I went to the grocery store last week, (I feel like a lot of my posts start with that) which lead me to writing this.
Pretty much every where I go I get the looks. Especially if Big S isn’t with me. You know the look I’m talking about, the “Oh my gosh, look at her. She’s way too young to have 2 kids.” and then as soon as one kid makes peep I can see the looks turn into glares.
But last week I had a pretty nasty cashier. As soon as I got up to her she said “OH wow. You’re FAR too young to have 2 kids. Are you baby sitting?”
“No. I’m not.”
Then she glances at my wedding ring and says “Well, at least you’re married, that’s good.”
I’m a bad mom apparently. Not that people have to know me or my parenting styles, how I treat my children or where I’ve come to get to the place in my life I am at right now. Being 22 is reason enough to make me a terrible person. Then add the fact that I don’t just have 1 baby, I have 2. Which means twice the “it’s nap time and we’re at target, not in bed” screaming fits and twice the dirty glares.
But I find it truly unfair the judgements I get (spoken or otherwise) being 22. As if the number of years I’ve been alive dictates my maturity level and the amount of love I have for my children.
I’m never surprised when someone I don’t even know asks how old I am or the not to subtle looks to my left hand for my wedding rings. Like anyone would even give me a second thought if I was 32.
I guess I understand. Thanks to shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant there’s a stigma attached to young mothers even worse than before. But I know if anyone of those strangers, or even people I know in passing, knew the reality of what we’ve been through to get here, their glaces wouldn’t be so passive aggressive.
Both Big S and I worked our butts off to get out of my parents basement and moved into a townhouse. We pay our own bills and Big S has been logging in hours and hours of overtime at work to get promoted and to help us save up for a house one day.
Not many 22 years old are doing that.
Not many 22 year olds are spending their nights nursing a baby at 3 am instead of going out drinking every night (note: I know not every 22 year old is like that. Just 99.7%).
Not every 22 year old can completely change their future to provide one for someone else.
Every single mother feels judgements by others. No matter what age you are, what decision you make, breast feeding or bottle feeding, co sleeping or cry it out, attachment parenting or not, you’re always wrong to someone. And that is even worse when you’re a young mom, “You’re 22, what do you know about parenting?”.
What do I know? I know that my children are happy and healthy and are the greatest blessing in my life. Oh, and that they love me. Which means more than any thing.
The same thing every other mother knows.
“Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12