I’m writing this for all of the younger pregnant Babble readers. Readers who might feel unprepared — not only because motherhood is scary, but because society says they’re too young. Readers whose friends are out partying, traveling, living the typical post-college (or college) life. Readers who are the first to get pregnant, without anyone to lean on or get modern advice from.
Once upon a time, being a young 20-something mom was the norm — but it’s becoming more and more unusual, depending on where you live. Now 1 in 5 U.S. women are having their first baby after the age of 35, and the average age for first-time moms in Italy, Germany, and Great Britain is 30. Here in New York, young moms are far and few between.
But I’m one of them. I’m 25 years old with an almost-3-year-old boy.
For a long time I felt insecure and embarrassed to tell people my age. When strangers learned I had a baby at home, they’d look astonished. “You don’t look old enough to have a baby! You look like a baby!”
But then I started Early Mama, where I connected with other smart, ambitious, competent young moms who faced the same issues of isolation and acceptance. And together we compiled (and we’re continuing to compile) all of the reasons to be happy about our earlier-than-the-norm lifestyle. This isn’t meant to say our way is better than their way, but just to highlight the positives for women who might feel surrounded by negative.
SEE 10 MORE REASONS AT EARLY MAMA!
If you’re not an “early mama,” I encourage you to make your own list of positive reasons (more money? retirement fund? longer marriage? more maturity? your experiences traveling?). A little encouragement makes all the difference.
Read more of Michelle’s writing at Early Mama.
Also on Being Pregnant: 13 things I’ll do differently with my second pregnancy