Welcome back to week #20 of the #YoungMumsProject. This week we are joined by the lovely Amy from The Smallest Of Things.
Hello, I am Amy from The Smallest Of Things. I am a girl Mama to two little girls affectionately known as Little and Baby. Little is 3 years old and full of sass. Baby is 11 months old and wanting to be 11 years old! I fell pregnant with Little when I was just 20 but didn’t find out until shortly after my 21st birthday. Now at 25 years old I am a mum of two.
Q1. Can you describe your personal experience of life as a young mum?
Its strange because my views and my feelings on being a young mum totally conflict. For me age is just a number. Age does not make you any better of a parent! Being a parent is something I have always wanted to be. I was put on this Earth to be a mum. However I did feel massively judged and this affected the way I saw my pregnancy. I wore clothes to cover my bump and felt awkward talking about my pregnancy in fear of comments about my age.
Q2. How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant?
Shocked but equally as excited! But then doubt started creeping in and I felt as though I had let certain people down. I thought my mum would be disappointed and I had just been promoted in my job. The next few days passed in a blur with a lot of tears and self doubt!
Q3. Do you feel like life has been harder because you had children at a young age?
Not at all. If anything my life is at a place where I feel my most happy and content! Ok so my career has had to take a back seat but that probably would have been the same no matter my age! I’m just waiting until I’m 40 so I can go off and travel the world haha!!
Q4. Did you ever feel judged by anyone? If so, how did you deal with it?
I felt judged by everyone although I don’t think anyone was actually judging. I coped with it by covering up or avoiding conversations! If anyone ever made a comment about me looking too young to have children I’d just laugh and say “thanks” as if it was a compliment.
Q5. Do you think there are any advantages to being a younger mum?
Oh definitely. I will still be young by the time my girls are running around in the park! When they have friends round for sleepovers I’ll be the cool mum hopefully.
Q6. What are the best and worst things about being a young mum?
Best is knowing I will be around along time still to watch them grow!
Worst probably is the doubt that sometimes creeps in. That I should have waiting until I was married with a mortgage!
Q7. How do you think we can challenge the stigma that surrounds young mums?
By showing them just how amazing we are! Our age does not affect the way we parent. We can give our children the exact same amount of love as a parent in their 30’s.
Q8. What are the main issues that young mums have to deal with, and how do you think they could be better supported?
Probably judgement although I never personally experienced it. I remember my midwife said to me “you’re old in comparison to some of the mums I meet!” when I told her how I felt. They could be better supported if others look at their parenting rather than their age! Don’t judge a book by its cover!
Q9. Do you think that the support for young mums has improved over time?
Without a doubt. My mum knew a girl who was sent away to have her baby and then the baby adopted because it brought shame to her family! I think we’ve come a long way from that!
Q10. If you were approached by a young mum asking for advice, what advice would you give them and why?
Just do you! Don’t ever feel you are less worthy of the parent title because of your age. You have got this as much as anyone else!
If you want to know more about Amy and her family, you can find her here.
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