If you are a young mom who has ever felt shamed by a fellow mother that has a few years on you, please raise your hand.
If you’ve been looked down upon, whispered about or judged, solely because of the year you were born, come hang with me. Because you and I, well, we both just get it. We are both one of the “young” ones. The ones who were into Hannah Montana (guilty pleasure) and glittery lip gloss, and only just beginning high school ten years ago. The ones who don’t have the nicest car or the fanciest house, because we haven’t had time to build up our credit scores to that point just yet. And we are the moms who see the judgy eyes when someone figures out how old we were when we first gave birth. (To those moms: take several seats.)
And while some might think that our inexperience makes us less mature in our parenting, I do not. Because even though I am a young mother, and my first pregnancy came to me at 19 years old, I refuse to be labeled as an incompetent one.
Have you ever heard Shakespeare’s words: “Though she be but little, she is fierce?”
Aha, well.. that is us young moms. We are fierce because we live in a society where every mother needs to be fierce. But perhaps our edge is just a teensy-bit sharper (not better) because we are constantly having to prove ourselves. Prove our worth. And not that we do it for the show, but people are damn near doing permanent damage to themselves by pressing their noses up against the glass, hoping to bear witness to our failures.
Because to some, you shouldn’t have a baby until you’ve surely “lived your best life.” I mean, what if after we young moms have kids, we live a life chock full of regret?
Well, I have some news for you, folks. I freaking love my Chicken Soup For The Soul type of life that I have going on. This is my best life. Right now — I am living it. Truthfully, I’m okay with my life slowing down while my little people grow up. And I am not missing out on a thing. Actually, quite the contrary, I’m gaining everything.
I love being a young mom, I really do.
So let’s stop pretending that I’ve somehow downgraded my life, or the life of my children, because I’ve done anything but that. I can be the kind of mother I need to be at whatever age that I am. Do I have a lot to learn, and am I inexperienced in certain aspects of life? Abso–freaking–lutely, you caught me red-handed there.
But look on the bright side, my kids get to learn all of the new things with me. In a certain sense, some of my firsts can be (and probably will be) some of their firsts. And really, how cool is that?
And while I think I’ll always feel some sense of self-consciousness around moms who are older than me — what with their well-rounded and put-together selves — I will never and could never feel incompetent compared to them. Because just as their life changed in an instant upon becoming a mother, so did mine. Just as their little people always come first, guess what? SO DO MINE. We’re all just winging it at this motherhood thing.
My age does not define my characteristics in parenthood — we are all learning as we go. So, yeah. I’m 24 years young-ish with four kids, and you’d do well to remember that just because someone is a young mom, that does not make her an incompetent mom.