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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    290
    I'm not a mum, but I am 21, and I do occasionally suffer from a bit of...baby-wanting? So I'm not pretending to be an expert in the situation or anything, just wanted to weigh in from possibly the "other side".

    First, I totally agree with other commenters who say that there is more than one way to have a happy family, and that some young single mothers are amazing parents. Your sister could easily be one of them -- I don't actually know her, so it's difficult to make that judgement.

    However, when I feel the distant call of motherhood, it's usually because I'm feeling lonely or purposeless. I have read that both of these are highly correlated with teen/young adult women having babies. The thing is, many 20-25 yr olds feel aimless, partly because the economy is so bad and the careers we were all but promised (because the boomers would be retiring) simply aren't there. This isn't helped if you see friends or older siblings who seem to have their life in order, careers sorted and babies cooing happily -- it can make you feel a bit...adrift in the sea of life. For me this aimlessness often translates to wishing for a family, because being a mother is a very clear cut, important role to play. Add to that a real, hopefully loveable person who needs you, and the whole thing can look very appealing from the childless side.

    I also find that if I'm daydreaming about children, it's the cute things they'll wear and what activities I'll do with them and (perhaps unsurprisingly, for a Berry) how lovely their names will be. Basically, playing house, like a pp said. There is nothing in there about caring for an actual separate human being, one that gets sick and cries too much and disagrees with me all of the time. Again, I don't know your sister, but, for example, thinking about her kids playing with her same-aged cousins sounds a bit more on the glossy fantasy of parenthood. I figure that I'm not ready to raise a human being until I am capable of thinking of said child as something other than an animated barbie.

    There is also the matter of life experience. At twenty one, she probably doesn't have very much (though again, that's just a guess -- I have known 21 year olds with more life experience than frankly I would ever want!). Not only could that cause regret later on, but also, it means she'll have less to pass on to her child, fewer wonderful stories to tell, less to draw on when troublesome situations arise. It's a small point, but I think a wider range of experiences can only make a parent better.

    So, I wouldn't dare suggest that she hasn't the right to do what she wants with her life, or that she'll be a terrible mother, but I think it would be very good of you to ask her more about her reasoning and get her to think about the hardest parts of parenthood.

    (And for the record, my cousins are significantly older than me and lived in a different *country* when I was growing up, and I thought it was *awesome* that they had jobs and travelled alone and so on, while all of my friends cousins were just stupid smelly brats (like we were).)

  2. #23
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    361
    @babylemonade - I liked your comments about your older cousins vs. cousins your age. This is so true. I only have one cousin who is older than me, and growing up I thought he was the COOLEST thing on the planet. The rest of my cousins were within a couple years of my age and I thought of them no differently than a kid down the road that I was forced to play with from time to time. Just because cousins are close in age doesn't mean they'll be friends. And I think it goes both ways. Not only do younger kids love older ones, but my 13-year-old nephew ADORES my 3-year-old son. He thinks he's the greatest thing ever. If they were closer in age, I wonder if he'd find him so appealing.

  3. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    La La Land
    Posts
    1,453
    I got a lot of crap from another board when I told everyone I planned to be a single mother at 26 AFTER GETTING AN IN DEMAND GRADUATE DEGREE.

    Youcan't win with some people.

  4. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    751
    I agree that it is her decision and no one else's, however I think she needs to try life without all the other babies and siblings around and learn who she is. Chances are she doesn't know life outside of babies and needs to learn to be an adult first and then she can take the burden in herself. Also, if her finances are "not great" how does she expect to support this child? Some people have children by accident and get by just fine but she may just be setting herself up for a lot of burden. I was a mature 21 year old, bought my own home, had a great career and had all sorts of plans. Point is it is still VERY young and a lot of my feelings back then are very different than they are now. If this girl were my friend I would tell her to get a pet and live a little. She has the rest of her life to raise a child and one or two years isn't going to make her an "old mom".
    Mama to Arden Skye (02/2013)

  5. #29
    I wrote in a previous post I was 27, but I am 23. I got engaged at 19, and I just felt I was too young to be married. I excepted the ring, but I told my fiancee, Nick I want to wait until we are both older and more ready for this. So up until this year, my engagement ring was more of a promise ring. We are getting married in July. We live together, and had a child together when I was 22. ( Last year) Yes, 22 is still young. But like others, I wanted to be a young mom, and have a family at a young age. At 21, I had a good paying part-time job, and so did my baby`s daddy. We had our own house, with a nice back-yard and everything. Dominic is my bulldog, (yes, my pets do have middle names lol) and my poodle Elizabeth. My daughter is August Reese, and a little angel. Sure, 21 is a bit young, especially as a single parent. But if you know you are ready, if you can provide for this child, go for it. It is your choice,but you want to be able to provide for this baby. At 21, most people don`t have a good job, or a nice place to raise a child. But remember, if you are ready GO FOR IT!!!!!!
    Nick, Aubree and August

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