As a young mother myself I have asked this question on many occasions. It might be the disapproving looks and head shakes I get when my little one is screaming uncontrollably in a store that lead me to believe people are, in fact, judging the situation based on my age. Or, it may be the fact that I’ve been told on numerous occasions that if I had just waited a few more years I would have been older, wiser and more capable of dealing with my screaming tot.
I’m a firm believer in the fact that age simply does not matter.
What does matter significantly is your experience, maturity, and above all, your willingness to grow and learn alongside your tot. With that said, regardless of age, challenges are rife when raising a child.
In her 20’s, a woman’s body is still young and fit, it can bounce back easily and she is at her prime child-bearing age. However, many women in their 20’s have yet to discover who they are. Is she really ready for the sense of permanence a child demands? Some say that younger mums may not be as patient as older mums. Their life experiences could be relatively limited still, begging the question: are they able to equip their children with the emotional necessities for life? Raising a child requires stability on all levels, and many young women in their early 20’s are still finding their feet here. It’s also important to note that before the second half of a woman’s 20’s, much time is spent on studying and starting a career. A young mum will have to make major sacrifices. She’ll have to decide which one holds the greater priority in her life, her children or her work?
However, even with all those challenges faced, none of them make a young woman incapable of being a great mother. The challenges add to her load and it certainly requires a lot of careful consideration on her part before taking on the responsibility of raising a child. In fact, a young mother has many advantages going for her too. For example:
- Time – she has plenty of time to grow with her child and even see her grandchildren later in life.
- Physical Stamina – running after a tot all day takes bountiful amounts of energy. While a woman in her 20’s may not be as energetic as a 4-year old, she certainly still has the energy associated with youth.
- Flexibility – This can be both advantageous and disadvantageous. Younger mums have not quite settled in their ways yet and this allows for some room for the mum and child to develop their methods co-dependently on each other. However, no curb on flexibility can result in a poorly disciplined child.
As the average age of having a baby increases, more women are asking whether age plays an important role in their capabilities as mothers. I would say that perhaps the more relevant question to ask is whether the woman is ready to be a mother. Regardless of her age, if she is ready, she will put her all into it. If she puts her all into it, it doesn’t matter if she makes a few mistakes along the way because she is doing her best to be her best.