My youth & the prospect of motherhood
An issue I struggle with is not coming to terms with my age. I recently turned 28 but am often told I look like I’m barely 21. (This agelessness runs in my family.) Since I don’t look 28 and don’t “feel” 28, I don’t consider myself to be 28. I still view my peers to be older than me. (In many instances, they are but not by much.)
So when I see so many of my friends getting pregnant and having children, I am baffled as to why there is this baby boom I’m stuck in the middle of. I’ve always looked at other pregnant women and thought, “I’m too young for that.” I tell my husband that I hate being part of trends so I’ll probably wait until all my friends are done having kids. Then he drops the bomb on me: if I wait, I’ll be 40 before I can have kids.
My husband proceeded to tell me in no uncertain terms that the reason many of my friends are pregnant is because we’re all at that age. While I’ve accepted that my friends are old enough to have steady jobs, get married, and have kids, I never lumped myself in that group. I’ve always thought “I’m too young to have kids” when I’ve grown into an age when it is acceptable for me to do so.
Having been brought up in the New York City (NYC) metro area, I grew up with the mindset that I’d graduate from college, become a career woman, get married between the ages of 25-30, and maybe (maybe) have or adopt children in my 30’s—if ever. In NYC, children are not something you seriously consider before the age of 30.
My mindset has been perpetually stuck at 21 despite the fact that I’ve graduated college. Factually, I know I’m an adult, I can drink alcohol legally, hold down a job responsibly, and get married. Factually, I understand this like 2 + 2 = 4. And for a long time, I was always the youngest in the family, looking up to older people so I still possess that “I’m a baby” mentality. And babies shouldn’t be having babies, right?
But I’m not a baby anymore. Someone needs to hammer into my head that I’m almost 30 and married. Someone needs to shake me and tell me I’m a responsible adult now and it’s okay for me to have children before the age of 33. Someone needs to tell me that I’m getting old and by the time I start to “feel” 30, it’ll be too late for me to have kids.
Readers already over 30 years of age will probably scoff and think, “Oh, whatever. You’re still young.” I’m not arguing the fact that I’m still young. What I am saying is that I’m not as young as I think. And it’s a problem I’m not sure how to rectify.