Being in your 20s is such a complicated time in life. No matter what we are doing -partying, studying, working, getting married, becoming a parent and raising a family- we are all soul searching. This is supposed to be the time when we figure out who we are and what really makes us happy. Well, that doesn’t change just because some of us became “early” parents.
Not only are we judged for deciding to have kids at a young age but there is also this extreme, never ending pressure from the previous generation to do and be better than we currently are. It’s almost as if they forgot that “success” is not an overnight event. We feel rushed to accomplish things because we want to measure up to their standards when in reality, they were in the same place once upon a time. When the “big picture” is taking too long or we decide to go down a different path to get to that big picture, we are made to feel as if we are failing. Or that we will always be stuck where we are now. But that’s not true.
We are already so hard on ourselves- always wondering if we will be good parents, second guessing every decision, doubting our abilities- and it is 3x worse when others add on to it. It’s like we are under a microscope and we aren’t allowed to mess up… EVER. But I’m learning mistakes are what make us human. If we aren’t allowed to make mistakes, how will we ever figure out what makes us truly happy? What we really want to do with the rest of our lives? Isn’t now the best time to discover that, rather than when we are 40, 50, 60?
This is the time in our lives that we need the most support, the most acceptance. I mean as long as we have plans in place and there is consistent effort, why shouldn’t we get those things? A great support group is every young parent’s dream and it can really be life changing. If our children aren’t in danger or being neglected, I promise you have nothing to worry about. So encourage us, be proud that we are working on ourselves and towards our future and have a little faith. With your guidance (and not your criticism) we will thrive and live happily.
Love, A 20-something parent who is doing her best.