Becoming a Mom at 25

It’s funny, at 25 (since having Kennedy I have turned 26) I think that I’m a young mother. I’m sure there’s a lot of you nodding in agreement while reading this and on the flip side I have friends my age that have children that are in elementary school already, so I fit somewhere in the young spectrum no matter how you look at it.

I’ve heard all of the following remarks: “Why now?” “Don’t you know what that will do to your life?” “You aren’t done growing up, why have babies?” “Don’t do it!” “Kids change everything.”

I don’t disagree with one of these remarks…kids do change everything. I know most women my age couldn’t even dream of doing the things I’m doing now. Waking up at weird and all hours of the night to a crying little one. While it wears on you, comforting that cute little one that belongs to you is so rewarding, whether it’s 12 PM or 2 AM.

There have been plenty of times I’ve just wanted to “run to the store really quick” and those days are over. Instead I’ve got a sidekick to take with me on all of my shopping excursions. My sidekick comes with a lot of extra cargo too which makes it that much more challenging, but you know I’ve taken multi-tasking to a whole new level. I can comfort a crying baby while putting on a baby carrier and grocery shop while we work on nap time.

I think the hardest thing for me since I’ve become a mother is feeling like I can’t relate to the people I once had everything in common with. Over the last several years I’ve done a lot of things that make me less of a conventional millennial. I finished college at 21. I got married at 22. We bought at house at 24. I got pregnant and had a baby at 25.

Those first few weeks postpartum I felt very isolated. I wanted so badly to call my best girlfriends and cry but stopped myself because, who was I going to call? None of them have babies! Instead I would call my mom (seriously, moms are the best) and cry while she assured me I wasn’t the first mom to feel this way. It was still so hard.

I was upset because I felt like nobody wanted to come visit me and being on maternity leave alone, was just that, lonely. I was trying to adjust to being a mother and how all encompassing it was to take care of a newborn and all I wanted was some normalcy but I didn’t feel like I could find that from my friends or peers my age.

After I had my pity party for a few weeks of feeling isolated, I decided enough was enough. I couldn’t keep being upset with people that had no idea I was upset with them. It sounds super crazy as I type it out, but it’s true, I was mad at people and they had no clue that I was. I didn’t want to be that person. I decided I needed to have a reality check with myself.

I reminded myself that this, motherhood at 25, was what I wanted, deeply and truly, what I wanted. Just because that’s what I wanted at my age, doesn’t mean that everyone around me wanted or wants the same thing. That realization alone helped me more than anything because I reminded myself that it’s important for me to embrace all the different people and personalities I have in my life, which I think I’ve done a good job of ever since.

I also decided those feelings I had of being upset with people around me that weren’t constantly “checking” on me, needed to go. Expectations are never a good thing, especially when it comes to friendship and I felt horrible even admitting that I had any expectations!

Lastly, I took all the feelings that I had and told myself to remember them. There was going to come a time that my friends would be ready to have families and become mommies and that in that time in their life I want to be an open book. I want to be someone they can talk to if they need an ear to listen. If they ask for advice, I want to be able to give it but also remember that overloading them with advice is not my place, especially if it isn’t asked.

I’m taking this place that I’m in, of becoming a mom at 25 and absolutely loving it. I’m learning so much about myself and even more from this little girl that’s absolutely changed my life in the almost 6 months that she’s been born. Somedays are so easy and fun and others are a challenge but they’re forming me and shaping me in more ways that I could of dreamed. Instead of feeling confined and like I’m trapped, I can feel myself blossoming. Coming up with ideas and daydreams of what the future holds and how I will contribute to our family in several different ways. Being a young mom is fun and having a young family is incredible.

One thing I keep reminding myself is every person’s walk is different, and mine is going to be different than the person next to me and my journey is no different but I shouldn’t spend my time comparing my story to those around me. Instead, I’ll take my story and experience and use it to help others.

 

Next time I write I plan to talk a little bit more about my career and my struggles with being a working mama. Thanks for reading!

 

Let Me Begin…

…Oh it’s been a little while. My creative side and my written words have not been exposed for the world to see in quite some time. But I’m back! I plan on making this a life long journey with my writing, and wherever it decides to take me, I’m just going to go with it. I’ll give a little background on myself to begin (even though to start I know most of the people reading this already know who I am) but in case someone stumbles upon my page that doesn’t know me, this is truly for you then.

My name is Erin Cross (formerly Erin Rafferty, hooray for being married for almost 2 years!) and I’m 24 years old. I can honestly say since the age of 5, I’ve loved to read and write. I probably had at least 20 different journals as a kid and constantly found new reasons to buy brand new ones. I used to wake up at 5 AM when I’d hear my mom get ready to go walking with her friend and I would secretly read in my room, talk about nerdy. I’m pretty sure I went to the public library at least once a week as a kid, and I would check out 3 or 4 books at a time. I always had my nose in a book, and somehow I also found time to play sports and be outside.

I’ve always been a tomboy, but a girly one at that. My mom used the term “tomboy with lip gloss” to explain the type of kid I was. I had my growth spurts early and I was awkward. I wore a size 8 shoe in the third grade…SERIOUSLY?! I haven’t grown an inch since I was 11, and while I was taller than most of the boys in my grade for most of my life, everyone finally caught up to me in size once we reached high school.

High school was an interesting time in my life. It was a roller coaster. I had great friends, but I also had some pretty brutal critics. I was good at appearing confident, but on the inside I was SO unsure of myself. I grew through my awkward stages and learned to enjoy the journey. I fell in love twice when I was young and was heartbroken twice at a fairly young age. I thought I knew everything and how I wanted my adult life to start and had those plans turned upside down.

Even with plans that were drastically changed, better things came out of it. I met my now husband because of one of life’s twists. I transferred to my dream college that I was denied entry to as a high school senior. I changed majors after taking 2 classes in the field I thought I wanted to pursue, and ended up learning a lot more about life with the route I took instead.

I graduated college and had the hardest time finding a job. I worked for someone that I didn’t really like and quit without having a back-up plan. I landed a job that same day I gave my notice. My second “big kid” job really challenged me. It wasn’t a position I planned on staying in for long but I had to create my own path to a different position. It treated me well but I realized I wasn’t being challenged in ways that I was dreaming to be challenged. I got my third big kid job and now I’m really trying to re-learn all the things that I was once so passionate about and it’s caused me to fall into this space, right here, writing.

I am not that different than most of the people my age. We’re at that point in our lives where we’re getting married or in serious relationships, starting families or launching our careers to all new heights. But there is something different about each person in this world and it’s our experiences and how we get through them that makes us all unique. We all see the world through our own lenses and if we could take the time to see the world through other people’s eyes, imagine what we would see. Things that we didn’t see as beautiful, we would now admire. Perspectives we wouldn’t of taken during a heated debate we could now appreciate. The list could go on and on, but we all have things to share with one another. My hope is that we could take the time to share these things among each other and appreciate everyone a little bit more.

I have experiences and stories that I think have helped make me who I am, and some of them I admit are entertaining and others make me cringe, but I’m ready to share it all! I also have so many thoughts about present day things that we all are dealing with and I want people to remember, they aren’t alone.

Welcome! Whether this is the only post you’ll ever read or if you decide to stay awhile, thank you and I hope to talk to you!

-E