Young and Doin' The Damn Thing

To start off, I'm 22 years old. While a majority of 21 year olds are finally legally barhopping I was 8 months pregnant. Not that I was ever one to go barhopping and partying in the first place. I may not have a college degree yet but I am a sophomore in Motherhood. Did you catch yourself judging yet?

Let's just be honest because we all know we've been spit up on and sleep deprived to a point where we thought there was no return to normalcy ever again. Whether you're 22 or 32, NO ONE is prepared to become a mother. You can go ahead and tell me "eh I think I'd rather wait until I'm financially stable with a masters and a career and a home and a perfect husband and four cars and traveled the world.. twice" but good luck. Obviously it would be ideal if we all had that and then some before having children but in retrospect, the chances of that even happening are unlikely. That wouldn't make a difference anyway once that tiny human pops into your lives unapologetically shrieking at the top of their lungs for anything and everything. I mean, rightfully so. No matter how many baby books you read, no matter how many degrees you have, none of that prepares you mentally and emotionally for a little babe. You can't possibly tell me that a 24 year old is more likely to completely fail at motherhood because of their age. Of course you also can't tell me that ones ability to love their child is determined by their age either. There is no "prime time" to be thrown into parenthood. Parents are judging parents when we all already know that we'd do anything for our children, and we're all united by that one simple fact. It should be enough.

Now you see, young parents - okay, mothers to be exact, because I hardly ever see young fathers bearing the brunt of any of this BS - are perpetually under a stigma because of their age. I know, this is nothing new.. we all know it's just a given to be more prone to judgment because of our age. It's there, it's happening, and you can't pretend it isn't. I just can't help but reiterate it one more time and share my own experience. One of the "best" statements I've heard so far regarding my young mommy hood was "he's cute but I wouldn't want that for my granddaughter." Ouch. Wouldn't want what for your granddaughter? Wouldn't want a cute ass baby? I'm joking. We all know she was talking about how she thinks I ruined my life by having a child young. What she couldn't see through her thick goggles of supreme judgement is that my life is nowhere near ruined. I've been steered into a new direction in life, and it's an amazing road ahead. I kid you not, I still think about this often and while it stings less and less I wonder do people not think before they speak? Do they enjoy intentionally hurting you? Whatever floats their boat I guess. Just don't come bumping into my boat trying to sink it. This is another reason why I strongly believe young moms are so hesitant to open up. I know that I, myself, felt like if I revealed any sort of weakness it would prove it was because I was young and clueless. How naive!

While one nurse asked me if I had any siblings because I was a natural with babies, another nurse was already making me feel inadequate because I looked like a baby myself and therefore questionable as a mother. I wish I could go back to my newborn mom self, hold her by the shoulder and shake her while telling her that she can and should stop trying to find ways to make herself look "older" before going out in public with her baby just so people wouldn't stare and wonder if she was 16, not 21. I mean, sometimes I still can't help but wonder if people think I'm just his older sister taking him to the park. While walking around the grocery store with Cayden in his baby wrap I would legit poison my brain wondering what people must be asking themselves about me. Like seriously, get over yourself! Hahah. I was never alone with those anxious tendencies though and I know that now after having met so many lovely mothers all over the world online who have opened up with their own experiences.

I would also tell her that it's okay to cry in the shower because dammit, just do it! Finally, I would tell her that there are millions of people feeling the same exact way she's feeling right now. Overwhelmed with love and fear all at the same time.

It's time for people to start minding their own business because guess what? We're ALL doin' the damn thing!!

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