Home > Identity, Motherhood, Personal, Thoughts > My youth & the prospect of motherhood

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.

  1. Rachael
    February 6, 2010 at 2:24 AM

    Even though I’m over 30, I often feel the same way…

  2. February 6, 2010 at 10:53 PM

    and that would be why i hyperventilated when i found out i was pregnant at 23!

  3. February 7, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    You bring up an interesting point about social influence when deciding to have kids. I’d never thought about friends or regions having influence over these decisions.

    You’re processing it, though, and that’s what counts. When you do finally have children, it will be at the right time for all the right reasons.

  4. February 8, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    I don’t feel or think my age, either. I would wager that a great majority of people do not. The rest always felt old on the inside. haha

  5. February 9, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    I’m in my forties and I still feel like a kid who doesn’t really know what is going on most of the time. Or what I’m doing. Oddly, also look ten years younger than I am. I think people in our times more or less perpetually feel at sea.

  6. Mystery Commentator
    March 26, 2010 at 1:48 AM

    I like this – I, too, feel like I am WAY TOO YOUNG to be doing anything of importance or consequence. In fact, I sometimes feel as though I will never be wise enough to make meaningful decisions, give advice, raise children, etc – and then it hit me the other night, as I was loading the dishwasher….

    …My parents weren’t any wiser than me.

    …Their parents didn’t have some sort of rulebook for getting ahead.

    …There IS no rulebook or guide other than the Bible.

    …I’m just as qualified to make decisions and be an adult as any 25 year old!

    It’s shocking, and distressing, and a tiny bit reassuring. I think this MIGHT apply to you, too.

    My only consolation about thinking I am not wise is that perhaps it is wisdom that makes me realize I am not wise…oh dear…circles…

    • Kass
      March 26, 2010 at 2:09 AM

      God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise so I guess we who are foolish are wise? Quite the circle indeed. Hmm…

      Simple yet profound thoughts there, my dear mystery commentator.

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