I had just turned 20 when I found out I was pregnant with Abigail, which in the grand scheme of young mums, isn’t young at all. I’m pretty ashamed to say that when I first met my midwife and told her my age, I felt embarrassed and despite her treating me no differently to anyone else, she still had to write on my notes that I was in fact a teen mum.. This is something I’ve never understood seeing as I was 20 but apparently that’s the way It had to be.
When Abi was born I went to 1 baby group and hated it. The feeling of judgment because I was so young (which really I wasn’t) and that I didn’t have a career at all was obvious and made me feel uncomfortable. There is nothing more embarrassing than the questions ‘What job do you do’ and ‘how old are you?’ Which I genuinely didn’t realise were questions that people actually asked, I’ve always thought they were quite rude.
People always seem quite shocked when they realise that I’m 25, which I take as a compliment and also a bit of an insult… I mean, of course I haven’t aged well, I have 2 children!
When Izzi was born I escaped any feelings of judgement and if anything people are just surprised to learn that I have a house, a fiancé, and 2 children so young. Which ill admit, as long as I don’t feel any judgment, I quite enjoy knowing people are surprised. It gives me a little sense of pride in both myself and Chris for everything we have achieved so young.
Since Abi has started school though I have started to feel it again a bit. I am, without sounding horrible, younger than most other mums there and on top of that I also feel quite self conscious of my lack of career… Which is ridiculous I know.
That being said, one thing I do know when I’m stood amongst the amazing mums at the school gates who work god knows how many hours and earn as much as their husbands/partners, and still managed to bake cakes for the cake sale and attend all events, is that I’m a good mum. I may be young, and have no career in the slightest, but I am a good mum.
Its surprising really, considering the rise in teen mums over the years, but there is a stigma around parents who are below a certain age and who don’t meet a certain career standard. People do judge or secretly ask questions about you and its something that unfortunately every mum, young, old or middle-aged has to face. Because us mumma’s never seem to get it right do we?
I think its important to remember that no matter people say or how you feel, you should always remember that you’re doing the best job. That your children don’t care if you’re 18 or 38. and they certainly don’t care if the cakes you sent in for the bake sale were shop brought or hand-made (i know in Abis case she would much prefer some of the morrisons finest fairy cakes as opposed to my rocks that i seem to create) All they care about is that you are happy, and ultimately not getting yourself down because of what others may or may not think.
Being a mum is a constant battle between doing what you know is right for YOUR family and doing what you think others want you to do.
So, if you’re reading and you’re feeling any of the above. Know that you’re not alone! And know that you’re doing the best you can do!
Mumma Of Daughters