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20 Things Motherhood in My 20s Taught Me

By caseymullins |

How to tap a keg, learned at 17. Sorry mom.

I began drinking at 14, became far too involved with boys at 15, I moved out of my mom’s house at 17, met my husband at 18, and married him shortly after 19. I had my first baby at 22, almost got divorced at 27, fell in love all over again at 28, and had my second baby at 29. I did enough living in my teenage years to make up for a lifetime of rebellion and excitement. This Saturday I leave my 20s behind and enter my dirty thirties.

My mom wasn’t even a mom until her 30s.

I’m so looking forward to my 30s, while I learned so much in my 20s, I hurt so many people. I hurt myself. I damaged myself and relationships around me and despite my best efforts to heal many of them, it just wasn’t possible. I have plans, I have dreams, and I have two feet planted very firmly on the ground. I could have never learned and grown in all the ways that I have without my babies, and I’m glad we made the choice to have babies early.

While the following are all things people can learn at any point in life, some people never learn them, or learn them too late. I’m thankful I got so many of them out of the way in my 20s so I can really enjoy what my 30s have planned for me (which at this point includes A CRUISE WITH MY HUSBAND. *ehem*).

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Being a 20 Something Mom

I learned that no matter how unprepared I was, the maternal instincts were there

Oh dear, that girl on the right became someone's mother. I didn't know a thing about babies, and yet once mine was placed in my arms — I began to figure things out.

Find more Casey on her blog, twitter, Pinterest, Flickr and facebook.

Also Babbled:

Half a year in 20 Photos.

Confessions from postpartum and anxiety survivors.

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About caseymullins



Casey Mullins is a writer, photographer, and nice person living in Indianapolis with her two little girls, husband, and a one eyed cat. She writes regularly at her personal blog moosh in indy and can be found trolling local bakeries and napping whenever possible. Read bio and latest posts → Read Casey's latest posts →

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18 thoughts on “20 Things Motherhood in My 20s Taught Me

  1. Beth says:

    I so admire you! I’m still figuring this out at 32 — but I just keep telling myself it is a process :)

  2. Erin says:

    The thirties are the best years, just wait and see. :)

  3. Brianna says:

    Great post! And to second Erin, the thirties ARE the best. I’m almost four years in and they keep getting better.

  4. Carina says:

    I think you deserve some peace in your 30s :)

  5. Marta says:

    I already adored you and now I adore you so much more. How did I not know that we’re practically the same person? I think I was always 1-2 years behind you (except I did have my first at 22) but did all the same things. I still have 3 years to hit my big 3-0 and apparently a lot of learning to do. Like saying no? And getting my shit together? Not sure if I’m there yet. =)

  6. Momof4 says:

    I am only 25 and am pregnant with my 4th child (don’t worry ladies all with the same man!) My husband and I are madly in love. We had our first child a 21, second at 22, 3rd at 24 and we are now on our 4th child and I am 25.
    I wouldn’t change my age of having children for anything. I feel like I am at my best at this age to keep up with the busy kids.

    When it works it just works!

  7. Jennifer says:

    Felt like I was reading a clip out of my own diary.. thank you for sharing the laughs and a happy tear.

  8. lisa says:

    Can so relate …loved it! Thx!

  9. Diana says:

    Know this all to be true…even in my before teen years…some people embrace these lessons more quickly then others lol. that last one <3 it because it is true best learning lessons were from the worst experiences really tells you about yourself enlightening things you want to change or amplify. ..

  10. Such great lessons! I’m so glad I had my 20′s so my 30′s, 40′s and beyond can focus on the good stuff.

  11. Melissa says:

    This is so wonderful, Casey. Happy Birthday on Saturday and welcome to the 30 club! :D

  12. Rachel says:

    So let me tell you how Mormon I am… when I read “I learned how to tap a keg at 17″ My first thought was what kind of tap dance is a keg? I think I had to read it several times before I figured that one out! :D

  13. criona says:

    whi le i didn’t. havemy first child till 29 i can relate to the 20s being a difficult time and how i also was a bit reckless. i sometimes used alc oho l to heal past hurts . bad mistake!! . i am now nearly 40 and have a lovely husband ;three children and alcohol is virt ually non existent in my life . i happy within . i thanks the wr iter. of this blog for having the courage to share this with us . it is true ly beautiful

  14. Elle says:

    Ohhh, please tell us about the hug that changed your life?

    I love good hugs. :)

  15. BioPHD says:

    Thirties are so much more relaxed than your twenties. You just feel more sure of yourself, and that is a priceless feeling.

  16. Stoich91 says:

    This was so sweet and heartfelt! Also, you can rock a Micky D’s hat, woman!

  17. brittany says:

    I love this article. I JUST turned 25 and my husband and I are pregnant with our second child. When we met it was a whirlwind of crazy things that NOW we recognize as bad decisions but they brought us here today. We are definetly far more mature and way ahead of other people our age, because of how we lived our life. We own a home and rental property. We have good jobs and nice cars. We both got into great colleges. We have the most amazing daughter and another coming and yes we can handle it. We don’t struggle, we don’t go without. We do a lot with our daughter and yes I breastfed and yes I sew alot of our things and yes I cook almost everything from scratch. Being young doesn’t mean your less of a parent or a partner. I know we are good parents and proud to say it!

  18. Stacey says:

    You’re so cute. As I prepare to leave my 30s (at the end of this year) I think about how fantastic they truly were (had my twins at 30 and have gotten to watch them grow in to these amazing little people). I think about how much more secure I am with being me and what I will and won’t tolerate. I think my 40s will be even better.
    Happy Early Birthday!

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