My husband Jake and I are 23 and (almost) 22.
Jake turned 23 in June and I’ll turn 22 on the 16th of July. We’re young. In fact we’re so young that when people hear that we’re married they’re often surprised. Good for you guys getting married so young, that’s quite a commitment! They say.
When we tell them we have two kids they give us this look that’s a mix between stunned, with wide eyes and slightly flared nostrils, and judgmental- their eyebrows raised, lips slightly pursed.
Once we tell them about our kids it’s apparent that they’re automatically assuming we must have no idea how to use birth control (We do by the way).
I’ve noticed a recent trend in the world. Typically there seem to be two types of people with more than one child: the one in their early twenties that has had one (or maybe two or more) children out of wedlock, and the people who waited a while before having any kids and are now nearly 30 with little ones.
We fit the former.
When I was seventeen I got pregnant with my high school boyfriend’s baby. It was not a planned pregnancy, of course, but when you have sex pregnancy is a natural consequence.
After spending nearly my entire pregnancy in a back and forth game of “what the heck are we doing here” with my boyfriend, we split up.
Following our break up I had Easton. If you’re curious to know where we’re at now, we are in a co-parenting situation where he lives in one area and I live in another. Easton flies up to see him once a month for a week, and for the remainder of the time he stays with me.
Anyway, once we’d broken up I moved from Reno to Las Vegas with my parents. Several months after moving to Vegas (when Easton was about 8 months old) I met a guy and we started dating.
Our relationship progressed pretty quickly and we decided that we wanted to get married after only 2 months. That sounds crazy to a lot of people, but it’s pretty typical in LDS (Mormon) culture to only date for a short amount of time. We also knew each other from before dating and had a lot of the same friends. Plus, our families knew each other.
We got married only 4ish months after dating! We started dating in November and got married in March. It wasn’t rushed for any particularly huge reason other than we wanted his brother (who was leaving to serve a mission in March) to be at our wedding.
This seems like a crazy whirlwind, because it was, but it’s worked out really well for us so far. We’ve figured everything out together as a couple and we’ve definitely been met with our share of challenges so far in our marriage.
Like when we got pregnant.
Last March (2016) I found out that I was pregnant. Sadly only a few days after finding out I started to bleed. It wasn’t major, but any bleeding is concerning when you’re pregnant.
I called the doctor I hadn’t even seen yet and asked him what was going on. I’d never experienced a miscarriage and I hadn’t had any complications or issues with Easton so this was all new to me. The nurse on the line quickly brushed me off saying there was nothing they could do.
But then the bleeding stopped, so I thought it was fine! I stopped worrying about it.
And then two weeks later it started up again in full force and I miscarried.
While we hadn’t exactly been trying to get pregnant at this point, we hadn’t been preventing it from happening either. We’d only been married for a year, but we felt like we were pretty ready for a baby. Especially because we wanted our kids close together.
After miscarrying we sat down and really talked about whether we were ready or not. I was, Jake was a little less ready, but we decided to try and see what would happen.
I quickly got pregnant again and we had Lincoln in February (2017). It wasn’t exactly an easy pregnancy, and the delivery was a little complicated too, but Lincoln is the most amazing addition to our family.
I know that for a lot of people having two kids at 21 (almost 22) seems like complete craziness, but at this point we operate on craziness over here with these two boys. And there are a lot of benefits to having kids early.
First, we have a better chance at getting pregnant. I’m in my prime as far as baby making goes. It’d be easier for me to get pregnant now than it would be later on, biologically. So that alone is an advantage.
Along with that we have more energy right now. While I may be tired if I stay up late, wake up early, and am running around chasing kids all day, I can. It doesn’t totally wear me down to do it. There are days that I wake up and stay awake until 1 or 2 in the morning getting things done, then I wake up and do it all over again. And because I’m young, I don’t feel the effects of running on 5-6 hours of sleep as hard as I might if I were older.
One thing I get asked a lot is if I feel like I’m missing out on life experiences.
It’s true, I didn’t get the college experience most kids my age get and I also haven’t gotten to spend any time with my husband totally kid free. Plus, we’re young while our kids are young. This means we don’t have a ton of extra money and we’re not set in our careers. We also can’t afford to do the big beautiful nursery, to drive the super nice mom car, or to have the beautiful home to raise our kids in (at least not quite yet).
But, it also means that when our kids are out of the house we’ll still be able to travel, go out and do fun things, and we’ll have the money to do it. We’ll be able to travel and stay in nice hotels. We will be able to take our kids on trips when they’re older and able to appreciate where we’re going. We’ll have 20+ years of hard work and learning about life together, followed by the rest of our lives spent just enjoying each other’s company.
And as for the nice house, beautiful things, and extra money- we’re getting there. But we figure it out together as a couple, and with our kids, every day.
There are a lot of people our age who don’t feel ready to have kids. There are plenty of older people who don’t feel ready to have kids. And you know what, that’s great! People don’t need to have kids early if they don’t want to. But we did things differently, and it works for us.
We’re a happy family; that’s all that matters!