Location, Location, Location

I've mentioned before why I like the term "early" mom rather than "young" -- most specifically because being a "young mom" can mean different things to different people. For many people, the term automatically means teen mom. For others, a 25-year-old is a young mom. And for those who believe in putting off parenting, a "young mom" is anyone under 30.

Early mama is a term for anyone who started parenting at an earlier than expected age -- whether it's earlier than society thinks is appropriate, earlier than you expected to get pregnant, or earlier than any of your friends/peers. And even though our society as a whole is pushing back the average age for first-time mothers, 20-something parenting is more common in some circles than others -- more specifically, some regions more than others.

A reader emailed me last week to talk about this issue in particular. She's a 27-year-old pregnant woman in Brooklyn, which is definitely on the earlier end of the spectrum in that area. Seeing that I live about an hour and change away from her, I definitely relate to her sense of isolation -- although I got pregnant much younger. But she said that when she lived in Oregon, she had dozens of 20-something friends who were starting families -- and it wasn't considered young at all. Yet in New York, she doesn't know anyone under 30 with children.

So here's my question: Where do you live, and what age is "normal" to start having kids in that region? Also, if you know a lot of young moms, did you still feel like people were stereotyping you? Statistics are statistics, and this generation of 20-somethings is putting off pregnancy more so than any previous generation. Not to mention that the media, movies, TV shows, etc. often portrays first-time moms as being older. When was the last time you saw a "young mom" on TV that wasn't labeled as a "young mom" (think Gilmore Girls, The Secret Life, Casey Anthony, etc.).

When it comes to the average portrayal of a mother, I see that as being a 30-something woman (as a New Yorker). But what do you see?

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