Tuesday, February 24, 2015

it's okay to be baby hungry

Okay so now that I've intrigued you with a title that you may be assuming will lead to a post all about how I'm a run-of-the-mill Mormon girl who's only been married for 10 months but totally baby crazy (takes a deep breath), I have to apologize because that's not what's gonna happen.

The phenomenon of "baby hunger" is one commonly associated with newlyweds, particularly among the Mormon culture. If a recently married young woman expresses even so much as a hint of an interest in babies she automatically falls into the stigma of being "baby hungry". However, when a woman is married a socially acceptable amount of time or was married at an older age she is expected to start having babies ASAP. There are a couple of different reasons I've been thinking about this so much lately and felt like I wanted to say something about it.

First, I mean hello... I live in Provo, Utah! Last year, reportedly 26% of BYU daytime students were married. That's 7, 783 of 29, 672 students who's marital-status was self-reported as married in which the data may include students who failed to report a change in their marital status while attending classes and that's only the BYU students. With UVU just 10 minutes away and other schools nearby plus lots of opportunities for work, Provo is a breeding ground (pun intended) for college aged kids comprised of returned missionaries and bright-eyed freshman girls (sorry to bring up that stereotype but sometimes it's true). Basically since I'm around women getting married so often and being recently married myself, I see the reactions of others when asking about that next big step.

Second, isn't age just a number? I don't typically condone this saying but here, I feel like it may be on to something. Someone's age is not always synonymous with their mental age. I've known some incredibly mature, amazing women who would make the most wonderful mothers and happen to be younger than many mothers I know.  That being said, some of the mothers I look up to most are mothers who started having children later in life.  Their experiences and view in life inspire me and make me want to be better.  However, age doesn't determine the the type of mother someone will be, and we shouldn't judge the type of mother someone is solely on their age because after all, it is just a number, isn't it?  Age won't ever determine the way in which a mother will bless the lives of her children, and it won't ever determine the way in which their own life will be blessed by their children.

Lastly, it isn't anybody's gosh-darn business when a family decides they wanna have babies. That statement may come off as extremely blunt and rude. Here's my point: it is a personal matter when a family decides to start having children.  So what on earth (unless you're like, their mom & even then there are definite boundaries) leads people to believe that they can judge someone for waiting or not waiting to have babies? Really now. The answer should be nothing! When I got married at 19, barely over a month until I turned 20, I was judged harshly by people claiming I was "too young" to take such a big step in my life. Through prayer, spiritually promptings, my love for Zachary and other personal reasons I knew that no matter my age, this time in my life was the right to marry my husband and that he was the right person. I have witnessed similar situations with friends of mine having babies shortly after being married, no matter what their age. I don't believe that anyone but the couple, through their own praying and decisions, has a right to inquire about and judge their personal life or decisions. When a family feels time is right to add babies to the mix then they should go ahead and prepare to do so without letting the world's opinions taint their idea of "when is right". Because if a family feels it is right after agreeing amongst themselves it is, they shouldn't have to feel nervous or afraid of what others will say or think!

Okay & now you're thinking, "Well, now we know why she posted about this particular topic. Someone's expecting..." False. I'm not pregnant nor will I be in the immediate future; however, if I were planning on it or (knock on wood?) if it happened I wouldn't be hiding my face ashamed because I am so young or because Zach and I have only be married about a year. I would be nervous, yeah, and probably terrified for a little while, but then I would be ecstatic and ready for something the Lord feels like my family is ready for.

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