why is my age such a problem?

Melissa - posted on 03/28/2010 ( 223 moms have responded )

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So I am 23 and my daughter is 3. Why is that such a bad thing? Yeah so what I got married at 20 and had a baby the same year. Many times people have given me "the look" when they find out my daughter is my daughter and I'm not just babysitting. And there was a time when I was with a friend (who is older) and a mom came up to her and talked to her about a group of moms that get together that have toddlers and do all sorts of stuff and I walked up to my friend just to say hi and the lady had just finished up talking said "hope to see you there" then looked at my daughter and I fake smiled and walked away, fast. And I was part of another group but the moms once again would ask how old my daughter was then ask if shes mine then go "oh I see" then that's the last I'd see of them. I have also had people actually tell me young marriages don't usually work out. I don't understand why me or my daughter should be treated different because of MY age? I'm 23, married, with a child, I have a home, cars and I get to stay home. I'm not on any assistance program or need to be. I just get aggravated with it.

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Sarah - posted on 03/29/2010

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I'm 25, but look about 16 or 17. I've heard the saying "be glad you look young" so many times before. And I know people do sincerely mean it & are just trying to help. And while it may be true that I'll be glad I look young when I'm in my 50's, I WANT to look 25!! Not 16! No offense to anyone who's 16, but hell, I've already been 16 & I'd like to at least look my age. With that said, yes I'm 25, almost 26, married for almost 3 years, and have a handsome 6 month old son. I dare anyone to say anything to me about looking like a "baby having a baby." I guess my anger comes from always having to defend myself over the years. I've always looked so dang young & it's embarrassing when people think it's necessary to constantly point that out to me. Yes, thank you, I know I look young. Now, mind your own business. Wow, sorry. Can you tell I'm bitter? ;)

Jessie - posted on 03/29/2010

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I am 24 and my boyfriend is 25 we have been together 5 years and have an 8 month old son. almost everyone was shocked we didnt get married as soon as we found out we were pregnant. whats the rush after 4 years together I dont get but whatever. what pissed me off is the assumption that we/our child are on assistance programs and need them 'survive'. I only stayed home with our son until he was 3 months old and have only worked part time since going back. almost everyone assumes that we are on medicaide, WIC, daycare assistance or whatever. never have been and never will be because my man works hard and makes enough money so that I can stay home most of the time with the baby. if we couldnt make it like this I would work more. it annoys me that people assume this because we are 'young' and not married. I also get the 'look' often when out with my baby because I am 5 ft tall and younger looking. I just give the stare right back. I will be 25 before he even turns 1 so there people!

Alina - posted on 03/29/2010

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So sorry you go through that. It's wonderful that you have a blessed life! There are so many foolish people in the world, and unfortunately they all want to share their foolishness with us :) I got a similar reaction when I moved to the South, not because of my age, but because I'm a black SAHM. You should have heard the comments I received from the women here, like I am lazy, and black women don't stay home, and I'm trying to "act white." Goofy people in the world have no other way of drawing attention to themselves but to make silly comments and judge others. At 23, you already have your head on straighter than they do! Good for you! :)

Katherine - posted on 03/29/2010

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i was onli 19 when i had my son who's now 7 months he was born the week before my 20th birthday so im gonna be 21 was a 1 year old and i get the same thing, i get all the looks and the funny faces especially when i go into town but its got to the point where i think that there either jealous because im a young mum with lots of energy and still able to stay with my fiance. at the end of the day my forethought is that ive got a gorgeous baby boy and you've got a grorgeous little girl. just ignore all those people who dont understand and be happy with your baby and husband x

Rita - posted on 03/29/2010

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Melissa, be glad you look young. I had my son at 29 so I was in my early 30's when he was growing up. I used to get looks because I must have looked old. I even had a scout leader admonish me saying something to the effect that he could not believe that a woman of my age would have a child that young! The thing is-you have to ignore stupid people.

Darlene - posted on 03/29/2010

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Dont worry about others, people judge situations before they even know what the situation is just raise your family the best you can. I am short and look young my husband is 5 years older and people always give us looks. I just smile proudly.

Ashley - posted on 03/29/2010

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no worries i am 23 and now have 2 kids when i was pregnant with my first i was 20 as well...i was at a tim hortons and an older lady (maybe in her 60) came up to me and said you pour thing and was starring at my belly so i just let it slide and had alittle fun with it...now when someone gives me bad looks or anything i just look the other way and dont pay attention to it, it still bugs me yes but i try not to let it bug me cause it happens alot more now that i have both kids...my advice to you melissa is just let it roll off your back and pay no attention to it

Dagmar - posted on 03/29/2010

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Go for it Girl! I can relate just from the other side of the age spectrum. We were married at 22 and tried and tried. Found out we would not be able to have biological children and eventually ended up after 21 years of marraige to adopt our wonderful baby girl.

I cannot tell you how often people came to me and asked if this is my first grandbaby! So I finally started to say:" Oh, do I look that old?"

Perhaps you just should say:" Oh, do I look that young? Thanks." And just leave with a big smile. People are People and crazy. Everything has to be for some people like they want it or they go nuts. These kind of people you do not want to hang around with anyway. They are obviously no fun! Find a circle of friends and forget the crazy ones.... Happy Parenting to you!

Savitha - posted on 03/29/2010

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Hi Melissa,
I am 38 years old and got married at the age of 21 and have a son who is 17 years old, 1992 was my marriage and 93 I had a son, that does not matter at all, probably we did not plan, and that is ok, in the generation where people struggle to have children, we are blessed to have children and as we are young and have the patience to learn, we can take care of our children much more than the older mothers, and I have a son who is there by my side who takes care of me now. Don't u bother, just keep going head high.

Addeline - posted on 03/29/2010

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I think its them who are the problem, as long as you look after your family well and are happy with your husband, why should someone you do not know upset you. Do not let anyone put you done in life

Laura - posted on 03/29/2010

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Personally, i don't see the problem with having a baby at 20....i would have MUCH rather had my kids closer to 20..had my first one at 26 and second at 29...and i very much envy the mommys that had their kids earlier. I have more than one friend that had their first one around 20, and i dont see how that makes any difference as to their suitability to be a mother or wife lol...just better able to keep up with their kids!

Tai - posted on 03/28/2010

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Don't feel bad. I was in your shoes just a few short years ago. I had my son at 22 (my daughter just 3 months ago at 25) and I'm also one of those "looks younger than she is" kind of gals. No one cared that I've known my husband since I was 14 or that we were best friends for 8 years before we got married the thing they focused on was my son was born 7 months after we got married.... so we must have gotten married because I was pregnant. Couldn't have been that I got pregnant 2 months before our planed wedding.
It's no ones business how old you are... the only thing that matters is you take care of your child and if someone wants to judge you by your age it shows how mature they really are. Sometimes people can be real @$$ hats and put their toe in your pond... little do they know it's full of snaping turtles and their lucky they didn't get their toe bit off!!! I mean really, one can only take so much of it before they flip out on someone.
Just stay strong and know there are plenty of us out there who know your pain all to well. Just take pride in the fact that your stuff is together and you have a good head on your shoulders, karma will take care of anyone who ran their mouth or gave you dirty looks!

Peggy - posted on 03/28/2010

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Some day you will be happy that you look younger than you are! But that is another story. My mother married my father before he went off to WWII when she was 17. They had a child five years later. I got married when I was 19 and will be celebrating 35 years this year. I had three babies and one miscarriage by the time I was 25. I had a hysterectomy at 35. I also have had Fibromyalgia for many many years--way before they knew what it was. I am very happy that I had my babies (now 33, 32 and 29 years young) when I did. The good Lord was watching out for me. I was young enough to enjoy them and take care of them. Strong enough to be involved in all their activities and keep up with them before my physical issues put more stress on me. I now have two grandchildren both 5 years old. Both single mothers with their share of "looks" from folks. When you are a mom there's really only one person who really counts--you child. But like many have said--your only priority is your baby and your husband. If you are taking care of your family you don't need anybody else to approve. Take care of you baby, provide a safe, caring, loving and nurturing environment and you are the Best Mom anyone could have, no matter what your age.

Tiffany - posted on 03/28/2010

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Oh hun, over look them. I am 20 and i have a 2 year old boy and a 6 month old girl. Both were planned and i have been married to their father for 3 years and i have been with him for 6 years. Its no ones buisness how old u are and when or why u had your child. I am 4 foot 11 and I look about 14 in person. When i was preg with my son people would look at my husband like he was a pedifile cuz he looks about 25 and he is younger than me!!!! I even had a man walk by and say loudly, " omg babies havin babies." I smiled at him and kept walking. And let me go ahead and tell u, if u have another when ur older the same thing will happen. My mom is 40 and had he 6th child 4 months before i had my son. People would look at me and my mom so bad when they saw us both out preg together. They ask her isnt she a lil old to still be havin kids... People are just rude. Its your buisness only. Next time it happens, smile at them. Kill them with kindness. Or just make up some kinda story to make them leave you alone like, Yea shes mine. I had to quit school when i was 14 cuz it was hard having a baby and being in school. Or something. Just overlook people and be happy you had her young. Better young and still have energy than older and having none.

Tanya - posted on 03/28/2010

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im 24 and im married with two children. my first son is 7yrs old and his father passed away when he was just a baby, and then i meet my husband and we got married in 2008, and we had a baby that same year aswell. now im married with a 7yr old and a 17 mnth old. i know what u mean when u say u get dirty looks from ppl. i do aswell. i just ignore it and move on. whats the point in getting all stressed out about what somebody else is thinking? thats their problem not yours. back in the day ppl got married when they were 16 and 17 so i dont know y they critisize our generation for?!

just live your life with your hubby and baby, and dont let anybody put u down, or make u feel like ur worthless because ur not. smile and the world will smile with you darl !

Jamie - posted on 03/28/2010

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I am 21 with an 8 month old daughter, and I know exactly what you are talking about. I am married, my husband is deployed, I am in school full time and taking care of my daughter by myself for the time being. I do not get any type of assistance, even wic or child care vouchers, we struggle, but make it work. It does get aggrivating when people say things, but I know I am a great mother to my daughter. She is happy and healthy and I know I bust my butt to do what is right for her. I find things to do with other babies, like I just started swim classes on tuesday afternoons after I get out of school. I bring her to church with me every week, so I am obviously doing something right. Once I get us both home from school and daycare, my attention is all hers until she is in bed, then that is when I work on my school work. Keep your head up, as long as your know you are doing what is right for your child, don't let what others think of you. I'm sure you have the support of your family, and as long as your child is healthy and happy, you should be happy! Ignore the comments of others! I'm around if you ever want to chat!

Sharon - posted on 03/28/2010

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good god, chalk it up youthful looks and get over yourself.



I got the same crap and I was older than you. Even "worse" because my husband is white, my son looked nothing like me and no one EVER thought he was mine. I was either the nanny or the stepmother.



Have fun with it.

Melissa - posted on 03/28/2010

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thanks ladies, I know what others think shouldn't matter and usually doesn't but every once and a while it gets to me. And yes I do look a little younger than I am and I know that makes it worse. No my daughter wasn't planned but my marriage was so I guess I'll just have to keep dealing with judgmental people until I get older. Although if I'm anything like my mom I will still be dealing with this because shes 48 but people think shes only on her early 30s so when we are together people think were sisters because people say shes way to young to have a kid my age. I guess it would be to much to ask to just have people no longer judge others before they know them :)

[deleted account]

I had all 4 of my kids before I was 30 and now that I am nearly 50 my kids are grown and on their own. I am glad I had my kids at a young age since now that they are grown I am young enough yet to enjoy having an "empty nest". I will also be young enough to enjoy my grand kids when they start coming along. People have strange opinions about the right age to be a parent. If you are mature enough to manage a household and children then there is nothing wrong with having a family at your age. My middle daughter will be 23 later this year and has been married nearly a year and they are trying to start a family. She has had a lot of people tell her she should live a little first and wait a few years. I told her that if she and her husband feel that they are ready to give them the love, care and time that kids need then go for it.

Karissa - posted on 03/28/2010

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I had such an awesome thing that I wanted to say when I got done reading your post but then read the next 2 that others had written and got sad. They said everything i wanted to say except better :)
Hillary is right, it is very rare that anybody our age is married to their children's father. And there is nothing to be ashamed of. I would have to say that the people who say these types of things are going through hard times. Most of them are other mothers who are older who wish they could go back to when they were our age and NOT get married and have their kids because they have a failing marriage or their kids didn't turn out the way they want. They look at you, full of love and excitement and youth and are jealous. That's all they are.

Morgan - posted on 03/28/2010

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I have the same problem beacuse I look about 16....

I am 25 been married for 2 years and have a beautiful 10 week old daughter, I always get "the look" no matter where we go, I was standing in line at the food court when I was about 9 months pregnant and a man about 50 looked at me shook his head and said "uggg babies having babies" I was shocked I wanted to give a peice of my mind, but I dident.

Moms these days get slack for everything, too old, too young, breast feeding, formula feeding, married, single, to strict, too easy, you name it we take slack for it.

we need to stop worrying about what other people think.

And worry about working on raising a generation that dosen't judge others :)

[deleted account]

It's unfortunate that society is ageist. Statistically most women with kids at your age and hers didn't plan on their kids, and if they're married, it's a result of the pregnancy and not a loving partnership. It sucks, but people have a hard time looking beyond their preconceptions. If you look younger than you are, that's even worse. I'd say it gets easier as you get older, but probably not until you're 30 or so.



Stay strong and don't let them get you down. You know what's up with your family, and no one else's opinion matters. The important thing is that you're a good mom, and you're taking care of your daughter.

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