Being a really private person and being a blogger don’t really go hand in hand. It’s not very often that I’ll post something personal to me on here. However I’d like to share a little more about me on here and todays post is just that.
I look a little younger than I am sometimes, I still occasionally get asked for I.D when buying a drink etc. And at the age of 28 it’s less annoying than it used to me and more flattering! One time it doesn’t feel flattering is when it’s mentioned in regards to me being a mum. For example when I pick my 8 year old daughter up from school and a member of staff doesn’t know me and feels the need to say they presumed I was her sister. Or don’t address me at all and say to my daughter “she looks too young to be your mum”
Once in a room full of about 100 people at a show Jess went on stage as part of a demonstration and the host mentioned that I looked too young to be her mum and every face in the place turned towards me. I’m pretty shy and hate too much attention and was left feeling judged and embarrassed. It’s not a compliment, it’s just rude.
I actually don’t think 20 is too young to become a mother. It wasn’t part of my life plan but when I had her I had a good job, my own place to live and I was fine. And yet I find myself in the position where people are shocked that I have an 8 year old child. I dread to think how people who have children in their teens feel. One of the very best mothers I know had her son at 17 and she’s amazing I would hate to think of people making her feel judged for that.
Because I was so young when I had her I went to anti natal classes for 17-21 year olds and after I had her I went to a young mum’s baby group. I was so inspired by all the other young women there. everyone was in a different situation but no one felt out of place or judged which was wonderful. When I had my second child at 25 I missed that environment so much.
This is just of course my personal experience. I did a lot of things very young. I left school and home at the age of 17, had a child at 20, bought our first house at 21 and got married at 22. I’m hugely lucky that the risks I’ve taken have worked out well for me. I’m lucky that my husband works ridiculously hard so that I was able to stay at home with my second child and do fun stuff like organising vintage fairs and writing a blog to earn a bit of extra money.
It wasn’t easy having a kid young, 8 years ago you only got 6 months maternity leave and I had to go back to work when she was only 4 months old in order to pay my rent. I’m lucky that I had already done a lot of the things I wanted to do before having kids, like seeing the world, doing a job I loved and by 20 I had got most of my partying out of my system.
It didn’t feel strange at all to become a mummy, just another step in my life and it made me a better, more responsible person over night. Having kids has been the hardest, most challenging thing I have ever had to do, especially having a 5 year age gap as the two of them have totally different needs. I wouldn’t change my life for anything and I feel blessed every single day.
I’m not sure why I felt the need to share this, but it’s something I get asked about a lot. Especially by people who read my blog and automatically ask me about my little ones so it’s nice to have a bit of a share. Just remember that mummy’s come in all ages, shapes and sizes and to be polite!
Demelza FeyJune 4, 2014 at 7:53 pm
Oh thank you so much for posting this!!
I was 20 when I had my little boy (he’ll be four this December) and I have gone through pregnancy and the first few years of being a Mummy feeling judged and often rudly commented on.
I too have a friend who is much younger than I am who is an absolute inspiration when it comes to parenthood. She was just 16 when she had her baby and she is a single mother but by golly she’s the best parent I have ever known!!
Truly, thank you so much for sharing with us! None of us are ever truly alone xx
vintagefrillsJune 6, 2014 at 9:38 am
Aw thank you so much for your lovely comment! So glad you liked the post. I think in many ways it puts extra pressure on us to be better parents and that’s a good thing. xxx
Hue RocksJune 4, 2014 at 8:19 pm
Thanks for sharing. I’m sure sharing makes some judjamental people realize that there are more right options than the only ones they always considered.
vintagefrillsJune 6, 2014 at 9:38 am
Definitely! Thanks for commenting. xxx
TriciaJune 4, 2014 at 9:00 pm
What a lovely post – thank you for sharing. My mum was a young mum and I love that we are close in age now I am older and we are such good friends.
I hope your little ones get a love of making and creating from you, it’s so much fun being able to share that with intriguing minds
vintagefrillsJune 6, 2014 at 9:40 am
Thank you sweetie, it’s lovely that you and your mum are so close. I hope me and my girls are the same.
They are both really creative and we love making stuff together. When I became a mummy one of the things I was most looking forward to was teaching them to bake and make things with me 🙂
graceJune 5, 2014 at 10:09 am
Great post! My sister in law had my niece at 19 and she’s one of the best mums I know. I had my eldest at 23 and people still thought that was too young. I’m the youngest mum in her class at school, the oldest is 51 and she’s just had another baby, people make silly judgementd about her too.
vintagefrillsJune 6, 2014 at 9:43 am
We have a huge range of ages at our school too, I’m not actually the youngest but their are mums right up to their late 40s. The great thing is we all get on really well and certainly amongst the mum’s it doesn’t seem to really matter.
Having a baby at 51 is amazing! Does she have lot’s of kids? Theres one mum at Jess’s school who has 9 kids as she loves being a mum so much!
PorcelinaJune 5, 2014 at 2:56 pm
Great post, thank you for sharing this! I think it’s generally just about people being a little insensitive, in all things, not just about young mums. I’m not a young mum myself. I’m 35, no kids. I have the opposite problem with people asking in a concerned way “don’t you want kids?!” as apparently I’m getting on a bit in their eyes. My Mum is an older mum, think she had me when she was around my age now, and she got upset once because a shop assistant thought she was my grandmother, not my mother!
It’s all just about people making instant judgements and assumptions. We all do it, and we can’t turn that bit of our brains off. But we can learn whether to act on it or not, and sometimes, it’s best just to keep our mouths shut until we know a little more.
vintagefrillsJune 6, 2014 at 9:44 am
Thanks for your comment sweetie. It definitely does go both ways doesn’t it. I think at the end of the day it’s about respecting peoples choices and letting them get on with their lives without voicing opinions.
Would you like kids one day? xxx
Jade @ Bits & BobsJune 8, 2014 at 9:24 am
Being a young Mum, and looking incredibly young myself, I can relate to this in many ways. I have yet to experience the school comments as my little one is only 7 months old but I know I do feel a lot eyes and it does make me conscious. Especially when I was pregnant! I’m almost 23 now and had my son when I was 22 but I look a lot younger than my age! I think some people can be very judgmental when it comes to parents and parenting when it isn’t need – ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. Right?
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience on this Catherine. It’s good to know that we aren’t alone in this!
joJune 8, 2014 at 9:06 pm
i’m 35, only just getting married this year and perhaps, hopefully thinking about children next year. I have had “be careful you don’t get left on the shelf” and the epic “don’t leave it too late to have kids, you’ll regret it”. I wish i’d had kids before now, but i didn’t meet the love of my life until I was 31…it wouldn’t have been right for me and i’m glad i waited. Each to their own I say…do what is right for you and ignore the judgemental people!