Being a Young Parent
Berkeley Parents Network >
All Kinds of Families >
Being a Young Parent
I hope this doesn't sound ridiculous...
But I am 24 and just had my first son. He was an unplanned
surprise but wonderful and we love him all the same.
However, I feel like in the Bay Area so many people look
at me like I had a baby at 16!
I have attended numerous mom's groups and made an effort
to reach out to other mother's (most of whom are 8 to 10
years older than me) and I feel like they do not
reciprocate, or if they do they treat me like a child.
Yesterday, I went to a new mom's group and a women
actually asked me, ''How do you afford to have a child at
your age?'' I was shocked! First of all, Both my husband
and I have college degrees and have careers. We are
financially stable and my son is not suffering because of
my age! However, I feel like so many women think that he
is and frankly, it makes me feel like an outcast.
So my question is where do I go to find mom's who can be
supportive and accepting of me and my child without
judgement? I am not a teen mother and although I may be on
the younger side I am completely comfortable with my
choice to be a mom.
All I want is for other mom's to give me the respect and
consideration that they do the other moms because I want
my son to be able to play with the neighborhood children
when he gets older and not be the ''kid with the young
Thanks for the advice
Hang in there, young mom. I also had my first child at 24
(my husband was 12 years older). I looked very young, and in
my daughter's co-op preschool, I was tied for youngest
parent in 27 families. I mostly got a kick out of being the
baby, and now that I've remarried and have a 4-year-old (I'm
45 now) I miss those days! Now I'm the old mom, and frankly,
a little envious of the young ones, who have the time to
have another child close in age to their first, and who have
more of their lives ahead of them.
I suspect some of those moms who are being rude are having
similar feelings, but you're going to find people who are
jerks regardless of the reason. Just keep searching until
you find people you click with. They may or may not be your
age; I had plenty of friends who were 8-10 years older than
me. I don't have specific ideas for you, other than
persistence (co-op preschools can be great ways to meet
people, but since you mentioned a career that might not be
an option for you).
Now that I'm 45, I still have to work to find other
parent-friends. Maybe it's because I'm older than them and
they're not interested.
being a young mom is great
Hay, wanna hang with me? I was 45 when I had my youngest &
people ask if they are my grand kids. I would love to know the
cultural everythings etc involved in being a parent all that
time! Funny, I thought 24 was when you were ''supposed'' to have
kids! Maybe North Berkeley is a younger crowd!
We have parks! Come here!
First, I want to say that I completely sympathize. I had my son when I was 25
and I also felt basically like an outcast and a teen mom. I think once someone
thought I was the nanny. I joined a mom's group and everyone was 7-10
years older than me and it was very hard to make friends. My son is 8 now
and I still have a lot of trouble relating to his friends' parents.
I don't have a lot of good advice about meeting other young moms - I wasn't
really able to find them. The local playgrounds can be good (I went to totland
recently with a friend and it was nice), I met some nice people through a kid's
music class and I also met a lot of nice parents when my son started
preschool. I think the key is more than age, finding people who share your
values and people you can relate to.
Also even though I wanted to have a baby it took me a while to grow into
being a parent and a confident mom. As I became more confident in my
abilities as a mom I began to care less about the weird things people said to
me, which I realize now were often projections of their own issues about age
or just a general lack of tact. It's tough and I feel for you - being a young
mom here can be very isolating.
Best of luck and I hope you meet some great people!
Oh I'm so sorry! I had my daughter at age 25, and I have never heard
comments like that and would have been shocked if I had.
I did notice just recently that perhaps I will be the ''young mom'' in certain
situations. My daughter is taking swimming lessons, and while the kids
are all around her age, the moms are all much older than me.
I always wanted to be a young mom, so it doesn't bother me but it surely
would bother me to get comments like you have received.
I'm sorry I don't have any advice but just wanted to let you know that there
are other happy young moms out there!:)
Congratulations on your baby! Just want to offer that it is
easy to feel like a younger mom when living in the East Bay.
I was 30 when my first child was born and even then I felt
and looked young given that there are so many older parents
in that part of the world. No judgment on older vs younger
parents, just saying that if you leave the East Bay, you'll
notice that the parents in most places are a lot younger.
It's all a matter of perspective and surroundings!
I don't have any very useful advice, but I wanted to
reassure you that even though I had my first at 30, I also
had a terrible time in moms' groups and wondered why I was
having such a hard time connecting with other moms. I have
heard the same thing from so many of my friends. Maybe
we're just a band of misfits, but I don't think so. I have
been a mom for 9 years and now I have a nice group of mom
friends and mostly feel comfortable in kid group settings.
At least not terribly uncomfortable. I never got the kinds
of comments you did (unbelievable!) but heard all kinds of
other judgmental and annoying things (some equally
unbelievable), as have most moms I think. Maybe it's
because becoming a mother is a time of vulnerability and
stress and sleep deprivation, so people are less kind than
they should be? Who knows!? But don't let it get you down!
I'm sure you'll find some awesome mamas out there soon who
won't think twice about your age, but I know from experience
that it can take quite a bit of time to find a group of moms
that you really enjoy being around.
-Give it time and try to make like teflon.
I know how you feel! I had my little girl at 24 and my son at 26. They're 3 and 1
1/2 now and I still don't have as many mom friends as I would like. But there is
hope! There are folks out there who don't care about age, unfortunately there
aren't really meeting for these folks. It just takes time. You'll go to the park
strike up a conversation with someone and things will click and you'll exchange
info and hope you get some play dates. It's slow and lonely, but over time it'll
get better. Oh, and none of my friends have kids (or are married for that matter)
but they come around too. Some of my single friends even offer to watch my
kiddos every now and then. Good luck!
So sorry to hear that people are being so crappy. It
figures that in the ''liberal'' Bay Area, people are so
judgmental of other people's choices. Those other Mamas are
probably just jealous that they didn't have their lives
together enough to start their family when they were younger.
I'm curious to know if you are actually in Berkeley proper
or in a neighboring city. I ask because, although I am not
a younger mom (I am 33), I found that people in Berkeley
were a lot harder to connect with than people in neighboring
cities. I moved to El Cerrito and am in Moms group here
that seems more accepting and although most of us are closer
my age, I think you would feel more welcome. Also, there are
some women who have much older children so they started
their families when they were closer to your age.
Feel free to PM me through the moderator if you want the
info on this group. There are people who do not live in El
Cerrito. Also, if you ever want to hang with someone who
doesn't care how old you are feel free to give me a shout.
I'm about to be out of town for an extended time (through
the end of the year) but am around after that. Hang in
there. Im sure you are a great Mom!
A friendly Mama
I wish I had resources for you! I was looking for a Birth to
Three group around here for you but can't seem to find one,
maybe I'm missing it though. My mother and sister had kids
starting at 24/25 and they are great moms, just as you sound
like. I'm sorry you've been meeting moms who aren't as
supportive. You sound mature and obviously love your son
which is what counts most. Good luck and next time someone
asks silly questions like that, you should ask them how they
afford to have a kid being so old. Maybe they'll see how
ridiculous a question it is.
Moms rock no matter what age
i loved your post!!! as an older mom (first child at 38), i
have to admit, i probably have been guilty of the things you
mentioned (though i never would be so presumptuous as to say
anything to someone's face.) i don't have specific advice
for you about where to find the right people, but i did want
to say that most of the older moms you are talking about are
really just reflecting on their own immaturity or financial
instability when they were your age. i definitely could not
have managed having a child at that age because i was a mess
back then. so perhaps when you get that judgmental vibe from
someone, just try to remember that it's a projection of
their own stuff.
i think if you just hold your ground (and by that, i mean,
just keep going to those groups and participating in spite
of the judgment), you'll find that as other moms get to know
you a bit some of them will let go of the assumptions. the
ones that don't will get weeded out of your inner circle as
time goes on. and when someone says something like ''how do
you afford it?'' just be confident and say ''the same way you
do- i work.''
thanks for your post. i'll definitely remember it next time
i hang out with a younger mom....
Funny how our differences can make us feel bad. I was
married at 22 and just yesterday two women told me at the
same time, I was way too young to get married. Um, ladies,
that's for me to decide. Well, now I'm a new mom too-nine
years older than you- and I remember that in my twenties
what people said to me really got under my skin. Now, not
as much. I just laughed at those women and said to myself -
you must not know me very well and why would you say that?
I really don't think that those women were trying to hurt
you. I know it's not fair to be categorized as a kid at 24,
but it happens in other places too (like work). Maybe it
really is more common for a lot of moms around here to be a
bit older, but not exclusively. Perhaps you can look for a
mom or two in your mid-twenties to meet up with if that
helps you feel less isolated. Keep going to the mom's
group though, they will eventually start to shed their
biases. For now, I think you need to start self-validating
yourself, not look to them for approval and just focus on
being the wonderful mom you are. And when the older ones
say something callous, you can just say something like,
''Right! Because I'm so incredibly young and fit, during
delivery my baby just shot out of me in about an hour, I
have absolutely no stretch marks and bounced back to my
original weight in 1 month! And I have soooooooo much time
to decide if I want another!''
Honestly I don't even know where to start except to say that I felt like you were
writing about me!
My husband and I chose to have our first child when I was in law school at 23.
He was 25. We wanted to be young parents and build our careers around the
kids, not try to fit kids in later. Now in our late 30s we have a high school
student and junior high student and are easily 10-15 years younger than most
of their friends parents. I had no mom's group when either was little because I
was treated exactly as you describe. In our birthing class for the first child no
one spoke to us, we were treated like unwed teen parents. Even now it can be
difficult to connect with other families at our children's grade level - most of
the people our age have pre-school or kindergarten kids!
We do have a lot of friends and I have to say the vast majority are people we
have connected with based on our interests, not just through the kids, though
there is some overlap. Being a part of other social organizations or even
religious communities helps because it provides a broader group of people to
The fact is that it may well be financially harder to have kids young, but you can
always respond with a nice retort like, ''well we all make choices based on what
works best for us.'' Or one of my responses was always, ''babies don't really
need a lot of fancy stuff.'' Remember also that when these people are sending
kids off to college at 60+, you will be in your early 40s! Also - don't let anyone
tell you that you don't know what you are doing as a parent because you are too
young - you have exactly as much parenting experience as anyone else with a
child the same age as yours - you just have less life baggage!
I was 28 when I had my son and I still feel like the
youngest mom I meet, even now at 30. It just seems to be the
case that most of the moms in the bay area wait until they
are in their mid to late 30s before having kids.
There definitely are younger moms around, they probably just
don't say their age to anyone (I think most other moms just
think I look good for my age). I don't have any advice,
except not to bring up your age, and if asked (I still can't
believe people think it's okay to ask anyone their age once
you're not a kid.) be vague. Then it's not an issue, or
they're the jerk for making it an issue.
I'm sorry you're having a hard time finding your group of
moms, but seriously, keep trying! There are accepting and
young moms around, you just need to look in different
places. I found a great group of moms through my
neighborhood listserv, my neighbors happen to have a son the
same age as my son, and a bunch of friends of friends have
kids the same age. Somehow all of these different people
have turned out to be great people to bond with over
parenthood. We don't even talk about our ages, but there's a
range from 26 to 42.
Also, have you read www.girlsgonechild.net ? She's a blogger
who got unexpectedly pregnant at 23 - she now has several
more children, but she wrote some great stuff about being a
young mom in LA, where most moms were in their late 30s.
Hopefully you can find some mom/parent friends who you can
bond with! Good luck!
The woman who asked you how you and your husband could
afford to have a child at the age of 24, was being rude!
Having said that, as an older mom, I think you might be
being a little defensive. While 24 is young for first-time
moms by Berkeley standards, it is pretty standard for many
parts of the country, including some communities in the
Why are you broadcasting your age, anyway? (Not that our
ages are anything to be ashamed of, but I don't know the
ages of many of my mom friends and acquaintances -- it
just doesn't come up in conversation very often.)
I do know that when I meet a young mom, such as yourself,
it's ME who feels self-conscious and defensive! I worry
that it's youthful, fresh-loooking you that would be
judgmental and find me old and out-of-touch and generally
too un-hip to be your friend. Maybe some of these older
moms feel similarly defensive?
I think you should let this go (minus the rude comments of
course) and be open to being friends of new moms of all
Older mom who colors her hair!
I experienced the same exact thing when I was your age. I
turned 23 right after my first baby was born, and I was 26
when I had my second. I have always looked pretty young. At
the time, I was married (to an older man), we had a house,
and I was a stay-at-home mom. People would ask me if my
daughter was my little sister. I would often hear, ''Wow, I
couldn't have had a baby at your age!!'' People would shake
their head at me and give me looks like I was a single
teenage mom on welfare who didn't know any better. Luckily,
I made friends with a wonderful woman who was also having
her first baby. She is 14 years older than me and has been
my best friend ever since.
Ironically, I turned 40 last year and gave birth to my third
baby. Now I'm on the other side of it as an older mom. Most
people I interact with are younger than me. Although you
would probably rather hang out with moms closer to your age
and also first time moms, I would like to ''pay it forward''
and offer my ''new mom'' companionship. What I realized when I
read your post is that regardless of age, new moms are on a
level playing field. Even though I have older kids, its been
14 years since I had a baby and there's a lot I don't
remember. Please contact the moderator for my email if you
would like to get together!
new old mom
Ignore them. Don't let their attitudes bother you. I am
an older mom, had my daughter at almost 37 YO. I see
mothers like you every now and then, do a double take and
wonder to myself about who these women are
ONLY because I'm amazed to see someone so young who is
mature enough to start a family--because at your age I
acted like a college kid at best, was nowhere near mature
or responsible enough to raise a child. To be honest, I'm
a little (OK, a lot) jealous of women like you who start
their families young, for all sorts of reasons: you have
more energy, you can take your time to have additional
children without worrying about that unforgiving
biological clock, you'll still have many years ahead of
you when your child graduates from college, you might get
to enjoy grandchildren. I imagine the reactions you're
getting are just disguised envy, and if you really are
getting judgments, then their opinions aren't worth
worrying about anyway (something you learn as you get
I want to say also I think you're giving your son a huge
gift by having him young. My parents were your age when
they had us and it is so nice to still have them be so
vital - they have the health and the energy to do all
sorts of things including travel and hike with us, help
out with my daughter (and my sister's new baby). It's a
gift I'm infinitely grateful for, and a child of older
parents probably won't get to have this.
You have my respect and admiration!
late bloomer older mom
I have a group of moms (of all ages) that get together to
support one another, walk together or for nights out without
the babes. Our babies were born between February and June
2011. If you are interested in getting together, contact me
and I'll connect you with the group.
Hi Young-ish mama,
Congratulations on the birth of your son! I'm sorry to
hear that you've had some less than supportive experiences
with other moms regarding your age. I'd love to have you
attend the new moms' support group that I facilitate at
Banana's in Oakland. My next series starts the first
Tuesday in November (and runs for three weeks). We meet
from 10:30 - noon. Moms of all ages are welcome and
encouraged to attend.
Please find more information (and to register for the
group) on the Bananas website (www.bananasinc.org). You
can also get more information about my group and the other
services that I offer as a New Parent Coach on my website
(www.newparentcoach.com). I hope to meet you and your son
That sucks. Sounds like they are possibly projecting their
issues onto you. Maybe a change of scene is needed or an
expansion. I understand both sides. I had my first at 26yo,
second 17months later.
I am now 31 with two close groups of friends my age; one
WITH, one WITHOUT kids.
WITHOUT are stressing about having
only 5 or so years left of ideal baby carrying. We all have
degrees, some nurses, one even an OBGYN/L&D Nrs Pract. All
raised American, independent, strong-willed, and most are
1st generation (from around the world). We were raised to
get an education, career, and somehow figure out a family.
In contrast to our parents: my mom was raised to be a mother
& a wife. Our parents strove to provide opportunity/choices.
But is this better?
WITH are Muslim. Raised American, some 1st generation, all
varying ethnicities. We met before our kids existed and
there was never a plan although our eldest kids were born
the same year, with myself leading the second round.
I don't believe either one is BETTER. It is a personal
choice. I'm very thankful to have 'gotten my kids out of the
way'. I'm not stressing about settling down and producing a
kid or two on a deadline. I also knew I didn't want to be an
old parent; calculating the oldest I would be comfortable
being when my kids are 18-21yo. But that's me. I'm friends
with older moms, too, who respect my parenting, regardless
of age. Just because one person didn't feel prepared/capable
to have a child is no reflection of you!
Should every aspect of your life be "planned". Does it
really work out that way? Is a person bad if they didn't
share your plan?
Sometimes religious/philosophical/cultural paradigms shape
our views to the extreme - when we not only live our lives
by them, but judge others against them. If you're having
difficulty clicking with your neighborhood, try a different
approach. Make a commitment to attend ONE parent & kid
interest group meeting/playgroup. A nurturing connection is
worth driving to. If age seems to be the great divide in
your 'hood, scope out different ethnic/cultural groups at
the playground, talk to moms at the supermarket who are
under 35-40. There's usually more in common than one would
think. I don't get along with everyone, but have found most
moms to be happy to interact. Make an effort to connect with
moms who are approachable about ANYTHING (don't worry too
much about seeming creepy/desperate/neglected).
After practicing, you'll be able to radar a possible
What about participating in something social for yourself,
where you can build friendships based on YOU? (My whole
family benefits from this!) That's potentially kid-friendly,
but not kid-oriented?
Best of Luck!
malama pono na keiki
I know how you feel. My husband and I were 25 when we had our
first son (we are now 27 and on baby #2). We both have college
degrees (the hubbs is a PhD) but people here tend to think we
are SUPER young. I know how frustrating it can be. I wanted to
invite you to a moms group we are starting. We are having our
first meeting on Tuesday Oct. 25th at 9! It will be held at
1221 Marin in Albany! We have some great women who will be
there. If you can't make it to that, feel free to contact me
and I would love to hang out sometime!
I want to hug you! I can 150% relate to your post! I got married the summer
I turned 23 to my husband, a PhD student at UC Berkeley. We also had an
unplanned but very welcome pregnancy quite shortly thereafter. Like you, I
was 24 when my son was born. This is actually a very normal age to have a
first child in many places in the States. I come from the East Coast where it
is very normal- my own mother was married with 2 kids by age 24. When
she would visit me and we'd go to baby venues in the bay area she would be
astonished by how old all the moms were. She'd say ''oh my gosh that
woman is MY age with a baby!'' And I'd be like ''yep... that's Berkeley.'' I too
tried some mother's groups but found it impossible to fit in with a bunch of
40 yr old first time moms. We were at different places.. and I hated feeling
that they viewed me as some kind of teen mom or something- as if I had
been irresponsible. The reality is: I had a baby at the age my body was most
capable of supporting a healthy pregnancy and birth. I will not be in a
nursing home when my grandchild is born. I will have energy to parent
through the years and that's a huge advantage. -I don't have anything
against older parents- but it has its negatives, just as younger parenting has
its own pros and cons, and I hate this snide attitude from some of the
culture of older Bay Area parents.
I felt very isolated as a new mom in Berkeley. Currently I am 26 and mom of
two now (second baby was planned). I never did find other moms my age to
connect with in the Bay Area, and a month ago my husband finished his PhD
and we moved back to the East Coast for a job close to my parents. I have
been kind of in shock since arriving- nearly all the moms I meet are my age!
I have made several friends already. It's been nice.
I don't know what to advise if you plan to stay in the Bay Area in terms of
meeting other moms and playmates for your child. But I can highly
recommend an online forum I joined when my son was 6 months old to
combat the isolation I felt. While the site is geared at supporting teen
moms, there is a strong community of young but NOT teen moms there as
well. In fact, most the moms on the site are in their mid 20s. It has been a
life saver for me and I made lasting friendships there. The site is
Also feel free to request my email from the mods if you'd like to talk.
Ha, did I just go back in time 7 years and wrote your
post? My situation was identical to yours in many ways
(although it was a deliberate choice for me to have my
first kid at 24): college educated, successful career,
etc., etc. And yes, all mothers I've met were 8-15 years
older than me. As a result, it's always been hard to
connect with other parents, be it at a playground or in my
kids' schools (I have two now) and I am absolutely certain
it's due to the age difference. I remember when I turned
30, some sensitive specimen said as a joke: ''Now you can
legally have children''. Obviously, today this continues to
be an issue as parents of my son's peers are still 8-15
years older than me and he is still a ''kid with a young
mother''. But it's definitely not as bad as it used to be -
the diference between 25 and 35 seems to be far greater
than the one between 35 and 45. Over the years I've
developed a close friendship with one mom (who is 10 years
my senior, but neither one of us remembers that), but it
takes time. Other than that, I make an effort (which is
all I can control in this situation) to maintain
superficial friendships with many parents for my son's
sake, so he can have playdates with his friends, etc. and
I have enough childless friends of my age to fulfill my
own needs. Not ideal, but what can you do...
Wish my old 24-year-old self could hang out with you
Hi Youngish mom!
I'm also young mom (turning 24 next month). I have a one
year old daughter and I am also looking for younger mom's
to get together with. (I have also felt the judgement
about being a ''young'' mom). So maybe we should get
together! Good luck!
I am 40 now, 1st kid at 34 and 2nd on the way. I wanted to
send you a virutal hug right away when I read your post
because I know the kind of insensitivity people can show
new moms, especially younger moms.
You have gotten a lot of great responses so far. Most of
which were spot on.
I agree the negative comments you are getting are from
folks projecting their own insecurities.
The only bit of advice I (partially) disagree with is to
stick with your moms groups because people will bring
their guard down/get to know you better/ etc. They may or
Mom's groups come in all flavors and varieties. Run in the
opposite direction if it is clear you are not clicking
with these mamas. There will be other opportunities and
other groups. I was in a new mom's group when my son was
just born and I realized the only thing we had in common
was our kids were born within a few months of each other.
We had extremely varying viewpoints on a whole host of
parenting topics. I was really uncomfortable for a while
until my mom suggested it would be ok for me to stop going.
In your post you said you have already been to several
moms groups. My advice to you is to keep looking until you
find the Mamas who appreciate you and your point of view.
If you haven't tried them yet and are interested, LaLeche
is great for nursing moms. or you may have better luck
starting with one other mom and building from there. I
don't know why, but as another person said, it takes a
Good luck and know you have a lot of folks rooting for you!
Honestly I have not attempted any mom support groups, however I can
definitely relate. I'm 23 turning 24 next month with a 7 week
old. While pregnant I just had this feeling like '' I know I'm 23 but
I feel like a teen mom'' I was really aware of this feeling but not
sure where it was coming from.
Currently with all these advances in fertility treatments, older women
are able to get pregnant. Also here in the bay area there a lot
''professional'' women who wait later in life to have kids. So it
seems like we are the exception and not the rule.
I am confident that with all the love I have for my son, he will be well
taken care of. I think there is so much superficiality and competitiveness
that anything other than ''normal'' is looked down upon.
Sorry I can't offer you a specific group. But hopefully I'm not telling
anything new, you love your baby, your husband loves you and your baby
and you'll do anything to give him the best so he'll do great and so will
Well, my first thought was, why not start your own moms'
group? Post something here on BPN looking for other moms in
their 20's, and you will undoubtedly find some. You are a
rarity but not alone!
Second, I would suggest that insofar as you are able, you
should hear these other moms' comments as reflections on
their own lives, not yours. When someone says, How can you
afford kids at your age, she is really saying, I could not
have afforded kids at your age (because I was sleeping on a
futon in a flophouse with 6 roommates while screwing Mr.
Wrong and waiting for someone to tell me what to do with my
life). As a mom who had my first at 35, I imagine that most
of the judgment you are hearing is due to these women being
thoughtless, not malicious or consciously judgmental. Some
of it might even be other moms' awkward way of expressing
admiration or envy. I doubt very much that anyone actually
thinks your child is suffering b/c of your age! That's nuts.
And anyone who would actually think that wouldn't be worth
having as a friend anyway. Maybe you could practice some
gentle ways of directing these women's attention to their
insensitivity by re-directing the conversation back to them.
So when someone says, how do you afford kids at your age,
you say, my husband and I haven't found it that hard. Why?
What was it like for you at this age? And who knows? Maybe
someone out there will surprise you by confiding in you
about her sordid, difficult past and a friendship will be
born. Honestly, I believe that new moms have so much in
common just based on being moms. Focus on that and don't
give up. It is WORTH IT to find mom friends who really work
for you - my mom friends are absolutely my sanity, and it
has been well worth going out of my way to get to know them
(and also well worth putting up with weird crap from moms I
didn't click with. That judgmental stuff can happen to
anyone of any age...)
Finally, if the age discussions are really just causing you
a lot of pain, go out of your way to avoid them. My mom was
a SAHM in the 70's who also happened to have a Ph.D. in
chemistry. She found out very quickly that as soon as other
moms found out she had a Ph.D. they stopped being her
friend. So she actively hid her education and her brainy
side. I remember being horrified as a feminist teenager when
she told me that. But she didn't (doesn't) regret it. It was
too important to her not to go through motherhood alone and
without friends. And honestly, when she got to know a person
really well, they didn't care anymore that she's a total
Good luck finding your niche. And thanks for posting. I will
be more careful in the ways I admire young moms in future.
an older mommy
I had my first child at age 30 so while I'm not in your
shoes, I do have a solution for you.
Make Mormon mommy friends. I am not kidding. When my twins
were in kindergarten they befriended another set of twins.
Their family is Mormon and the mom has 4 sisters. I've
become close friends with the mom and friendly with the
sisters and their families. Most Mormons start their
families young -- my friend had her first at 25 -- and they
are so much fun! They are welcoming, there are always a
zillion cousins or friends around and I just don't see them
In fact, we spent 4 July with their extended clan this year.
Huge BBQ, softball tournament, swimming.
I work FT and most Mormon mommies don't but this doesn't
seem to bother them -- their husband work a lot and we have
dinner together at least one a week while the kids run
around. My kids are 9, 9 and 13 now.
And as an upside, they know tons of people and always have a
sitter to refer. Of course my 13 year old now babysits for
Good luck to you!
I know you already have received many responses to your post, but I
feel a need to chime in! I was also a young mother (27 years old,
gasp!), and also felt at a loss amongst the other new mothers. Though
my husband was more the age of what seemed like most first time
mothers in Berkeley (39), I still felt I was in such a different place
than them all. A ''young'' mother by choice (though people always
assume it was an unplanned pregnancy, being sooo young of course), a
new graduate student (poor student income), most of my friends still
single or without children yet.... yes I felt out of touch and very
A lot of that changed when I decided to move past my own insecurities,
and tried to find things that I DID have in common with the older
mothers. There were things I couldn't talk about (discussing how easy
it was for you to get pregnant is not always the best topic when in
the company of older moms), and discussions I couldn't partake in
(older moms DO tend to have more financial stability, so I often was
left out of those housekeeper versus mother helper discussions), but
there was plenty in between. My true friendships didn't form with the
other moms until my son started preschool. That gives you a LOT in
common, and it was easy enough to find the more laid back and fun moms
in the bunch.
Yes, it is annoying to be mistaken for the nanny. But it must also be
annoying to be mistaken for the grandmother.
Young Mom-- Only in the Bay!
Someone wrote last week ''When someone says, How can you
afford kids at your age, she is really saying, I could not
have afforded kids at your age (because I was sleeping on
a futon in a flophouse with 6 roommates while screwing Mr.
Wrong and waiting for someone to tell me what to do with
my life). '' This made me laugh out loud, and think ''have
you been spying on me my whole life ?!?'' :-}
I had mine ... after my third decade, not becasue I was
excelling in a competative professional life, but b/c it
took me that long to get it together. I'm a bit of a
So, please give yourself a high five for being a self
aware and together young mother. I bet you have a loads
more energy and a many fewer aches than I do.
Hey everyone! I looked in the archives to see if there was some
magical place that young moms hang out or something but all I
found was an article from a person who has a similar problem as
me dated 2003... Basically I graduated from art school last
year... Absolutely none of my friends out here are even remotely
thinking about having children.... And they have also slowly
stopped hanging out with me regularly assuming that I won't be
able to hang out anyway (annoying)... So basically I am posting
this to find either young moms/dads (or moms/dads who don't mind
that I'm only 25) who have a child or children about the same age
as my child (Quin is 2). I would prefer parents who are open
minded, radical, liberal, with perhaps a little dash of anarchy
(in a good way)
Perhaps you refer to your child according to their sex but don't
necessarily believe that constitutes their gender... Preferably
you believe that kids that identify as boys can still be
princesses and that little girls can be kings. We are free to
chill all day long from sun up until Quin's papa gets home at
4:30 so get a hold of us! Quin (and I) need family fun friends!
Dear Friend- I know EXACTLY how you feel. I had all three of my
kids by 25. Thank God I did because I had a hidden condition
which would have made any later pregnancy only a dream (radical
hysterectomy at 35) But I do know you can feel isolated. Here's
the deal. I live in Berkeley and I am now a grannie so I take my
sweetie down to Willard Park's tot lot. OMG!!! LOTS of young
parents...seem very progressive...and lots of nannies, etc. But
what I really noticed (aside from all the obvious international
UC grad students with kids) was there seemed to be a group of
young moms that were having a neat picnic together on a regular
basis. If there are any other BPN members out there who belong
to this or a similar group. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let this dear
young mom know how to hook up with you. In the meantime, try any
local tot lot, although I've heard people say they drive in from
Emeryville and Oakland to use the Willard Park one. It's just
above Telegraph Ave. above Willard Middle School. Good luck and
as a 32-y.o. mom with a 7 and a 4 year old, I know I'm not
extremely young, but feel lately a bit out of sorts with other
bay area families that I know, all of whom are older. Many who
did not previously realize my age seem subtly judgemental when
they hear it, and I end up feeling a little ashamed, as if
having had my first child at the end of grad school here is the
equivalent of having ''accidentally'' had kids in high school
somewhere else; and mostly as if my conscious choices were not
politically enlightened (i.e. stay at home, undeveloped career
on hold.) I do not have regrets about my choices just am feeling
a bit out of place and think I am experiencing a lack of
acceptance/ unspoken judement from the older generations (5-15
years older.)Any thoughts, advice welcomed, Thanks.
I am 29 and have a 3/12 year old and a baby on the way. I have a career, my own
house, a wonderful husband, and the best thing is... I still feel so young! A lot of
my friends don't have kids, but guess what, my son stole my best friend from me!
My kids are part of my circle of friends and we're all enriched by my family. I still
out for girls nights, still do all sorts of family things, travel a ton, and still have
everything an older mom might have (a good job, house, etc).
I too have found that I'm looked at as a young mom, but I'm incredibly proud of
that. Maybe I don't feel as much judgement from older moms because they can
sense my confidence in my decisions and my life. In 20 years, when I'm still in my
late 40s, my kids are out of the house, and I am doing whatever I please, I don't
think the moms who are in their 60s will be looking on me with pity. If they are
now, well, maybe its just from a lack of understanding of how someone in their 20s
could be so sure that they wanted a family and confident enough to make it all
Believe me, there are plenty of young moms out there, a whole lot that are younger
than you. And mostly, there are a lot of ''older'' moms, who would not think twice
about your decisions to have kids in your 20s. I doubt as many of them are judging
you as you think. Some of my mom-friends who are in their late 30s or early 40s
commend me for having kids young, especially after some of the problems they had
to go through to conceive. So maybe they're just thinking about how lucky you are.
Anyway, be proud to be a mom, whether you're in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or whatever!
another youngish mom
Get a grip, girl! As an ''elderly'' mom, 10 to 15 years older
than many of the parents of my son's peers, I'd go nuts if I
worried about unspoken judgements and opinions. Sure, I
have some different issues than the other moms in the car
pool, but we have our kids in common--there is a wonderful
bond in being moms. I've felt that bond with the young
mothers of infants, and with women whose children are
adults themselves. Those women may in fact be looking at
you and wishing they'd been able start their families at a
I was very curious and surprised to see your message and other people's
responses on it. I am 28, and have 2 and 4 year old children, and funny
thing is that i never considered myself to be on a ''younger'' side I
do come from a different culture, however, where it's more than a norm
to get married right after high school and have a baby a year later (I'm
from Former Soviet Union). So, believe it or not, most of my classmates
were married at 17 or 18, and have kids that are much older than mine -
so, I'm a minority there as well I don't know if it makes you feel
better, just wanted to show the other side of the spectrum Feel free
to email me.
Hey, youngish moms out there. I missed the first post, but wanted to
tell you that 18 years ago, I was a 24 year old, single mom who moved
back home to Bezerkeley to raise the baby. Even then, all the other moms
(except two of my friends) seemed way older than me. But, as my son grew
up, so did I -- making the age gaps between myself and the other moms
more and more insignificant.
During those 18 years, the age differences were over-ruled by our
commonality as mothers.
My husband and I moved to Albany with a 3 month old from S.
Cal. We've been here for a month and my husband just started
graduate school at UC Berkeley. Anyhow, I was wondering if
anyone had any suggestions about how to meet other young
moms/parents!? I'm a stay at home mom and am only 24 (my
husband is 23)...so, we're on the younger side. I've checked
into Mother's groups, but can't afford the expense to be in
one. It seems sort of like a silly question, but what's the
best way to meet people in the Bay area?
If you're interested in meeting other parents, try the park. At
University Village, you can meet other younger parents with
grad-school spouses. As your baby gets older, kindergym at the
Albany Y or University Village are good options (and not so
expensive). Even if you can pay for just a month or so, you will
meet peolple if you make an effort.
No clue -- this is part of why we're planning on moving out of
state soon. Everyone we know who's having kids is at least mid-
30s. I'm a 27 year old SAHM with an 18 month old. Both my
husband's boss and more than one relative assume our daughter
exists because we're too stupid to know how a rubber works (um,
no, not exactly....) which has led to some extraordinarily
awkward conversations (''Well, it looked like a bad thing at
first, but she's so cute, and you've adapted well.'' ''What?'')
I've given up. I'm the same age my mom and my aunts were when
*they had kids...but today, at least in California, it seems
like being a young mother is really frowned on.
I just finished reading the recent postings to your request for
advice and while I don't really have any suggestions on how to
meet people our age with babies/toddlers (I am 29 with a 16
month old whom I wouldn't think of putting in daycare so that I
could go to work), I wanted to let you know that we are
obviously not the only ones in the area. Like you, the moms I
have met are much, much older. Neither my husband nor I have
made any great, or even good, connections with other parents.
Like one of the posters, we have seriously consider moving out
of the Bay Area because being a stay at home parent seems to be
looked down on and we just can't compete with two income
families for houses, schools, etc (plus, we have absolutely no
ties to the area- no family, no close friends). It's tough-
you are not alone. As for meeting other moms, I go to
Gymboree, the park, etc- and hang out with my
daughter...haven't met anyone that way. Mostly, I enjoy
chatting with the sales people at Nordstrom in Walnut Creek.
NO, I'm not at all suggesting that I have the money to spend
there, but that place is the most entertaining to me these
days. At least I see lots of other moms and strollers!!
Another Young Stay At Home Mom
I was startled to realize after reading the recent post on this
topic that I am part of the ''Old Mom'' group. I am 38 and for a
variety of reasons am now the mother of a two year old. I am
friends with a 24 year old mom from my birth class. There
doesn't seem to be much difference between us that I can
attribute to age.
I have noticed three young stay at home moms at Memorial Park
in Albany. All three were very friendly and in general it
seemed like all of the moms there were open to talking. I have
not had as much luck at Thousand Oaks Park. We mostly go to
I think that if you label a group as too old you may limit
yourself from experiencing some good relationships. I hope
someone wouldn't discount me just because I am (gasp!)38
Young at Heart
My husband and I recently moved to Berkeley from the deep south,
where we both grew up and had a great circle of friends. We are both
23 years old and we have a two year old daughter.
Ever since we moved here, we've felt sort of ''out of place'', being much
younger than other berkley parents. When I take my daughter to the
park or wherever, I feel like everyone assumes I'm the nanny, just like
someone mentioned in the ''mid-forties'' thread..
Walking around Berkeley, all I seem to see are people under 25 that
look like ''free spirited'' college students that my husband and I feel
would never want to hang out with parents of a 2-year-old -- or I see
parents in their mid thirties or fourties, who we also don't have much of
anything in common with (my own parents are not much older than
My husband and I love every minute we spend with our daughter, but
we need some friends of our own! Are there any other under 25 parents
out there that can let us know how to connect with people our age? We
are both in graduate school, but even the other parents at school are
much older. We moved out here not knowing a single person, and we're
still feeling really out of place. Help!!
Mine is a young student family as well and we'd love to hang
out with your family- especially now that summer is upon us. We
have several things in common in addition to age [i'm 24,
husband is a cartoon watching 27 yr old]- we are both grad
students, we have a 2 yr old son and we moved here from the
South too -Atlanta. email me and we can exchange contact info
and set up a time to hang out!
Yes, things are a little different here. I, too, am from the
south and went through some adjustment issues when I moved here
three years ago. It takes time to find your community out here.
Feel free to email me. I have a child about your child's
age...but alas, I'm one of those old parents you see in the
park...but I do have friends your age with kids I could hook
you up with. Interestingly, my friend was saying that VERY
thing the other day. She wanted another dad her 25 year old
husband could shoot hoops with!
Believe me I feel you 100%. I too was a young mom. I had my son
at age 22, but I was blessed to have several friends in college
who were also going through the same thing. Don't fret. There
are a lot of us out there. My son is now eight, and still to
this day my husband and I find ourselves much younger than most
of the children's parents my son hangs out with. We've kept in
close contact with those who shared in my experience as a young
parent, and have participated in multiple child oriented
activities for my son to open up our circle of friends.
If you're a grad student at Berkeley, I would recommend you take
a active role in the Student Parent's Group at Berkeley. Their
offices are in the Ceasar Chavez Center, 1st floor, and the
director of the program is phenomenal-Alice. I met several
mothers in this program, and many of those relationships have
progressed on to much larger and meaningful frienships. I
commend you for reacing out the way you did in this email. I'm
sure you'll be surprised to find many young parents. We're out
there, believe me.
Feel free to email me anytime.
Well...we're not as *young* as you guys (27 and 29) but I
certainly know how you feel being often much younger ourselves
than a lot of parents in the area. Plus my husband and I both
look younger than we are. We have an 18 month old daughter and
while we've lived here in the Bay Area for 4 years now, none of
our close friends have children *yet*. I've recently joined a
playgroup and while the other women in it are older then me, I
find that since we all have young children we do have a lot in
common. But, I think my husband would really like to meet other
young dads to hang out with, even to go to the park with! I one
time thought of posting a message to one of the boards about
starting a playgroup for parents under 30, but didn't know if
that would appear rude, though I know there are playgroups for
mom's over 40.
Whenever I see another young mom with her child walking around,
or even at the supermarket I always want to ask her if she wants
to *be my friend*, but I never have the nerve to! I even talked
to this super cool girl and her baby once, but it never
escalated from there. And like you we go to parks a lot too (I
work part time at UCB), but I often find most of the younger
ladies with kids are nannies too and I don't really need any
more friends that don't have kids ( ; We go to lots of outdoor
music events and always see a lot of younger parents there and
always strike up nice conversations with them. I guess it just
Email me if you want to meet at a park sometime. Perhaps you'll
get a lot of people writing to your post and we could all meet
at a park on a Sunday or something!
I am a 23 year old graduate student at Berkeley with a 6 1/2
month old baby boy and I know exactly what you are talking
about. My husband and I live in San Rafael and it is possibly
even worse over here! It is very frusterating to be treated like
either a nanny or felt sorry for as if this was an accidental
teenage pregnancy. I don't have much advice in the way of
meeting more people like us because the only people I know that
are our age with kids live in Los Angeles. (We moved up about a
year ago...) I did, however, meet some really nice and helpful
people at the Student Parent Center at UCB and they had lots of
advice and resources. They were all young or young-ish and
helped me to feel much more comfortable at Berkeley as a parent.
Please email me if you would ever like to meet or if you find
out any other helpful groups, etc...
I don't have an actual resource for you but just wanted to offer
a few words of sympathy. I think that must be extremely hard
here. I had my first baby at 26 and second at age 29 (my husband
is one year older) and I also feel so much younger than other
bay area parents. I also completed graduate school but feel many
unspoken judgements as if I had my babies in high school and
never got the chance to complete my education. I think it was
even harder with the first because I looked younger than 26 but
it got easier with #2 because now at 30 I look at least 35! Ahhh
rapid aging and sleep deprivation do have some benefits if you
are a young parent in the bay area. I have found a few older
parents whom I connect well with regardless of age diff. and a
few my own age just by being around many other parents these
last few years. I don't think I would ever fit in a typical
mom's group nor even with the majority of chit chatting in the
parks. But please keep trying with the free-spirits and with the
greying parents of toddlers. Many are absorbed in their own
things, but I'd say there are at least some if not many who
could use a new friend. Some people seem judgemental when really
they might not be comfortable reaching out to someone who seems
different but they might really appreciate you reaching out (
and others need to stay judgemental.) I hope someone knows of a
group too. Best Wishes.
You should join our playgroup! I've mentioned it here before.
The moms in our group span a big age range, but several of
the ''regulars'' are twentysomethings.
My playgroup is open to absolutely anybody. We have a broad
range of ages -- parents AND kids. Several of the ''regulars''
are twentysomethings, several are not. Many have more than one
child, some don't. We try to meet weekly at various parks and
attractions around the East Bay, especially Berkeley.
I'd be happy to respond directly to anyone who is interested in
hearing more. We always welcome newcomers!
I just wanted to say that, even though I am not a twentysomething
parent (I had my first in my early thirties)I think it's terrible
that you should feel judged for having children at what seems to
me to be a perfectly normal age, and in my opinion, the best age,
b/c you will have a) more energy, b)more time and consequently,
c)a longer period to enjoy the lives you've brought into the
world. In my early twenties I certainly thought I would have had
my children by the time I was thirty, and though I wouldn't
change a thing now, sometimes I wish I had (health reasons and
other life events postponed things). I grew up here in Berkeley
and I think it's only been in the recent years that there have
been so many older moms, and it has been my experience that as an
older mom I am the exception not the rule in the groups I hang
I suggest to you that you take pride in your decision to start
your family when you did, that it was a responsible and natural
course for you to take. Maybe you need to make more of an effort
to surround yourself with younger and/or less judgemental moms
(which is unfortunate that this burden is placed on you) but
believe me there are lots out there....good luck!
this page was last updated: Apr 8, 2012
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network