Having children young…an issue of maturity or selfishness?

People magazine has run this article about singer Kellie Pickler saying she is “in no rush” to have children. Ms. Pickler is recently married, age 25 and in the article states she is not in a rush to have children and makes a broad sweeping statement that young mothers are not ready for the responsibility of having a child and equates having a child at a young age with a “fad.”

The commenters on this post are  rabid. “Having children is selfish,” they say. “I want more time to spend with my husband,” others say. There are a few who dare to post that not all young mothers fall under these sweeping accusations of young motherhood.

My issue with Ms Pickler’s interview is that, first of all, her comments are not specific enough. She refers to “kids” having babies. Is she speaking of teenagers or women her own age? Being that she says she does not feel ready for children, if appears her reference to “kids” is directed to men and women of her own age group. Which, to me, is disturbing on a number of levels.

First of all, maturity is not a matter of age. While I will be the first to say that teenagers should not be having children, if a man and woman are in their twenties and married, they may in fact be mature enough to have a child. The Church teaches us to be open to life (and I recognize not all people are Catholic, but I cannot speak of faith practices of churches to which I do not belong) in our marriages and to only avoid conception for the most pressing of reasons (but certainly gives us room to determine what that means within the unique circumstances of each individual marriage). By this rationale, couples who wish to “enjoy each other” for a few years before having a child do not exactly have a compelling reason to put off pregnancy and therefore, should not be married. I am actually in complete agreement with that statement. I know it is unpopular in today’s world, but I don’t apologize because what is “of God” is very often not “of this world.” Couples unable to have children, as long as they are remaining open to life,’s marriages are not considered invalid under this rule.

Secondly, selfishness is not a matter of age either. A selfish parent will be one at age 20 or age 40. Someone who is saying, “me, me, me, mine, mine, mine” in regards to either having children or preventing them is selfish regardless of age.

But the most disturbing trend I am noticing both in Ms. Pickler’s comments and many of those in culture at large is “it’s a choice, not a child.” Not only is this message pro-abortive, it is also pro-contraception and ignorant of God’s role in our lives. It is to say that we have complete control in our lives, not God. A child is an inconvenience not a blessing from God. And unfortunately, some of these couples who take this belief to heart are stunned to find out that when “they decide” that they are ready, their bodies may no longer co-operate. God gave us fertility and He allows it to us for only a limited time.

People have long bought into the lie that they can completely control their lives and destinies. It allowed us to believe that taking a pill or wearing a condom was the way to go. Or that if that pill or condom failed, having a life obliterated was the correct solution. In our culture of death, we have not just disregarded human life, but God Himself and His will. And that is true immaturity and selfishness at its core.

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3 thoughts on “Having children young…an issue of maturity or selfishness?

  1. Incredibly well written, Kristen, and spot on. As a mother who has had children young (20) and ‘oldish’ (3 more children after 30), I can tell you that I’m a better mother as I’ve gotten older. I’ve gotten my head out of my butt, and know what the important things in life truly are — my faith has deepened, and I’m more committed to my family than I was at 20. I bought into society’s ideas of wife-hood and motherhood, and didn’t place my family first back then. Thankfully, I’ve learned that God is in control of my life,and truly knows what’s best for me. It’s up to me now to live it.

  2. I got married at 25 and gave birth to my oldest at 26. I’m now 31 with 4 young children. From my experience, it is children who help anyone become less selfish through their needs for their parents to constantly die to self for the sake of the child. “I want to spend more time with my husband” is a motivation based solely on what she wants. It is selfish. Choosing to be open to children IS the selfless decision. Kristen, as you point out, God seems to be no where on her radar. And while her decisions are hardly common, dumping her choice on other moms solely by their age is just absurd and a pathetic attempt to make herself feel better about her choice

  3. Well written. I just started reading your blog and I’m enjoying it so far. 🙂

    I did want to mention that you said “in their twenties” and labeled that as responsibility in marriage. I got married at 19. Just saying. 😉

    It is scary how fast young men and women are willing to get married, but not to start a family. I have friends of other denominations that are getting married, but fully intend to be on ABC for a couple of years, if not closer to 5 years, because they want time with their significant other. To me, if you’re not ready for children (a main reason God gives us for marriage in the first place), then you aren’t ready for marriage. Those are just my thoughts, though, and it is never anyone’s place to judge why a couple avoids.

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