A friend has recently informed me that I’m a young mom.
I got pregnant at 25 and gave birth just days after my 26th birthday. By millennial standards, she said, 26 is crazy young to have a child. “Look it up,” she told me, but I really didn’t need to. I didn’t need statistics to show me what I already knew: most people these days wait… we just didn’t.
I know that 20’s are considered young, but back in my mom’s generation, women were having kids at 20 and 21 and I would have been considered an OLD mom. Women of my generation seem to start having children in their 30’s instead. I see valid reasons for waiting, and I see valid reasons for starting early, too.
Sure, maybe I missed out on the things “youngsters” do these days: travel, party, move around, figure themselves out. Don’t I miss that? Aren’t I locked down? What about my freedom? Do I have regrets? All valid questions posed to me, with a simple retort: I never missed out. As an old soul in a young person’s body, none of that ever appealed to me anyway.
See, I chose this simple life because it’s what I wanted. I never fit into the party scene, hate going out. I don’t drink, don’t do bars, and am in bed by 9:00 most nights. If given the choice, I’d almost always rather be reading. Home is where I feel most comfortable and I needed to plant roots to feel at ease. Maybe I’m no explorer, most definitely not an adventurer, but I believe I’m where I’m supposed to be, even if it meant never having to leave.
Essentially, my life followed the straight and narrow path, without so much as a single detour. Right out of high school to college. Right out of college to grad school. Right out of grad school to marriage. Right out of marriage to buying a home. And six months after that, a pregnancy. Planned. All of it. Meticulously planned to the very last detail. I have no regrets and I made no mistakes. Call me boring, if you must, but life sure doesn’t feel boring with Caleb around.
“You make sacrifices,” I told my friend about motherhood, “but you’re paid back tenfold.” I give a lot, but I get more in return. Quite frankly, my son is the greatest love of my life. He makes me laugh more than anyone else ever has. You can say I’m missing out on life if you want to, but I hear that laughter and think “I’m not missing a damn thing.”
While I will admit I sometimes feel a touch envious of those who waited (y’all got more of an opportunity to just be YOU without the motherhood title), and I see just as many good reasons for waiting as I do for NOT waiting, I mostly like being a young mom.
I like being a young mom because it means I get more years to love him. It means I get to see him grow and grow and grow. It means I have energy (sometimes) to chase him around the house. It means that maybe one day, I’ll be a grandma and be young enough to enjoy it.
And it also means that I can do all of the things I “missed out” on right after I boot him out of the house at the ripe old age of 44 when he’s newly 18.
All joking aside, I have no regrets when it comes to being a member of the “Young Moms Club.” Pass me the membership card, but don’t pass me a drink — I’m too old for that shit.