Today's guest post is from a not-as-early mama, Elizabeth Rago of Parenting without a Parachute.
I envy the young mother and often think about how my style of parenting would have been different had I conceived at a “young age.” Not one to look back and regret anything in my past, I can’t help but think I would have been a little less rigid as a mother in my early 20s. I often read articles suggesting women are better prepared to parent after 30 because they have had time to find themselves, have financial stability, etc...
I cannot say that particular opinion applies to me, and the older I became, the more outside influences drove my life instead of my own internal passion.
I had a youthful peace about me in my early 20s, which I believe would have translated into an overall calmness in child rearing. My living space was small and cozy, my paycheck was sufficient. I really didn’t care what people thought about me and I was genuinely content.
Sure I had the opportunity to spend time alone with my husband, travel and gain valuable work experience. But as my mid-20s loomed, my creative and happy nature was suppressed and choked to death by my lack of courage to chase my dream, not to mention the stack of bills and student loan payments I had become bound to.
And let's talk about energy level! I realize anyone would experience exhaustion faced with newborn all-nighters, but as I entered my 30s, I realized I had to work extra hard to physically keep up with my infant (hello, coffee!) and was beginning to collect dark circles under my eyes no amount of concealer could hide.
Of course I would not change a thing about my life or my family. I cannot imagine living without my two children (ages 3 and 5), and I anticipate with heartfelt joy the arrival of our third child this January. Having children opened my eyes to finding my own passion for life and changed my heart to be a positive living example for my children.
But don’t we want our children to have a life better than our own?
Knowing what I know now, I want to encourage my children to:
- Follow your dreams no matter what. Never quit.
- Resist getting caught up in the world and other people’s expectations for you.
- Be yourself, even when people call you weird.
- Always stand up for the little guys.
What do you think is better about having children at a young age? Or, would you have waited and had children later in life?
An eternal optimist, Elizabeth tries to face the uncertainty of each day with humor and a hot cup of coffee. She's a wife, mother, small-business owner, and writer who makes mistakes but lives to talk (and usually laugh) about them. Feel free to get social with her on Twitter @bethrago or visit her at Parenting Without A Parachute.