty-somethings” I can’t relate to.
This got me thinking, is there a difference having children in your twenties vs. having children in your thirties? Of course, I am sure there is, but I can only speak to the twenty-something moms because I have only have one child and at 21.
So here is what I know:
At 21 I wasn’t even declaring my major yet, let alone planning to have a baby. Close to a year and a half before, I had just met the most wonderful man and was venturing into a long-term relationship for the first time in a long time. Nine months later, he asked me to marry him. Four months later we found out we were pregnant. I was 20.
It wasn’t news we wanted. It wasn’t even happy news. I can’t tell you how many tears were shed, and how many days I spent feeling defeated. We had to move our wedding date, I had to go to class pregnant, I moved out of my apartment with my best friend and moved into my now husband’s home. I felt shame, anger and disappointment, but most of all…I was terrified. I was 20.
Life found a way to keep going, as it does in any life altering circumstances. Turns out, I could, too. I finished my junior year of college with some of the most amazing friends and professors. I had found a church home, and my fiance and I were in full baby mode. Except, it wasn’t the “typical” rainbows and butterflies baby mode, because I was overwhelmingly terrified. I was 21.
The day she was born was unlike anything my short life had ever experienced. Until then, I had never stayed in a hospital. My experience with hospitals were always on the other side of the locked door, as my mom had four boys after me. I remember my body involuntarily shaking when my water broke. I remember demanding to my fiance that I had time to take a shower and do my makeup. I remember things moving slowly and then so very quickly. I remember holding her alone in my room for the first time. I remember being terrified and sad. I was 21.
She is now six. We spend our days talking about what she did at school and what kind of friends she is making. I worry at night, as a lie awake in bed, about the kind of person she is when I am not around. I think about all the ways I can protect her, and all the ways I can prepare her to protect herself. Sometimes my anxiety over keeping her safe in this world can consume me. Other times, I tell her to wipe her tears away and try again. And I am still terrified I am screwing up.
I take her shopping. We love to go see new movies. Our favorite foods are the same. She loves to help me cook. But the thing she loves to do the most is swim. So this 27-year-old mom puts on a one-piece and takes her kid to the pool. Because, this twenty-something mom isn’t so different than you, the thirty-something mom. I might look different and have found motherhood a little more unconventionally than you, but we share the same experience and the same fears.
Turns out, it isn’t our age as a mother that defines us and it shouldn’t group us up. No. It’s the way we found ourselves being called Mom, Mommy or Momma that connects us. So when this twenty-something mom sees you, thirty-something mom, at the pool…I am going smile, wave and ask if your kid wants to play with my kid.