With all of the octuplet mom brouhaha, I almost missed this story regarding the increasing number of American women having babies when they’re “young” (according to the article, in 2006 the average age at which women had their first child was 25).  The article quotes Candace Parker, the 22-year-old WNBA star who recently announced her pregnancy, extolling the benefits of having a baby sooner:

“[T]his decision obviously was for myself and my husband and my family.”  Ms. Parker’s parents were in their 30s when she was born, and “I kind of missed out” on shooting hoops with her dad and other shared play, she says. She wants her children to have the benefit of young parents.

The article goes on to note that young moms value their children having close bonds with grandparents.

*deep breath*

So I’m being overly sensitive.  I know.  But it’s hard not to feel a bit stung after reading this article.  I always wanted to be a young mom (whatever that even means–isn’t mid-thirties still somewhat of a young mom?)  I started trying to conceive when I was twenty-seven.  Yes, I had already finished graduate school and started my career, but that’s still pretty young, right?  It wasn’t my choice to be out of my twenties before having a child.  Infertility is what put me here.  And who says I won’t be able to shoot hoops with any kids I have when I’m in my thirties?  Is this really true?  Do women that have children at twenty-two love their parents more than I love mine?  Is it less important to me that my children have a relationship with their grandparents, since I didn’t have a baby before I turned twenty-five? 

I refuse to accept the notion that because I waited to start trying to conceive until I was finished with school and had a job (even aside from the fact that M is still in school), that therefore it’s not important to me that my children know their grandparents, or that I’m able to run around and be active with my kids.  For what it’s worth, Wall Street Journal, my “plan” was that I’d have my first child while twenty-seven, then have one or two more (approximately two years apart each, of course), and be through having kids by the time I turned thirty-five.  I was naive, sure, but plenty of people remain right there in “life according to plan” land and make their “choice” to have kids while “young.” 

And it’s not so much the naivete of anyone in that position; but what bothers me so much is assigning a purposefulness to these young moms, that really isn’t there except by sheer luck.  One might as well say that people who live to be one hundred made the choice to not get cancer, to not have a heart attack, to not get hit by a bus.  Am I way off base here? 

Just blowing off some steam.

Advertisements