The Best Age to Have a Baby: Twenties

Suzanne Murray
22

photo by oh__you

What's the best age to become a mom? There isn't one. A recent study shows that older moms and younger ones can do the job just as well. And as we all know, it's a tough job. Still, being a young mom has its advantages and its disadvantages, as does being an older mom. I interviewed moms of different ages to see what they had to say on the subject so we could all appreciate each other a little more. All this week in the Baby Buzz, you'll hear from women who became Baby Mamas in their teens, their twenties, their thirties, and their forties. And you'll find we're not so different after all. We're moms who love our kids no matter how old—or how young—we are.

Yesterday, we met four women who were or are teen mothers.

Today: Meet four fabulous women who had babies in their twenties.

 

Meet oh__you, Baby Mama to 6-month-old Glenn

 How old were you when you had your first baby?
I got pregnant at 19, had him at 20. It wasn't planned. I got pregnant by a guy who had just broken up with me after 2 years, and for me, there was no other option. I decided that everything would work out for the best, and I had him.

What did you like about becoming a mom at that age?
I didn't have time to really grow up before I got pregnant, but this forced me to do it. It's making me rethink my life and work on creating a good life for my little family. It's just the two of us, and since I'm still young, I have the energy I need to deal with a very energetic 6-month-old!

Were there any downsides to becoming a mom at that time in your life?

Like I said, I had to grow up fast. I didn't have time to enjoy a lot of things the other people my age were doing—I still don't have time for that. I would much rather have been in a steady relationship or married to my baby's father, but I didn't have that either. I'm doing it alone and it's difficult, but we make it work.

 

mom and baby

photo by ToddlerBrain82

Meet ToddlerBrain82, mom to 2-year-old Sebastian, and group owner of Funky Mamas of Toddlers


How old were you when you had your first baby?

I was 23 when my son was born. We did plan to get pregnant. We wanted to be young parents so that we could be youthful and energetic with our kids. Also, when we get into our 50s, I like to think that we will be able to relax and enjoy some fun stuff as a couple, while knowing that we've done well raising our kids to adulthood.

What did you like about becoming a mom at that age?
I think that being young and recently out of college, I was able to withstand many sleepless nights better than if I'd already been used to sleeping the whole night through. My body healed quickly from my son’s birth, and my nurses told me that it had a lot to do with the fact that I'm young and active. And I am able to spend lots of time down on the floor playing with my son, which is important to me.

Were there any downsides to becoming a mom at that time in your life?
I was the first of our close friends to get married, and then the first to have a baby. That was very isolating at times; trying to figure out this new motherhood thing without many people to turn to, because my friends were busy doing things like finishing college, going to grad school, and getting started in new jobs. When I just needed to vent about my leaking breasts and the spit-up in my hair, there wasn't always somebody to turn to, and they weren't necessarily interested in hearing things like that.

 

mom and baby

photo by KatieCrandall

Meet KatieCrandall, mom to 3-month-old Bobby

How old were you when you had your first baby?
I turned 26 exactly two weeks before Bobby was born, and my husband turned 26 five days after me. August will be a busy birthday month for us!

What did you like about becoming a mom at that age?
For me, age wasn't much of a factor in when we started a family, it was the stability of life. We were married and both had good jobs, as well as a good cushion set aside should an emergency arise. We wouldn't have had any of this if we'd been younger, though we may have been even more stable if we'd waited longer. One positive: I probably have more energy now than I will in 20 years, so losing the baby weight and chasing after my little monster is a lot easier! I wasn't a typical young person, as I never really needed to get out and "have my fun". I set my goals on settling down with a family long ago and reached them through a very thought-out process. Because I started having children at a younger age, I hope that I don't someday feel like I have wild oats to sow and missed out.

Were there any downsides to becoming a mom at that time in your life?
While I do appreciate the fact that I'll still be relatively young enough to understand my child as he grows (versus potentially being "out of touch" if I were too far removed from my youth), I think there would have been benefit to us deciding to start our family later. We only get more mature as we age (well, most of us), and I think that's an important quality for a mother to have. I don't have a goal to be finished having children by a certain time or anything like that, I'll let the desire and our family and financial conditions determine when and how many more children we'll have. People today are living longer than ever, so I'm not concerned about getting too old to enjoy certain things with them. My mother was almost 40 when I was born, and she's still as young as ever (she just has a more matured perspective on the world).

 

photo by owensmom34

Meet owensmom34, mom of four and group owner of Thirtysomething Moms

How old were you when you had your first baby?
I was 24 when I had my oldest child. I'm 35 now...yikes!

What did you like about becoming a mom at that age?
My husband and I had been married for a little over a year and we really wanted to start a family. We were young, full of energy, and financially independent. My energy level was really good at age 24. I wasn't very tired after getting very little sleep. I had my last two kids (twins) at 33, and I was much more fatigued. I struggled to get up for their feedings. Another thing I liked about being a young mom was that my body was able to get back in shape much quicker than in my 30s.

Were there any downsides to becoming a mom at that time in your life?
I've never been able to travel. I used to think of this and it used to bother me, but we plan to travel when we get our kids through college. I felt really unsure of myself as a mother. I tried to keep up with everyone and was just tried to fit in with unfriendly moms at playgroups. I wanted to be the perfect mom and as a result I couldn't relax as much. I think in your thirties you just let go of trying to keep up and enjoy being with family.

 

Stop by tomorrow to meet women who became moms in their thirties ...

 

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