To the girl in my class who winced when I answered her question of, “How old are you?” While showing pictures of my baby to another friend, she leaned over and had asked my age in a surprised tone. When I said I was 24, she physically recoiled and hissed through her teeth as if my answer burned her.
At first, I wasn’t sure how to respond. I was honestly dumbfounded. As a young mother, I have frequently been asked if N was planned or why “in the world” would I want a baby so young. I’d never seen someone physically react the way you did. “Well, that was rude,” I said to which you immediately apologized and said you didn’t “mean it like that.”
But, you did. You mentioned that, “At 24, I do not see myself with a baby,” with distaste in your voice and for a moment I was mad at you, the Mama Bear inside of me wanting to prove to you that my daughter was amazing and a blessing. You said the word baby like you’d say the word bunion. As if a baby is a nuisance.
But, I took a breath and let it go. You’re 19, you’d mentioned your happy home life and working as a waitress. One persons view of happiness can be entirely and surprisingly different than another’s. For you, happiness is traveling the world and going where you want when you want. The thought of being married was an obstacle to you, being “chained down.” In my experience, the exact opposite is true. I love my husband and my life. Money may be tight sometimes and we have to budget and use coupons, but I would trade this crazy little life for anything. I also have the privilege of having a companion by my side for the rest of eternity.
Family is everything. N is the reason I get up in the morning, and she’s on my thoughts as I fall asleep. I worked hard for her, I was sick almost every single day during my pregnancy and I was in an exhausting induced labor for three days. People want to wait to have children because they want to make something of themselves and get established before. That’s completely fine, we are all in control of our own destinies.
But, I made her. I made a perfect human being. The moment she was in the world, she became my accomplishments. Whatever she accomplishes and becomes, it’s because I wanted her and grew her and made her. I will grow up with her and teach her, show her, and tell her all about the world. Essentially I have another person’s entire future dependent on me. She will base her perceptions of motherhood on me, and how to be treated by a man from her father. It’s a huge responsibility.
At 19, I didn’t want kids as young. I had dreams of going on a mission, and dreams also similar to yours. When I met my would-be husband, I didn’t give him a second glance, and then within 6 months we were married. That’s a story for another post, but when we decided to have a child, it was carefully thought about and discussed. And I would NEVER go back to the way I was at 19 because I didn’t know what true bliss was.
Perceptions of happiness can vary widely from culture to culture or from person to person. A person’s past imprints on their future, always giving an outline of things to fix, want, or avoid. I want my future to be full of children and a happy home. I hope next time you meet someone you don’t understand or agree with, I hope you ask more questions. I hope you take a moment to understand because I live a truly wonderful life. I wish I hadn’t responded the way I did, because I feel now I may have shut down those questions. But, I know for next time to be less defensive and more open. We all have different perceptions of happiness and we should be accepting of it.
Have you ever experienced something similar to this? If so, how did you react? Leave a comment and tell me your advice and stories! I’d love to hear them! If you like my story, please pin it, share it, or like it! Leave me comments! I’d love to hear your stories!