I feel like people are deciding to start having children at more and more advanced ages these days. It makes sense. If you want to go to college and graduate school, you aren’t even financially independent until your mid to late twenties! And then, most women would like to at least experience what the working world is like for a few years (or more) before they start having children. Seriously, the way our society is set up, the time when women can most easily have children is when most of us are in positions completely unfavorable to child rearing. I guess for people who never wanted more than one or two children (and who am I kidding, that must be a lot of people) that is all well and good. But for those of us who always wanted big families, it is a bit of an obstacle.
My husband and I had our first child when I was 27. In the grand scheme of childbearing years, that is not really all that early. But I have been EXTREMELY fortunate in being able have children. I don’t take that for granted. You think before you start having children that you will just decide to get pregnant, come off whatever birth control you are using, and get pregnant right away. And for some it is that easy. But for a lot of us, we come to realize the brutal reality of miscarriages, still births, infertility, health problems with our babies and high risks with our pregnancies. On the flip side of the coin, some of us became young mothers more by pure happenstance than by design as we come to realize that all birth control methods have a built-in failure rate. Some of our roads to our babies are a struggle, but our children are worth all of it and more.
Anyway, to lighten the mood a bit, I love being a young (by today’s standards) mother. I only practiced law for a very short time, but I do not regret my decision to do this mom thing instead one bit. I have enough energy to run around after all these littles. My husband and I will still be in our forties (barely) when our last one goes to college. (Although given my family’s record, perhaps I shouldn’t count on that one). If, God willing, we ever become grandparents, we will still be young energetic grandparents. My children have young grandparents, and it is such a blessing to both my children and our parents. They run around with the children, can watch them whenever I need, and are just all round fun. I grew up with young grandparents too, and some of my fondest memories are swimming and taking walks in the woods with my grandmother, and scooting around on Razor scooters and dancing the Macarena with my Abuela. I see the longing look in the eyes of my parents’ contemporaries when I take the girls to go see my parents’ tennis matches and the girls run squealing into Abueyay and Grandaddy’s arms. Not very many of them have grandchildren yet, and I can tell they can’t wait. Heck, I singlehandedly won my mother the most grandchildren award at her college alumni dinner with my whopping number of three.
I love my circle of fellow moms. I feel like I have been inaugurated early into a group of the most exceptional women I know. They are an infinitely welcoming group that is always ready with a complete dinner dropped off at your door or an exquisite new outfit for your sweet newborn. They are constantly (and sincerely!) offering to watch the girls so that I can get stuff done or just collapse into bed for a little while. They are quick with wonderful advice and never pass judgment. This goes for my mom friends that I see regularly as well as my Instagram and blogging mom friends. We help each other out and offer support and encouragement whenever it is needed.
I am going to have to pave my own way, as there aren’t many moms that I know personally who can offer me real-time guidance on things like education, and childhood development, but that is ok. I always knew I was going to be doing my own thing that might be the road less traveled. It is very important to me that I do things not because everyone else is doing them, but because they are what is best for my children. So it is probably best that I am trailblazing. I will have fewer people looking at me askance and second guessing my decisions.
My youngest is mobile now, so I am going to need all of this youthful energy I can get. At least, whatever is left after this little baby in my belly saps me. Which, amazingly, is always just enough to get the job done. Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go to bed. We thirty year olds with boundless energy need our beauty sleep. But it is most certainly not because I am about to fall asleep on my feet!