Does anyone else feel this way?

Good morning Nameberries,

I know this is a “name” site but I just had to make a post to get some advise.

I am 25, my husband 25 (almost 26) and this is our first baby/pregnancy. We both look naturally young. I get it.my husband can’t grow facial hair… we are both very short/thin.

This pregnancy was very well planned. We are married, have a home and we’re ready for this.

The looks/comments I’ve already been receiving from strangers has made me feel like im 16 and pregnant. I just know people are sitting there judging us thinking hmmm… definitely teen parents, definitely not planned, poor child.

We live in a very white collar town where yes, couples probably wait until they’ve gone to university for 7 plus years and wait until they are established. We may be considered younger then the average couple with children but I don’t know how to respond or feel in these situations. It bothers me, and i don’t want this to consume my life.

Please, is there anyone that has felt this way or has been in this situation. What should I do?

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Not been in exactly the same situation as you but I was also 25 when I had our first baby (hubs was nearly 30). I’ve found that I’m AT LEAST 8yrs younger- often 10+yrs- than most mums I’ve met through prenatal swimming classes/ Home birth workshop/ library baby groups etc. It can feel a bit isolating even when the other mums are friendly. It also took me really by surprise because I thought mid twenties was a normal age to start a family but apparently for a lot of people it is considered early.

If it really bothers you that other people are jumping to erroneous conclusions about your circumstances- and I can totally understand why it would start to grate- I would drop “my husband and I” and “we’re so grateful the timing worked out just as we planned” and “we always knew we wanted kids now in our mid twenties” or even “when I graduated university back in 2016” casually into conversation when you can.

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Thank you… I will try that. I just feel I haven’t been able to enjoy my pregnancy as much as I should. Maybe I’m just over paranoid now but it bothers my husband too. We don’t want to stand out in that way.

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Congratulations on your pregnancy! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Also congratulations on looking younger than you are, in a couple of decades this will feel a blessing and not the curse that it does right now! I had my son at 22 and I looked about 16! I had people ask if he was my brother. Some people will judge. It may help to say to yourself regularly that you are ready for this, you have planned for this, in specific statements like you have done here:

Personally I find that a little mantra like this helps focus on your own opinions and confidence and makes the outside world easier to brush aside when it is not helping me.

Another bonus is that you’ll be able to empathise with those mums and families who are judged for whatever reason, whether the judgement is a “good fit” or not. You may meet a very young mum or a mum on her mid 40s who could really do with your support against the “looks” and assumptions.

I’d also encourage you to think of alternatives to what others are thinking, as when we are worried about something, we have a tendency to interpret anything as evidence of that concern.
They could also be thinking,
“Goodness, her baby weight is all baby,” sadly envying that they got much bigger.
“I wonder where she got that maternity top from…”

I do hope some of the above makes you feel a little better. It’s so valid that it feels rubbish to be judged wrongly or judged full stop. I’m sorry that you are experiencing this.

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Edgeofthemeadow, thank you so much for this. I will try out these exercises next time I feel this way. Thank you for making me feel better :two_hearts:

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I have definitely felt this way as well! When dealing with infertility we even had a doctor tell us she would refuse to even look into any issues until my partner was at least 30 and married and wouldn’t give any treatment until she was 35 because she doesn’t believe anyone should even start trying for a baby until their in their 30s. I was shocked, and needless to say, we promptly found a new doctor. I am glad people are able to wait til later in life to start their families, but I just wish that didn’t also come with judgement to those of us who are ready younger. Plus even if the baby was a “surprise” that’s nobody’s business and still doesn’t make it any less wanted or exciting. I think it’s important to try to focus on your response rather than trying to change people’s minds because if you’re always trying to do that you’ll never get anywhere and will drive yourself insane. “You can’t choose the cards you’re dealt, only how you play them.” So I agree a lot with the person above me - focus on reminding yourself of the truth and reframing your thinking.

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Thank you so much… I needed to read that.

There are upsides and downsides to looking young. I’m in my mid 30s and definitely get an ego boost from guys in their 20s trying to hit on me :joy: but then again it was a struggle throughout much of my career thus far, when I met someone new they would often assume I’m more junior than I am, just because I’m short and young looking. Obviously it wouldn’t take long to get the message across, but still frustrating to deal with.

All you can do is accept the bad with the good. You are a healthy mom to be, in a happy loving marriage, ready for your baby! Congrats! And what other people might think is none of our business, lol.

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Yeah, I did! [name_f]My[/name_f] son was born prematurely and so was in nicu for 3 weeks and I was the youngest parent there. And I really looked the youngest too! I was 23, but I’m baby faced so I must’ve looked around 19. I missed out on a lot of info from the nurses as I guess they didn’t want to bombard me with technical words etc and I felt like I wasn’t getting the treatment the other, older nicu parents got. Sympathy smiles and judgy looks, although I didn’t really notice them til we both left and I could mull over it.

I still get looks now (I’m 25, my son is 20 months) but you just learn to not pay any attention. I am a single parent and I actually got a comment a few weeks ago while out with my sister (she’s 22, we both look young whereas I’m a single mum and she isn’t)… We were walking past a guy and he said, “single mums, shock!” and you just learn to either speak up or carry on like nothing happened.

I have a pandemic baby but when baby groups opened back up I never went to any of them. [name_m]Young[/name_m], unmarried mums are not a rarity here but married, older mums are still more common so I didn’t want any judgement, so I just avoided it completely.

Sorry I waffled. But focus on the positives. You’re having a baby, you’re able to financially support this child with your husband and this will be all that matters once baby is born. And honestly, I don’t think you’ll care or pay any attention to the negatives when you’re in that baby bubble.

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Loving the positivity!! Thank you both very much. I fel better about everything!

I got this a lot when I had my first baby at 25…especially working at a nursing home! It can be a little frustrating, but I always tried to see the positive side of it. I looked young for my age and healthy. What people think really has no bearing on your reality, so kill them with kindness and indifference. I even started to let myself have fun with it…New patients would assume I was a volunteer from a local high school or college. Nope, I’m a pregnant adult AND your healthcare provider - Now let’s get you well!

Once your baby arrives and you find your core of moms, I’ve found age doesn’t matter a lick. [name_f]My[/name_f] daughter’s first best friend had a mom nearly 15 years my senior. We were both in love with our girls, tired as heck, and had plenty in common to talk about.

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First, congrats on the pregnancy!!

Not a parent but it was similar situation when my mom was pregnant with me, my mom and dad were 23 when I was born, they were married already and I came just a few months after their first anniversary. [name_f]My[/name_f] mom right now can easily pass for early 30s but when she was pregnant with me and my sister whose 13m younger than me (and a few years later when my mom had my baby sis too), she looked like a teenager, it doesn’t help that she’s very petite and short. She’s always looked younger and even now gets mistaken for my sister, she says she always hated those looks even though she wasn’t doing anything wrong in the eyes on anyone at all. She said after a while, despite not liking the looks, you just kinda learn to ignore it, you’re not doing anything wrong in the eyes of anybody, they’re the ones who decided to be rude and stare and judge you simply based off looks. Now she’s happy about the fact that she has a near adult and can still pass as their sister and the fact that she looks younger than her age.

What she would do that usually got the attention pretty quick was a random flash of the wedding ring, that usually shut them up pretty quick :sweat_smile: randomly dropping little ques into conversation, mentioning how long you’ve been married, how excited/long you’ve waited and how you’re ready for the baby, etc just random little ques that subvert they’re thoughts. Also recommend that you work to focus on the amazing positives! The fact that you’re having a baby, you’ll younger when you get older, everything that’s so so amazing and exciting about having a baby! Sorry if this doesn’t help, not a parent but thought I’d put my 2 cents in on what my mom did :blush:

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I was 32 when I had my first, so def not in the same boat as you, but I also think… this is just the start of “being a Mum”.

It sort of felt to me, and maybe I was just insecure and totally inagined it all, but it felt/feels like becoming a Mum suddenly opens you up to all sorts of judgments.

Honestly, probably most looks you get, esp from other Mums, are actually “hell, I remember how uncomfortable pregnancy felt”, or “how exciting to be having a new baby”.

But it also feels like as soon as you’re a Mum everyone MIGHT be judging you on everything. Whether you’re too old or young to be having kids. That you’re a terrible person for having one sip of your partner’s beer while pregnant. Whether you’re using cloth or disposable nappies, co-sleeping or sleep training, how your child behaves in public and how you respond, etc etc. So you kind of just have to have a lot of faith in yourself and a thick skin about it. Be gentle with yourself and try to stop worrying what anyone else does or might be thinking, if that makes sense? While also advocating for yourself when necessary - what @eireann said about not getting the full medical info makes me so sad and angry!

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I was 25 and my partner 20 when we were pregnant with our first but this was the UK and I would say we didn’t get any judgement. I am sorry you are getting some funny looks. It’s not anyone’s business!

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