I’m noticing a trend in my Monday’s lately: I develop or at least become aware of certain pet-peeves that I posses. I have a lot of pet-peeves. I’ve made a list before and it seems to only be growing as I spend more and more time in the work world. Monday’s have a way of turning little annoyances into astronomical problems , at least to my sleep-deprived brain.
So today a woman brought to light an annoyance of mine that really gets me going.
In my office I have a little picture of my nephew by my computer. The woman, we’ll call her “Sally”, said to me “that isn’t your baby, is it??? I knew where this was going. “No, he is my nephew” I replied. “Oh, good” Sally said with a sigh of relief.
I could have let it go, I maybe should have let it go, but I didn’t.
“Why is that good, Sally?”
In a judging tone she said “because you are waaaay too young to have a baby.”
I could feel my normally jovial and lighthearted face melt away. “No, Sally, I am not too young to have a baby. My best friend in high school had a baby at 18 and now she has 2 beautiful kids, and she is my age. She is not too young to have babies either.”
Sally responded with “well how old ARE you?”
I told her my age and she said “oh, I guess that makes sense. You are the same age as my daughter and she is about to have her second kid.”
After a moment of silent
staring glaring from me, Sally exited my office. That question enrages me more than anything “that’s not your kid is it? You are too young.”
A. What if it WERE my child. You have just seriously offended me and insinuated that I am irresponsible and stupid because I have had a child before I was… supposed to?
B. What age is the “right age” to have a child? Why do so many women think that they know that magic age and have the right to judge other mothers if they don’t meet that criteria?
Sure, having a child young has its own set of complications, but it also has a lot of benefits! Guess what? You WON’T be the mom that goes to your child’s elementary school and all of his or her friends ask “why did you bring your grandma to parent’s day?” This actually happened A LOT when I was in school. I felt so bad for little Jenny whose parents looked like they should leave parent’s day and go immediately to hospice care.
You know what is more exhausting than chasing around a 3-year old when you are 24? Chasing around a 3-year old when you are 44.
Guess whose body recovers faster after pushing a child out? It’s not the woman who is only a few years away from menopause, I’ll tell you that.
Okay you get it, there are several pros to having a child at a semi-young age. I feel so strongly about this issue when I don’t even have children yet, I know it’s odd, but I think it’s really unfair to mothers out there who have had to put up with judgmental, ignorant people questioning their parenting skills simply because they are “young.” To me it’s the equivalent of people asking “do all your kids have the same dad?” or “are some of those kids adopted or are they all yours?” C’MON people…
My friend that I mentioned before who now has two sweet boys even had a horrible experience with a delivery nurse making nasty comments during her first childbirth. I’m sure she has stories upon stories about strangers commenting on how she is too young to have children. She is probably part of the reason I get so fired up when people tell me I’m too young to have children. How dare they. Just because you see a young mother doesn’t mean she has the parenting style of the train-wreck girls we all love to watch on “Teen Mom.” How about not judge the girl you see toting around her kids and instead say “what gorgeous kids you have, you have done such a great job with them, they are so sweet.”
I’ve spent all afternoon kicking myself because I didn’t respond to Sally with “You have a 25-year old daughter? You look WAY TOO OLD to have a daughter that age.” Next time, next time.
Here is my friend with her gorgeous boys. Too bad she is “too young to have kids” because her oldest son is one of the sweetest, most well behaved, most cared for, politest little boy’s I’ve ever met.