Welcome back to week #18 of the #YoungMumsProject, I can’t believe we are in October already. This week we are joined by the lovely Jade from Captured By Jade.
Growing up, I wasn’t someone who was super maternal… To the point where it was a bit of a joke in my family; I wouldn’t hold newborn cousins when they arrived and I didn’t have a desire to be a mum. That is until I met Nathan, my husband. I saw my future with him, and that included a family. I fell pregnant at the age of 21 and gave birth aged 22. Alexander, our almost four year old, was planned, which may be a surprise to some, and was happily welcomed into our life in November of 2013. For almost the entirety of my pregnancy I still had periods, and so it wasn’t until I felt an unbearable pain in my belly button did we do a test – I had no other symptoms up until that point. When the test came back positive we were very happy, but I also felt panic. Panic because of the running joke in my family, my lack of maternal instinct prior etc. It turns out there was no need for that panic however, as being a mum to my little boy came so naturally.
Despite how society views young mums, I never considered myself to be a young mum when I fell pregnant at 21. A lot of the mums in my family have been young; in fact my own mum had my older sister just shy of 18, so for me it was kind of normal. That is until I started interacting with doctors, midwifes and hospital staff. I have never been outwardly judged for being a young mum; however I have definitely felt the undertones. Young mums can often get a bad rap, however some of the best parents I’ve come across have been young ones. I feel like more and more people are having children young these days, and the stigma is largely an outdated stereotype that’s held up by those who have a more traditional view on life and the path that should be taken.
There is definitely a stigma that surrounds young mums, however I don’t think it’s something that’ll disappear anytime soon – sadly. However by continuing to talk about being a young parent, and sharing experiences, hopefully others will come to learn that there really isn’t this great divide that feels to be in place sometimes. We’re all parents at the end of the day, regardless of age, and we all have a common goal – doing what is best for our children. I do think there are advantages to being a young mum, and one of the reasons we chose to have a child when we did was so we could share more of our life and experiences with them. Yes, we had a shorter time than some as a couple, but we have many years ahead of us as a family of three.
Personally, having a child at a young age has been the best thing that could ever happen to me, and having another human being to take care of so wholeheartedly pulled me out of an incredibly rough period in my life. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without having had my son when I did, and for that I am incredibly thankful. If another young mum were to ask me for advice, I would say to follow your instincts and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If you want to know more about Jade and her family, you can find her here.
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