As I was skimming through Facebook one slow moving Monday morning, I found my finger’s mundane dance across my screen come to a halt over a shared post about the “best age to have children.” The article was shared by someone close to me, in an apparent attempt to justify their reasoning for not yet being ready for children. I scrolled down a bit further and noticed a mass of comments in which people found it appropriate to contribute their two sense in regards to such a personal subject.
I mean, it was put out in the open on Facebook and honestly, I think it’s quite brave to turn a personal qualm into a social discussion. BUT it did fire me up to find that, beyond biology and based on nothing of substance, some people believe there is a perfect AGE to turn your world upside down and, you know, create life.
Later that same week, I got into a discussion with a mom friend of mine about play dates. My friend was contemplating backing out of a weekly play date because the core group of moms involved were all in their 20’s and my friend hangs out in the 30-something category. The thing that struck me as most interesting was the fact that she had not even attended the first mom and spawn shin dig yet, but in her mind had already decided that it wasn’t going to be a regular occurrence due to a simple intangible element: AGE.
Not too long after this, as I was attempting to pimp out my friendless husband to another friend’s husband for a man date, the first question that came up was how OLD my husband was.
I couldn’t help but wonder . . . Is this an issue for men too?
As I sit here reflecting on the topic of age and its relation to life and parenthood, I am drawn back to one particular day in kindergarten: the day I turned 6. I had made two close friends in the first few months of school, yet on my birthday, said friends decided that there was no longer room in their squad for a 6 year old. The two of them were not going to turn 6 until the summer, so until then, I was banished from future friendship endeavors with them because of, you guessed it: AGE. I sat on the playground alone that day, pretending to be busy counting my fingers (not sure who I fooled with that one, as I probably made it even more obvious that I was a friendless loser counting to 10 by my lonesome over and over again).
Anyways, the point is that age plays a factor in all aspects of our lives, big and small, YOUNG and OLD. But when it comes to the world of parenthood, the number of candles you blew out on your last birthday really shouldn’t matter.
Whether you’re 22 or 42, doesn’t getting up repeatedly in the middle of the freaking night to a screaming, teething baby feel like one of the hardest things you’ll ever do?
The YOUNG moms have all the energy they say.
You know what I say? ENERGY SHEMENERGY! My mom is 65 years OLD and she can still do more in a day than any YOUNG person I know – with or without kids. While I’m passed out drooling on the couch at 10pm, she’s putting in one more load of laundry, washing the floors, cleaning toilets, catching up on social media (yes 2017, Mama G has arrived), and is still up and ready to take a 6am Facetime call from her grand babies the next day. AGE is just a number, my friends.
I didn’t have my kids at the perfect AGE, did you?
I was/am considered to be a YOUNG mom. So what? It doesn’t mean I love my kids any more or less or that I know any more or less than an AMA mom. Sure, life experience can play a huge role in one’s confidence when it comes to parenting. But let me tell you, by the mere AGE of 18 I had witnessed and experienced more “adult” life lessons than many of my elder counterparts (most of which I would have gladly passed up on, given the choice).
My own mother, on the other hand, brought me into the world on the back half of her 30’s. She didn’t have all of her ducks in a row even then. Because guess what? Life.
Side note: she was approached by a little girl on my 1st grade field trip, who was happy to meet my Amanda’s GRANDMOTHER. Ever see a grown woman hold back with all of her might the urge to spew obscenities at a 7 year old? I have.
My aunt, the sweet soul that she is, tried for years and years to have the baby of her dreams. For some crappy reason, it didn’t happen for her. But when adoption became the way to go, US adoption agencies started turning their backs on her. Why? By that time she were considered “TOO OLD” to adopt. Really? There’s an AGE LIMIT on loving and caring for another human being with all of your blood, sweat, and tears when it’s not your specific DNA? If that’s the case, there should really be a competence test to conceive a child on your own too … but that’s a whole other topic.
Another side note: they ended up with a bouncing baby boy from another country that was basically perfection embodied and has grown into a stellar young man as the result of the crazy amazing parents my OLD aunt and uncle are.
So, to anyone who feels or has ever felt anxious or confined by the number of years they’ve inhabited this Earth, fear not: it truly is just a number. And just for kicks, let’s all teach our kids the powerful words of Rod Stewart and Bob Dylan:
May you grow to be proud, dignified and true, and do unto others, as you’d have done to you, be courageous and be brave, and in my heart you’ll always stay, forever young.
Wait! Aren’t I too young to know this song?