The Beginnings of Being Mommy

One of the topics that I will obviously be writing about is my kids and being a mom to them! I have three kids. The oldest, Jaiden, was born in April of 2003. Five years later, I had Adrianna in May of 2008, and then 14 months after that, Alyssandra was born in July of 2009.

Being a mother is always a fun adventure, and once you have kids, you very quickly realize that life isn’t just about you anymore. I had this realization a little bit earlier than the average parent does in this day and age when I had my son at 21. Although this may have been a popular age to have children back in the 40s and 50s when most women aspired be a housewife, nowadays it seems like the average (or what’s considered “normal”) age to have children is anywhere between 28 and 40, or a good five to fifteen years older than I was.

Now, this isn’t to say that there are no young mothers out there, because there are plenty. But in today’s society, the average expectation for the middle-class woman seems to be that you go to college, then maybe get a job, and somewhere in there you meet your future husband, marry him, buy a house or a condo and then have children (that is, if you plan on getting married and having children). And by the time you accomplish all of this, you’re realistically somewhere between 25 and 40.

Me at 21 holding a newborn Jaiden

Of course, in reality, there are all kinds of variations on this. Some people don’t go to college. Some people get married but never have kids. Some people have kids but never get married. Some people don’t try to buy a house. But I’m just outlining the “typical” expectation for the middle-class woman. Because, if you stray from these typical expectations, there’s always bound to be people who have met them perfectly, looking at you as though you’re not, well, typical.

So how did I come to stray from the typical, having my son so young? Well, I must have thought you can do it all at once. I got married very young and, looking back, probably too impulsively. We tied the knot four months before I turned 20.

Jaiden’s father was my third boyfriend ever, and, in a way, the two high school boyfriends before him didn’t count as true adult relationships because I was so emotionally immature. Jaiden’s father wanted to get married, and after we were together for a year and a half, I thought, ‘Why not? Maybe this will end up working out.’ My current, more mature self realizes that if you’re thinking, ‘Maybe this will work out,’ and not, ‘I’m 100 percent positive that this will work out,’ that’s a red flag telling you that you shouldn’t get married. But apparently my still-not-very-emotionally-mature 19-year-old self didn’t realize that, and in April of 2001, I was married!

Me with 6-year-old Jaiden in April, 2009

Two years later, Jaiden was born. Although I was very happy and there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a mom, I still felt somewhat young. I sometimes felt odd or out of place being around other moms who fit the “typical” criteria described above. I was also still in college, so I began taking my courses online so I wouldn’t have to find a babysitter to go to class. It took me a few years longer than it otherwise would have to get my Bachelor’s degree, but slowly taking two courses a semester, I finally accomplished it!

As time went on, however, it became apparent that Jaiden’s father and I had different values (which is the nice way of saying it), and we got divorced. Skip forward a few years. Now, I am happily remarried to Greg, who is my best friend and an amazing, loving father.

Adrianna at 16 1/2 months, September 09

Having babies again, five years after Jaiden, is a different experience. Now, I don’t feel like people perceive me as being too young. I felt totally prepared to have babies again this time around. When you feel ready to be a parent and aren’t worried about things like being too young or trying to get through college, it’s so much more enjoyable! Because one of the best things about being a parent is appreciating and taking in every moment of your children’s growth.

With Jaiden, I felt like part of me was waiting for him to get older so I wouldn’t have to change diapers, so I could work longer hours at my part-time job, or so I could go out with my friends at night once in awhile with him being okay with a babysitter. Now, when I look back, I wish I had been less worried about being young and payed more attention to the details of him being a baby. They’re only little once and for such a short time! But he’s six years old now, and there’s still a lot more of his childhood to enjoy.

Alyssandra at almost 5 months, December 09

Growing up, I had always said I wanted to have my kids a year apart since my brother and I were 15 months apart and it was fun growing up with a peer and a playmate. But after having Jaiden, I didn’t feel prepared to have another baby. It just wasn’t the right time to have more kids. But now, having my girls 14 months apart is perfect, and now I feel I have the perfect number of kids!

So the conclusion to this possibly overly-wordy explanation of my background as a mom is that, although I may not be the “typical” mom, being a mom is a joy and one of the most important aspects of my life. And I love it!

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