I think this question has to be one the most asked questions before or even during pregnancy. I find this question extremely hard to answer, as I believe there are so so so many factors every first time parent considers when making the decision to try for a baby, or even considers them once they find out they’re pregnant (& for the next 9 months – 18 years).
I am a ‘young mum’. There’s no doubt about that fact, I am 23 years old and have a 2 year old and 4 month old. I understand that it’s a very young age to have two children, and trust me I get the label a lot, which is fine because it is true. The only thing that bothers me about being put into this so called ‘catergory’ is that I think people assume that just because I am young means that I wasn’t ready, or I am naïve about how difficult it is having two young children. Which then leads me to my ultimate question.
Are you ready to become a parent?
No. I wasn’t. Materialistically speaking, yes I was completely, I had everything I needed, I had everything I wanted for my new little bundle of joy. Emotionally? I mean I had done all research physically possible, I’d looked up every single bit of information I thought I’d ever need to absolutely nail this whole parenting thing. However once the baby was born, I realised just how much I wasn’t expecting. I knew the nights would be tough, but not that tough. I knew my baby would cry a lot when he needed feeding/changing/burping etc, but I didn’t anticipate that he would just cry for the sake of crying, and for a long time too. I know our lives would change forever, but I just never anticipated just really how much they would, I mean having a newborn baby is pretty much a house bound scenerio. I knew it would be expensive, I knew I would need to buy lots and lots of nappies and formula. However I didn’t consider just how much I would spend at Christmas and birthdays, and as for my wardrobe? Goodbye Topshop, hello Tesco F&F! I’ve heard a lot of people say how their kids are so much better dressed than they are, and I can confirm that this is true.
But is all of that really because of my age? We were married, we owned a house, we had good jobs with a good income, we had a huge support system, so why shouldn’t I have made the decision with my husband to start a family, just because I was young?
Yes I could’ve gone travelling, and I could’ve continued going out every weekend. However, to me and my husband, none of that even comes close to what we have now. The nights out, and carefree lifestyle, to me are nothing to what I feel for my two little boys. The love I feel for them, the sheer enjoyment of dressing them in nice clothing, the fun we have at Christmas and family holidays, the weekends spent at Farmer Freds, or some other animal/soft play attraction, their faces at Christmas and birthdays. They are what really matter in my life.
I genuinely don’t believe no matter what age you are, nothing, and I mean you can go to every NCT class going, read every book, but until that baby comes, I really don’t believe anything will ever prepare you, not only for how truly difficult it is, but how utterly amazing it is too.