Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A quick maturation

We had the missionaries over for Easter dinner (an excuse for me to go all out with ham, potatoes, and a orange chiffon cake) and I jokingly gave them the advice to not put off having kids. I said it because I am a firm believer that having a child makes life richer, fuller than you could ever imagine. Not to say life can't be full without them, just that I think people underestimate how awesome having a kid is.

One of the missionaries, who happens to be a little blunt and outspoken said, "Actually I think it's important to wait to have kids until you are mature enough. I don't think people should have them young..." He continued on and I was in awe at his inability to recognize social ettiquette.

His comment rubbed me the wrong way mainly because we are obviously "young parents" and here he was saying without apology that it would have been better for us to wait until we were more mature.

My mind festered on this idea of waiting for maturity all evening and finally I vented to Kyle my conclusion.

I dislike that people think it's necessary to wait until you are mature enough to have kids. Because really, what is the cutoff. How do you know? Yes, I think a certain level of maturity is necessary, but in large part I think children bring with them a quick guide on how to be mature as an adult.

He was right, selfishness is out the door when you have children. It's not all about you and what you want anymore. You have to consider saving in the long term and how your actions now will affect your children later.

Nothing is greater and requires a speedy natural maturation more than having another human being rely soley upon you. 

Can you mature without having a child, of course. But I think the process is a little bit longer. A child speeds up the process considerably and it is wonderful to discover hidden fountains of responsibility within.

So I stick to my original statement that there is no reason to put off having kids. Obviously have them when you feel ready, but ready looks different to everyone so don't tell those who had them young that they should have waited and "enjoyed" life a little longer.

Because this little boy brings the greatest joy I have ever known.


  1. I couldn't agree more. Well said. Sometimes I have a chip on my shoulder when people give me a funny look at the store or something. I'm a young mom, but not by accident. I chose it! And I'm proud of it. I'm glad you are too.

  2. I don't want to be an instigator here, but I think maybe he had a little bit of a point. And you do too.

    There are some people (like you) who have kids when they're young and mature ENOUGH. That means that when they have a kid, that maturation process is in a snowball effect. You have a kid and it matures you even more than you already were.

    There are other people who have kids when they're young and not mature at all. You hope that having a kid will snap them into reality and make them grow up a little bit, but it doesn't happen. Thus, that child has a home with parents who aren't ready to be parents and don't treat them with as much love and care as they should.

    Maybe that's what he was trying to say and he just didn't have the right words to make it clear. I'm sure he wasn't trying to offend.

  3. I agree with Kristin on both counts. I also don't think it should be anyone else's responsibility to tell someone when they should or should not have kids (ie, "Don't put off having kids" or "Wait a few years"). Having children is such a PERSONAL decision and, as you know from experience, does not always go as planned. (In fact, I think RARELY does it go as planned.) You never know when you could really hurt someone by telling them they should have kids, when maybe they've been trying unsuccessfully for a few years, or even just a few months.

  4. Thanks girls for the insight, I definitely thought of those things when writing but obviously didnt make it clear enough what point I was trying to make. Mainly that I dislike when people tell me I should have waited either to mature more or to "enjoy" my life more, with the underlying message that you cannot be ready if you are under 25 or something.... I am glad though for your thoughful comments :)

  5. OMG! First, I'm absolutely surprised that he had the guts to say that aloud. To a stranger. And he's a missionary. He shouldn't be thinking about babies just yet! Secondly, bravo for holding your tongue. Some days, I don't have the strength to do so. Especially if I had just made such a delicious sounding dinner. And, last but not least, amen to your maturing comment. Some people, though they've had kids, certainly missed the memo that you need to be completely selfless when you have kids. At least until you've got them in college. :)