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August 3rd, 2011 08:28 PM #6Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2010
Re: Young single motherhood by choice?
I agree that she is an adult and that it is completely up to her what she wants to do, but at the same time, this isn't a dog we're talking about- she wants to bring a human being into the world, a person who will depend solely on her for all of his/her needs. There's nothing wrong with being a single parent, and there's nothing wrong with having a child at a young age, but you must be sure you can provide for them for their entire life.
To me, there are a few circumstances that would have to be met before I'd think she's ready for a child. If she still lives with her parents, I would definitely not support the idea. It costs an average of $11000 a year to raise a child until age 18, and that doesn't even include college. So does she have that kind of income? If she loses her job in this difficult economy, could she easily get another? What kind of debt does she have? Is her housing situation permanent, or does she move around every month?
Then there's the other lifestyle factors to consider. Most people who go to college don't graduate until age 22 or later, and 21 year olds often show that they're younger than they think. If you're honest with yourself, is she actually emotionally ready to deal with all the difficulties of raising a child? Does she go out to parties with friends frequently? Is she willing to give that up, along with most of her regular bonding time with friends and virtually all of her free time? I'll reiterate that I don't find anything wrong with single parents, but I do think it's important to provide children with role models of both genders- can she give that to her child? What's motivating her to do this so quickly? Yes, she wants her child to be close with his/her cousins, but is that the only reason to have a child right now? If so, it seems a bit flimsy to me. Are there deeper reasons? Could it be some kind of lack in her own life or some kind of Nadya Suleman type situation motivating her?
I don't mean to judge your sister, and if her motives are pure, her situation is stable, and she is emotionally ready, she could very well be a fantastic mother. But if not, there may be different issues here, and I think it's important that it's sorted out, for her own happiness as well as this potential child's.
August 7th, 2011 11:11 PM #8Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
Tell her to wait. 21 is VERY young and there are many many factors that can change in a few years. Sure, she brings up interesting and "fun" points to having children when her siblings do.... but there is alot more to parenthood than having cousins close in age. Remind her that she can be the fun aunt and reliable babysitter and great sister right now. You all need her for other things and she needs to give herself a chance to live. It seems to be a "fad" to have babies young with all the TV hype. It also seems that in this age of computers and online dating and everything else... people are lacking "connections" at times. Your sister might feel like she'll NEVER fiind a relationship and thus, she is just going to settle and have a baby now? I'm just bringing up some points here. Also, in line with the "awesome aunt" side... when she is older (and this might only be in a few years!) and she has kids, you all can enjoy them WITH her. Your older children will loooove having a new cousin.
I'm slightly in the opposite situation right now. I had 2 babies very young (I was in a relationship then married) and NONE of my friends had children. It alienated me a bit, but I didn't try to get them to have kids or get rid of mine Now they are beginning to have children and my oldest is 9. It's so much fun watching them go through their first pregnancy and my kids love having new babies to go visit. I love spoiling the new babies too. Oh, and even though I was married, life with a baby when you are 19 and 20 (I had one) or 21 (I had 2) is NOT easy. I had a job (not a great one) and working felt silly because I worked to put my child in daycare. I came home and had to cook and clean. I never went out with friends. I couldn't buy my kids the latest "stuff" (or myself). Motherhood is sooooo rewarding, as you know, but I motherhood is not babysitting. It's not the same as playing with kids or entertaining them for a few hours. It's a lifestyle change.Wife to one great guy
Mama to six pretty ladies: Scarlett (11), Penelope (9), Alice (3), Fiona (3), and Lucille & Coraline (11 mo.)
& 4 angels gone before us
~We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.~
August 7th, 2011 11:51 PM #10Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
That is great that someone aged 21 is willing to give her life up to a child However, I believe it would be better to enjoy the heck out of the next ten years and see if she is still single and willing then. If so, the child will have a much better shake with a more developed person for Mom.
August 11th, 2011 09:51 PM #12Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
As a Single Mom By Choice myself, I would like to weigh in on this.
I don't regret my decision to have my son for a second. And I am happy to say I am now expecting my second (and LAST) baby.
But I am 35. I was 33 when my son was born. I wanted children when I was young, but I waited. And waited, and waited some more. And I don't regret that either. There were a lot of great things that happened in my 20s that I would have missed out on if I'd had my son way back then.
I would suggest she speak to some single mothers about what their lives are like, and how their lives changed once that first baby came along. There are so many little things that you don't think about when you make the decision--like, when her baby kicks for the first time. No one will be there to share that with her. When the baby DOESN'T kick for a few hours and the worry starts to set in, there will be no one there to worry along with her. After the baby comes, and eventually gets sick--no one will be there to help her figure out what to do. Friends and family are great, but they can't be there 24/7.
Being a parent is hard work--being a single parent comes with an added layer of worry, fear, and yes--loneliness. It's been so worth it for me, in my 30s, but I can't imagine going through it as a 21 year old.
At 21, yes you're an adult. But just barely.
Even if she could wait until she's 25, and then reevaluate things, I think that would be better.
August 12th, 2011 07:36 AM #14
I firmly believe the best thing anyone can give a child is a home where mother and father are married and love each other very much and who adore their children. She needs to wait a while for the right man to come along, marry and in time have the child of their dreams.
Mother to Miles and Jacquelyn, and Nanny to five grandchildren