5 Assumptions People Make About Young Moms

young mom assumptions Frances and baby 2003

Me and my oldest child circa 2003,  being all awesome and shiz.

As I’ve mentioned before here, I was a young mom the first time around. As in, much younger than the typical mom. I had my first child at age 19, while still in college. And while my situation didn’t match many of the ridiculous teen-mom stereotypes (I was with my ex-husband for eight years in total, I finished school, etc.) I still dealt with my fair share of judgement, simply for starting a family before some of my peers. And it sucked.

Below are some of the more common assumptions people would make, though this is hardly a comprehensive list. I’m sure the comments section will be littered with other young mom BS assumptions. Because sanctimommies are everywhere and they all suck in their own, unique way.

5. “You must be a college/high school dropout.” 

young mom assumptions

memegenerator/ Cindy Daniella

After the economic crisis happened and my husband lost his job, I hit the pavement hard looking for work. An acquaintance of my husband’s family, who I know was just trying to be helpful, suggested that we move to Don’s hometown in New Jersey (NOPE) so I could get a job at a Wawa (DOUBLE NOPE), because “it must be hard for someone like you to find real work.” Someone “like me” being a young mom. This wasn’t months, or years into a job search either. This was week one (and the next week I found a job in my field). I was gobsmacked.  I get it. According to the ACLU, 70% of teen moms drop out of school (those stats are for high school but you get the idea), but there is a reason for this that goes beyond having a baby, including poverty, racial and economic discrimination and most importantly, lack of adult support. And dammit, I worked hard for my degree.

4. “Who’s the father, do you even know?”

Oddly enough, this is an assumption I still hear on occasion, even with three kids and 7 years with my husband, Don. It’s like the idea of a blended family is just too difficult of a concept to wrap their heads around. I often get questions about whether or not I “know who the father is” about not only my oldest, but also my middle child. Even when I’m standing next to my husband, who she is the spitting image of. I guess they assume “once a slut, always a slut!”

3. “You threw your life away, you moron!” 

Puh-leez. Did having my daughter at 19 make my life a little harder at the time? Of course? Did it ruin my life? No, because I didn’t allow it to. Having my daughter was a choice that I made, and I have never regretted it. I have a great family, a job that I love, and plenty of friends and hobbies. My life is wonderful.

2. “You must be religious.”

I was shocked at how many people began to assume I was anti-choice when I chose to have a child at 19. It’s as if the only reason you would have a baby at that age is being knocked up and not believing in abortion. As I’ve mentioned many, many times here, I am adamantly pro-choice and not religious. My decision to have a child was between my partner at the time and myself, and is NOT an opportunity to speculate on my beliefs.

1. ”You must be on welfare/food stamps etc…what a shame”

young mom assumptions food stamps

memegenerator/ NCReedplayer

Don’t misunderstand me here. I see nothing wrong with utilizing social services to give yourself a hand up during hard times. They are a vital and necessary social safety net for millions of hard working people. But the assumption that I must be living “off the dole” as my granddad would say, was infuriating. I was lucky enough not to need social services, but the assumption was always there. One time, at the grocery store, I ran into a friend of my grandmother, who looked into my cart and said “Oh, I didn’t realize you could buy toilet paper with food stamps, so you get financial assistance?”  WUT? First of all, are poor not people not allowed to wipe their asses? Second, this was just last year, why would anyone assume ANYONE was on social services without, I don’t know, ASKING them? Or better yet, why don’t people just mind their own business?



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  • Jallun-Keatres

    My newest favorite type of blogs are teen mom vlogs. From the couple I’ve gotten to “know” through videos, all were on the older side (I think most if not all were 18 when they had their babies) and all of them got their crap together and are responsible moms. Only one is not still with the father but all of them are in a relationship and hardly fit these stereotypes. I love it.

  • mom21

    Add “were you on drugs?” to the list.

    • Roberta

      I believe the appropriate reply to that type of jerkiness is “No, are you on drugs?”

    • Zettai

      Or, possibly, “No, I never got off.” Just to see their faces.

  • Kelly

    Oh yeah, I’ve run into these. The most irritating to me was when an old friend told me she was glad I’d finally “grown up” and become pro life. Um, no, still firmly pro choice, thanks anyways.
    The assistance one is irritating too. I never received any, not even WIC, and occasionally someone will make a comment about how much easier it must have been for me since I didn’t have to pay for everything myself. So annoying and crass.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Very crass! I was raised not to discuss money issues in public. So many people are comfortable talking about/bragging about/lamenting about money issues. I think it’s tacky. I am occasionally willing to write about financial issues here, because It’s my job to occasionally open up about my life, but I would never try to make someone discuss or defend their financial situations. Crass indeed.

  • amanda b

    My heart just broke. Its not the complete ignorance that bothers me here, so much as the fact people- not only feel the need to say these things- but that they think its OK!

    I was not terribly young when my first was born 7years ago- but people still treat me the same way. The worst is when people assume im on welfare, because i dont work. My husband works. I stay home with the kids. I work when its convenient for my children.

    My last job was a weekends only in-home-care type of thing, taking care of my landlords mother in exchange for lower rent. When i was laid of, my landlord/boss actually told my co-worker (who happens to be my SISTER) that its time i find a REAL job and get off the welfare- he even went as far as saying I’m exactly the type of person Mitt Romney was caught bashing- expecting the government to support me…. whuuuu????

    While its true, i dont have a 9-5, and we’re far from rich over here- we’re actually quite comfortable in our lives. We enjoy spending more time with family. We choose this way of life. We’re very lucky that we can manage this craziness on one income. Why does that mean im on welfare? Why does that mean im abusing a system im not even a part of?? I chose to work weekends to knock a couple bucks off my rent, so that means im on welfare? I dont understand this way of thinking. At all.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Ugh, your landlord/boss sounds like an epic d-bag. Sorry you have to deal with that BS.

  • Melody

    This used to really bug me, especially because it came mostly from other women. None of the moms ever wanted to be friends with me or let their kids be friends with mine because I guess my house was full of sluttiness and irresponsibility or something. But now I’m able to take stock of my life and laugh in their faces, because 1. Paternity has never been a question for any of my kids and 2. hubby and I are still together and married 10 years later, 3. we have never used any kind of assistance, 4. I raised my kids, not my mother, though she does come up to visit and babysit a few times a year, 5. I’m not trying to #humblebrag, but I graduated a year early, with a new baby, and college credits, so suck it.
    So now I’m married, 3 kids, 6 figure income – pretty much where all of my peers will be in 5-10 years if they’re lucky, and by then my kids will be old enough for me to travel the world and whatnot. Is this what everybody meant when they said I was throwing my life down the drain?#winning

  • Leigh

    I had my oldest a week before I turned 20 and I heard all of these – and more. To further add to the onslaught of insulting comments I also married his father – not because we were having a baby but because I genuinely wanted too. Fifteen years later when people find out I got married at 19 they OFTEN ask “oh to oldest son’s dad?” “How long did it last” While standing right in front of my husband of FIFTEEN YEARS. Was it an easy thing to do? No. Am I infinitely glad I did do it? yes. Did it have anything to do with my being CRAZY pro choice? No. Not in the least. ;) People need to learn to respect other people’s choices. I had a baby at nearly 20 by choice. and I was made to feel ashamed, and like it was something I needed to apologize for as though I had done it in eight grade. Looking back it ticks me off I didn’t put those people in their place.

    • Jessica Johnson

      I married my husband when I was 18. The ceremony was actually about a month or so before my High School graduation.
      To this day, everyone that hears this assumes we married because I was pregnant. I didn’t get pregnant the first time until we’d been married for about 2 years. :/
      And then because I was pregnant/having a baby that “young”, people assumed it was to try and “keep” my hubby and not because we were young, married, financially secure (he was in the military), and screwing like rabbits.
      Now I get the “Oh, is your husband your child’s father?” kinds of questions, because I guess it’s unheard of to still be married to your first husband at 34.

    • MellyG

      It probably IS rare to get married at 18 and stay married so long. So good for you! I mean that, it’s awesome. And even if it’s not “the norm” – people need to keep their judgement to themselves. That’s a pretty damn rude question to ask someone, regardless of their situation. Some people need more interesting lives so they’re not being jerks to others

    • CW

      48% of teen marriages end in divorce within 15 years, which means slightly more than half don’t. So while the divorce rate is higher than for older couples (waiting until age 24 cuts the divorce risk to 24%), it’s as common to stay together as it is to divorce. I wouldn’t encourage my daughters to marry in their teens, but teen brides are not automatically doomed to divorce.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Well said! It always baffles me when people are so much faster to assume that younger couples are more likely to divorce, when that’s not the case at all.

    • JLH1986

      My guess would be because (at least in my experience) people who divorce young, divorce ugly. Whereas the people I’ve known to divorce when they were older were usually…less ugly (I would argue every divorce is ugly, it’s divorce!) So I think it seems more prevalent.

  • Melody

    You need to add “Was this one planned?” for baby #2, and “I guess this is pretty normal for you hispanic girls” – my personal favorite. Yes, all of the tacos gave me the pregnant.

    • Kay_Sue

      If tacos get you pregnant I am soooo fucked. #TacosAreAllTheWins

    • Melody

      Maybe if they were cilantro tacos they wouldn’t be impregnating people?

    • Kay_Sue

      I lost it at this. I’d upvote a million times if I could.

    • Cee

      All this taco talk only convinces me that we should have a taco party if there ever is a Mommyish meet up

    • Bethany Ramos


    • waffre

      Hmm, I cut back on tacos when I started trying to get pregnant as part of my effort to get healthier— obviously I’ve been going about it all wrong! Guess I need to go get some taco fixin’s!

    • Cee

      As a fellow taco lover and hispanic….I love your comment so hard!

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I think I will definitely have to do a part two with reader suggestions. This is just… awful. I swear, some people are just the worst. I’ve gotten a similar one, only mine was “well, you ARE Irish.” I guess all the potatoes make us horny.

    • Kay_Sue

      Now, if potatoes make you horny, then you have a problem, I think. I’ve never ingested or seen a potato that made me want to jump on it.

    • Alicia Kiner

      Nah, it’s all the drinking ;)

    • Michelle Pittman

      come on, that’s just silly — everyone knows WINE is what causes pregnancies

    • Rachel Sea

      I should eat more tacos.

  • Aimee Beff

    Oh my god do I hate it when purportedly pro-choice people are all “BUT YOU CHOSE THE WRONG WAY AND I DON’T LIKE IT, ABLOO BLOO BLOOOO”. Pro-choice means people are allowed to choose to have babies too, y’all!?

    TP is a new low on the list of things Poor People Are Not Allowed to Have, along with phones, birthday cake, shampoo, and clothes without holes in them. Bet it’s really easy to land that job interview or ask for a raise when you smell like dingleberries!

    • Kat

      I remember once, when we were receiving food stamps, someone at the grocery store said, “why don’t you sell that cell phone and buy your food yourself instead of making us pay for it?” I told her it was my only phone, and could she suggest how to find a job without a phone for employers to call. She stuttered and said, “you don’t need a phone to find a job…” Even she obviously didn’t believe this.

      My sons’ dad was working at the time too, but for some reason I couldn’t tell her that. I had been out of work a month tops. I wish people wouldn’t fricking assume.

    • Katia

      Wow good deal. We don’t have food stamps in Canada , and if we’re laid off we probably won’t have our govt assistance money within one month (takes longer to process, at least lately)

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Depending on your state and your situation you can get emergency help within 48 hours or so. At least that’s how it works in New York, where I live. My younger sister in law lost her job a week after her husband had hurt himself really bad at work and she received them that fast. She was only on them for three months, until she found another job, but she was eternally grateful for the hand up.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Ugh. I hate that argument people make “Oh, you can have a cell phone/TV/cigarettes, but not food money.” They forget that the vast majority of people on assistance are working people. If you’re working your as off, I think you deserve your down time, including a 6 pack or some cigarettes, in my opinion. Even the working poor. Hell, especially the working poor.

  • Alicia Kiner

    I was 22 when I had my son and I heard all of these. Even now I look young for my age, so people assumed I was in high school when I was pregnant. I got some nasty comments, including the do you even know who the father is. My daughter is 16 months younger and I got the do they have the same father? It’s ridiculous.

  • Maria Guido

    People are so f-ing stupid.

  • Kay_Sue

    My favorite is the look of astonishment when I meet my oldest son’s (he’s seven, I’m 26) teachers now. They try so hard to hide it, bless their hearts (truly not, sarcastically–I applaud their efforts).

    I wasted so much time trying to be the perfect mother because I was a young mom. I feel like I wasted the first three years of his life because I drove myself nuts trying not to be a stereotype (since I did not stay with his biological father, I really felt like I was already in the red in that department) and didn’t relax and enjoy it. If I could go back, I’d tell my younger self to just go with it. Parenting isn’t easy regardless of when you do it, and if you love your kid and make decisions based on what’s best for the two of you and your life together, and if you focus on raising a decent human being, you’re going to be alright, even with the mistakes you’ll inevitably make because everyone makes mistakes.

    • Natasha B

      I understand you on this one! Was 21 when I had my oldest (she’s 9 now) and I worked so hard to prove I wasn’t the welfare loser baby momma type. Didn’t help the looks that I was single. But hey, she’s a fantastic kid and I did a fantastic job on my own. Suck it, suckas.
      Parent teacher conferences are always fun, when we go in and my curly haired biracial daughter refers to my Vietnamese hubby as daddy not stepdaddy. No one has ever been brave enough to ask though lol.

    • Kat

      Oh my god, yes. This is me too. I stayed with dad, but for a while we received financial assistance and I would try to make up for it by pretending to be this snobby perfecto mom, and it was so stupid. I should’ve been enjoying the baby years.

    • Savannah61

      As a teacher, I try really hard to operate under a philosophy of “I’m not going to be a perfect teacher, so I don’t expect perfect parents either. ” I don’t think I’ve given anyone weird looks, and I most definitely haven’t trash talked any parents behind their backs for appearing to be young. I’ve got about a million other things I’d rather discuss with my coworkers, but I’m really sorry for your experience. Some people suck.

    • Natasha B

      Honestly, all of her teachers have been awesome :) I think the majority of teachers are, you just get a few judgy pants once in awhile.

    • Kay_Sue

      No need to feel sorry. There’s just a moment of shock when they see me that’s hard to cover up sometimes, lol. I was young when I had him, and I look even younger than I am. They have all been wonderful people, who have done great things with my son. I really respect all of the hard work they put in. Each and every one (well, there’s been two so far, but that’s beside the point) has committed to moving him one year, even though he came in a bit higher (it’s the perils of having a National Board-certified teacher with her Master’s in early literacy for a grandmother). It’s entirely thanks to them that my first grader reads at a level he would be expected to at the end of second grade, and has the math skills of a third grader, and yet continues to grow when they have every reason to say “My job is done for this year!”. I wouldn’t trade one of them for someone better able to hide an involuntary eyebrow raise! ;)

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I went through the same phase, especially after my ex and I broke up and I was a single mom for a while. Thankfully he was always uber involved, but I still felt the judginess and the “I told ya so’s” from people who were negative about my pregnancy.

  • aCongaLine

    During my last pregnancy, last spring, at the ripe old age of 28, I was coaching a High School Destination Imagination team… (of kids that I coached for many years, and I dearly love, and some official is CONSTANTLY asking “Who’s your manager?” because I blend in with the kids)…. and I was 39.5 weeks pregnant at the state competition.

    I got the most. dirtiest. looks. from parents of kids on younger teams. One of my HS kids over heard a parent making a comment about how “high school girls are so slutty these days” and how “That one shouldn’t be able to do the program, she’s pregnant!” My kiddos took them to task than set them straight- that I was “old” and married. But then they also went off about how that type of stereotype is so unfair- and cruel, and really put the other parents in their place. And, because pregnant, I cried. It was beautiful.

    My kids were exactly right- it’s a terrible, horrible way of shaming young moms- to talk about them like they are in the midst of a collosal fuck up, just because of their age. I can’t imagine newborn AND society at 19 or 20. Props. I could barely take care of myself then. People are so stupid.

    • Kay_Sue

      The mind-blowing part to me is that this wasn’t even uncommon more than a generation or two ago. My grandmother was married at 18, pregnant at 18, had a stillbirth at 18, had my mom at 19, turned around and had my uncle at 20. I get it, that’s not how things are typically done anymore–but it’s not like it is some super crazy unheard of new fangled trend…

    • aCongaLine

      Right? So common not that long ago. That would be why I knew, and had great relationships with 5 of my great grandparents- they were young enough to be around when I was growing up. My grandmother was also married at 18, and had 2 kids by 20- and the other had 4 in 3 years, right after getting married at 19.

      I suppose it’s like fashion trends? Like when the 70s bell bottoms were really 90s “super flare” jeans? Dunno. It boggles my mind.

    • Natasha B

      Aw yay for DI! That’s awesome!!! Our oldest just started last year in 3rd grade, and they made it to state their first time around. We were so proud.
      I’m also a young mom-she’s 9 and I’m just 31, but while we get some looks not too many people actually open their mouths. She’s also biracial, so that adds to the looks for sure.

    • aCongaLine

      Awww. DI high five! I run the program at my husband’s school…. it’s the best! It’s the literally best. thing. ever. You kiddo sounds adorbs. :)

    • Natasha B

      Thanks :) it IS the best thing ever! She’s pretty much in for life :) and def putting the young’uns in when they get to school! DI4lyfe

    • MamaLlama

      This! I’m 33 but look somewhere in my early twenties now (I guess) and had my first when I was 28. The amount of evil looks and comments I received since I ‘looked’ too young was amazing! I especially noticed while shopping the looks and mistreatment I received because I was a ‘teen mom’. I swear sometimes my mother (who also looks young) wanted to shout out- “She’s a successful businesswoman! Not a teen mom” while she was with me.

    • MLSKC

      I <3 DI!!! I started competing when it was still Odysseus of the Mind, changed over my junior year of high school. And the Judgey Mcjudgersons should realize that teen moms are still capable of problem solving and creativity.

      Edit: Odyssey, stupid auto correct.

  • Myra A Cottrill

    I’m so sorry you had to put up with this. I’m in shock that anyone would feel entitled to say any of these things to you…and you have my props for handling this with the grace and eloquence I just couldn’t. I think it’s perfectly fine to respond to rude questions with incredulous stares and silence. Let them ruminate in their own ignorance.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Your way is awesome. I am still working on my death glare. My dad says he perfected his around the time I was 10, so I’m behind, lol.

  • akbennett

    These things always tick me off. I had my daughter young and unmarried and did get assistance, but only while I was in school. Now I’m an RN and support my family. So even if some of the stereotypes are true, whose damn business is it? News flash, that’s what assistance is for.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I totally agree, especially about assistance. I hate the welfare queen myth. The vast majority of people on assistance are working people. It’s infuriating that the people who need the most moral support get shit on by society the way they do.

  • Romylove

    Being Hispanic, I’m pretty sure the “when are you going to have kids?” started back in high school. Mostly from relatives. It’s so freaking annoying.

    When am I having kids? When I damn well feel like it. I’d like to be married, but I don’t consider it a requirement. Right now I am debating if I should do it in a few years, because I’ll be finishing up my degree and having that summer off would be a nice little maternity leave without missing school, or if I should wait until I graduate and am trying to get a job and pay back my loans.

    Both have advantages.

  • CW

    I was 25 when my oldest was born, but as I have a baby face, strangers typically assumed I was a teen. I felt like every time I walked out the door with her, I should be wearing a t-shirt reading: “Yes, she’s mine. Yes, I’m married. No, it wasn’t a ‘shotgun’ wedding. Yes, I’m a college graduate. Yes, I have a decent job. And it’s none of your d**n business whether or not she was planned!!!!” People can be *SO* rude!

    • Pumplestilskin

      I was 24 when I had my oldest, looked all of 15. I had someone point me out at a restaurant while with my mom and say, “if I were her mother I would beat her ass” My mom, never shy, asked the person why. The lady sputtered, “what is she 16, maybe? who’s going to be taking care of that baby? At best, you, at worst, me and the rest of the taxpayers” We just asked to be moved but it was embarrassing. 3 years later, when I was pregnant with my 3rd I had my 2 older ones in a double stroller in the mall. The closest bathroom was down a narrow hallway and I was trying to maneuver my stroller down there. This woman just pushed right past me. I heard her daughter say “mom!” in a shocked way. The woman turned around, looked me up and down and said “I can’t be bothered by Teen welfare mom breeder trash”. Her daughter at least had the decency to be horrified. Never in my life, except when I was pregnant had I been spoken to like that. Not even after the kids were born.

    • MellyG

      Wow, some people are douchnozzles! If i were your mother in the first one, i would have SLAPPED the lady. Even if you HAD been 15, it’s NONE of her business. She doesn’t know the circumstances – what if that 15 year old girl had been raped, and the LAST thing she needed was judgey comments from self righteous strangers? Or ya know what, even if that 15 year old girl had just made a mistake, as kids tend to do…….does she need the judgement from someone NOT her parent? No. And maybe your mother WAS going to raise your kid? Who cares? It’s not THAT lady’s problem – my grandmother practically raised me, and my mom was a 25 year old married working mother. My grandma was daycare, and thank goodness for her. and if you HAD been on welfare or other government assistance? what is it, like 2 cents out of her pocket? Rude! And the second lady shouldn’t be allowed to breed! I don’t care about young people breeding, or poor people breeding, or old people, rich people, fat or skinny people – whatever. I just don’t want rude people breeding!

    • Pumplestilskin

      It’s the first time I’ve ever seen my mom speechless. I think she was truly shocked. The 2nd lady was actually a woman that comes and stays in the summer community here. They come every year and act smarter/more educated/better than all the locals. They come into stores and actually use the phrase, do you know who we are? I didn’t realize how bad it was until I worked retail. It’s like a bad 80′s movie of snobbery.

    • MellyG

      If I ever encounter someone that uses that phrase, even if i DO know who they are, i just go “no, who are you?”, and that tends to shut them up. I also can’t stand people who think they are better than locals – isn’t everyone a local somewhere? My grandparents used to live in a town like that, a very touristy resort area, but she lived there year round. People are rude.

    • CW

      Wow, that’s bad. When my mom was out with me and my oldest, I just got assumed to be the big sister. My mom was 49 when my oldest was born but looked a bit younger, and lots of women where she lives have babies in their forties whereas teen moms are fairly uncommon. So people just assumed early 40′s mom, teen big sis, and baby rather than 49 y.o. grandma, 25 y.o. mom, and grandbaby.

    • Pumplestilskin

      I actually seem to have the worst luck with people saying inappropriate things to me. I don’t know why. My husband jokingly says “it’s just your face”. My first Christmas in retail I worked in the toy dept. A woman called me a stupid fucking bitch for absolutely no reason, except, I guess, to spread Christmas cheer. My manager came over and asked the lady to leave. Later he said to me, if I had not seen that whole exchange, I would not have believed it.

    • Kelly

      Ugh, I’ve been there. I had a woman at a barbecue chew me out for being a pregnant high school freshman.

      Boy, I wish I had a picture of the look on her face when I told her I was in my twenties, married, and a veteran of the U.S. Army. She looked like she’d just eaten a big pile of shit.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I would buy that t-shirt in a hot minute!

  • J.

    I had my first at 19 and my partner at the time made a choice not to stay around. It wasn’t a great situation but it was a choice we made. I never heard most things people say to young moms. Now I am almost 25, have a stable relationship, and have built a home and life. My partner and I want to have another child my family seems to think I am still 19. They don’t understand why I want another child, or why I was still devastated when I had a miscarriage this fall. Everyone in my life who was there when I got pregnant the first time seems to think I am still 19. It is the most frustrating thing

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      *hugs* so sorry about the miscarriage. I’ve been there, I know how painful it is, at any age. I had my second child at 24 and I got the same BS from people, even though I had a great job and a fantastic relationship (with my husband Don who rocks). People can be awful, but at least we can laugh at them.

  • AR

    I love when I get “But won’t you be sad when you’re not even 50 and all your kids are out of the house?” HELL NO. That sounds fantastic.

    • Brittany Anne

      THIS. I had my son at 22, I’m 23 now and pregnant with the second. We’ll maybe have a third, maybe not, but either way, all our kids will be grown by the time my husband and I are in our forties. I am SUPER EXCITED about this timing, but all my family assumes that by the time I’m 35, I’m going to be terribly depressed about not ever having any more babies.

      Uh, no. I’m going to be too busy sleeping eight hours a night and not changing diapers to have any regrets about the timing of my babies.

    • Alicia Kiner

      You are exactly where I was at 23. And everyone told me that when my kids were graduating from high school, I’d want to start over. So far, that thought hasn’t crossed my mind, but I’m only half way there. My kids are 9 and 8. And while all my friends are having babies now, I’m really enjoying the growing independence each and every day. My son (the 9 year old) helped me make dinner by peeling potatoes the other night. Do you know how cool that is? No diaper changes, and a prep cook? Sold!!

    • Natasha B

      Exaaaactly. Had my first at 21, will be done with #4 at 31. Will be able to enjoy my 50′s, travel with the hubby. House will be paid off. It’s gonna be great!

    • Katherine Handcock

      That it does! I won’t be that young when my kids leave home, and I love them to death, but man, it will still be hella fun.

    • educationist

      THIS! It sas in my life plan to make this happen — unfortunately my ovaries and my husband’s non-swimmers disagreed, so I will probably start having the babies after 30– but I think parents who get to have their kids out of the house while they’re still in there 40s/early 50s have it best. A chance to have a life and fun when you have actual money, and lots of years to hang out with adult children and grandkids = awesome.

    • Melissa T.

      THIS! I had my kids at 20 and 24…I’ll be 44 by the time they are likely moved out. I am looking forward to my many years of being a DINK. Haha! It will be so glorious to climb that corporate ladder and go traveling without packing diaper bags.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Right? My oldest will be in college by the time I’m 40 and my youngest will be in high school. This sounds like heaven.

    • val97

      This! I had my first at 23 and my second at 29. I’ll still be in my 40s when my youngest goes to college (fingers crossed). Woot, party! And I hope I’m just as immature in 10 years when this happens.

  • MellyG

    I don’t get people, i really don’t. Why is it even anyone else’s business? Personal things like that should be reserved for things that people CHOOSE to reveal, or those helping them raise the kid! (if anyone even is!) Ugh, the holier than thou attitudes really get to me

    My older cousin was a young mom, i think 18 or 19. She actually got married to the father and is STILL married to the father 25 years later. They have 3 sons, all grown, and the oldest just became a dad, making my cousin a grandma, a very young grandma. Her husband and father of the kids is a minister. THAT tends to shut people up! I love that one time, when she was i think pregnant with number 3, 2 kids in tow, she was shopping, perhaps for furniture, i don’t remember. She still looks young with a baby face, and at 22 or so, she likely looked 14. Anyway, the store clerks were incredibly rude to her, and started making comments about not accepting food stamps or what not. She left in tears, and her husband came back later that day and bitched them out. Ha, serves them right – getting verbally bitch slapped by a minister! I hope they learned to keep their mouth shut

  • MeLuRe

    I had my first child at 26, the second at 29 well after graduating college. I work at an elementary school and once I started to show with my first, I heard through the grapevine some fabulous, super-judgey comments from parents and teachers because apparently they were under the impression that I was a teenager. My personal favorite was a concerned parent, who asked my boss: “What will we tell our kids?” Oh, the horror of a responsible, employed adult being with child! What ever will we do?

    • MamaLlama


  • Bethany Ramos

    You are/were so cute, Frances!! Great post. :)

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Thank you! *blushing*

  • gretta

    Sigh. All Moms get judged… Too young… Too old… Too fat… Too thin… To strict… To lenient… Too rich…. Too poor…. Blah blah blah. Raise your kids. Do your best. We’re all headed to the same place anyway. Give it enough years and we’ll all be old ladies.

    • gretta

      And no one will remember or care how old we were when we had our kids.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I totally agree. I always read the similar posts about older moms, or moms who make various parenting choices with interest because as different as well all think we are, we’re all going through a similar battle. I was trying to be humorous more than anything, rude people can be hilarious.

  • ff

    My mom gets asked if she’s enjoying raising her grandkids… Um, no, but she’s enjoying being out to lunch that I’m paying for tyvm. I feel so awkward letting her do things because people stare. I’m a sham, if I want a break because my mom offered to help with the kids, that should be ok. Oh and every internet debaTe they ask how old I/my kids are. Yes, I had a kid at seventeen, but that doesn’t make me an idiot. There’s also the subtle ring check/ need for me to say my kids father and my husband, as well as the assumption I’m just out of work l, not making a perfectly valid choice to be a sham.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I started wearing a ring just for that reason, even though it’s never been a custom in my family.

  • h

    I remember when I was 16 (and looked a bit older, but still young) I babysat/nannied a 2 year old (his mom worked from home), and his mom was on the other side of the divide: an older mom with two preteen daughters. One day I took my little charge to the playground and in a half hour or so, the weird silence of other parents was broken by a friendly demeanored dad asking if the kid had any siblings. I fully enjoyed watching his head spin when I said he had two sisters ages 10 and 12. Gave it a minute before explaining that I was the babysitter. Funny moment… But it was weird to feel the eyes of judgment: after all, if I had actually been the mom, what was I really doing wrong taking the kid for playground fun and supervising him closely?

  • Heather C

    I don’t normally comment on the articles, but I have to chime in.
    I’m 31 and apparently look 16ish (I know, I know, the hardship. Actually, it’s really obnoxious). I had my first child when I was 19, and I do fit some of the stereotypes (dropped out of school, WIC, and while I married the father, we didn’t stay married).
    Fast forward 10 years, I’m remarried, pregnant and working. And one of my regular customers looks me in the eye and says, with the biggest crocodile tears in her eyes:
    “So, are your parents taking care of you and the baby?”
    ::blink blink::
    “How old do you think I am?”
    She was mortified when she realized her mistake and apologized profusely. But I hope it taught her to mind her own damn business. And how would that have been okay even if I had been as young as she thought I was?

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      She must have been SO embarrassed. And rightfully so. I was on WIC too, so I guess I fit some stereotypes (and I’m sure there are many, many more stereotypes I’m not even aware of that I fit, lol). I see no harm in hard working people getting a hand up with programs like food stamps, WIC or welfare. The help I received through WIC helped me to stay on track breastfeeding for many months.

      Even when I went off WIC when I landed the job I’d been aiming for for two years, the help, the help I received through WIC kept me on track for 14 months. They do way more than just give food. I was able to benefit from counseling and they even put me in touch with the local La Leche League. People have the wrong idea about these services, IMO.

  • Sam Inoue

    I was also 19 when my daughter was born, and right before that I had become the guardian of my 7 year old niece. I hate how people look down on us, so much judgement.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I was actually in a very similar situation, only a year or so after my daughter was born. My ex’s mother had a heart attack and couldn’t care for his younger sisters for a few months, so we were given custody around the time we both turned 21. It was a humbling experience. I have a lot of respect for you for dealing with that AND a newborn. My hat is off!

    • Sam Inoue

      Oh thank you! It was hard work sure at least at first, but after my stepsister passed away I would never have let Aisling go anywhere else. I bet it was actually harder for you guys because of the situation wasn’t short term it was probably more crazy! They’re 7 and 15 now so it was a while ago :) though apparently not long enough as I still get the young mom looks at 26.

  • Ann

    I was 17 and looked younger when I got pregnant with my first son, I remember being out with my sister who was 13 at the time (and looked older) and a group of old people kept staring at us so she yelled at them what’s wrong you’ve never seen a pregnant 12 year old before!

  • Rollergirl09

    You switch out “young mom” with “unwed mother” and that’s my life. I may have turned 29 in the hospital with my child but I was treated the same way for having the audacity to have a baby without being lawfully wed. And when my son’s father left? Here comes the scorn. I especially love the assumption that I was on public assistance and got daycare assistance just because I was an unwed mother. Is it really that unfathomable that a woman near thirty could possibly have a lucrative career AND be a single mother. Apparently so. Being an unwed mother means that you got your dumb ass knocked up and that must also make you low income. Ouch my head hurts from rolling my eyes so hard.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Ugh, people are awful. Sorry for your troubles. It’s funny (as funny as this annoying shiz can be) but one of my closest friends had her first child at 37 and had a very similar experiences. Just goes to show that people are a-holes to everyone.

    • MellyG

      Are we still in 1957? Seriously? It blows my mind that people STILL have this attitude!

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    I was told by a former coworker my son will most likely end up in jail. Yea, thanks for the heads up buddy.

  • val97

    My own mother asked me when I got religious (I didn’t).

    I received some shocked looks when my pediatrician’s office told me that I needed to go to the health department to get my kid’s immunizations done. I said, I think my insurance covers those, doesn’t it?

    I was 23 but looked 16. Strangers made comments all the freaking time. Some were rude, but others were kind of nice. I remember a waitress sat down next to me as I was nursing my son and praised me for making the effort to breastfeed. I doubt she would have done that if she’d known I was 23 and not a kid. She definitely wouldn’t have done that if I had been in my 30s.

  • CrazyLogic

    My uncle had his first kid at 21. He married her, and is still married to her, and became a doctor. His oldest daughter had her son at 19. She is now a doctor.

    I am forced to conclude that if I someone in my family has a kid at a young age, they will be become doctors.

  • brahman

    I’m right there with you! I love to challenge those stereotypes. So I owned my own home and did foster care at 21 while working full time with no assistance. I had many comments and looks parading around with 7 small children who were all different colors. The assumptions that people made were amazing! I also don’t like introducing my foster children as such. It’s not anyone’s business what the history of a child’s family is and no 5 year old should have to answer for not being able to live at home! They are just “my children” and to hell with anyone who has a problem with that.

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