I’m 20, so I’m not friends with young women - I’m friends with people I grew up with.
But it’s not sad, it’s just how they want their lifes to go.
My friend Michaela, for instance, wants to have 3 children - Rosaline, Antonio, and …. I can’t remember the other name she has picked out - but she just went 18 in April. She is literally on the search for a man, because she wants to be married before she has children.
One of my neighbours,Winnie, is one year younger than me, 19. She just had her 2nd pregnancy - with twins. So she now has 1 boy who is 2 years old, and 2 newborn girls.
A girl I went to Secondary (high school) with, Chelsea, has just had her first child. She is 21.
And 3 of the girls’ I knew from my year in Secondary are engaged, to be married in the next 2 years.
It’s just how they go.
Like, look at my boyfriend. He is 34. I am 20.
We both don’t want children. We both don’t want to get married.
Fuck it. It’s cool. It’s fine. Nothing weird. It’s just how we are.
Then let’s look at my mother - she moved to England when she was 17, met my father when she was 18 - got married when she was 24, had me when she was 25. 3 years later, divorced because of severe domestic violence BUT ANYWAY! She was with him for almost 10 years (give or take a few months), and she got married before she hit 25. It was the thing back then.
My boyfriend’s mother had him when she was 20. When she was 23, she had his brother.
Maybe it’s not so common in America, but in Ireland - people are having kids before they hit 26, and most of them are married before they hit 30.
A large majority of my friends are already married with kids, and I’m 25. And it’s not sad. Alot of people WANT to be married and have a family. That’s what I want. What’s sad is that people treat that like a bad thing. Or tell you “why do you want to settle down so soon? Be free!” If that’s your goal, great, go be free. But let me pursue my own goals, please. I want to get married and settle down and it is unimaginably frustrating that I haven’t even been on my first date yet. And when people say “oh don’t worry about it, you’re not missing anything! Enjoy your life!” I just want to scream. Settling down is what I want for my life!! THAT’S what I want to enjoy!
-the Polish one
There are a lot of young, long, happy marriages in my family. My parents married when Mum was 19 and Dad was 21. They celebrated their 39th anniversary in June. They didn’t have me until they’d been married 20 years.
I’m not sure when exactly my maternal grandparents married but it must have been youngish because my grandpapa was 28 when my mum was born and my grandmama was 25. Grandmama had a miscarriage but I’m not sure whether that was before or after my mum, who was born in 1955. They were married until 1992, when Grandpapa died. Alls I know is, it was a long time.
My paternal grandparents were 20 and 17 when they married (eight years before my dad’s birthday!). A year later, they had the oldest of their nine children, so I’m going to guess that’s evidence that they were happy. (This was the baby-boomer generation, okay?) They were married for 53 years, until my grandpa’s death.
My Uncle Bob and Aunt Mary Ann married right after she (a year younger than he) graduated high school, in the late 1960s. They had their oldest a year or two lately. They were happily married until her death in 1999.
My Uncle Dave and Aunt Diane were a bit older when they married; he was twenty-four and she was twenty-two. They had their oldest kid two years later. They’re still happily married, forty years later.
My Uncle Steve and Aunt Melissa were twenty and eighteen when they had their oldest kid, and married the following year. (Scandalous, I know.) They’re still married, 38 years later, and though it wasn’t always easy due to one child’s struggles, they’re still happy together.
My Uncle Jeff and Aunt Mary Beth were 18 and 17, respectively, when they got married. AND SHE WAS PREGNANT. Which is not ideal, but they’ve had a happy marriage, even though she had lots of health problems. They were married for 38 years, right up until her death a couple of weeks ago.
That child that Mary Beth was pregnant with when she got married? She had her daughter at 23, married her husband (yes, the daughter’s father) at 25, and they are still together.
So obviously that can work out well. I have empirical evidence.
For this reason, I always thought it’d be romantic to marry my high school sweetheart. Well, I’m nineteen, a sophomore in college, very single, and completely unable to get a date. (That WILL change this year, dammit!) I think absolutely deciding “I will be married and have kids by this age” is not necessarily a good idea, just because you have no idea what life holds. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting to marry and have kids young, as long as you’re not too young to take care of a child or really anyone else or even yourself. (My cousin recently had a kid at the ripe old age of almost 17. Now THAT is too young. But she’s managing.) If I can get married and have kids in my mid twenties, that’d be lovely. I definitely want to do it sometime. Don’t shit on other people’s dreams, OP.
To me, it’s not necessarily age that determines whether or not you should marry or have kids. It’s maturity. Having kids and being married are HARD WORK. It’s not always a fairy tale. You have to be able to take care of not just yourself but other people, too. Kids do crazy shit. You get in disagreements. As my poor Uncle Jeff can tell you, sometimes life hits you like a train on the tracks, and things get hard. If you want to be married and have it last, and to have kids, you have to be able and willing to work if things get difficult. Instead of throwing away a broken thing, you have to be willing to try to fix it. Before you get married and/or bring kids into the world or into your life (if you choose to adopt, like I will), you have to be mature enough to handle responsibilities like that. Some people are more ready for that at age twenty than another person might be at forty.