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Old 05-07-2007, 11:27 AM
 
34 posts, read 288,404 times
Reputation: 54

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I am 26 years old and have a 9 and 8 year old. Yes, if you do the math, I was 17 and 18 years old. I have noticed lately more and more people seem to give me a judging "look" when they see me with my children, and I have been getting more comments such as "How OLD were you?", or "Man, what is the deal with all you young girls laying around popping out babies everywhere?".
Perhaps it is because I often am mistaken for being 18 or 19 years old, as I do look very young, but I was wondering if anybody else gets comments such as these? Both of my children have the same father, we were together for 8 years and were at one time married. I know a lot of people say that young girls are irresponsible and stupid, but what about being human? We all make mistakes and sometimes there are harsh consequences because of them. Did I make a mistake by having kids at a young age? Maybe, but I now have two beautiful human beings that are well adjusted and well taken care of, and I would not have it any other way. I was just wondering if I could get some opinions on why people seem to be so judgemental when it is really none of their business, or is it just the people around here in the area that I live?
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:57 PM
 
9 posts, read 32,540 times
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'Business' is relative, children are not just the business of their parents, they form the present and future's society and how they are brought up affects the future. Being human and making mistakes is forgivable, but glorifying it isn't.

Generally, if you wait to have children, even if you did provide a happy lovin home for them, it could have always been much better if you had waited. You could have saved up more money, had a superior education, learned more parenting skills ahead of time, etc. They would also be born in the future, meaning that medical technology will be more advanced and they will live longer. Education and communications technology would have increased so they would have been more informed.

It also sort of sets a bad example if they think having many children at a young age is good idea, because we need to spend more time gainng skill and material wealth. There are overpopulation problems in the worl too, of course. I honestly think you're a saint though compared to people in 3rd world nations spitting out 10 babies at 12 years old to sell them into slave rings and till their farms for them.

The reason people are judgemental is that we're constanty striving to better ourselves and to help other people better themselves, and everyone comes to conclusions about what they think is best and ideal, and try to impress that upon others. I think in a lot of cases people scold others for supposed faults to distract from their own.

Having children is a large part of human culture, and not wating to a later age may have some benefits for them (though I'm not familiar with that science) which could counteract the disadvantages of being born earlier in the future by not having warped genes or something, and by having more able parents.

It's just not an ideology I'm comfortable with as I don't like genes much and think memes are more important, that we should allow for peopl with abnormalities and use technology and engineering therapies to surpass those bridgs. That also parents should be able later in life too, and that possbly seeing them either able or unable at a later age can give them a better expectation of what will occur in the future. Although I suppose awareness of the entropy coming may not be processable for older people so you don't want to wait too late, few parenting methods have advanced enough to establish hardiness so rapidly.
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Debary, Florida
2,267 posts, read 2,385,321 times
Reputation: 685
I envy you...
I had my only child when I was 30...I am now 40. I wanted more children but because I waited, time is running out now. Your young enough to enjoy them...Ignore other people, be a good parent to your children and enjoy every last minute you have with them...you will end up having grandchildren when your young enough to enjoy them...you might even hear them saying they have the coolest Mom or the coolest grandmother...
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:35 PM
 
Location: in a house
3,574 posts, read 12,856,724 times
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My children were born at a young age.... Personally, anyone who makes comments such as you describe don't deserve a second glance much less an answer. My favorite response: "Why ever would you ask such a question?" with a look of shock and disbelief . (I've cultivated that look and expression since living in the south.)
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Old 05-07-2007, 02:23 PM
 
4,268 posts, read 13,727,412 times
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My old co-worker had her babies at 16 & 18 and at first I was a little shocked. I'm the type of person that tries not judge people though and I looked past her having kids at a young age.

Although she's not married, she's with the same man who is the father of her kids, they both work and are loving parents. I think it's great that she overcame challenges and is able to provide for her children.

Just think, she's got only a few years left before her kids turn 18 and I'll be just starting with kids. She's got the rest of her life ahead of her to do whatever she wants and I've got the rest of my life ahead of me to raise kids!

(And no, it really is nobody's business. I never asked her how old she had kids even though I could do the math in my head. She approached me and opened up b'c personally, I thought it was none of my business!)
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:26 PM
 
34 posts, read 288,404 times
Reputation: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm_mary73 View Post
My children were born at a young age.... Personally, anyone who makes comments such as you describe don't deserve a second glance much less an answer. My favorite response: "Why ever would you ask such a question?" with a look of shock and disbelief . (I've cultivated that look and expression since living in the south.)

You know, that's a good idea to respond like that. I think the comment that bothered me most was from a male customer at my workplace who overheard me telling a coworker that I had to leave to pick up my kids from school. He actually asked me why girls around here are "popping out kids" so young. I didn't know what to say, I just stared at him for a second with my mouth open then walked away. I know it shouldn't bother me what people think, but lately it's just been getting to me. It's nice to know that not everybody thinks moms like me are "trashy" (for lack of a better word)
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:43 PM
 
548 posts, read 2,395,470 times
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"I honestly think you're a saint though compared to people in 3rd world nations spitting out 10 babies at 12 years old to sell them into slave rings and till their farms for them."

WHAT?? Have you ever spent time in the 3rd world? I cannot even believe you would say something like this!! I have lived in the "3rd world" and the reason they have so many children is b/c so many of them DIE and they need help to raise enough food to feed themselves. If they had money to buy machinery, they would not need 5 kids helping in the fields. But see...they take care of their elderly and the infirm themselves--they don't send them to nursing homes--so they have to be able to provide enough food to do that. With manual labor. Howing and tilling and seeding and weeding and harvesting by hand. And many of their children die before they turn 5. And of course, many of them have no access to birth control. A lot like...hm...the United States in the 1800s! Higher birthrates, higher infant mortality rates, higher maternal mortality rates. They work unbelievably hard there. Much harder than ANYONE I have ever met in the US. Ever. How many of us would work a 12 hour day in the fields with giardia and amoebas and maybe a little malaria in the system too?

Slave rings? Well, there are cases where families do this. Cases there and cases HERE. It is NOT common. More common is for a family to think they are sending their child off for a better future as a housekeeper or something where she will make money, and she ends up a slave or prostitute. But then again, there are Americans who do all sorts of absolutely horrible things to their children too, aren't there?? And they aren't doing it b/c they think they are finding a better life for their children.

I hope you are sponsoring some families overseas, so you can put your money where your mouth is.
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Old 05-07-2007, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Princeton-area, New Jersey
113 posts, read 694,786 times
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Oh man, how my blood would boil when people would dare to be so opionionated when they realized I had my son at 15. They had a whole speech... "you were a child yourself, you should have married his father," etc. I never had the gall to respond to these people and my mouth was always agape from shock that people would be so rude. Now, I am 30 and I guess I'm a little tougher and wittier. When people say, "but you look so young!" -- I just smile and say, "Yes, because I am."

If you take care of your kids and you love them and provide for them, you should be proud of yourself, as am I. There are a lot of haters out there, unfortunately, but like Lisa_from_Debary said, the younger you are, the longer you will enjoy them.

I actually tease my son and tell him that when he's 70 and I'm 85, maybe we can live in the same nursing home!
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Old 05-07-2007, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, Canada
550 posts, read 2,543,820 times
Reputation: 524
Hey, I have the same problem! I have always looked very young for my age. Being 5' tall didn't help either. I had my first son at 20 and boy did I ever get the looks. He grew unbelievably fast so looked much older than he was. (He is now 14, 6' 1", 230 lbs.!) Anyways, I one time was asked by a nurse at the doctor, "do you have your brothers health card?". Another time last summer I took him to a friends BBQ with me and a guy asked me if he was my date! Some people! I take it as a compliment that I look that young. I also am so happy I had my kids at a young age.

I know the look you are talking about...the disapproving look, or the 'you poor thing' look. Did you get the same shocked looks when you were pregnant? Classic!!!

Enjoy your youth!
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:00 AM
 
34 posts, read 288,404 times
Reputation: 54
Oh my gosh yes! Honestly, I think when I was pregnant I looked about 12, 13 and would get looks that were a perfect combination of horror/disgust/pity. Even now, people say I look about 19 and when I tell them I have a nine-year-old I get the most puzzled look, like they're doing the math in their head. When they were toddlers, people would ask them if they were having fun with their babysitter. I usually let it slide right off, only lately has it been bugging me. A couple of times, I've even told people with as serious face as possible that yep, I was nine when I had my firstborn, just to see their reaction. Besides, I could write a list of people who waited to have kids and aren't exactly a "perfect" parent. I don't think it matters what age you are, we all learn as time goes by. My only regret is not being financially stable at the time, but we're getting by and I'm currently working on my degree. Nobody's perfect, right?
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