There’s a lot of young mothers in Manila. Many of them already have one child as teenagers, often due to callous attitudes towards contraceptive and the ignorant belief that that getting pregnant will not happen to them.
I got married at 33 years old, got pregnant at 34, and had my first baby at 35.
Compared to many mothers in the Philippines, I’m a dinosaur. I have crows feet in my eyes and I can’t carry my baby for prolonged as much as I want to,
Is it because of age?
Not really… we have a yaya/babysitter who takes care of my baby in the daytime while we work. I personally prefer she carries my baby as I usually have something to do in the morning. I take care of my baby at night as yaya gets her rest.
My husband’s only regret is the age gap. He is 39 years old now, and fears that by the time our little pea gets married, he will be a senior citizen. I on the other hand wish that to be the case. Honestly, I hoped she will get married in her 30s like her mommy.
This is a weird belief back here in Manila. Most people prefer to get married in their 20s. The median age for my friends to get married was at 26.
Marry before 26 and you’re considered a young mother. Do note that we graduated at the age of 21, so that’s 5 years in the workforce. You’d probably been dating your boyfriend for 3-4 years and feel that it’s time to take the leap.
Marry after 28 and you’re no longer a spring chicken. That means, future in-laws question your ability to reproduce grandkids and everyone wonders why nobody snagged you when you were younger, implying that maybe, something is wrong with you.
I have no excuses. I had a great single life!
Like all my peers, I graduated at 21. My 20s was a complete blast as I spent it living in three cities: Taipei, Hong Kong and London,
I had tons of fun.
While I worked hard in the daytime, I had an active social life. I would have dinner with various friends and people had to book me two weeks in advance to get a slot. From Tuesday’s to Sunday’s, my friends and I would go out and have fun, often starting with dinner, topping with drinks, dancing from 11:00pm to 2am, and then going to KTV before having breakfast at 6am at NY Bagel in Ren Ai Road.
I am surprised I didn’t get fat or pregnant from my adventures. Admittedly, I ate too much and tried to kiss a lot of dudes.
Tried here is the operative word. Thanks to my dad’s strict upbringing, I couldn’t really get myself to sleep with anybody. I couldn’t really wrap around why I can just lose myself to a dude I don’t even know just because he’s cute.
But making out is fine. In fact, if you break up with someone, make out with someone really cute that evening. It’s a better way than indulging yourself to gallons of ice cream and is great in boosting your self-esteem and getting your groove back.
I wouldn’t be able to have such fun or move countries if I had a baby. In fact, one regret I still have was not getting my MBA in the US. My then boyfriend discouraged me as he didn’t want us to be too long distanced.
As we broke up, on hindsight, I should have taken the chance to get my MBA overseas. Oh well, lesson learned.
I think there’s always a time for everything: a time for fun and a time to get serious. A time for dating around and exploring yourself and a time to settle down. A time to have a baby and a time to grow your business.
As a working mother, I honestly don’t have a lot of time for friends. To be fair, they don’t have that much time for me either. They’re also very busy with their families and their work.
As I near my 40s, it’s very tempting to look back and see what I could’ve done better.
I thank God everyday for my daughter, and appreciate the fact that He allowed me to get married late and live life to the maximum. I wouldn’t have had that much fun if I had settled down and had kids earlier.
What’s more, I thank God that she is normal, as everyone has been warning me of the many dangers of having kids later in life. I thank God He has spared me of this hardship on my first child, and I hope He is gracious enough to bless me with a second who is normal as well.
Everyone’s life is different. Some prefer to have kids later. I’m fine with my own life schedule.
How about you? When did you settle down and had kids and are you glad of your life timeline?