Young Mums Project FT Maya #21

Young Mums Project FT Maya #21

Welcome back to week #21 of the #YoungMumsProject. This week we are joined by the lovely Maya from All Things Pink. 

Hey! I’m Maya, I’m 20 years old, living in Leicestershire in the UK. My family trio is made up of me, my partner and our beautiful daughter, who is 6 weeks old. Being a new mum has its challenges, but she has brought so much happiness and purpose into our lives. I feel so lucky to be amongst those who are experiencing the joyful world of motherhood.

Q1. Can you describe your personal experience of life as a young mum?

I am fairly new to the world of motherhood, but so far my experiences have been so positive. The
aspects of motherhood that people constantly talk of, like having a lack of sleep are so irrelevant when
you look at the bigger picture. Since having my daughter I have been having days out and enjoying my
time just as much as before. I know everyone is different, but after giving birth I decided it was best for
me to try and fill my days with different activities as to make sure I wasn’t going to get sucked in to a
routine of staying at home and losing touch with friends, family and the outside world. Me, my partner
and baby have been taking trips to the park, into town and I have even been on a few weekend
getaways with her already. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy having days where I’m at home just chilling and
enjoying my baby girl’s company; but for me my life as a young mum is just as exciting if not more
exciting than before.

Q2. How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant?

Well finding out I was pregnant was a bit of a surprise. I was in the Tesco toilets with my sister when I
did a pregnancy test. We were both silent when it came out positive, I looked at my sister wondering
why she wasn’t saying anything before realising she had no idea what the 2 lines meant! As soon as I
told her it meant I was pregnant she smiled and told me it was a blessing. I was pretty numb at that
point but having my sister speak so positively about it gave me the opportunity to be happy and get
excited for what was to come.

Q3. Do you feel like life has been harder because you had children at a young age?

I don’t think life is necessarily harder now that I have a child it just presents different challenges. I think
for me personally it just means that I’ve had to consider things that I probably wouldn’t have given
much thought to for another few years. For example there is more pressure on me and my partner now
to get a house, as we are living with family at the moment, but we know we will need our own space
soon. That means having to be careful with spending, trying to pick up more work and saving for a
deposit.

Q4. Did you ever feel judged by anyone? If so, how did you deal with it?

I feel judged my people all the time, I guess my family would say I’m a sensitive soul anyway, but every
comment someone makes leaves a lasting impression on me. A comment as small as ‘are you going to
let her go outside without a hat?’. It sounds minimal I know! But to me that translates in my head to ‘I
can’t believe she isn’t taking better care to keep her daughter warm’. As a new young mum I feel like
I’m constantly on the defence because I want to show everyone that I am a good mother, but I am
trying to be easier on myself and not take everything so personally. In time I am learning that no way of
parenting is necessarily the right way, and that my judgement on what is best, is as good as any other
mums or adult.

Q5. Do you think there are any advantages to being a younger mum?

There are definitely advantages to being a young Mum. For one the birth is said to be easier! But having
a baby at a young age also means that you will still be young when they are a little older and you have
more flexibility to do things; which means you won’t have to miss out on anything other women your
age are experiencing. I am also extremely happy that my grandparents have had the opportunity to
spend time with my daughter and be a positive influence in her life as they have had such an impact on
mine.

Q6. What are the best and worst things about being a young mum?

The best thing about being a young Mum is having someone you can share each day with. I feel so lucky
to have my daughter with me each day, making me smile and reminding me of the beauty in life. The
worst thing about being a young Mum is being in a completely different world to those of my friends
who don’t have children, as it means they often can’t relate to challenges I’m going through. However it
is nice in a way, because I have so many baby conversations as a mother that sometimes it’s refreshing
just to have a gossip and catch up with friends who remind me of the other aspects of my life.

Q7. How do you think we can challenge the stigma that surrounds young mums?

There are ways in which we as young Mums can challenge the stigma through our own actions and
being a living example of what we want to challenge. One of the comments I hear regarding young
mothers involves the opinion that your life is “over”. I think this is ridiculous but I believe the best way
to counter argue that, is for me to show that I have just as much opportunity and motivation as any
other young person without a child. My daughter isn’t by any means a restriction on what I can and
can’t achieve, and I will continue to work towards my own personal career goals, and to enjoy the
hobbies that I have for my own personal gain.

Q8. What are the main issues that young mums have to deal with, and how do you think they could be
better supported?

Issues relating to young mothers will vary depending on their situation but one thing that could be
better supported is housing opportunities. Unless you are in a great financial position, paying for rented
accommodation or buying a house can be difficult. There are housing associations you can apply for but
I have had a poor experience with these. The associations are slow, if not unresponsive, and the staff
aren’t particularly helpful. Even having a team to offer advice and help you set up living or financial
plans would be of great benefit.

Q9. Do you think that the support for young mums has improved over time?

I definitely think there is a bigger community of young mums who are willing to support each other. For
me social media has had a positive role in my experiences, through my Twitter, Instagram and blogging I have been able to express myself, as well as meet other like-minded mums who I can share milestones with, and ask for guidance if ever I need some. Apps such as ‘mush’ have also given me the opportunity to meet other Mums in my area, which makes it easier to make friends with those who are similar ages and also have children.

Q10. If you were approached by a young mum asking for advice, what advice would you give them and
why?

My advice to other young mums would be to keep your identity. Motherhood is such an amazing yet
dominating part of our lives. It is okay to be consumed by all the magical experiences it allows us to
have, but don’t let it define you. As well as being Mums, we are also individuals with our own likes,
dislikes and goals. Wanting to continue to enjoy parts of your life that you used to, like going out for
meals, and meeting up with friends isn’t selfish. You have as much a right to do anything you want as
anyone else.

If you want to learn more about Maya and her family, you can find here.

You can also find her on Instagram, and Twitter.

 

If you would like to get involved with the #YoungMumsProject and write a Guest Post for us please contact me: zoe@mummyandlissblog.com

YOU CAN READ MORE POSTS FROM THE #YOUNGMUMSPROJECT HERE.

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