Left out in the cold because we're young parents

I’m 28 and my wife is 26. We have a 1 year old and a second child due next month. We have found ourselves in quite a lonely spot socially even around Catholics. It’s been hard to take part in ministries and groups at our Parish due to our duty as parents and other Parishioners not being in a similar lifestyle as us. The “youth group” is full of people older than us who are unmarried and do not have kids. The family group is full of people much older than us who have kids a few years older than ours. We have been hard-pressed to find a other Parishioners who are in their 20’s and have children.

Why is this? I have questioned if it is due to secular thinking bleeding into the laity. The worldly thought that you must go through years of college for a degree (my wife has a bachelor’s so it isn’t a good excuse) before you even think about building your domestic Church. The assumption that your bank account must be fruitful before your womb is. Saving up money for a flashy wedding reception and ring before even entertaining the actual sacrament of marriage.

I understand that not all people may be moved in similar ways but my wife and I couldn’t wait to bring fruits from our marriage. A beautiful and healthy boy and a girl who is growing so well in the womb that they are looking to induce early. We have a solid roof over our head and are well fed and clothed, thank God.

We’ve tried but it’s very hard to really relate with a couple who are a decade older than us but their child is only one year older than ours. Is “young” parenthood just dead? Where can we even find other people in a similar situation to connect with?

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Yes. At least in some cases.

This may not always be the case. My oldest son, 20, who is getting married in October isn’t saving up for a flashy wedding, he’s dealing with the reality that he won’t be able to afford a house. Thanks to our current economy, he will be stuck renting for at least the next decade unless something dramatically changes.

I would search out a very traditional minded Novus Ordo parish, FSSP, or ICKSP. I belong to a ICKSP (Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest) parish and about 1/3 of the members are in the 25-35 age range and a lot of them are married with children.

I have had friends who were a good bit older than I was and a good bit younger. I am glad that my friends’ ages cover a big range. Maybe you could accept the friendship of the older ones and someday you’ll be in the same position to offer friendship to young parents. It’s nice to have friends who are similar in age, but that’s how people tend to be in school, because we get grouped with others of our age, but work and church bring together people of various ages, and some of us become friends.

I’ve considered it. I don’t really like the idea of “Parish shopping” but I already am driving past multiple Churches to go the one I’ve been going to since I moved to where I live now, even though my current residence is further away from where I was starting out. Exploring might be the right thing to do.