I was 20 (and a half!) when I got married. CandyMan and I knew before we got married that we didn’t want to wait long before we had kids. A big family was our goal and we figured there wasn’t any reason to wait. Eleven months into our marriage, when my birth control pill ran out, we decided to start trying to have a baby. We were both shocked when I was pregnant 2 weeks later. Two months after my 22nd birthday, I was a mother.
I had a baby approximately every 2 years after that until I was 30. I loved having my kids while I was young. I had energy, and my body recovered from each pregnancy well. My only disappointment was a lack of respect from many other mothers in my area. I heard comments about being “so young!” frequently (along with the “you’ve got your hands full” comments). I am now a mother in my mid-30s with a daughter in high school. Although the baby years were tough, I really do feel like it was best for me to have my kids while I was young. I put several things on hold while I was caring for several little ones, but I don’t regret it a bit. I have so many years ahead of me, as well as a bunch of wisdom behind me to carry me through the older kid years.
I thought it would be interesting to ask some other moms when they had their first baby, and what they loved (or didn’t love) about their timing.
* Kadi from Social Media Moms, a mother of 7 kids between 12 and 4, said, “I was 19 when I had my first baby. I was young and selfish. I had the energy to survive 7 consecutive pregnancies but little patience and almost no real life wisdom. This caused me to be impatient with my kids, not enjoying them the way they should have been.”
* Jenn aka MommyB from MommyB Knows Best, a mom of two girls who are almost 4 and 1, said, “I was 26 years old. I love that waited so much longer than a lot of people in my family. I feel like a lot of people (not all) have regrets when they have children young and feel like they miss out on life.”
* Shana from Shanamama, who has 3 kids between 2 1/2 and 7, said, “I was 21 years old, two months shy of being 22. Quite honestly I loved everything about it. I had always known I wanted to be a mother so for me it was living a dream come true.”
* Suzanne from Crunchy Green Mom is another mom of 7, between 3 and 19 years old. She said, “My first child was born when I was 18 years old. What I did not love was the man I was with, but I wouldn’t trade it looking back. It taught me that I was strong enough to be an advocate for my daughter and myself.”
* Kristen from Rage Against the Minivan has 4 kids – a 2 year old, two 4 year olds, and a 6 year old. She said, “I was 30 when we adopted our first child. I wanted to be a mom much earlier but I had a hard time getting and staying pregnant. I do feel very exhausted but I’m not sure if it’s my age or the number of small children I have running around.”
* Astacia from mamikaze, mom to 2 kids, ages 6 and 8 1/2, said, “I was 24. It was a good time for me because we had been married for a few years, owned a home and I had a good job.”
* Katja from Skimbaco Life has 3 kids, ages 8, 9, and 11. She said, “I was 25. I loved how it made the relationship with my husband even deeper, that we felt like a family, an unit. It was different than just being married. Of course I adored the baby too, but it was all exciting and new, and a bit scary too to become a mom, and take care of something so small and vulnerable. My husband was deployed in Kosovo war during the first few months, and I guess I just felt deeper connection to him for having his baby, and having his child gave me strength to know that everything was going to be OK one day again and he was coming back home.”
* Candice from Fashionably Organized has 3 kids, 2, 5, and 6 1/2, and said, “I was 28. I love that I will be young when my children are gone and out of the house. I’m already tired I cannot imagine starting 10 years after that. I don’t judge those who do don’t get me wrong I’m just glad I did it when I did FOR ME.”
* Erin from Tales from a Marketing Mama has a 2 year old boy and is expecting a baby girl later this month (yay!). Erin said, “I had my first at 30. I loved it all except the lack of sleep.”
* Jacki from The Raven’s Spell is mom to 2 kids, 8 year old son and 11 year old stepdaughter, and said, “I was 26 when my son was born and my stepdaughter came into my life when I was 29. Twenty-six was the perfect age for me because around 25 I finally started to feel like a grown-up but I will still be pretty young when my son is grown-up and out of the house.”
* Kathy from Marriage, Motherhood, & Mental Health, mom to a 16 year old son, said, “I was 36 years old. I loved that I was established in my career, we had a nice house, and we were settled in a good marriage. I was very happy. What I didn’t love was that it took a while before I conceived, and then after he was born, I was unable to have more children.”
* Amber from AmbyLand, mother to two kids, ages 1 and 2, said, “I was 26 – It was a great age to have babies. I was young but old enough to have patience and to really enjoy her.”
* Safire from Waterfalling Up has a 5 year old girl and 2 year old twin boys. She said, “I was 25 when I had my first. I love that I was young and as she is getting older, we are still pretty young with her! When she is older and out of the house, we will still be young enough to live our life. The thing I didn’t like about it, was timing. It took us forever to get pregnant and I wish we would have had her sooner. However, it worked out for the best and now I wouldn’t have it any other way…mostly.”
* Carly from Living The Scream, mom to three daughters ages 7, 5, and 1, said, “I was 22 and had only been married for a year and 2 months. My husband and I learned A LOT about each other during this time. It was stressful and wonderful all at the same time.”
* Annie from Savor This Moment is mama to 4 kids between the ages of 7 and 16. She said, “I was 20 when I had my first, and I love that I had the energy of youth to help me handle everything. What a change, going from working/school to staying home/working part-time from home. The only thing I regret is putting my education on hold. I didn’t finish college, and at this point I don’t have the budget to do anything about it. But it is still a goal of mine!”
* Valinda from Life with ElCid and The Girls has 3 girls who are 6, 9, and 11. She said, “21 …. and a half. I was young and invincible. I didn’t know what I was losing (freedom, sleep, etc.) so when it was gone it was just part of life. We had been married a year and a half when she arrived so having kids was fairly easily integrated into our life together.”
* Amy from The Family Trifecta, mom to 2 girls ages 5 and 8, said, “30 – almost 31. I got to experience a wonderful and adventure filled life before I needed to become a nurturer and care giver. Now, I’m not so antsy to have them grow up so that I can have “fun”. Been there, done that. Now I’m loving the journey of motherhood.”
How old were you when you started your family? Would you do it any differently if you had a choice?
If you would like to contribute to future Parenting Tips are Better in Bulk, I would love to get your feedback on this Parenting Survey.
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I was 20 when my first was born and 22 when my second came along. There are seriously times when I look at my life and wonder if I was insane to have started so young, and then I do a double take and realize that there is nothing in this world that I would trade for the life I lead right now. I love that I can get down on the floor and wrestle with my boys and just enjoy their youth while I am still young, and I look forward to having more kids.
I was almost 21 when my oldest was born, we now have a 4 year old, 2 year old and a 1 year old. I’m very thankful we started when we did, is it exhausting? Yes, of course but it would be even more exhausting if I were older. My parents were older when they started having kids (31 & 43) and so I was able to see the pros and cons of both scenarios. I’m glad that by the time my kids are out of the house my husband and I will still be young enough to travel and enjoy our grandkids.
Exactly! It’s different for everyone, and I love that women who started young or later love whatever they did. I think one of the main keys is that we might not have our exact children if we did it differently, and it’s hard to imagine life any other way.
My mom is a great example of exactly what you described. She was 22 when she had me, and was only 44 when she became a grandmother (crazy to think about now that I am getting closer to my 40s!).
And that’s what is important. That it’s right for YOU. I hope that everyone’s responses were a sign that the “best time” really is different for everyone. :)
The important thing is that you’re here now. :) Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! I love it.
I’ve said the same thing! I’ll be 48 when my last child leaves for college. (Interestingly, I will be 43 when my first graduates from college! Oy!) I feel like my life is just beginning to get interesting. :)
I love that. And I’m so glad that you found the right man to be your baby’s dad. It makes a huge difference!
It’s been too long!! I love the overwhelming response that no matter when we started a family, no one would do it any differently.
Hey friend miss you! Great post. I was 28 when my oldest was born. I feel like an old mom where I live now but when I first got pregnant I was a YOUNG mom believe it or not. I am glad I was older I was more mature and ready to make the sacrifices I needed too. Lucky for me motherhood is exactly what I expected busy, hard and tiring but oh so rewarding!!
Michelle Saunderson says
I had my two when I was 26 & 28. I wanted to be done having kids by the time I was 30 so that I would have the energy to keep up with them. Now I am 40 and have a tween and a teen. I will be young enough when they move out to be able to travel and have fun. I didn’t want to have kids too early because I wanted to complete college and have a couple of years after, which is what I did. I think my timimg worked out great.
I am now following you, please stop by and say hi at Areyouamom.com
I had my baby 9 months ago at the age of 30…I wouldn’t change a thing, because if I had a baby prior, it would have been with a different man. One I spent 7 years with for some unknown reason….lol and that man doesn’t even deserve to be the father of my dog :/ Loving my life now, and how it all worked out perfectly!
Maggie S. says
Oops, stopping by from SITS. But I have seen you everywhere. Sorry it has taken me this long to get over here.
Maggie S. says
We adopted when I was thirty. Absolutely not. Under different circumstances, we would not have the family we have today.
Allison @ Alli n Son says
I was 29 when I had my first, and I’ll be 32 when my second is born this summer. There are many days when I wished we had started our family a little sooner, especially when we talk about having a third, which I would want to do before I’m 35. But when I look back at my younger days, there’s no way that I was ready. Not that you’re ever really ready. But I know that our timing for starting a family was perfect for us.
Mom Went Crazy says
I had my babies when I was 23 and 25. We’re done now. I loved having kids so young because, like you, my body just bounced back! If you’ve got a good head on your shoulders you can be a great mom at any age, don’t you think? I’m happy that when I turn 50 I’ll have a 27 year old and a 25 year old. I’ll be young enough I can still travel and do the things I want to and I’ll have enough money to do it in style!
I always find this question so interesting because it is so different for everyone. I was 32. I am 38 right now and having my #4 boy and we are most likely not done yet. :) I never planned it that way, but like many moms who do not get the opportunity until they are older, it was the best thing for me. I had numerous experiences, a career, lots of education, and all of it better prepared me for motherhood. I feel like I got to do almost everything I desired- which makes motherhood very enjoyable for me :) I am grateful it turned out the way it did.
I have 5 children between the ages of 16 and 24. I became a mom for the first time when I was 23. It was fabulous. I also had two children who are 9 and 10 that were adopted by parent’s that couldn’t conceive. I am happy I could help them all to become a family.
I wouldn’t trade it for anything and I am glad that I will still be young enough as a grandma to enjoy them and give them back.
Candice @ Fashionably Organized says
First of all thank you for including me in this post, and secondly reading all of these different perspectives makes me appreciate every mom young or old for just being a mom.
I have 4 children ages 3-9 with another one on the way. I was 22, we had been married barely 9 months (honeymoon pregnancy). And we had another baby every 2 years until I was 28. Starting over at 32 is later than I was hoping to wait for the next one. It makes me even more grateful I started when I did. Pregnancy was MUCH easier 10 years ago, and I love being young with my kids. Since we didn’t have much time together before we had kids we’re looking forward to being young enough when we’re done to enjoy the later years together (and grandchildren? Also hopefully have more means to enjoy those later years than we did in the early ones)