Many people ask me why I decided to have children “so young” & I guess I just couldn’t imagine it any other way.
To all the people over the years who have asked me in disbelief “how old are you?!” while watching me rub my pregnant belly or run after my busy children. To all the people who have said I “look too young” to have two kids. To all the well intentioned people out there who look at a “young mum” with concern etched on their faces rather than respect or love, please know that the question is not whether this role of motherhood was chosen or not. The question is not whether “young mums” or “mature aged” mums are better or worse at this job. The question is… Aren’t we all in this together? Aren’t we all just doing our best?
At 20 years old many people are content partying, working, studying travelling etc. I partied, I worked and I studied but it didn’t fulfil me. I was also lucky enough to have parents who travelled the world with my sister & I in tow. (I had my first plane ride at 6 weeks old) So I didn’t feel like I was going to miss my chance of doing any of that.
Instead, I had a desire, a need deep in my body to give & to nurture. People say “your twenties are your prime”, the “best years of your life, don’t waste them”. I saw the energy my mother had with us as kids & the passion, the optimism that I felt and I wanted to create something beautiful. I wanted to create a family. I wanted to give the best of me, to another being. I wanted enough time with that perfect little being, to experience & grow together for many decades.
I know it’s not for everyone but so many people have this expectation that before having kids they must have stability, money, a house, a perfect relationship, they must be well traveled, well adjusted, educated, employed etc. & years ago I did too. But then I looked around me and realised something that changed me, it shook me to the core. I don’t want to scare you or to seem pessimistic about life but THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES! No matter how prepared you think you are, you have no control. In some way you’re going to mess up a little, there will always be more you can learn, more you can give. Stability is a complete illusion.
Instead of stressing about having a perfect life pre-kids, focus on what you can control. If you want to have children before you die, then what are you waiting for? Is it really worth waiting for? What if you miss your chance, will that one thing seem worth the wait then?
I read a meme the other day that said ‘getting married & having kids at 21 is like leaving a party at 9am’ but why stay at the party if it doesn’t serve you? Why let others decide what you should be doing with your valuable time simply because of your age bracket? To me partying was not productive. It wasn’t giving anything to society or bettering anyone in any way. In fact it was turning me into a person that I didn’t want to be. I had a degree & a job but I wanted life experience. I see my baby boys & the joy they bring to the world & I swell with pride. I see how much life they have injected into my family and friends, they are teaching us all about love, purpose, empathy. They are going to lead a generation of change & I’m going to have a front row seat, cheering them on the whole way.
In no way has this journey been an easy one but I thank god for all the women before me who have held my hand & cheered me on along the way & I pledge to all the future mothers in my life that I will pass on that legacy.
We are all in this together. So next time you see a young mum, instead of thinking her life has been ‘chosen for her’ or ‘wasted’. Look at her with the same respect and admiration as any other mother. Cheer her on & raise her up. Look past her age and see the love in her heart that beats only for her kids, it’s the same as the love that beats through yours. So show her a little of that love.