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to be so annoyed about the whole age thing ALWAYS coming up?

(41 Posts)
phlossie Wed 30-Sep-09 14:01:07

My DH and I have been having a bit of a hard time recently - nothing really major, just the strains of having two small babies on top of other family strains, the recession putting pressure on our finances etc etc. He's been a bit depressed and feeling the pressure to 'keep' his family, and it's caused ructions. We know what's up, we've had a bit of counselling and we're sorting it out...

BUT, once again, my well-meaning (childless) friends with their well-meaning advice and heart-felt concern have been saying 'well you were so young...' It drives me mental! My friend brought it up again last night.

I was 24 when I got married, which is young, and 26 (and a half, if you're counting) when I had my first baby, which is young but hardly gym-slip. And, in my opinion, the things that have been troubling us could affect anyone at any age - it's just been about adjusting to family life, right? They think I'm stupid to be a SAHM too (that's another rant).

The thing is, you can weigh up the pros and cons of having children at any particular point in your life and make a decision accordingly, but it doesn't mean you're not going to find it hard or encounter problems along the way. My friend was basically saying that she didn't understand why we were in such a rush to have children, and not being able to have spontaneous weekends away is the cause of our recent troubles. I agree that it would be nice to have weekends away and that we don't get enough time together - but what has that got to do with age?!

Anyone else younger - or older - and fed up with people commenting on it all the time?

BlueKangerooWonders Wed 30-Sep-09 14:08:46

I can't help feeling if they didn't comment on your age it would be something else... Sometimes people just have to wade in and have a go about something, whether or not it's in the least bit helpful.

It's now really down to how you reply. I think I'd start going for 'That sounds really rude to me, I'm sure you didn't mean to upset me, did you?' and watch them squirm.

Can you take control of the conversation like that?

PS wish I'd been young when I met dh instead of being old and tired all the time now

LadyOfTheFlowers Wed 30-Sep-09 14:12:39

I had my first at 22 and will round it all off in April 2010 with DC4 when I will be 26.

People like to pass comment when you are having a hard time, they can't help it, and as mentioned, if it wasn't about your age it would be something else.

Take it with a pinch of salt - easier said than done, I know.

(When I get an age comment, I just think to myself 'Gees....Is that really the best you got?!')

lolapoppins Wed 30-Sep-09 14:15:53

I was 22 when I married and had DS. I certainly didn't feel young, but now, 7 years later most of my friends who are the same age are only just thinking about marrige and babies, so the 'my god, you were so young' comments have reared their ugly heads again.

hullygully Wed 30-Sep-09 14:16:44

Tell them to fuck off

PrettyCandles Wed 30-Sep-09 14:19:49

Well, you know something, not being able to have spontaneous weekends away is the cause of our troubles, too. And we were in our 30s when we started our family. If anything, you have an advantage being young parents - it's called energy.

Besides, you'll have the joys of rediscovering couple-dom when your freinds are trying to work out which end to put the nappy on grin. I'm hoping I'll get the chance to do that before I'm too old. (The couple-dom thing, I mean. I've done the nappy thing.)

GooseyLoosey Wed 30-Sep-09 14:20:41

Maybe they're envious. I am sadly no longer any where near my 20s and if I said something about someone your age struggling because they were young (which I wouldn't, but I might think it), I think in my heart of hearts it might be partly to make myself feel better about being older. If your friends are your age, they just haven't reached the point in life yet where the realise that the things they thought were important are not, in the grand scheme of things, the things that are important at all. Therefore be smug in your greater appreciation of the universe.

Stigaloid Wed 30-Sep-09 14:23:33

When they are in their 30's and knackered out by running around after young kids (like my DH and I) they will be jealous of the fact that you had kids in your 20's when you were fitter, more energetic etc. You will also still be in your mid 40's when the kids go to uni and you and your hubby can enjoy the fruits of his labour and go on fab holidays whilst still being fabulous!

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 30-Sep-09 14:27:23

People like to comment on life choices that are different to theirs to make them feel better about their own choices. A good friend of mine had DC1 at 18, married at 20 and is separating now at 28. Ten years of family life and people still try to tell her it's because they started young (well he wasn't actually, 25 for DC1). It's very offensive, as if she is too young to understand trying to make a marriage work or something. 10 years is more than most people give it hmm

Anyway, ignore. I got pg at 25 and was greeted with 'but you're so young!' on more than one occasion. Well I lost that one but am now 29 with same guy and DS, am I any more 'ready' now? hmm

thedollshouse Wed 30-Sep-09 14:39:53

Tell them to go off. I was 31 when I had my first and expecting our second at the age of 37. Fairly typical in the area that I live but ancient by my families standards. We have had our ups and downs mainly due to financial pressures, we left starting a family until our 30's because we thought it would be easier financially but it isn't made a jot of difference.

Some well meaning relatives say "Oh well if you have had children 10 years earlier you would be better off and wouldn't be struggling" hmm People will have a dig whatever you do. I find that people have digs when they are trying to justify their own life choices. Your friends are trying to convince themselves that it is better to wait and my relatives are trying to reassure themselves that they did the right thing by having children early. It would be easier if they kept their opinions to themselves!

ILoveStripeySocks Wed 30-Sep-09 14:45:56

In all honesty, I have never had comments on my age ( i was 20 when I had my 1st DD). I think its less to do with your age, and more to do with their lack of understanding!

marenmj Wed 30-Sep-09 16:02:59

Agreed it's your friends' fault. Shame on them.

My parents' community has babies young (if you're married and over 20 you WILL get comments from strangers). My mum came to visit for the birth of my daughter - when I was 26 - and couldn't help commenting on how OLD all the mums around me were - she mistook them for grannies or aunties! (hmm her social graces are often absent, but that's another thread)

The friends are rude. No two ways about it. Maybe the next time they mention it just say that next time you and your DH consider having a child you will check with the committee to make sure you are "old enough" but not "too old" for babies. That's what adults do when considering adding to their family, right?

GoldenSnitch Wed 30-Sep-09 16:20:17

I remember having the occasional panic when I was pregnant with my DS and thinking "I'm too young for this" (I was 27!) then I remembered that MIL was 18 when she got married and 19 when she had her first child. She and FIL went on to have another 2 kids and we'll all be going abroad next summer to celebrate thier 40th wedding anniversary!!

It's not about age, it's about the parntership and you guys sound like you're working hard on that. Ignore your friends comments.

cazboldy Wed 30-Sep-09 16:34:00

I was 13 when I stared going out with my now dh.

I go pg when i was 14, had ds1 2 months after I turned 15, and go married when I was 16.

Now I am 28 with 5 dc, and still happily married. I know just how you feel, if we even have a minor disagreement, my mum will chime in with " I always said it wouldn't last" hmm or similar.

You just feel like people are waiting o see i all fall apart, so they can say I told you so.

they will have a long wait wink grin

WoTmania Wed 30-Sep-09 16:40:34

FFS - I got married at 23, DS1 arrived when I was 24, DS2 at 26 and DD at 27 and we have the same rough patches as my friend in her 30s.
We couldn't afford to go on nice weekends away before DCs. Hasn't made a difference. In fact when we have the money and are in our 40s/50s the DCs will be late teens and we can go away then.

I'm a SAHM too. Again, when they are at school I can study/work whatever when I'm early 30s rather than having built up a career and have to take a detrimental break and possibly find that I don't want to go back.


Lizzylou Wed 30-Sep-09 16:50:40

People mature at different rates, I was 30 when I had DS1, 32 when I had DS2, I met DH when I was 23, but we didn't marry until I was 29. We had loads of nice holidays and weekends away pre DC, if anything this makes it harder, because now money's tight I bloody miss it.
My Mom always said "Make sure you have children before too long, the older you get the more selfish you'll become and you'll resent losing your independence". At the time, this peed me off no end, now I can sort of see her point.
There is no right or wrong age to have a baby/settle down.

MorrisZapp Wed 30-Sep-09 16:55:47

To me, 24 is young to have kids. If my friend was telling me her marriage woes then I might venture this in an understanding way.

If you don't want people to comment on your circs then why tell them you're having problems?

I don't see anything offensive in what they've said btw, or any need to tell them to eff off. It's natural when somebody tells you about problems to say something back - or do you lot sit in silence instead of trying to offer some insight.

sarah293 Wed 30-Sep-09 17:04:16

Message withdrawn

BlueKangerooWonders Wed 30-Sep-09 17:06:28

MZ - how is it helpful? Send the dc back and wait until you're older? The people's comments weren't 'offering insight' but maybe the op would welcome some words of genuine help.

l39 Wed 30-Sep-09 17:08:13

My husband and I were 18 and 22 when we conceived our first child and we married just after she was born. We're still together 18 years on and having a fifth soon! We felt old enough at the time and it's only when I look at the photos that I think how young we were. We wouldn't change anything. We were desperately poor - I think that's easier to cope with when you're young. After being used to being young parents it will be odd to be old parents too!

WoTmania Wed 30-Sep-09 17:09:19

MZ - why does it follow though that it is age related? I think I would offer suggestions to help the individual situation rather than saying 'well, I did think you were rather young at the time...'

MorrisZapp Wed 30-Sep-09 17:12:02

I must be uniquely thick skinned. I can't count the number of threads on here where remarks that I would consider as normal conversation are taken as being rude, nasty and insensitive, and have whipped up storms of outrage amongst other posters.

I don't get why it's offensive. It sounds like sympathy to me, not an insult or an attack.

Do you guys all instinctively know the ideal thing to say to an upset friend because I just do my best and hope it helps in some way.

OP continues to confide in these friends so she must know them well enough to expect some honesty.

marenmj Wed 30-Sep-09 17:27:00

MorrisZapp I tend to stay quiet when friends moan as my advice is terrible and not very helpful (you're RIGHT, your wife is unreasonable. LEAVE HER. or, you know, don't)

IME 'tis much better to nod politely and say polite things about how awful that must be and then ask the person what they would like to do about it or if anything you can do might help than try to establish The Source of their problems.

Surely these sympathetic friends could offer to help with the DC rather than make comments about the OP's age?

MorrisZapp Wed 30-Sep-09 17:31:50

But it isn't 'making comments' is it, it 's just talking - chatting, having a conversation. Why read insults and judgement into everything - seems to be the MN hobby of choice.

If you know somebody well enough to be hearing about their personal problems then imo you know them well enough to say what you think to them, within reason of course.

Sometimes people do say things casually that are a bit hurtful but if they're a good friend then you know they didn't mean to be cruel.

OP is young and has kids - that isn't a judgement, it's a fact. Why is this hurtful or insensitive to say it.

Firawla Wed 30-Sep-09 17:40:35

its not even young! i'm suprised so many people think its young tbh, it sounds a good age to be married and have kids. if your friends think it is sooo young, then maybe they are just immature for their age ;)

i would just ignore it really

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