Welcome back to week #4 of the #YoungMumsProject. This week we are joined by another lovely blogger and friend – Gemma Louise.
“Hey I’m Gemma from gemmalouise.co.uk, I’m a 23 year old Beauty & Lifestyle blogger & I have a baby boy called Reuben who is 8 months old and he’s my whole world.”
Q1. Can you describe your personal experience of life as a young mum?
I’m not a teen mum so I haven’t exactly had an awful experience or anything, I guess I got pregnant at 21 which is still fairly young but I’ve always been quite mature and ready for kids so I didn’t feel young at all. I had Reuben at 22 and I’m now 23 so I’m a bit older than I was when I first fell pregnant. I did get judged and some people didn’t think I was ready for a baby and I guess this is not only down to my age, but because I wasn’t in a relationship with the father etc. So I’m sure I got talked about a lot and what have you but honestly, it didn’t bother me in the slightest. Sure, I was scared as I hadn’t got my career going yet or anything but the best part about being a young mum is that you have years ahead of you for all that!
Q2. How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant?
It was a shock to say the least, I was in my third and final year of University and had no plans to get pregnant. I wasn’t even in a relationship when Reuben was conceived, he was an unexpected surprise! I was a bit overwhelmed, shocked and scared, to be honest it didn’t even seem real at first. But getting rid of him never even entered my mind, he was a little miracle growing inside of me.
Q3. Do you feel like life has been harder because you had children at a young age?
Yeah a little bit, it was harder to finish uni as I had really horrible morning sickness and tiredness, heartburn, you know the drill. I had the support of both my parents so they made sure I had nothing to worry about, apart from my final year coursework! I guess my career has been harder to kick off with having a baby but I manage, so it’s possible.
Q4. Did you ever feel judged by anyone? If so, how did you deal with it?
Yeah I did but I didn’t care, I was the lucky one with a gorgeous baby growing inside me. I don’t think anyone has judged me since he’s been born, they’re all jealous ?
Q5. Do you think there are any advantages to being a younger mum?
Definitely! You have more energy to run round after the little terrors! Not only that but you can bear the sleepless nights a bit better if you’re younger I think. You can also have kids, and then go travelling and stuff later on in life rather than maybe going travelling and having an unexpected pregnancy along the way?
Q6. What are the best and worst things about being a young mum?
I would say the ‘worst’ is probably that I haven’t had a social life since I had him and I loved going out when I was at uni. Although having said that, I don’t miss it that much, I love being at home all day with my baba, nothing beats it. The best thing is just everything about having kids, having your own mini-me to raise is fab.
Q7. How do you think we can challenge the stigma that surrounds young mums?
I don’t think you can, it’s just life. People are always going to judge others and that will never change. All we can do is prove that we’re doing a fab job and we all clearly are so more fool them.
Q8. What are the main issues that young mums have to deal with, and how do you think they could be better supported?
Probably money struggles and things but there’s a lot of help out there these days. I guess the government could be more helpful, but what you get is better than nothing!
Q9. Do you think that the support for young mums has improved over time?
I’m not sure to be honest, I’ve never attended baby groups or anything. All the midwives I’ve spoken to have always been lovely though so I guess it has?
Q10. If you were approached by a young mum asking for advice, what advice would you give them and why?
Don’t listen to any bullshit that you aren’t ready. If you feel ready then you most definitely are and once you have that baby in your arms, it will all fall into place x