The more I talk about the struggles of being a young mother, the more I understand how big support young mothers need nowadays. By young, I mean, young women in their early twenties who decided not to follow the trend and sacrifice partying, early career, or simply enjoying themselves, or whatever the society expect them to do.
I became a first time mother at 20 years old, and since then everything I do, or don’t do is being questioned and judged. “You didn’t breastfeed? That’s because you are young and care only about yourself!” “Things get out of control? That’s because you are not mature enough.” “What? You want another kid? Should you think more about your career? When you will finally work, by the way?” “What you were thinking?” Now I have a question for you. Would you dare to tell me exactly the same things if I was, let’s say, 10 years older? I don’t think so.
I can’t tell how many times I’ve been discriminated because of my age. There are so many different situations that I live every day that make me so insecure about myself as a mother. Every time I try to fit in, I fail. People just don’t take me seriously. I can’t go to the playground with my kids and have a casual talk with other parents. I tried, really. Most of them thought that I am a nanny. And why wouldn’t they? It’s impossible that a kid could have three kids on her own, right?
The worst is that I can’t even protect my girls. There been times when other kids pushed them and when I went to talk to them, they were simply laughing at me. I know, it’s just kids but you would be surprised to know that the same reaction came from their parents too. Maybe they didn’t laugh but they made it clear that I won’t be taken seriously. What they said exactly when one boy punched Anya was: “That wouldn’t happen if you were watching your kid. You don’t see that older kids are playing here?” On which I replied that I was the only one watching her kid and that’s why I saw exactly what happened. On that day I learned that bullies are raised by other bullies, and the parenting solidarity is the biggest myth. Again, would they talk to me that way if I was their age?
And what age has to do with being a mother, anyways? 20, or 40 still a mother. It doesn’t matter your starting point, we’re all dealing with the same stuff and it’s always ‘new’ to any new parent. You never ‘know it all’ and there is always something new to learn, no matter where you are in life. Loving and caring makes someone a good mother and not perfect age or conditions, right? So why one is being respected and other one shamelessly discriminated instead of being supported?
I had to hear comments like “Don’t you regret?” Don’t you miss out on something?” I wonder if they ever asked the same questions to their parents. Some people with their precious opinions… What if I actually love to be a mother? What if I wanted to have children young? What if having children for me means gaining something, not missing out on something? Let me tell you something. There’s nothing wrong with being a young mother. I am 24, have three little children under three years old, and I never felt like I would be “too young” for that. Motherhood has been the great leveller for me and has helped me grow as a woman. That would’t happen if I would chose to live my life differently, like everyone expected me to. Honestly, I didn’t expect such life either but even on the worst days I would’t change a thing.
My dear “too young to be a mother”, never listen to what others say! For me, you are a rock! You didn’t choose the easiest way, you chose to keep your baby. That makes you braver than any 30 plus woman that is considered as being “ready”. You ARE ready as much as she is.
Moreover, you will be the best, loving mom for your little miracle. Don’t believe me? My mom had me at 17 years old and was a single mother most of her life. Her love for me kept her going, fighting, surviving. Today she has 3 bachelor’s degrees, a career and another 3 children with the youngest of only 5 months old. She is my biggest inspiration, and so will be you for your child. And if someone says the opposite, prove them wrong! That’s what I do daily. There’s nothing to regret.