115 Comments

Beautiful. Thank you.

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People don’t realize that it is babies that grow the parents up! Nothing is more maturing than fighting your desire to sleep in order to care for the helpless baby wailing at one and two and three. My husband and I still laugh at the things that worried us before the kids were born (this person talked so much at a meeting!). When our kids were 4, 2, and newborn, he ended a call with our burly mechanic with, “love you, bye.” We should all be so surrounded by constant love that we say such things through habit. 😊

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A great article, but I wish you'd left out the pictures. All I can see are those damn tats.

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I'm 44, and my youngest child is a senior in high school. The thought of being an empty-nester at 45 is actually exhilarating. So is the hope of being a grandparent young enough to be active with my grandkids. Thank you for sharing this perspective.

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This is beautiful.

I was almost 23 when I had my first baby. Luckily this is pretty common where I live in Utah so I didn’t feel alone. I’m 39 now and can’t imagine the exhaustion of having a newborn at my age, haha. I had way more energy back then.

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I could have done without the, “I’m staunchly pro life” line. Irrelevant to the story, unless the author wants to take a shot at those with another perspective.

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I had my babies when I was 37 and 39, after I had had time to travel a lot with my husband for over 10 years, and get to know myself better. I'm glad having babies earlier worked for this author, but it's not true for all parents. I had so much more wisdom to pass onto my kids and trusted my instincts, not the experts. My parents had my sister and me in their early to mid twenties and they tell me that they wished they had had an independent life first. I am now a recent empty nester and feel proud of the kids I raised.

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Evolutionarily speaking, I can't see how humans evolved into a species that can't survive/thrive without the need to spend $$$ on gadgets.

I forget who said it, but if you have three kids it kind of goes like this: for the first one, the house is sanitized daily, all the photos are neatly organized into creative scrapbooks, family portraits with professional photographers are done annually, there's a huge crowd at the first birthday. For the second, the house is messier, clothes are hand-me-downs. For the third, well, not sure where he is but looks like he's out in the backyard playing with the dog in the mud.

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I hear young people talk about waiting for certain things to be in place and the things they want to accomplish before starting a family and then watch their heartbreak as they are unable to conceive. We are fed a constant diet of being able to “have it all”. It’s BS and contributes to unhappiness, anxiety and depression.

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Yes! I was 34 when my first kid was born, and 36 with the second - and you're right on about the absurd debates about all the baby and kid stuff that you just don't care about when you're early in your career and not financially capable of buying all the crap (as we wouldn't have been 10 years prior). We've been lucky enough to have a nanny who has been with us since our oldest (now 6) was 18 months old. She had her first baby when she was 25 (we adore them both); your article articulates so many of the things I've watched as she raises her daughter. These seemingly subtle, special differences make being a young parent so freeing in many ways. Thanks for sharing the good!!

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I always planned to have kids at 28, but it took a long time to find someone to do it with. I'm so grateful for my wonderful kiddos, but I do think having children earlier is better if you can swing it because: FATIGUE.

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I’m about to be an older mother, I’ll be 37 with my first. While I see the author’s points and benefit from hearing from some chill moms in the comments, being a generally anxious person with control issues...

I also watched my then-20 year old sister have an unplanned baby, leave the guy (mentally unstable), get married to someone else, have another at 26, divorce that guy (abuse), and struggle immensely economically. Her current job requires long hours for low pay, she has no degree and limited means to get one... but she does have a $25k student loan in collections from when she tried.

Her kids have trauma from the abusive situation and my parents supported her for over 2 years after the divorce, to their own economic detriment. Her current landlord rents to them under market rate because she’s lucky, but her kids are in a crummy school system. And they are in a “small town”.

By contrast, I spent my young adulthood building two careers, one for love and one for money, and I pull income from both today. We own a home in a HCOL area we love and we both work remotely. We will actually have the time that’s been mentioned a lot here - 14 weeks of parental leave each, no commutes, 40 hour workweeks, money to outsource time consuming tasks, etc.

So while I benefit from hearing that not everything needs to be optimized and this message should be louder for those who actually want kids earlier than they feel our culture accepts, it’s also important to consider that some people just did the math and didn’t want to struggle, so they waited until the equation made sense.

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founding

Great article and attitude from this young mother. I hope she has many more. God bless!

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Love it! Started having kids at 26, had 3. Enjoyed each pregnancy and each child ( have 3) brought something special to our lives. Our kids chose career paths first and eventually, hopefully 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼 will have grandkids, just grandogs now. I agree with you, you have less anxiety when you are younger and go with the flow., no need to analyze everything.

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Excuse those Covid parents, please! Whether young or old, parents, especially, first time parents expecting during Covid and in a state with strict lockdown rules experienced anxiety that has nothing to do with their age. They weren't able to have dinner and then stroll through the baby store to make a decision about strollers. The ease or difficulty of collapsing a stroller was not a physical experience but determined by reading endless Amazon reviews and baby magazine ratings. They weren't able to share their thoughts and concerns with a visiting relative (flying was extremely limited) or have the cozy face to face chat where one compare your lack of sleep with your friend's lack of sleep. (Zoom isn't really cozy!) They were surrounded with doctors and people with authority assuring them that there was a deadly disease that could kill them and they were terrified for their newborn.

It is important not to forget that they had a baby in a time that was like no other and that what happened during lockdown impacted all members of society in different ways including expectant parents. A little understanding, empathy, and insight please to help them regain the confidence and assurance that they should have been their experience too.

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I had my children very late - not due to putting them off for career but because I had a very traumatic divorce from the husband I married at 25, and it took a long time to be ready to date again, then a long time to find someone I loved once I did. I wish I’d made a better choice of first husband and had been able to have my children in my late 20s like I’d planned - I had my first at 39 and then had five miscarriages trying to conceive my second, who is due in January. I have had a great career and am grateful I had that to support myself when my first husband left, but nothing has brought me the deep joy of my second marriage and my children (I’m also a stepparent of two).

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