There has always been a negative stigma around being a ‘young’ mum, but today I’ve decided to say my part and explain why I think that it is so beyond wrong to differentiate ANY mother from another one and publicly make it known that you think of them as a ‘lesser’ parent because of their age. I was 17 for the majority of my pregnancy with Archie, and turned 18 the month before he was born. Now, I know that there are reasons why some people wouldn’t WANT to be a parent at this age, but that doesn’t mean to say that no one else should – everyone is their own person and is more than capable of making their own decisions and know what is best for them.
I know that people say that being a parent young ties you down and stops you from having so many great experiences – but why should it. Having a baby doesn’t end your life and stop you from doing anything, you just get a little best friend to take along with you for all the fun stuff! Fair enough this probably means you don’t go out drinking so often or go on so many dates with your partner… but there are always ways around this – and the times you do get these experiences they become more worthwhile and make good memories for you to treasure. The rest of the time you get to watch your little one grow and change every day – and in my opinion, that is the most exciting, amazing thing ever and I would take that over a vodka any day of the week! And hey, when my kids are all grown up and living their own lives – that’s when I’ll turn into a teenager again and be free to do what I want!
Being a mother at 18 is seen, for some reason, as being different to being a mother at 30. But what are the differences, really? We are all just doing our best to learn the ways of motherhood, to figure out our crazy little monkeys and trying to survive on the 4 hours sleep that mean you run off of endless cups of coffee every day. Being younger just means you have to do this earlier on in life…which isn’t a bad thing at all. Motherhood is one of the toughest (yet most rewarding) jobs in the world at any age, so we should all be sticking up for each other and helping each other as much as possible!
Just because I am younger than some other mumma’s, that does not mean I am in any way less capable of raising my child to be a kind, thoughtful and happy little boy. I show him as much love as I possibly can, and will teach him how to be someone I can be proud of from the get go. Age is not an indicator of maturity or capability when it comes to being a parent, and anyone that says or thinks otherwise – in all honesty – just doesn’t know me or my situation well enough to be able to have their say.
Anyone who isn’t a mother and has something to say about my age just has no right – so I have always tried to pay as little attention to them as possible. I actually had a lot more of these comments and heard a lot more ‘gossip’ about myself when I was pregnant rather than now Archie is here. Some people were really very cold and heartless when it came to talking about me and my pregnancy – especially behind my back. It got me down a few times as I was losing friends at the one time I really wanted as much support around me as possible, but I now know that I only have the people I really NEED in my life with me to join me in watching my perfect little boy grow up and support me when I need them. I couldn’t be happier to be Archie’s mama – he makes me beyond happy and grateful, so at the end of the day no one else’s appearance should really matter.
It’s so important to remember that no one else’s opinion should have any kind of effect on your life. If anyone else begins to hear these comments and feels down about them I 100% stand by the fact that you should just get rid of the negative people. There’s no need for them to be around you or your little one if they don’t fully support you and your choices, so why keep them around? Finding people in the same situation as you is also a great idea – I joined a few facebook groups for parents and have found it so helpful and reassuring to know that there are other Mums out there who know what I am going through. I find these days that I barely take any notice of the dirty looks or bad jokes made about my age, and it makes such a difference!
Having said this, it is inevitable that hearing any negative comments can be hard sometimes, especially when it’s been a tough few days, you already feel like you can’t cope and don’t know which way is up or down – but you just have to remember how well you really are doing, how much love you pour into your little one’s life and how much time and effort you dedicate towards their happiness. YOU ARE a good mama whatever your age, your situation, your upbringing. Always.