DH and I were young for our demographic (married at 22, I had finished my BA and he was doing the 5 year plan for his undergrad, we had planned on waiting to ttc but life had a way of happening with our oldest ;) ) however, things worked out. We have had difficulties of course, married for almost 12 years (financial, him doing his masters when the older 2 were wee and I was pregnant as well at times, he is also currently doing another his MBA right now) but we are in a good place financially now thank goodness and I do feel as if I have "my whole life" ahead of me. Granted, its with 5 kids (so, going back to school etc will need to work around them) but I have no doubt I am where I am supposed to be and same goes for DH. Everyone has their own path. Women's liberation did not come about so we could *all* work full time or *all* not, it came about so we have the *choice* to be what we want to be at any age. At 34 (I will be 35 in January) I have accomplished the maternal part of my life that I set out to do, and now onto raising my beautiful kids with my husband who I am still crazy about, continuing to foster my own self, and grow into the rest of my life. Hope this makes sense. It is odd to be college educated and have an almost 11 year old and be married to his father (again, the demographics are unusual for where I live to be these things, nothing better or worse about it, just not "usual") , but, I am happy he is here, happy *all* my kiddos are here and happy to have the choice to be what I want to be and live life how I do. :)
Because times have changed. Women never used to have the opportunity to get an education, they were forced to be mothers and housewives. There are so many intelligent, capable women out there, and I think it's great that they're pursuing an education rather than just having babies and cleaning all day. If you choose to be a housewife and mother, then fair enough, I have no issue with that. Also, due to the economic crisis, many women have to work alongside their husbands just to support the family. I think you're a little naive about this. Plus, education is more important than ever now, and chances are if you have a baby at 16, you're unlikely to finish your education, which means job choices are limited. And like someone else said, we often romanticize the past, and your view of that time is probably very different to how it actually was.
Personally, I don't want children until I'm around 32, hoping to have two or three between the ages of 31 and 39. I want to be a doctor, which takes years and years of medical school and training to do, and I'm glad I'm doing it because I refuse to sit at home and do nothing all day except cook, clean, and raise babies. There's more to life than that, and I know that I have the capability to do it. A mother of 32 will have plenty of energy to run around with a toddler, and 32 is hardly old! Mothers are getting older due to advancements in fertility treatments and an increase in career women, so being a new mother in your thirties hardly makes you stand out from the crowd. I think this post is a little ridiculous, and the idea that women should have children young rather than go out and get the career you want sets feminism back so many years. Sure, if you want to have a baby at 20 then go ahead, but that's obviously not for everyone.
My story is pretty similar to a few others who shared here. (I had Scarlett 2 weeks after my 19th birthday - DH was almost 22 -- yes, I am now "only" 30!) Being a young mom has it's ups and downs for sure. I remember feeling VERY alone when I was 19 and caring for an infant mostly all alone (DH was in school and worked) while my friends were out partying and having a great time at college. I felt like I couldn't relate to anyone. I think things may have been different if we planned the pregnancy. They would also have been different if me and DH's relationship was a bit more solid and mature during that time. So my advice is work on your relationship and if you are both ready to have a child, make plans/try for it. You can do it. You need that relationship foundation first though and a good support system in extended family and friends too. Our friends, even though they were partying and such, were a great support for us. They babysat for free to give us nights out or to fill in an hour or two while DH and I worked different shifts and we had no one to be with her. I'm not someone who is highly motivated or concerned with money, but money is a real concern in life. It's something that (in general) younger couples do not have as much as an older couple may have. That could be a consideration for you. I don't think you need a huge house or all the latest gadgets or every toy/baby gear/etc. but you do need to have a stable income.
I don't necessarily favor young parents or old parents. I think any situation can work with the right motivation and as long as you give the children love and affection. I've enjoyed being a young mom. Most of my concerns and frustrations were associated with other areas of my life and not the actual mothering part.
Ugh. Parents raising kids are not "sitting at home doing nothing all day". The idea that women SHOULD go out and work is no more pro-feminist than the idea that women SHOULD stay home. Again, feminism is about choice. You might have given lip service to that choice but your disdain for stay at home parents is pretty obvious.
Originally Posted by sapphires
YES! @milasmama Thank you for that! I was a bit taken aback by that comment as well. And even if cooking, cleaning & raising babies was all that I did all day, if I were to find that fulfilling on an emotional & creative level, well there really isn't much more to hope for in life than to love what you do, right?