Sunday, January 26, 2014

Maybe it was When We Brought Our Baby to a Bar

In the last few years, Nate and I have had several cousins that have had babies at a young age. Not so young that they are teen parents, but barely 21 to me is so young now. There's still a lot of growing up to do after 21 and even more after we become parents.

One of my biggest worries about becoming a parent was wondering if I could move past being so selfish and just always thinking about myself. At certain times I even wondered if I wanted kids because I enjoyed my freedom of doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Nate I think enjoyed that about ten times more than I did. We would not have made very good parents at 21. We were definitely not ready to grow up until years later and trust me we're still growing up.

However, we are all different people; we all grow up at different times in different ways. I think our own individual personalities too make a difference on when we're ready to accept different responsibilities that come in life. I have seen some of these young parents face parenthood in the adult grown up way that we expect of parents but others not so much.

Nate and I were almost thirty when we embarked on parenthood, possibly old to some's standards. Trust me thirty was a more appropriate age for us. I know lots of people that started their families in their early twenties and that choice worked well for them. They've proven their capabilities.

I would say the moment that slammed the reality home to us that our capabilities needed to improve themselves in the game of parenthood was when a week into parenthood, we brought our baby to a bar.

Now in our defense, we loved to go there for wings. Even though it was a very bar like atmosphere, we had seen kids in there a few times, and we figured since we went on a Sunday night it should be non bar like. Boy were we wrong. To make the embarrassment worse my parents were visiting us to see our baby girl. The place was hopping with loud music, people standing around the bar. Even though we got a booth, it was definitely the wrong place to go. I remember my dad giving us the you can't do things like you use to look and speech.

Parenthood is a lifestyle change. There is no doubt about that. It's giving up a level of freedom, it's giving up a part of yourself, it's willing to make sacrifices, it's thinking about how a decision will effect someone else besides yourself in the long run, it's compromise because whether you're married or not you're in this with someone else and you're going to have to learn to work together, and it's a commitment for the rest of your life. Sure they grow up, they move on, they become independent, but no matter their age we're always a parent. Our lives are forever different from the moment we see the positive pregnancy test and even more so when they place that baby in our arms. For most of us, it's a change we're willing to make from the start and is totally worth it. However, I see some struggle with this and the honest truth is no matter your age, when you become a parent, it's time to grow up whether you're ready or not.

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  1. Angela, great post! I agree when you become a parent, it's time to grow up whether you're ready or not.-Well said.

  2. LOL sorry but I just pictured the scene from sweet home alabama where Reese says "you have a baby in a bar!"

  3. I applaud you on waiting until you were ready to start a family.

  4. To each his own and in his or her own time, as you said. My husband and I have been together since we were 18. We are now 31 with beautiful 6-year-old twins and a 4-year-old. Parenting is insanely hard no matter what age it begins at and I applaud anyone for making a thoughtful decision as to when to have children, if at all. :)

    I am happy to have found your blog through the Monday hop and I hope you will come visit me as well -

  5. I see kids in the neighborhood bars all the time in Spain. They're usually well behaved. No one thinks anything of it. The whole family comes in and has something to drink (soda, coffee, wine depending) and visit with friends and then they leave. It's not unusual to see families with children out after midnight...but you don't see young families in discos or places like that.