Being a young parent
The term young parent (a mum or dad under the age of 25) comes with a lot of stigma especially more so in recent years. Most people’s views of young parents are that they are a teenage girl living off the state, who is not going to do anything with her life. A young parent is nothing like this.
I’m classed as a young parent. In October of 2013 at the age of 15, I became a mother to my daughter, and through all my pregnancy to present day I still face the stigmas of being a young parent.
The most common saying which I’m sure a lot of parents not just young parents have heard is that ‘your life is over as soon as you have a baby’ or ‘you won’t have any free time anymore’. Which in fact for me as soon as my daughter was born, it was the beginning of my life; a better one. As soon as my daughter was born I knew I had to make our life as good as I possibly could, she gave me a whole new focus and determination.
The free time comes little and not so often, but for me, this is something you cherish more than others who do not have children, as you look forward and hold the memories more dearly.
I have had many struggles as a young parent, but what I have learnt from most parents is that it is not an easy ride and we all face struggles through parent-hood and just because you’re young does not mean you can’t do as good at parenting as everyone else.
Education was the main factor for me. I got told by a lot of people that I wouldn’t be able to continue it, this made me more determined as a 15-year-old to prove them all wrong. Fast forward through 5 different education systems, many jobs in between and nearly 5 years later I have just completed my second year of university. I have achieved more than I would have done if I hadn’t had my daughter. Through every knockback and knockback I have always had her there, which kept me moving forward at times.
Get support if you need it
Overall the sleepless nights, the stresses, the many tears, it has all been so worth it. Yes, my old life was over but a brand new one which was better started the day she came into my life and I would not change it for anything. I have had my ups and downs like all parents, and support like most do and that’s the main thing – if you need help or support don’t be ashamed to get it. A lot of parents need help along the way as my favourite quote states, ‘after all it takes a village to raise a child’ and that’s okay. Still, go after your dreams, it will be a struggle for most, but it will be so worth it and more rewarding as you have done it as a young parent. All of us are doing what is right for our children and that’s the main thing, so next time you see a young parent don’t paint them with the same negative stigma that comes with the term, as it isn’t the case for many of us.