Choosing to be a Young Mom
I’ve had something on my mind a lot lately. In Utah, it was never an issue, but since moving to the NYC area, it comes up almost every time I’m out in public and talk to a stranger. Let me paint a scenario for you:
(Eva and I check out at the grocery store and the cashier and I make friendly chit-chat)
Cashier: (Looking at Eva) She is so cute… how old is she?
Me: She’s almost three!
Cashier: Wow! So… (I see her trying to calculate the numbers in her head) are you her nanny?
Me: hahaha, no, I’m her mom.
Cashier: Oh, really? You look to young to be a mom.
Me: haha uhhhh yep!
At this point in the conversation, depending on the day and what mood I’m in, we will either finish the transaction in awkwardness or I will say (this is my most popular reply as of late even though it’s complete BS): I look younger than I really am. Which, who am I kidding, nope… I definitely look my age, which is 25, which to most non-mormons is young.
Anyway, like I said. This happens all the time. At least once a week. At the park. At the mall. In the subway. They may not ask if I’m the nanny, but most of the time the person tells me word for word, “You look too young to be a mom.”
I’ve told a couple people about this and they said I need to take it as a nice compliment because they’re just telling me that I look youthful.
Well, it would be a nice compliment if I was old and they thought I looked youthful. But here’s the deal, guys. I AM young, in the world’s eyes (especially in NYC’s eyes). I am in my mid-twenties. I am not the normal age of a mother out here. And guess what. I know it may seem BIZARRE to the rest of you New Yorkers and Jersey Folk, but I CHOOSE THIS LIFE!
I just want to explain myself to the blogosphere, because I can’t fully explain it to the cashier at CVS or the man sitting next to me on the subway giving me a judging glance with my kid who apparently could be my baby sister.
I chose it. I wanted it. There are times that are hard and may not seem like it’s worth it to the outsiders. But to me. To my loving husband. It is exactly right. And you know what, we love it.
We love it. Honestly, how could you not? Look at this darling girl! She is everything to us!
So, why? Why is it looked at so differently out here? I don’t know if it’s necessarily looked down on but I know it’s definitely strange to most people! Sometimes I feel like people my age in NYC are looking at me like, Bless your heart. (Which we all know really means… You’re out of your mind and I’m not sure why you thought this was a good idea.)
When I see those people, I just want to stand up in the middle of Madison Square Park and scream… You just don’t know! You really don’t. Because motherhood… chasing my child around the park, changing her diaper in the stroller, singing Row Row Row your Boat a hundred times, all this that looks like craziness to you, this right here… has changed my life.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Maybe I should print this blog post out and hand it to people when they tell me I look too young to be a mom. What do you think? No… they will just think I’m even crazier! Haha! I’ll never win these NYC people over!
PS-I’m not saying everyone needs to be a young mom! Heck, I’m not saying everyone even needs to be a mom. What I AM saying is that becoming a young mom was the right decision for me and I know it is a huge blessing!
I get “you look way too young to have 3 kids!” all the time here in UT, can you imagine if I moved somewhere else? haha. I’m told by older mothers that being a young mother has way more advantages and is much better than having kids later. That always makes me feel better when I see my single friends or friends without kids traveling and doing whatever they want to do! 🙂
Oh man this made me cry! I’ve had this exact same thing over and over and over again!! Yes, it’s hard, yes I “have my hands full” (thank you random stranger for pointing that out to me, I wasn’t aware…), and yes “they keep me busy!”
But YES! This is what I chose! Yes! I love this life. YES! This is what I’m supposed to be doing. YES. YES. YES. Yes I chose to be a mom – best choice (next to my devilishly good looking husband) EVER.
Thank you for posting this.
I agree, when you ask older people what was the best part of their life they will all say their children! If you ask pregnant women when is it easiest time to be pregnant they will say when you’re young! So why is it so strange to non-lds folks to have kids when it makes the most sense?
It is very counter-cultural in this day and age to get married as young as we did. I got married at 21 and had Bri 13 months later. We’ve had 5 pregnancies in 9 years, 4 of which gave us our beautiful children! People tell me all the time they can’t believe I’m old enough to have 4 kids or I look so young and at 32 I am young to have 4. Especially when I see girls I went to high school and college with who are just now getting married and having their 1st, maybe 2nd. I’m like “Yup! You have years to go of interrupted sleep…I’m around the corner from my last days of potty training! Have fun!” I can’t imagine just starting to have kids at my age! Be greatful that you started your family young. Not only does it mean you have the energy to handle everything that comes with parenthood, you also will be a heck of a lot younger than everyone else when your kids graduate!! I figured it out when Eli graduates I will be 48 when my LAST child graduates high school! Hello retirement…where should we go first honey!?! SO to make this long post short…don’t worry about winning people over, it won’t happen, but you’ll feel like you have this little secret everyone should have! Enjoy it!!