I had my son when I was 17, and although the pregnancy was a surprise, I couldn't imagine my life any other way. Although I havnt had the opportunity to study for a career, I have managed to work part-time for most of it, have formed meaningful relationships, and have a lovely, happy 7 year old boy.
Many people (including those from my own family) seem to consider that I have don't things in the wrong order and tend to ask probing questions about my future career intentions etc. I guess they just don't want me to miss out on a great career and the independance that so many women achieve these days. Surprisingly, to all those high-achieving accademic types, I am not in the least concerned, disappointed, nor do I regret anything.
I often hear of the fantastic career and study achievements of other women of my extended family and friends, and of course I am happy for them, but I wouldn't trade places with any of them. Most of these women are a fair bit older than me, nearing their mid-thirties, and to be perfectly honest, on the inside I actually panic for them, thinking "when are you having a baby, time is running out, stop searching for Mr Impossibly Perfect, because I'm sure there's a Mr Good Enough right in front of you!"
Now, I realise many people are offended by my "old-fashioned/sexist" way of thinking, but In many cases I think i'd be right, with it being all too common these days for women to throw themselves into their careers and miss out on motherhood, and in the end find themselves unfulfilled and maybe even slightly bitter.
I think it must be devastating for those who miss out on the precious experience of motherhood, and I find it quite disappointing that our society seems to prioritise a womans financial success and independance ahead of what is easily the most important and self fulfilling job ever created. Motherhood.
I wish more women would remember that when you leave this world you cannot take with you your career, or flashy car, but a family you have created and nurtured will continue to live and create life. What could be better?
I would not give up motherhood for anything.