Sunday, October 17, 2010

A little dose of reality...

Lately, I've been feeling kind of old.  Not old in general, but old for a mom with a one year old. I didn't realize it until last week, but I think this is because, for the past year and a half, most of my exposure to moms has been through the Mormon church.  In Mormon culture, it seems to be the norm for moms my age to have children who are already in school and to be on child number three or four.  They might even be done having children, whereas I am just getting started.  All of the new moms I've come into contact with are a good four or five years younger than I.  I got pretty used to being one of the oldest "new" moms in any given setting.  Apparently, this started to give me a complex.  

Because of our current family situation (me living in Denver, Jason living in Phoenix), we've had to delay expanding our family.  And I've actually started to panic about this, because Cyrus is a whole 15 months old and I'm not pregnant again! (Another norm in Mormon culture - when child A turns 1, mom should become pregnant shortly thereafter).  And I'm almost 30! And we want to have four kids!  And I'm so old!

And then, last Thursday, everything came back into perspective for me.  For the past three months, I have been attending a Stroller Strides class here in Denver.  On Thursday night, a few of us got together for dinner and some time away from babies.  All of these moms have infants, most of whom are younger than Cyrus.  Throughout the course of the evening, I discovered that, not only was I the youngest mom there, but I was the youngest by quite a few years - in some cases, a full 10.  And, not only did these women all have young children, but most were still planning to have more.

Huh.  Oh yeah... As far as the rest of society is concerned, I am still young.  I'm not this ancient, time-waster who waited too long to start my family.  

Before I joined the church, and, truthfully, before I started dating Jason, I really thought that I wouldn't even get married until I was 28 or 30, and who knew when I would have kids.  But being around all of these young Mormon moms made me forget that there are lots of ways to live life.  Sometimes, I do wish that I had been able to start my family earlier, but that just wasn't in the cards for us.  I wasn't in a place to get married, much less have kids at 21 or 23 - that just wasn't me.  

There are lots of things I like about belonging to a community where people follow similar paths.  It makes a lot of things easier, especially when many of those paths are not followed by mainstream society. (Abstaining from alcohol and coffee, for example).   But, as I've recently realized, it is important to have my social circle extend beyond this community, if for no other reason then to help me maintain a broader perspective on the different ways that life can be lived.


  1. I was just thinking along these lines the other day. Being here in the UAE surrounded by people from all different backgrounds has finally gotten me off the baby watch radar. When I'm with a lot of Mormon friends I can't help but suck in all the time so no one (mistakenly) thinks I'm pregnant since my youngest is 2.

    But of course I love hanging out with Mormons for the reason that it makes having two kids more normal when I'm "so young" (if only, right?).

  2. A positive spin you can put on this delay is that your children will be closer to their cousins' age, as it will be a while before I start a family.

  3. Laughing at this post! I felt the same way when we had some new couples move in and I got all excited and invited them over, and didn't get the same kind of energy back from them-- and then thought "they prob think we are soooo old and lame and we have 2 kids...we're just in different circles now."

    Think of it this way- in New York, you ARE considered a young mom!! MOst people aren't even married at 30.

    I still think you are young and hip and that you need to move back here. :)

  4. *Re-reading your back posts.* Around the same age with Jameson I started REALLY worrying that I wasn't getting pregnant. I did have to remind myself that I was still nursing, and didn't even get my cycle back until he was 17-months-old, but still gosh darn't I wanted to be pregnant. I kept telling myself people who practice NFP/FAM (Natural Family Planning or Fertility Awareness Method) have kids that are, on average, 3.5 years apart. Meaning some more, some less. Since then I have relaxed, and completely enjoyed my son. He has gotten more and more fun as he got older. I am so glad I wasn't hunched over a toilet puking, or so tired everything he did irritated me. I know that when a baby finally comes along, Jameson will be old enough to be on his own for a bit, and won't be as needy as he was at 20-months-old or even 24-months-old. So, take a deep breath. We make plans and God laughs, right?


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