I have said in a previous blog post that when I was asked as a little girl what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer had always stayed the same. I wanted to be a mother. I wanted kids, I wanted a family life. Not knowing what was in store. I knew this from kindergarten on, I hadn’t changed my mind since the day I was asked. Maybe I would throw in a princess or a doctor answer in there but it never stuck. I wanted to be a mother and that is what I was going to be. [ my five-year-old mind was set in stone, you go girl. ] 13 years later trooping through school, [ kindergarten – Grade 12 ]. I can honestly say I didn’t have any post secondary ambition, I maybe threw a couple ideas out there for my life in the post secondary world, but it didn’t last long. [ thirteen years of school was more than enough for me ].
Transitioning into a new life stage, motherhood especially, is a disorienting challenge. And yet when parents complain about how hard it was to switch gears, to give up the lifestyle and luxuries they’d been accustomed to [ as much as a 19-year-old had going for them ], I was fixed for this very moment in my life. Young or not, I was prepared to my greatest ability. I waited my whole life for this. Sometimes for some it doesn’t always go as planned, but I was so lucky to have minor complications. [ big babies, and two c-sections ]
Let me give you the rundown of my ‘made to be a mother’ dream, [ don’t read too quickly, it happens fast ]. From the moment, we made it official [ January 5, 2011 ] until this very day [ September 9, 2017 ] roughly 2439 days, Connor and I started our lives; younger than some would have hoped. [ sorry to Connor‘s parents! ] We moved out of our parents’ house July 2012 [ one year after I had graduated high school ], I got pregnant September of that year and Lachlan Jeremiah was born June 2013; we were 20 and 21 years old. Eighteen months later we welcomed our second boy in December of 2014, Lennox Andrew [ two kids under two, by the time I was 22 ] and then we decided to seal the deal and got married October 1, 2016. A little bit backwards, kids than marriage but to each their own. In 5 short years, we started the rest of our lives. My inner five-year-old self is exhausted, but this everything I have ever wanted and more. [ but it hasn’t been a cake walk to say the least ]
You’re never really going to be ready. As much as I keep saying I was/am ready, not all the things I have encountered so far I have been ready for, [ hospital visits, injuries, toddler first world problems AKA wrong cup or plate ]. You will always want to make more money, do more things, and go more places. Getting married and having kid’s young just means that you get to do all those things with the one you love by your side as your partner, and a couple tag along mini humans. Sure, you may have to get creative and work hard, but you’re going to have to do those things anyway if you ever want to accomplish anything worth doing. It’s the world we live, nothing is cheap, easy or free. Working hard is the bottom line.
I wasn’t sixteen and pregnant ‘young’, when I had my first kid. I was nineteen when I got pregnant, but I was still young. I had no structured life AT ALL. Connor had just started a ‘real world’ job, but Connor and I had to become mature and responsible a lot sooner than most, the moment there was a positive pregnancy test. We had a big responsibility upcoming. [ The longest nine months of my life have turned into four years that have flown by! ]
Having kids doesn’t mean life as you know it, is over. When you get married and have kids relatively young, you are a lot likely to make your entire life about your kids. You still have things you want to do but having children young doesn’t mean you must put everything on hold until those little guys are out of the house [ they don’t stay little for long ]. They are not running the show. [ they will try ] Your spouse is the most important person in your life and will be there after your kids are out of the house. Make them important. Date each other, do fun things together and enjoy life. I’m not saying ignore your kids or be irresponsible, we all know that someone that did, and well, that didn’t end well for them. Your kids are adaptable but don’t forget about your partner who made life with you.
You will never really find the right person if you bounce around [ unless that life is for you, shoot for the stars ] and if you do, you’re probably not the right person for them, at least for long. Dedicate yourself to someone, attention from others isn’t worth it. I don’t mean this to sound passive and this doesn’t mean just marry the next person you date because you’re not going find “the one.” Certainly, you should have standards that respect yourself and set you up for a fighting chance to win at marriage and success for not only yourself in the end. If you keep playing the field, the game will keep playing you. Settle down and relax. Its not a race to the finish. Some people find this all sooner than others. You are going to change a ton over the time. Both Connor and I are completely different people than we were six years ago. We have both gone through various phases of personality and passions. The inevitability of change is one of the key reasons we make a promise to love, honor and cherish each other’s future selves. A change of attitude and you kick someone out, is like you walking into a brick wall. Dedicate yourself.
- the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
2. an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action
When you’re ‘young’, your hormones are going crazy [ lets be honest ] and you’re a lot more likely to make stupid sexual mistakes that could potentially cause a lot of physical and emotional damage to yourself and others. I’m not saying marry just anyone so you can have sex, because let’s be real, that’s not the name of the game anymore. [ no morals, no problem for some individuals now ] but if you’re “burning with passion” with ONE human being; getting married young helps protect and empower you as you protect that sacredness of yourself and your spouse. [ I mean our kids sealed our deal! ] A spouse and a couple children can dedicate you to your own self in life, changing you for the better. Nothing confronts your selfishness like putting the needs of others before your own. Marriage is hard work. Parenting is no walk in the park [ though it does sometimes involve walks in the park ]. It’s fun and rewarding, but in no way, is it easy or comfortable. It is not for us to find comfort and ease, it is challenging ourselves and pushing ourselves above and beyond what we ever knew we were capable of. [ like patience; I sure as hell didn’t know of the amount of patience I could have. ]
When you’re young, you have a bit more resilience and strength. This can be incredibly helpful when it comes to starting a family, as well as when it comes to the many complex and amazing aspects of marriage and parenting. Sleepless nights with a newborn, rolling around on the floor, playing ball, wrestling or carrying kids on your shoulders for hours on end, the intense parks built now, all are much easier when you’re in your prime. Don’t think I haven’t thought about my life in twenty years when Lachlan is twenty years old, I will be forty years old [ gross, to think that far in advance ]. Having kids’ young means they graduate and are out of the house when you’re still ‘young’. Only instead of being young and broke, you’ll be young and have spent years establishing your career and finances, and will have the finances and freedom to do many of the things you always wanted to do. [ i know, you don’t always need to be ‘young’, but this is my young, my reason ]
Obviously, this is not for everyone and not everyone can’t have kids right away. Different people do different things and not everyone is called to marry and have children young. But by all means, this can be appropriate and good for many and just because it is strange to the culture we live in doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It’s an adventure and adventures take courage. In any way shape or form.
Koodos to ALL the parents out there. ALL ages. Marriage, long term relationships or just plain old relationships, keep the commitment going. The world needs this unity.