Just last week I had surgery to remove my gallbladder. While I was in the pre-op, the doctor taking me in said, “have you ever had surgery before?” “No” I responded, “Just delivered 2 children” His eyes got huge, jaw opened, and couldn’t believe what I had just said. In his defense, I do look like I’m 16. However, he had my charts, he knew I was 25. “Two children!?” He responded. “How old is your oldest?” He questioned me, “she’ll be five this summer.” I said confidently and unapologetically. He said, “You’re a little young to have 2 kids aren’t you?”
I’ve heard this a million times. So it’s nothing new. I then explained, as he was wheeling me into the operating room, that I got married at 19, and had our first baby at 21. Not that he needed an explanation, but I thought I’d share it with him anyway. This dr. was in his mid 30’s, not married, and no children. And that’s fine! No judgment on my end. But why is it that I always feel judgment on their end?
Would I do things differently? Go back in time? Get married when I was a little older and more mature? Wait more years to have our first baby? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t change any of it.
Let’s do the math here. When my oldest graduates from high school, I’ll be 37. I might even be a grandma by my mid 40’s! How fun is that? I’ll have energy. I won’t be crippled with age. I can still do fun activities with them, like snow skiing, water skiing, sledding, all that fun stuff! Now, that’s not to say that older parents or grandparents, don’t have fun with their children and grandchildren, what I’m saying, is I’ll get more years with mine.
I know I didn’t get a lot of “alone, marriage” time with my husband, but maybe I’ll get some of that when I’m older. When my kids are grown and out of the house.
I understand that maybe some people don’t have the opportunity to get married young. Maybe it’s not in their best interest yet. I understand that even when people do get married, they don’t want kids for quite some time, or maybe they are even to unable to have children. I understand there are a lot of different situations for different people. I understand I’m not the norm. But I won’t judge you! It’s your life! You deserve to be happy. You deserve to have or not have children when you would like.
I’m 25, and I have two children. I’ll probably have another one or two within the next couple of years as well. Instead of judging others, let’s support one another! Instead of saying, “oh you’re a little young to have children” why don’t we say something encouraging like, “wow! Good for you! I’m sure you’re a great mom/dad.” Parenting is already hard enough. We don’t need others judging. We need support from one another. We need to lift one another and encourage one another. Everyone has different situations, and there is no “right” or “wrong” situation. Let’s make the best of our differences, and parent the best we can.