I gave birth to my daughter, my one and only child (so far), when I was 25 years old. To be perfectly honest, I would have liked to have waited a few more years before having a baby. But life had other plans, and looking back now, I’m happy that everything happened exactly when it did.

I know women who had their first child when they were still children themselves – teenagers, really, who found themselves responsible for a whole other person’s life at the age of 16, 17, 18, 19 … And I also know women who won’t see 40 again who are just now showing off their “baby bumps” and nervously asking about pediatricians.

Clearly, there’s no one perfect age for pregnancy. Most women seem to figure out when the time is right for them. But you’d think there was some target age we’re all trying to hit by the way “society” tends to treat pregancy.

I’m up on this soapbox today thanks to the newest post on Motherlode called “A (Very) Young Mother.” Basically, it’s an entry from a woman who had her first baby at age 20 – and found this garnered her a lot of second looks.

In speaking with some of my older friends, it sounds like this happens on the other end of the age spectrum as well – often accompanied by well-intentioned but intrusive questions about whether their age might compromise their baby’s health somehow.

Anyway, I particularly liked this statement from the “Young Mother” writer, Meagan Francis: “No matter how stable or secure or settled your life may seem, having a baby will rock it. And that’s true whether you’re 25 or 45.”

– MM