Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The youngest mom in the room

Now I'm no Jamie Lynn Spears, the Nickelodeon star knocked up at 16, but Josh and I did start a family earlier than most. I was 28 years old when Z was born, and according to the Washington Post, only 31 percent of college-educated women 25-29 have kids. The article interviews women in their late twenties and early thirties who feel alienated by older moms and shut out by their childless friends.

I don't regret starting motherhood relatively young. Conception and pregnancy were trouble-free and I've got the energy necessary to deal with sleep deprivation and hyper young children. And while there's always the danger of being mommytracked, I feel that motherhood at this stage is good for my career. By the time I'm promoted into positions requiring more responsibility and travel, my children will older and more independent. I won't be a VP with a newborn.

Still, I'm usually the youngest parent in the room. Unlike many of the other moms and dads at Z's preschool, I wasn't born in the sixties. I didn't plaster my bedroom walls with Duran Duran posters, and I don't have fond memories of my 20th high school reunion. But I do have a few very close friends in their forties. And for us our relationship is less about a shared history and more about our present: We can relate to each other because we have kids the same age.

Cross-posted to Chicago Moms Blog