Case of Mistaken Paternity

When my parents were my age they were already parents.  My Dad’s first child was born months before his 25th birthday and my mother had me months before her 25th birthday.  What did I do months before my 25th birthday?  Become a parent is what I didn’t do.

What’s my point?  Back 25 years ago people in their 20s somewhat had better means of raising a child, giving them a good home and supplying them with what they needed.  College degrees were important, but not necessarily as heavily centric as they are today.  College loans were probably not as thieving astronomical as they are today too, depending on the University you went to.  People in the 1970s got out of high school, went to work and that’s it.  They had saved up enough and started a family.

The majority of 25 year old who are parents today aren’t necessarily ready for impending demands of early motherhood and fatherhood.  I see lots of women who are younger than me with a balloon under their shirt looking like they’re going to pop and the man next to them who did the deed that is probably wrapped with either regret or sheer terror on the inside, despite a calm demeanor.  Hey if I were in your shoes I wouldn’t know what to do.  I’d be paralyzed with fear for the length of the pregnancy.

People in this age group have a lot more to worry about today than our parents did when they had us.  We’re in a miserable economy with essentially very few job opportunities here and there for people who went to school for a desired profession.  Our student loan debts are way out of control as it takes people more than the standard 10 years to pay them off.  Car insurance payments, cell phone bills, rent, grocery, gas, clothes, and maybe some money left over for entertainment or vacation.  Having a child at such a young age with all these necessities would increase a person’s stress and throw them through a financial and emotional tailspin that they could never recover from.

It is very rare that people in our age group do have the financial means and planning to properly start a family at their young age.  A family member of mine who is the same age as me is married, has a son, has a great job and can provide for them.  He and his wife are tremendous parents and a loving couple that you can tell will be together for the rest of their lives.  Other than that, I haven’t seen essentially anyone else who is following in these footsteps.

What bothers me the most about this subject are those who want to have kids right away in their early to mid 20s like it’s a goal.  “I want to be a young parent and play with my kids.”  You can’t do that when you’re in your 30s?  Undue pressure is put on the significant other and that’s when the problems start.  Nothing is wrong with starting a family a little later on.  Your legs won’t give out on you and you won’t be at risk of dying because you played catch with your son.

Times are also different where I don’t think most people nowadays are actually prepared to have a child and when such occurrences happen, it often happens by dare I say “accident.” Sometimes this happens with a young couple who have been together for a decent amount of time and sometimes it doesn’t.  We unfortunately live in a society where one night stands last a lifetime.  Meaning if one person cheats on their significant other and has a child with another person it’s almost somewhat common.  It’s sad that people move from person to person so quickly and then one day the party is over.  You are going to be a parent whether you intended to or not.  You are now connected to this person for the rest of your life and you have to live with the mistakes.

In conclusion, most people in this age bracket are more commonly ill prepared to have a child than they were 25 to 30 years ago.  I for one don’t intend to start a family of my own till I’m in my mid 30s.  For people who do and kind find a way to get by and raise a family, my hat is off to you.  For those who do it for all the wrong reasons because having a kid would be “cool,” you are benefiting no one especially your soon to be son or daughter.  Just remember that you have to put your entire life on hold whether you want to or not.  Think before you do something you might regret.