In Her Own Words:
I am thankful that parenthood came along when it did for a couple of reasons. One is that female fertility starts declining in our late 20s, making a more dramatic drop after age 35. And with each year that passes, mucous monitoring, thermometer checking, calendar marking and lovemaking by schedule become more important to conception. And if there’s one thing at which this couple has always failed miserably, it’s planning (‘Grocery lists? But why?’).
Another plus about getting pregnant in your mid-20s is that you’re uniquely equipped to deal with the demands made on you by the new chief executive in your home. You’re old enough to be done with quasi-teenage rebellion but young enough that…well, you’re used to being bossed around. I was an editorial assistant when I got pregnant. Filing, filling out other people’s expense reports, ordering loot bags for my boss’s sons’ birthday parties, picking up coffee for boardroom meetings, sticking around “til 7:15 p.m. to make the last dash to the FedEx depot at night were all part of my workday. The minutiae of a worker drone’s days are remarkably similar to that of a new mom: tired, overworked, at someone else’s constant beck and call. (Try adjusting to that when you’re used to calling the shots all day at the office.)
From the moment your baby arrives, it’s not about you anymore. Someone else’s needs become your top priority; someone else’s whims and moods will affect how good you feel about your day (and your worth as an employee ““ or mother). In your 20s, none of this causes a major identity crisis. For most of us, it’s actually business as usual, only for a cuter, more squeezable boss…In my experience, having a baby when I did was as seamless as nature could intend. Even if we didn’t plan it that way. Or at all. Serendipity is what it came down to, and I think anyone (with or without kids, partnered or single) would agree that your 20s are a wonderful time for that.
Yuki Hayashi is a Hamilton, Ont.-based writer and mom to Esme, 5.
Are you a newly pregnant twentysomething? Canadian Family says:
1. It’s okay not to be in synch with other, childless 20-something friends and couples and to carve your own path.
2. Those in their 20s are already well-accustomed to handling someone else’s needs, so it may be an easier transition than you think.
3. You will have to make a way to make smaller budgets work for you, since typically you will not be in the height of your career at this point.