I had my first baby when I was 23.
I know, it’s not super young, but I had just finished college and most of my friends weren’t having kids. They were having career babies and dating and partying and doing other things young, unattached, early 20 year old people tend to do.
I’m not mad.
I loved being a young mom.
I was doing what I wanted to do with the person I wanted to do it with, and my friends were awesome.
They all wanted to be god mothers and aunties and come over with cute, sassy graphic tees for my kid.
It was older strangers who gave me lip about it.
I’ll admit, I looked waaaaay younger than 23 when I was 23. I have these big cheeks and I liked to wear my hair in two long pigtails and, okay, I looked 16.
But, I wasn’t.
And, even if I was, it kinda wasn’t anyone’s business.
Except you know people made it their business.
We got questioned at restaurants and daycare centers. We got stopped in the mall and at the park. Everywhere I went with my toddler, constantly people would ask if I was his sister or his aunt or his cousin or his nanny. And then, when I’d proudly proclaim that he was mine, I’d get “the face”…
You know the face.
And the follow up questions and statements that proved that my having a baby was not only unpleasant, but downright offensive.
I wanted to scream from the rooftops that I was not a teen mom, until I got right with myself and came to the conclusion that I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone. Their judgement shouldn’t impact how I felt about being a mom or how I looked. Let their petty hang out if they want it to.
And besides, teen moms aren’t evil anyway. They’re just teenagers!
I was as good of a mom then as I am now, and my being young (or looking young) didn’t impact that.
Besides, now that he is 15 it’s kinda cool when people mistake me for his sister.
10 Questions Every Young Mom Is Sick of Answering
“But you look like a baby?!”
I’m going to take this to mean you think I have super soft, wrinkle free skin and bright, eager eyes.
“Is it yours?!”
No, I just like hauling all of this baby junk around and having a toddler act out when I want to try on a swimsuit at Target.
Of course HE is mine. Only moms are down for that.
“Big surprise, eh?”
Does it matter? My 40 year old neighbor didn’t plan it either, but we all think it’s a blessing.
“Are you married?”
Oh my gosh, stop it! Why does it matter? Would I be a better mother if I were?
“How are you old enough to be a mom?”
Wellllll, based on science and what I know from middle school health class, I have technically been “old enough to be a mom” since the 7th grade.
“But you probably have plenty of energy?”
I am sure I am still exhausted from not sleeping more than 2 hours straight for the last 3 weeks due to my constantly hungry, needy, baby who hasn’t figured out quite how to be a human yet. Being young doesn’t make me a machine.
Your friends are probably off… *Insert random thing young people do, like going to college, partying, having fun.*
Because clearly, mothers have no time or ability to do any of those things. Says the mom who went to grad school with a one year old and thinks motherhood is all kinds of fun.
“Bet you wish you’d waited, right?”
My baby is a blessing and I don’t wish anything about knowing him away. I am happy to have had him when I did and I am proud of the mother I am. Also awesome? He will graduate around the time I hit 40 and his dad and I, who are more situated in our careers, and the owners of more disposable income and plenty of vacation time can travel where we want to while still young enough to enjoy it.
“Can you even buy beer?!”
And being able to buy a beer would make me a better mother how?
“Buuuut, who helps you? Your parents?”
I help me.
Plus, I was fortunate to have a partner who was and is a great dad, and family nearby to lend a hand when needed. But, just so you know, being a young mom doesn’t automatically mean you’re not strong, capable, or up for the task of raising your own baby. We totally raised our own babies!
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