Life / Parenting / Reflection

Babes Having Babes

A Brief Background of Me as a Mother

I’ve never been one to do things the traditional way. Nor have I ever been one to give up easily. I’ve often persevered just as a sort of “fuck you” to the rest of the world when they thought I couldn’t do something. And maybe that’s not the most grown up attitude to have, but to be honest it has mostly served me well.

I got pregnant when I was 19. I had been seeing Sean for 4 months. We were still in the getting to know each other stages when I found myself pregnant. Sean and I were young and foolish and we certainly didn’t know each other well enough to be having a child together. We met at a bar. We began a relationship that was largely based around drinking (and even a few drugs) for those first 4 months. Once I found out I was pregnant, we were faced with getting to know each other without the crutch of our chemicals or altered selves. We really weren’t sure what we would discover.

Things started off pretty damn grand. But they quickly disintegrated around us. Our K-Girl, though loved and welcomed, certainly wasn’t planned. We worked, sometimes hard, sometimes hardly at all, at dealing with our relationship woes that seemed to pile up . We were certainly in the demographic to fail and all signs pointed to failure more often than not.

When I say that, I’m being realistic not pessimistic. I’ve never wanted us to fail, but the evidence kept mounting that we just weren’t ready for what we had gotten ourselves into. Neither of us had a good grasp of what constituted a healthy relationship and we were products of parents that had their own shit to deal with.

I think my parents were probably destined for divorce from the beginning. Too fucked up by their abusive childhoods to understand healthy relationships themselves, coupled with having kids far too young (younger than me) led to a volatile environment. Regardless, I love and respect both of my parents for the job they did do and for doing better than the generation previous to them. If there’s one thing each of us can strive for as parents, it’s to do it just a little bit better than our own. And one day the world will be full of loving beautiful people because we will have been brought up in loving beautiful homes. Sean’s mother is bi-polar  and that has been a whole other set of issues in the raising of children. Anyway, without delving too deep into the neurosis that is our family histories, suffice it to say we got our relationship education from the films we watched and the messed up semi-adults we had in our lives. I don’t mean this in an unkind way, but rather an honest look at how it actually was.

Despite feeling like (knowing) I was probably too young and immature to have done the best job possible, I know I did the best with who I was at the time and the background I was dealt. I know that regardless of my young age, I embarked on a journey of respectful parenthood, and I’ve been really good at keeping with my ideals. I’ve known since I was a young girl that I was destined to be a mom, and I actually did know that it would probably happen early on for me. And to be honest, I’m glad it did. It gave me opportunity to really get on the floor and play with my daughters (something that I’m not so eager to do at 32). It gave me time to feel the loneliness of not knowing anyone else with a child and to get a glimpse of a part of this world I hadn’t see before. It gave me an opportunity to grow up a little, though I know I certainly didn’t do all the growing I could’ve back then. Hell, I haven’t done all the growing currently that I could be. But it gave me the chance to show the rest of the world, that despite my faults, a young mom could do a pretty bang up job. And as it stands, my daughters at ages 9 and 12, have shown more times than I can count what remarkable human beings they are and that they touch the lives of others around them.

So before you  let that comment of “babes of having babes” come out of your mouth, realize that you don’t know that young person’s truth. Age doesn’t determine anything except how long you’ve been on this planet. And while I’m not advocating that teens go on out and have a baby because they can do just as fine a job as anyone (which they can), I would like for society to not discount the potentially kick ass job they can do simply because of age.

If I had to do it all over again would I do it differently? Nope. But that’s me. I tend to like the challenge and I’ve been known to take the hard way. But will I recommend, advocate, or even suggest that my own daughters have a child at an age such as 19? Not even a chance. There’s SO much to experience before taking on the task and challenge of parenthood. I hope our youth are better at understanding that.

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4 thoughts on “Babes Having Babes

  1. Very Nice! I had my kids young compared to a lot of parents that I know now, but not as young as I would have liked. My parents were 22 and 23 when I was born, and my brother was born 13 months later. I’m sure it was very tough, but the fact that they are in their 50s and enjoying life so much makes me smile. My grandparents were older, they passed when my cousins were very small, and I am so grateful that I got that time with them. I love seeing my 8 and 11 year old hanging out with their grandparents that can do things with them, travel with them, etc. It wasn’t always smooth sailing for my parents, they are divorced as well, and it isn’t for Shawn and I right now. But when I can enjoy the same things that my kids do, and can get on their level because I am a younger parent, it makes me so happy. I wouldn’t change having kids at a younger age for the world.

    • Charlynn, thank you for your comment. :) I’m sorry to hear things aren’t smooth sailing for you at the moment, Sean and I certainly have our ups and downs too (we were split up for 3 years), but regardless of our issues (everyone has them), I still think we are pretty good parents. Age doesn’t necessarily determine the quality of parent you will be! I’m glad you are enjoying being a younger parent too.

  2. I was 19 when I had my oldest too and did things in the wrong order and then got married just six months or so after my husband and I had met. It’s been a struggle lots of the time, but all these years later, we are still together. And though I can’t say that I have been the perfect parent and I can say that there is a lot I would do differently as a parent, I have to say that being young had its advantages and I sure wouldn’t change that part of it. Change that and I wouldn’t have the kids I have.

    I think you have done a great job with your girls from what I’ve seen and knowing that the circumstances you came from weren’t ideal only makes that even more impressive. Thanks for sharing this part of your story.

    • Sharla, thank you for sharing and commenting. As parents, none of us are perfect. And even if we look back and realize that we maybe should have done something differently, it’s important to understand that we are looking back with a different world view, probably one that is more learned and wise. You are exactly right though. If you change anything in the past, you wouldn’t have those exact kids that you do.

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