Super early parenting… how did they do it?

It was 1981. He rocked an afro, à la The Jackson 5. She had cut her long hair for the first time (real hardcore too – all the way from bum-length to a short pixie cut). They were young, they were starry-eyed, they were beautiful, and they had just gotten married.

Parenting - mom and dad wedding

And just one short year later, they would be parents. To me. ?

Parenting - 1 year old

The other day I found myself thinking, man this parenting thing is no joke. And truly, it isn’t. Parenting is hard work. Here you are, this person who’s far from perfect, and you’re entrusted with raising a real life human being! Whaaat?

Plus, you’re still pretty young yourself. Except, you’re not. Well, not in comparison to when your parents had you that is. I mean, when my mom was my age, she had a sixteen year old kid. SIXTEEN!! I mean, I can’t even imagine myself with a teenager at my age… and my mom had both a teen and a tween. And she did it all, with grace. HOW?

Granted, not all our parents had us at nineteen and twenty three (that’s how old my mom and dad were when I was born), and not everyone today waits until their late twenties, or thirties to have a child. On average though, the age that women have their first child has gone up, meaning that in years gone by, many (our moms, aunts, grandmothers) did have their kids a lot younger than we do now. And how they did it all, boggles my mind.

I mean, at almost twenty seven, I remember wondering if I was mature enough to be a good mom to the tiny bean in my belly. I devoured baby books and magazines, I joined a mommy-to-be online forum, I hoped my childish silliness wouldn’t hinder me from getting everything right in the parenting department. I wondered, “what if I’m too young for this parent thing?”

ParentInc - first scan

Too young? Dude, your mom had an eight year old when she was your age! That’s when it hit me – maybe it’s the overload of information so readily available to us, which leads to us (well, me at least) overthinking everything? Or maybe there’s just so much more mayhem in the world today, it scares us, and we overthink and over stress about everything? I don’t know. What I do know though, is that parenting, as I mentioned earlier, isn’t for the weak.

When I think, for example, of how confused I become when Zee has an over-sensitive day and becomes a little difficult to deal with, I have to stop and wonder… how flustered was my mom at nineteen, with a baby… and how overwhelmed was she at thirty five, with a sixteen year old? Because you know, teenagers know everything after all *cue eye-roll*, and are sooo mature and cool *cough*. It never showed though. Grace and dignity. Smiles and love. That’s all I remember. That’s all she let us see. Both of them handled parenthood like pros, with love and guidance for us in abundance.

I don’t know how they did it, how any of the super young moms and dads did it. But I’m grateful. Grateful for the stellar job done of raising us, even at such a young age. And grateful that it’s not me having to do the same. I was too childish at nineteen (or even twenty three) to have done what they did, and pull it off that well!

For me personally*, I feel like I had Zee at just the right time – still young and goofy enough, that I make my kid laugh daily, but old enough to deal with (or at least, attempt to) whatever parenting in this crazy world throws at me.

*These are just my personal thoughts and opionions, ie. what works for our little family.


Naptime Natter
Mummy Times Two

19 thoughts on “Super early parenting… how did they do it?

  1. Anne says:

    I have thought this SO many times. I was 23 when I had my first and NOW even at 43 it can be so overwhelming at times. But my mother had me at 18. And she ROCKED the whole mom thing. She was the mommest mom I’ve ever know. So much respect for her. I wonder sometimes what must have gone through her head sometimes when she was so young and doing so much.

  2. MomOfTwoLittleGirls says:

    It’s so hard isn’t it. I was so young and innocent and naive when I was 21, the age my mom had me, except she’d already been married for more than a year. I had my eldest just before I turned 30. The perfect age for me I think.

  3. Gaynor says:

    Times have indeed changed. When my mom was my age she was pregnant with her third child (last born). I tend to think having and raising children were higher on the priorities and life goals list back then as careers take preference these days.

    • admin says:

      This is true. A lot more emphasis is placed on careers these days, and it definitely plays a part in the higher first time mom age.

  4. Imperfect Mum says:

    I was an older mummy (above 30) and that was perfect for me. I lived my life to the full and did everything I wanted before having my kids but I think of I’d meet hubby earlier and we’d had kids we still would have done what we wanted just in a different way. Life is what you make of it. I love reading about bloggers who travel with their kids. #FamilyFun

    • admin says:

      True, it really is what you make if it. We travel everywhere with our little one, and she loves it as much as we do. The only problem is the “when are we going on our next big holiday” question from our little traveler! 😀

  5. Tammymum says:

    Oh wow its difficult isn’t it, to know what is the right age. I think whatever age you do just adapt and you grow up, it forces you too. I was 26 when I had my first and I felt too young for a while, now however I wouldn’t change it. I do think however I would have found it hard had I been much younger. Either way your mum sounds like an amazing lady. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  6. Mummy Times Two says:

    I often think this about my parents – who also had me when they were very young. Even at 36 I often feel too young sometimes es, it’s amazing to think how incredibly our parents as only teenagers themselves did. #PostsFromTheHeart

  7. five little doves says:

    I was 23 when I had my eldest, 34 when I had my fifth, and I sometimes wonder what I was thinking having my first so young!! I think people definitely leave it later to have children these days, my inlaws were married at 16 and had a baby the following year! That’s crazy to think! #postsfromtheheart

  8. claire says:

    This is so true, my mum was 22 when she had me, I was 26 when I had my first, I think even that small age difference seems huge! I have a huge amount of respect for young women who somehow manage to juggle it all! x #postsfromtheheart

  9. Venean says:

    I had Emma at 19, and it was soooo hard. It’s still hard and she’s 11! This time round is so different, but I wouldn’t change anything. I think I just got a really good baby, and ALOT of grace because she’s a great kid!!! Love this post!

    • admin says:

      I think it also has a lot to do with the mom – so, well done momma on a great job!
      And thank you so much, so happy you enjoyed it. 🙂

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