Spend some time on the Circle of Moms threads popular with younger moms and you'll quickly surmise they are beyond the proverbial "sick and tired" of being judged for their youth.
As Zarabeth counters, "My 11-month old is my priority. She is very content. Everyone says so. She is always smiling and talking. I am not the only one I know, but I think a lot of us 'young parents' do a damn sight better job then some 'older parents' have ever done. So stop judging us."
I am one of those "older parents"—well, er, I don't feel that much older, but I at 43, I am. I was 29 when my son was born. Even then I was told—and still am told today—that I don't look my age. (Yeah!) This situation took an especially interesting turn when my stepkids Josh and Denise (now ages 25 and 22) were younger. Those who did not know our family story would ask just exactly how old I was when Josh was born. I'd tell them I was a junior in high school, which was true. You should have seen the looks. I actually got a real kick out of it. So I can empathize just a bit with these "younger" moms. Some of the stories supporting their complaints show just how catty people can be. Reading some of their posts is just downright heart-breaking.
What kind of insensitive moron says this kind of stuff to a woman juggling kids who is just doing the best she can to care for them? Words such as:
"I had four kids by the age of 23 years old. Complete strangers would go out of their way to tell me I had too many damn kids, and ask me if I had figured out a way to prevent pregnancy yet," posts Christina E.
"One day I was in Wal-Mart with Gracie. Some lady comes up to her and says, 'your sister is so nice for bringing you with her.' I said 'I am her mom.' She went off about me being a young mom," writes Tina S.
And, as Gemma S. shares in the Young Moms Aged 20-30 community, people behave as though young moms have no feelings: "An elderly woman said to the person she was with, 'I bet she doesn't even know who the dad is."
What is it that brings out such uniform disdain? What leads people to rush to judgment rather than encouragement and support?
I wish I had the complete answer. I think some of it is due to the fact that it's easier to find fault and quickly move on than to take the time necessary to offer help.
Three of my 22 year-old stepdaughter's high school friends are now moms. Two are happily married and the other is engaged. It warms my soul to bump into them at the grocery store and snuggle their growing sweeties for a quick baby fix. Each of these "young" moms is doing a spectacular job. Their children are their world.
Isn't that what motherhood should be, no matter what age?
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