Mums in their 20's

(40 Posts)
abbyfromoz Tue 05-Feb-13 18:06:12

Pro's and cons? Living in London i rarely meet first time mums under the age of 35. What do you feel are the best and worst parts about starting a family in your 20's?

combinearvester Tue 05-Feb-13 18:09:49

Wow what part of London are you in? There's Mums of all ages in London. I was a Mum in my 20s in London and there were loads of us around. I thought 20s was the most popular time to start a family but I could be wrong.

Don't know that there's any best or worst things about being in your 20s but I thought it was so great I did it again.

Kyrptonite Tue 05-Feb-13 18:10:56

Worst is undoubtedly the judging. Pg with DC3 at 24 and too scared to go to antenatal classes etc as the last 2 times nobody spoke to me and I felt very out of place.

Pros are when they're 18 and off to uni I will still be young enough to have a life and all that jazz (I doubt I will though!) and that I've matured a lot more than friends of same age with no children.

Lostonthemoors Tue 05-Feb-13 18:13:58

As a 38 year old mum of an eighteen month old I can think of the following:

You recover much better from the birth
You have more energy
You don't have to rush to wean off bf so you can conceive the next dc before you hit 40
You are still with it

Can you tell I am envy grin

fluffygal Tue 05-Feb-13 18:25:25

The only thing I can think of is having more energy maybe? I had my first at 20 and have finished with my 3rd at 26. For me, I will still have lots of living left when they are 18, lots of travelling, will be mortgage free when the oldest is 18 and I am 38 also so lots of freedom to pursue different things. However,although I didn't have many years of living before having kids, I don't necessarily see either way as being more a pro or a con, just that we all do things at different times.

I do get lots of comments as I look young but mainly they are positive when people hear my whole situation rather then judging face value. I also have my 2 stepsons living with me (since they were babies so we have 5 under 7), and doing a fulltime degree whilst working two jobs. I do become defensive sometimes, but possibly unnecessarily so. I don't like people thinking I am a stereotypical young mum, but that's my own issues. Most mums at the school gates are older then me but I get on fine with them (at one school, not so much at the other!).

abbyfromoz Tue 05-Feb-13 18:30:03

Combinearvester- i suppose it is to do with the area in London. Just moved to Battersea and before that was in North Kensington. Most of my school friends are onto DC3!! I only had DD in my 20's as DH is 37 and wanted a family a.s.a.p....i remember going to a baby music class in Bayswater and one of the nannies started chatting with me asking who i worked for- she assumed i was also a nanny (i'm 27 btw) DD 21 months...but i guess the fact that i am antipodean could be a contributing factor. I should take it as a compliment i suppose.
Interesting to hear other people's perspectives.

A downside is that I do sometimes feel a little trapped. Kind of stuck in this life because I am tied to them.

But I wouldnt change it.

ThreeWheelsGood Tue 05-Feb-13 19:21:16

I'm 27 in SW London just had my first baby and all the mums I've met round here are 35 or so. Feels like such a different age! They own their houses for example (we're renting) and they're further on in their careers (I'm well qualified but not senior in my job).

Personally we chose now rather than ten years time as it means by the time our baby (or babies!) are at school I'll still be in my early thirties so I can commit myself to my career then. also I'm looking forward to my 50s when the kids are grown and we can travel, go out again, etc.

Had dd1 at 23. Worst part was lots of judgementalness (despite being married with job and mortgage), being ignored by older parents st swimming class.

Best part? Loads of energy! I love being so much younger than other school gate mums (most of dd friends mums in mid to late forties where I live now)

honeytea Wed 06-Feb-13 15:27:27

The down side is being judged I guess. The midwife said to me the 1st time she met me "your VERY young!" I was 27 at the time not 14.

I have been supprised at how well my body has delt with birth and breastfeeding, I am not sure if that is because I am young (ish) or it is just luck.

My mum was 21 when she had me and 40 when she had my d-sis, I think there is going to be trouble when my sister is dealing with puberty hormones and dm is dealing with menopause hormones. But having said that my mum will still have children in the home when going through the menopause, if I don't have any more children ds will probably be long gone by the time I am dealing with menopause hormones.

mrscog Wed 06-Feb-13 19:02:02

I was 27 when I had DS last year. For us it felt like the right time - been married nearly 4 years, and we really wanted DC plus I was really worn out with my stressful busy long hours job so it just felt like the right time for a life change.

Overall I found pg quite easy and birth although I don't know if this was luck or age. I also found I recovered from birth (ventose & 2c tear) v quickly - was back to fully continent and healed tear at 14 days post birth. Again though - maybe I just have good cells!

It also means that by the time I'm 50 hopefully I'll be free of 'childcare' childcare IYSWIM? Obviously DS & maybe a DC2 will still demand my time and money but I won't be doing school runs etc.

lola88 Wed 06-Feb-13 19:42:33

I don't see a down side but then i was 26 when Ds was born so the later part of my 20's pro's are more energy i'm told and i'll be young enough to still be semi cool when he is a teen and enjoy grandkids

youmaycallmeSSP Wed 06-Feb-13 21:37:23

Pros: I can outrun all the other mums at Buggyfit grin; apparently I have more energy than older mums, although that makes me wonder if that makes them dead; my parents and ILs are still young enough to be active grandparents; not such a massive shock as I didn't have DC after spending years building up a career and an expensive lifestyle; when the DC leave home I will still have a lot of life to live (hopefully).

Cons: feeling embarrassed out and about with my DC and as though I need to explain my circumstances in group situations; I do wonder whether I would be a more relaxed parent if I were a bit older with more life experience; missing out on a lot of social things because I'm bfing/too poor/too tired; growing apart from friends as our lives are completely different; frustration sometimes that I can't develop myself academically or career-wise in the ways I would like too (stop poor/too tired/childcare responsibilities).

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Wed 06-Feb-13 21:47:05

I'm a bit like Abbyfromoz, met someone older than me who was ready to get going as soon as I was. 25 with first, youngest by far at my nct class. I did feel a bit odd. Great thing is still in touch 10 years later and I'm only in my thirties haha, take that!
Another bonus is my parents are still youngish, very helpful and have sleepovers, trips out etc. my mil was lovely but in her 80's
It depends where you live, in one area I was but a child, in another I was as old as the hills grin

scoutfinch1 Thu 07-Feb-13 23:16:16

I'm 23 and DP is 28 and we are expecting DC1 and I am already getting a bit nervous about the reaction to us being so 'young' and all the judging, having to explain that comes with it. It is nice though that baby will have younger more active parents and particularly grandparents. I do think it is horrible that although me and DP are so excited about our baby we are worrying about other peoples reactions because most other first time mums are so much older.

FlorriesDragons Thu 07-Feb-13 23:24:00

Positives, lots of energy, my body is still good, lots of help from parents who are young enough to do overnights and running around etc.

The only downside for me is that we were the first of our friendship group to have children and our friends didn't really "get" that we couldn't do parties, weekends away, drop everything for lunch etc so easily. It is a big restriction on your freedom at a relatively young age. But a few years later and they are all embarking on parenthood and we are leaving nappies and sleepless nights behind. Haha!

JaneLane Thu 07-Feb-13 23:29:55

I had my first at 20 and am about to have my 4th (and last) just after I turn 28.

Pros
More energy maybe? But probably depends person to person
If all goes to plan when my youngest starts school I'll be 33 and be able to concentrate more on my career if I want to
Both sets of grandparents are still young enough to help out (obviously depends on how old your parents were when they had you!)
I'll hopefully be able to be a somewhat active grandparent even if my DC decide to wait till they're older to have children

Cons
The judging. I look younger than I am and always felt like I was being treated like an irresponsible school girl who'd got herself pregnant! To be fair for my first 3 I lived in two different areas which were rather naice and I was the youngest by about 15 years.
It depends on your friendship groups but we were the first to settle down by about 6/7 years and some people just don't understand how different life is when you've got kids.

All in all, wouldn't have changed it for the world.

Lots of advantages of having children in your 20s ime.

I had dd at 21. I am now 34, dd is at Secondary and fairly independent. I am now able to focus more on my career (and social life).
We have a very close and honest relationship and I feel this is partly due to being a younger mum.
If dd has children in her 30s I will also be a young grandma, able to take an active role and have the pleasure of grandchildren for longer.

The main disadvantage was my relative immaturity when dd was very young. I feel I could have been more patient and organised, and my relationship with dh was not as stable as it is now, after 14 years.

SingingSands Thu 07-Feb-13 23:37:08

I had my first at 25. I was the first in our group of friends to have a baby, it was not a planned pregnancy (but very much embraced).

Although now nearly all our friends have children, they are into their mid-thirties and I am looking forward to having a 20 year old DD when I am 45, when they will have 10 year olds! Maybe I can embarrass her and tag along with her when she goes clubbing? grin Maybe not..! But my DD will be grown up and lots of my friends/colleagues will still be at the primary school gates in their 40s and some in their 50s!

I think that being a "younger" parent of an "older" child will also have its benefits - keeping active with them, keeping up with them, maybe even being a young grandparent and having more time to enjoy that side of life also. Also, still being involved in my career and hopefully, once the mortgage is paid off in the next 10yrs, having a nice bit of disposable income to spend on my lovely grown up children - hopefully by helping them through uni and other practicalities, but perhaps also nice things like girly shopping trips to NYC... we'll see what the future brings.

Looking back, I'm glad I had DD at 25. Sometimes I wish I was younger, then I'd have more time with her! There's a 4 year gap between my first and second DCs and even though I was 29 when I had DC2, I did feel much older! Years of experience perhaps!

With a bit of luck, my mum could see DS in his early 50's, which I love! By the time he leaves for uni, I will just be 40 - over half my life left to do whatever I want. I have the same fitness levels as I did at 15, which can only ne a good thing as DS starts to toddle. My beloved grandpa has been able to meet my son.

I have no friends. My life is so very different to how it was, it couldn't work with old friends, nut the area I live on had mainly 35 year plus mums, who don't want to acknowledge me unless DP is with me. As such, other than pur families, I only speak to 2 other people, one of whome lives in another country sad. It takes me a while to meet people and to form any kind of bond die to my anxiety issues, but I will meet new people eventually. That's ky only down side. I feel isolated.

Sodding phone! Sorry about spelling.

Lostonthemoors Fri 08-Feb-13 08:07:39

Horace sorry you feel us older mums are unfriendly - tbh I automatically assume none of the young mums would want to be friends with an old codger nearly 40 year old like me!! If you wanted to be friends with me and I was in one of your groups I would be delighted if you invited me over for a play date - maybe worth trying?

Un MN hugs to you!

Emma19MilWife Fri 08-Feb-13 08:25:09

I had my first at 17. Second at 18 and expecting my third. Much as they drive me crazy, I love being a mum and housewife. My husband is quite the traditionalist, but thats cool with me. I do hang out with the older mums sometimes because the experience is invaluable. Who knew that a finger tip of whisky makes the baby sleep... I am for these kinds of things, plus cooking and taking care of the house. I really love it. That said, I also get to go study (currently a degree in International Relations). Life is good!

abbyfromoz Mon 25-Feb-13 06:03:47

Loving reading these comments. It appears i am not alone in the feelings of isolation and of course the feelings of wanting to 'justify' myself... Just came back from Australia where I said goodbye to my dear Pa (grandfather). Took DD but DH had to stay in London to work. DD did so well in transit but we did have about 6 hours straight of crying on the first leg due to over tiredness... (Mostly her) hehe
And as much as i was feeling it too i was proud of my patience even after 5 hours of 'jig jig jigging' with her in the Ergo willing her to drop back to sleep. No success but must say i was pretty grateful to have had the energy to survive it solo.
Seeing old friends and my beautiful family made all the difference. Bff spent quality time with DD. despite our very different lifestyles (she's at university, lives with bf, no DC) i love that she feels my little girl is so special as she's the only baby in our direct circle of friends smile
All in all feeling more positive about our choice... And been up since 4am so that's saying something! Lol x

Artichook Mon 25-Feb-13 06:39:55

I'm in a similar part of London and had my first at 27. DH was 34 and it just felt right. I did NCT and all that stuff and I was the youngest but I made great friends and nobody seemed to even notice the age difference. I'd still great friends with loads of local mums.

I am now, at 34, expecting DC3 and definitely finding pregnancy harder.

Theicingontop Mon 25-Feb-13 08:24:43

Pros: I don't know really, I just feel like a mum. I don't particularly feel like I reap any benefits from being in my 20s. I didn't have an easy pregnancy and am still feeling my SPD, had a complicated birth and PND as a result!

Cons: I got judged. A lot, but not so much now if ever. I ebf, and I had to insist I wasn't bloody lying to my HV. She'd always put down formula feeding and I'd had to try to convince her he hadn't had any formula. "It's just most girls your age don't breastfeed past a few weeks, that's all. There's nothing wrong with giving a bit of formula!" angry

I feel I overcompensate with how strict I am on DS to make sure he doesn't get a bad rep from being a 'young mum's' kid.

gillian88 Mon 25-Feb-13 08:44:51

I'm 24 and have a 2 year old Ds and a 6 month old Dd. I get judged alot despite being with my partner for over 5 years! Wasn't so bad with my first, but with my second alot of people asked why I was rushing it, that I had the next 15 years to add to my family. I wanted my children close together so they could grow up together! I'm undecided about whether I want anymore. Once these two are a bit older and at school, luckily I will still be young enough that if I want another one, I can.

One of the worst points for me has been losing my friends. None of my friends have children. They go out drinking at weekends to parties and bars and don't understand
why I don't do that. I think they see me as boring, since my dd was born 6 months ago they haven't invited me out once. sad

But at the end of the day, I have a wonderful partner and two gorgeous precious children so I wouldn't change it for the world smile

mamalovesmojitos Mon 25-Feb-13 09:49:42

I had dd at 20. The cons are my financial instability but everything else is a pro smile. I felt very aware of being a young mum but i think it was me protecting my own insecurities. I've never been judged to my face. I think most people don't care. And lets face it, it's not like young mums are rare, there's plenty of us about.

mamalovesmojitos Mon 25-Feb-13 09:51:53

*projecting my own insecurities

abbyfromoz Wed 27-Feb-13 07:58:58

Theicing- i have a story about my DM. She got married young and had my sister when she was 21 and me just after her 23rd birthday which i suppose was the norm back then. I asked her though what differences she felt after having my half brother at 38. She said she felt more assertive although she had many other struggles including pnd. At one stage she was hospitalised with it when DB was only a few weeks old. She was BFing but so tired she had asked one of the nurses if she would mind giving him a bottle in the night. Nurse said 'but you are bfing?' She said yes- so?' Nurse said 'you can't di that'.. DM said 'but i am'... Nurse 'but you can't?' DM 'but i am'... Went on for a while but in the end DM stood her ground and he had a bottle every now and then. Went on to BF until DB was 3.5 years old! Trust yourself as a mum. You know best.

rrreow Wed 27-Feb-13 14:58:35

I don't really differentiate between myself (27, pg with 2nd DC) and other mums who are in their 30s. Maybe it's because my DH is older (45) but as I see it we're all at the same stage in life and it's no longer like when you're under 18, where a couple years difference in age makes a huge difference in maturity/how you connect with people.

Then again I don't get out there much as I work full time (from home) so I haven't really experienced many baby/toddler groups. My NCT friends are all lovely though, I'm sure they're all probably in their 30s (I honestly wouldn't know, I haven't asked!) but any differences between us aren't really to do with age, just personality.

IrnBruTheNoo Wed 27-Feb-13 22:00:27

My close circle of friends started having babies later than myself (in their 30s). I had my first when I was 24. When I'm 40 I'll have two teenagers, when they're 40 they'll still have primary aged DC. The way I saw it was that I want to be a young granny (if it ever happens!) and fit enough to help out with DGC later on in life, but also be free to pursue my own interests when I'm still relatively young too. I was lucky enough to be in a committed relationship at the age of 22 and so it wasn't an issue for me to wait until my 30s. I felt fertility should not be taken for granted as DM had fertility issues in her 30s and I did not want to tempt fate!

I had DS when I was 20. I always wanted to have DCs when I was younger. My DM had me when she was 21 and I'm watching her reap the benefits of that now - both me and my sister have moved out, and she's going out, having weekends away and generally packing in everything she couldn't do when we were small!

IrnBruTheNoo Thu 28-Feb-13 11:09:04

It's not until I've had one school aged now, that I realise how lucky I've been to have them relatively young. I couldn't imagine starting out in my 30's with pregnancy and sleepless nights, tbh.

imip Thu 28-Feb-13 11:42:05

I think it's an individual choice. For many, such as myself, the only way to have become a mum in my 20s would have been to do it without a partner. It would not have been the ideal choice. I had my first dd at 34, my last at 40. Yes, I am very tired, but I have had five babies in six years and two months, I am sure that would exhaust anybody! I did lots of travelling and partying in my pre dc days. Had enough money to buy my own place. Had lovely clothes! got my degree and post grad degree over and done with. We can afford for me to be a sahm and the time is right also for a career change. Dd was doing a project about castles at school, we talked about a lot of them and I told her of lots of the ones I had visited. I'm glad I had the chance to do this in my 20 and 30s, rather than in my 40s when my children had grown up and I still had those type of family ties.

Additionally for me, I had siblings much younger than me. I knew what hard work kids were, I just wasn't ready for that.

But we have have different circumstances and the challenge is making them work for us. For me what would not have worked was spreading my family over decades. I have a friend who has had a child in her 20s, 30s and 40s. She is also considering her 4th! She lives abroad and had lots of hired help. I am glad I have 'consolidated' my childbearing, though I would like more sleep!

I had my ds when I was 18, which means that people are stunned when I tell them I have an 11 year old. It's worse now that I'm a teacher, as I find that not many teachers have children so young so I feel I get judged more at work - especially since ds is starting at my school in September!

It's not something I planned, but the biggest pro for me is that having a child gave my life a direction and purpose it previously lacked. Without him I'd never have returned to education and got my degree, as he was my motivation.

Cons for me are dealing with behaviour and trying to be authoritative when I was so young myself. Also that I was so young that I didn't actually plan to start a family, so didn't have any more as I felt too young so decided to kick start my career and have more children when I was financially more stable.

Downside there is that I had children when I was young, but will hopefully also be having children in my 30s, so won't feel like I've had a break or the benefits of being a younger or older mum!

leaharrison11 Sat 02-Mar-13 08:25:31

I just turned 21 when i had DS , the cons for me are -
Lost alot my friends as they are still partying going on girls holidays things like that.
The looks and comments i have received
And having to grow up in a day

The pros-
Finding out my true friends
Proving everyone how much of strong parent i am
My son

Having my son out weighs all the cons i think being a mother at any age is a gift and i know i much prefer to wake up at 6am with him than partying till 6am, id advice anyone to do it

MummyPig24 Sun 03-Mar-13 07:07:36

In not in London, I'm in a village in Berkshire. I'm 25, there's not many younger mums here, and at the risk of sounding horrifically snobby, they are not my kind of people! I get on well with the older mums so its not an issue.

I am glad we had children young, I enjoy it. We are not financially stable which is a big con but my children have all the love in the world from us.

CuppaSarah Mon 04-Mar-13 17:55:07

I think alot of it depends where you are. I'm in Hampshire and rarely see other young mums. I just had my first at 23, but I look a bit younger than my age, when I was pregnant I even had old women tutting at me hmm. I'm not sure what they thought really, but it did hurt my feelings. I do feel a bit out of place wheeling DD round town when I see endless 35+ Mummys out together in Costa. The area can be a bit snooty too, I feel a bit judged becuase I don't have an iCandy buggy or Mamas and Papas clothes. So I guess the main con for me in fiances.

On the plus I have lots of energy and find swapping my sleep routine round really easy. Plus I haven't had as many years to get settled into my ways, so it's easier to accept all the lifestyle changes we're going through. Also I haven't got a career to worry about which I imagine is a really difficult thing for older mums to deal with.

MoodyDidIt Mon 04-Mar-13 18:05:06

i had my dc at 26 and 29

pro's - lots of energy, body bounced back quick

cons - erm, none

i'm 33 now, feel old and am dead envious of young mums blush

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