Being a young mum is hard, and I mean really hard. Do you know what makes it even harder? The stigma. People see a young mum and immediately assume she’s draining the benefits system, laying about doing nothing all day whilst thinking the world owes her a favour.
They don’t ever think she’s doing the best she can, working every hour under the sun to provide for her child and make a life for herself.
I’ve been at the receiving end of those assumptions. I didn’t know I was pregnant, I was just 18 when Mia was born. Technically speaking, I wasn’t a teen mum. In the eyes of the law I was an adult, but I look younger than my age and those who don’t know me often presume I’m a few years younger than I am. So despite being 18 years old, I was judged.
For the first few precious weeks of Mia’s life, I didn’t want to leave the house. I didn’t want anyone to see me, I couldn’t bear the thought of everyone staring and casting aspersions.
Fast forward seven years and I’ve made a life for myself despite several obstacles. I’ve defied the odds and proved to every single person that judged me that they were wrong. I have put every ounce of energy available into providing for the family I have created.
I’ve worked tirelessly to create a career for myself that suited the needs of my two children. I’ve taken every opportunity to create not only a fantastic career, but a fantastic home. We are happy, really really happy, and it’s all because of me. I’m immensely proud of how far I have come.
I don’t regret being a young mum for a single second.
My life didn’t follow the path I thought it would. Instead, it went down a path more wonderful than I ever thought possible, a path littered with smiles and laughter, a path worth so much more than a few letters after my name.
Being a young mum hasn’t affected my ability to love my children with every piece of my being. I was, and still am, just as capable of being a good mother as someone 10/15 years older than me. Having my children young didn’t end my chances of a decent life, instead, they marked the beginning of a whole new chapter bigger and better than I ever thought possible.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not been easy. There has been so many occasions where I’ve felt like a failure. But I’ve never wished for things to be different, not ever. The world may tell me I’ve made a mistake, that I’m too young to know how to raise children of my own, but I know different. I know that being a young mum is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have no regrets.