When or why a person decides to have a baby varies, of course, for everyone, but for young moms who make that choice, there seems to be a lot of questions and general, unsolicited comments associated with that very personal decision. In short, the list of things new moms in their 20s are tired of hearing is a long one. So often we have to defend our decisions to procreate, but why?
In my own personal experience, it seemed like some of the more seasoned parents had a “been there, done that” mentality when it came to discussing my pending parental venture. I’m all for learning parenting tips from other moms, but I’m not exactly thrilled with the condescension that was thrown my way because I was a young mom. Really though, I wasn’t that young; I was 25 when I had my first son. I was married, employed, and I had great insurance through my job. So when my husband and I decided to start a family, we were surprised at the amount of people questioning our decision.
There are so many things everyone gets wrong about young moms. I think age is nothing more than a number, and based off of some of the behavior I witness from other adults every day, I’m confident that it isn’t indicative of maturity. Having kids in your 20s has no bearing on how fit for the job you are, and someone questioning or commenting on your decision to become a parent isn’t a reflection of your abilities as a mother, but rather a reflection of what our society thinks about motherhood in general.
So, enough of the rude questions and comments about when a woman decides to become a mother, okay? How does that saying go? “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Sometimes, silence is better than saying or asking the following nine things because, trust me; we’re tried of hearing it.
“You’re Still A Baby”
Well, since babies aren’t capable of having babies yet, I think it’s safe to assume that, no, I’m not still a baby. I’m young, yes, but I’m completely capable of going to the bathroom sans adult supervision. Does independent bathroom use automatically dictate whether or not someone is ready and/or wants a baby? Absolutely not. However, it is one of the many reasons why telling a woman that has a baby that she, herself, is still a baby, is a ridiculous and condescending statement.
“You’re Not Ready”
Says who? The only person who is qualified to make that statement, is the person deciding whether or not they want to have a baby. Plus, is anyone ever completely ready to have a child? I mean, it’s sort of difficult to gauge someone’s maternal aptitude until they’ve been tested in real time, which makes the whole journey of parenthood pretty much a “baptized by fire” experience. Not everyone has the same pre-parenthood checklist. The boxes I checked on my list before I became a mother might not match the boxes of my friends or anyone else, so choosing the “right” time to have a baby varies greatly from person to person.
“Say Goodbye To That Body”
Our bodies don’t pack up and vacate along with the placenta when women have babies, so why exactly are we expected to bid them farewell? We’re leaving the delivery room with the same body we used to walk into it. There may be some battle wounds and changes and that body will probably be sore, but it’s still our body.
“Was Your Pregnancy Planned?”
It could be said that every pregnancy is planned because when a woman finds out that she’s expecting, she has choices. She has the right to make decisions pertaining to her own reproductive health, and if choosing to carry a pregnancy to term is what she decides to do then, yes, she planned to have a baby. It might not have been a long, thought out process that took years to perfect or compile, but the moment when a woman finds out she’s pregnant, she’s got to make plans regardless of the timeline.
Plus, why do people suddenly think it’s OK to ask someone about the s*x they were or might have been having, and what they had hoped to gain from that s*x (besides an climax, I’m assuming). I mean, you wouldn’t ask anyone else about their s*x intentions, so why as a pregnant woman?
“How Old Are You?”