One's twenties are a weird time. Some people are still living at home, partying, starting careers, or have established families. Where does the 20-something mom fit in? For some, their twenties feel like a time to grow up.
We can take the whole decade to do it, or we can get our act together in the first couple of years. For moms in their twenties, they would probably pick the latter (not that they would have much of a choice). It is definitely a bit more challenging to tackle the changes of adulthood and parenthood at once, but it has been done before.
Being a mom in our twenties is certainly a different ball game than being a mom in our thirties. We aren't the majority, but young mothers are surely becoming more popular. Young mothers have to defy quite a few prejudices and stereotypes that moms in their thirties, who are more established, do not. We say age is just a number, but even though women their twenties are adults, they are still questioned on their abilities to be good mothers. Our age doesn't necessarily equate our maturity or qualifications to be a good mom.
Motherhood in our twenties looks different because our generation is different. We grew up in the age of social media. We have new ideas about everything including parenthood. We have a virtual village, mom blogs, and sometimes even screen time for the kiddos.
20 Our Smartphone Usage is Critiqued
Everyone loves to talk about how twenty-somethings are obsessed with our cell phones. According to Forbes.com, moms currently in their twenties use their phones for 5.9 hours leisurely. We use our smartphones to pay bills, look up recipes, and even bond with other moms via virtual mommy groups. They give us some connection to the world outside of diapers and spit up. We can talk to other adults.
We love to talk about screen time for our kids. Just kidding, it is one of those topics that mommies everywhere cannot seem to agree on. Moms in their twenties who are a fan of their own screens are criticized if they let their kids have screen time, even for educational apps.
19 Being Disrespected Because Of Our Age
According to the CDC, the average age of a first time mother is about 26 years old (26.6 to be exact). Yet more often than not, mothers in their twenties deal with harsh stereotypes regarding their qualifications to be a mother or more specifically a good mother. That's a sad stigma to live with.
Many people would argue that age is no more than a number. Though that can be a pretty controversial thought, can we really narrow down an exact age where every woman would be qualified for motherhood? Probably not.
Moms in their twenties often feel like older moms look down on them. They don't fit in with the play group moms. The stigma surrounding young mothers is that it was either unplanned or mom is uneducated. People even go as far to make assumptions about a woman's relationship status just because she is a mom in her twenties according to Mother.ly.
18 We Have More Energy
It is safe to say lots of people in their twenties aren't getting a whole lot of sleep, parents or not. Parenthood is exhausting, no matter what our age is. One article on Today.com talks about how we have more stamina when we're younger. We are better able to juggle the dozens of spinning plates that come with motherhood along with maybe our own education or career.
Those early days of motherhood are seriously lacking sleep. Newborns are practically nocturnal. Sleeping through the night is a sweet, fleeting dream. We're up at all hours of the night much like those in their twenties who aren't parents. It's a rather sleepless decade all around.
17 A Lack of Confidence In Own Motherhood Abilities
No mother is perfect. We all question our own abilities to be good moms. Young moms in particular though seem to deal with this insecurity the most. Maybe it has something to do with the lack of confidence from other people. Maybe it is all in our own head. Either way, it's not a great feeling.
According to Romper.com, moms feel more confident in their thirties than their twenties. They have more life experience to go off of. They might even be more patient. But that's them. Every woman, every mom, is different. Some of us will have the same patience at 26 that others don't have until 36. What really doesn't help moms in their twenties is being questioned by other people when we have doubts ourselves.
In all honesty, every woman is intimidated by motherhood no matter what age we are. Parenting is scary. We are responsible for an entire person.
16 Juggling A Budding Career With Motherhood
There is a good chance that in our twenties, we aren't solid in our career yet. Maybe we're the new girl, or maybe we're just finishing school and have yet to land that perfect job in our field. Either way, there are some serious downfalls to this when we decide to become moms.
Many women who wait to become mothers often times do so because they want to focus on their careers. It is much easier to advance at our career when we aren't juggling that with motherhood.
Not only do we have to juggle motherhood and our budding career, we will likely deal with maternity leave. We can't hide that we are pregnant or that we had a baby, not that we should ever have to. Maternity leave is intimidating at any age, but being new to the job makes it a little scarier. According to Fortune.com, women often feel that the time they take off for maternity leave will negatively impact their career and professional image.
15 Having Our Judgement Questioned
As mothers, we are supposed to be advocates for our children. We make tons and tons of decisions for our children that we already stress over, but to have other people question our judgement on a regular basis because of our birth date is insulting. According to Mother.Ly, one serious stigma regarding young mothers is that we are uneducated. Everyone from our own parents to pediatricians to strangers at the supermarket seem to think they get a comment in our parenting choices or capabilities because of this.
Young mothers get so much unwanted, unnecessary advice from all walks of life. It is neither helpful nor appreciated. In fact, it is mostly insulting.
14 Having A New Motivation
Few things, if anything, make us want to better ourselves like a baby does. If we want to provide our child the best life possible, we need to be our best selves. Many women who became moms in their twenties found their kids became a motivator to work harder, do better, and achieve more.
One mom told Cosmopolitan.com that since becoming a mother she was determined to learn photography and now has her own successful photography business as a result. Our twenties are a time when many of us are figuring out what we want to do with our lives. With kids, there's more pressure but also more motivation to figure it out and get it right. There's less room to mess around.
13 We Can Develop A Friendship With Our Kids As They Grow Up
Now it's not to say that moms in their thirties and forties don't grow to be friends with their children later in life, but it is a bit easier for moms in their twenties to do so. We are closer in age with our kids, and this is certainly a benefit of that. We can share a great deal of life experiences with our kids. We also can better relate to them.
One mom told Cosmopolitan.com that being a young mother allowed her to do so much more with her daughter throughout her 18 years of life at home. It created a strong bond that turned into a friendship between the two.
If we become mothers in our twenties, we are still rather young when our kids grow up and fly the nest. We still have energy to do things with them (and our grandkids one day). We get to cultivate the friendship part of our relationship, though we're still going to always have that parent-child dynamic.
12 We Are In Better Shape During Pregnancy
We all know that fertility is a fickle thing that decreases as we age. According to YourFertility.Org women have the easiest time getting pregnant before the age of 30. That means not only is it easier to get pregnant in our twenties, we would also likely have an easier pregnancy as the risk of complications also increases with age.
According to WomensHealthmag.com, many women who were pregnant in their twenties reported having easier pregnancies. They gained pounds in just their belly area and dealt with less severe symptoms. Now that may not be the case for every twenty-something, but it is a bonus for those who it is. As the risk increases for complications with age, pregnancy in our twenties should naturally be easier because we should be having "normal" or healthy pregnancies.
11 It's Easier To Bounce Back, And There's More Pressure To
For some reason we have become obsessed with the idea that women should walk into the hospital pregnant and walk out looking exactly like they did prior to pregnancy. Wild. In our twenties, that expectation is even higher.
According to Babycenter.com, it takes our uterus almost four weeks to go back to pre-pregnancy size. It takes time for everything to go back to its previous size, and some stuff never does. We just made a whole person so our priorities are likely on keeping her alive and healing ourselves instead of fitting into the good ole skinny jeans.
Luckily for those of us who have babies in our twenties, our bodies often times do bounce back a little quicker. Our pregnancies are generally easier. We can stay active during pregnancy and resume it shortly after.
10 The Age Of The Mommy Blogger
Twenty-somethings are known for our love of social media and maybe also our oversharing. Mom blogs have become wildly popular with moms in this generation. Mommy blogs create a great community for women to share their experiences with one another.
Mommy blogs have also created a new source of income for some moms. Mommy bloggers are often influencers on social media platforms. These influencers market products through paid posts to their followers and earn money for it. According to Time.com, influencer marketing is expected to be a $10 billion dollar industry by 2020. That's huge for an industry that was barely a thing a decade ago. Though a blogger's success wildly varies, it can be some nice pocket money even for a woman who wishes to stay home with her kids.
9 The Rude And Invasive Questions
Was it planned? Didn't you want to wait? Won't this ruin your fun? For some reason people have a very negative association with moms in their twenties. Not only that, but they also feel justified to ask this ridiculous and incredibly rude questions to our faces. This is something that women in their thirties rarely have to deal with.
One mom told Mother.ly that she was asked about her relationship with the father of her baby and if her baby was planned. While we would expect grown adults would have better manners or a filter, clearly that isn't the case. These questions are often hurtful and unjustified.
8 Being A Mother Prior To Having A Career
Sometimes when we have kids in our twenties, we haven't had a chance to choose or start a career. Maybe we haven't landed a job in our field yet or maybe we just aren't sure what we want to do for the rest of our lives. When we have a baby, we don't have the luxury to play the field as we would before because our little one needs stability.
According to Romper.com, there are many people who view parenthood while in our twenties as a good way to lose focus of our career and goals. They might be onto something as we are admittedly more distracted and have less time to spare or dedicate to a workplace. On the other hand, we likely have a better reason to be a good employee and get our act together.
7 It's Harder For Us To Relate To Other Twenty-Somethings
Our twenties are a time where we are kind of all over the place. Some people are home owners, have families, and set careers. Some people wake up at noon, live at home, and are still trying to find their way in life. Some people party. Some people raise babies. But there are fewer of us who are settled down and raising babies than those who aren't. That can make things difficult socially, and we may find that our social circle has dwindled because we aren't doing the same things as others our age. We also don't have much in common anymore.
As one article on Cosmopolitan.com talks about we question the life we previously led now that we are moms. Often times as our lifestyle changes, we lose some of the friends that were a part of it. We might find we relate to thirty-somethings with kids more than twenty-somethings without.
6 Our Social Life Changes
When we have kids, it isn't practical to be out until 2 A.M. anymore. We're likely in bed by 9 P.M. anyways. We don't leave the house for fun as often as we did before because by the time we fed baby, get ready, and pack the diaper bag it is nap time. Our social circle consists of other moms from playgroup rather than girls from the club as talked about on Cosmopolitan.com.
We are also more likely to spend our weekends and free time doing family activities that include our little one than to do things that we used to. We are probably doing these activities around our child's nap time because well we aren't insane.
5 It Can Get Lonely
Motherhood at any age can get lonely especially if we stay home with our kids. In our twenties it can be a bit harder though because our old friends don't relate to us anymore, and we don't really have the chance to meet new mom friends always.
According to PsychologyToday.com, new mothers often feel disconnected from just about everybody except their baby. That makes sense because we spend our entire day with baby and taking care of him. However babies are not great conversationalists and we often find ourselves craving to speak to someone over the age of like 10. Heck, strangers at Target will do!
4 We Grow Up Quickly Because We Have To
For most twenty-somethings, we can take the entire decade to get our lives together and find ourselves. For moms, that is not so much the case. We are responsible for another human who needs stability and relies on us 100%. We have those nine months of pregnancy to get our act together if we haven't already.
According to TheGuardian.com, adolescence now lasts until the age of 24 as opposed to the previous age of 19. Quite a few women are having babies before then or right around then which quickly throws them into adulthood no matter their age. We have to grow up and be stable adults to raise our babies, and we want to.
3 We Are Still Figuring Out Who We Are
So many women struggle to define themselves separate from motherhood even if we have careers and lives before we became moms. When we are still figuring out those pieces, it is extremely difficult to find our own identity outside of being a mom. According to one article on TheHuffingtonPost.com, we strive so much to be good mothers that we lose focus of anything else -- no matter how old we are when we become mothers.
For twenty-somethings that can really be a problem because we don't know who we are anyways. Then we become mothers, the most important identity we'll ever have, and we aren't sure how to find other interests. Frankly we don't have the time.
2 Everyone Is Watching Our Parenting
Social media makes it seem like everybody is watching (and more so judging) how we parent and handle parenthood. We live in a time where everyone shares everything on social media. This provides an opportunity for others to comment (unsolicited) on our parenting, anytime. It can really do surprising things to our self esteem and mommy guilt.
One article on Medium.com talks about how we compare ourselves to what we see on social media. It makes us question our own lives and abilities to be good moms. Things like mommy groups on Facebook leave us open to judgement from other moms when we ask what we think is a well-meaning question.
1 We Take On The Responsibility Of Adulthood and Motherhood All At Once
Insurance, diapers, mortgages, and the dozens of other things that accompany parenthood or adulthood are all thrown on us at once. That's an eye-opener! We go from few responsibilities to feeling the burden of the whole world on our shoulders in just a short time.
One article on Romper.com talks about how moms in their thirties are more likely to be financially stable and established because they've had more time to do so. Though that's not always the case and many women in their twenties, especially moms, are financially stable. Some people do better under pressure and find children make great motivation to figure everything out.