About a year ago Bo and I featured in ‘Fabulous Magazine’ (in the Sun) with an article titled ‘The Traditionalists’. Basically, it was about an apparently ‘growing band of women’ who are choosing to get married and have children before embarking on their career.
To be honest, I think being a young, married, stay-at-home mum can feel quite lonely. I don’t feel I fit into the category of ‘young mum’ who had a baby at 18 and perhaps didn’t go to university but I’ve never had a career, so I always felt weird when other mums asked if or when I was going back to work. “I don’t have a job to go back to…”
My midwife looked a bit perplexed when she was filling out my forms: pregnant with second child, aged 24, married…post graduate education? I feel like a bit of an anomaly and I’m not quite sure how I’ve fit all of that into the last 5 years.
Though there are down sides and I definitely see why some women choose not to have children until after they’ve established their careers, I am glad I’ve done it this way round. Here are my ‘benefits of having children young’:
- We’ve always been skint so it doesn’t make any difference.
Ever since we’ve been married we’ve only really had one full time income because I was at university before having kids, so we haven’t had to lose any money while I took time off for maternity leave or to be a stay at home mum. We never had any money in the first place so we don’t miss it.
- Maybe I CAN have it all.
I’ll only be 30 by the time Elodie is at school full time; still young in terms of my career. I’ve got an education and qualifications so I’m hoping that counts for something – I can build a successful career, just 10 years later than most.
- Life begins at 40.
Bo will turn 18 four days before I turn 40. I’m already planning the joint birthday party, followed by a round the world trip – without kids! Yeah, so normal people do this in their 20s but I think it will be great to have this freedom later in life!
- Grandparents are young enough to help.
Bless my dad, he is kind of old before his years but my mum is a very hands on grandma who loves taking them to the park to feed the ducks, train rides to London and she just loves being on grandma duty. Pop pop on the other side of the family is too cool; Bo loves being out for the day in his Mercedes, they take him on holiday and he loves being with all his grandparents. If they were 20 years older it might not be as easy.
- I’m younger so I have more energy.
I’m not entirely convinced this is true; I’m only 26 and already I feel so old compared with 5 years ago. (Can I blame 2 pregnancies for this?) But…I guess my logic is: if it’s already going downhill this fast, what will I be like in 15 years time? I won’t want to run round after toddlers any more, thank you very much.
There’s probably a list 10x longer than this with reasons why you should have a baby at 40 but I am glad I had my babies when I did.