By Guest Blogger Rachel Haggerty, author of the blog Redemption Red: The Haggerty Life
Six months into my marriage, at age 19 I found out we were going to have our first child. Living off of close to minimum wage income, and only enough food in our refrigerator to last until the next day, I told my new husband he was going to be a Father.
I say I told him, but what I really mean is that he came home from work to find his young wife crying on the sofa. For an hour straight I couldn’t look at him, I couldn’t tell him the words I needed to say.
Once I finally came out and told him the news , he said:
” OH GOSH! IS THAT ALL? I THOUGHT SOMEONE DIED BABE!”
Almost ten years and seven babies later, I am able to look back and feel extreme gratitude for having started our little family so young.
You see, in this day in age young women are told to wait to have children. Wait until you have enough money. Wait until you are older. Wait until you have a better job, a bigger house, a better car.
Until the timing is just perfect.
But the thing is , there is NO perfect time to have a child.
Though being a young Mother is a blessing, it comes with it’s struggles in life.
Since we started our family so soon, people acted like our married life was over. Surely we wouldn’t have time for one another. We never got to go on adventures together, travel the world.
What they did not realize is that parenting has been our greatest adventure yet.
No passport is required to love someone you created in love.
We jumped right into the greatest season of the unknown, head first.
For me, being a mother at age 20 it was difficult to find friends that could relate to me in the season I was in. Everyone my age was still unmarried, partying, most in college, living with their parents.
I felt alone, isolated and afraid I was doing everything wrong.
There were a select few women in my life that were around my age, with no children, that loved me right where I was. They would come over and play with our son, and let me share what Motherhood was like.
These women still pour into me today. From them I learned that real friends are with you in every season of your life, whether it’s convenient, whether they can relate to you or not. They are there.
What helped me when our son was a bit older, was to connect with a group of women that were a bit older than I was. They even had more children. What I was attracted to was wisdom. I wanted them to mentor me, to teach me what it meant to be a meaningful and effective Mother.
I reached out for advice, for knowledge of things ahead of my time. I read all the parenting books I could get my hands on. I asked stupid questions. I joined a MOMS group. I was determined to be the best Mom I could be for our son.
In the long run, all those things were wonderful. I gained lasting friendships, and lots of great advice.
But if I can tell you anything about those young years of exhaustion and newness, it was that God gave ME everything that I needed, exactly when I needed it. With each child the Holy Spirit taught me how to love them, discipline them effectively, and parent them each differently.
Advice and play date groups are incredible tools to have, but nothing compares to the wisdom that is downloaded to you as soon as you become a Mom. God made you capable of parenting, of loving.
There is no age limit to parenting, which also means you can never start too young, or too old. You will have children exactly when you are supposed to.
Be encouraged that young Mommas get a head start in loving who they were always meant to love.
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