Don’t Judge A Mum By Their Cover

For some reason being a young mum seems to give everyone the right to pass judgment on you. Announcing a pregnancy often does cause a big reaction, and you would hope for it to be a positive one, but for most young mums this is not the case. I guess I can’t speak for everyone, but it seems as though 9 times out of 10 a young female is faced with a mixed reception when she shares her news. The negative comments received often take over the initial excitement of it all, and to me it just doesn’t seem fair. I mean, would you turn round to an older woman who just announced she was expecting and respond with, ‘was it planned?’. Or ‘are you going to keep it?’ Having a baby is a blessing and whether it’s a surprise or if you’ve been trying for months, what has that got to do with anyone else.

In my case those were the most common questions that were thrown  at me, but I also had the pleasure of receiving sly digs from those who felt I’d like to hear their opinion, (I didn’t!). They would say things like, ‘it’s a shame you wont get to do the things you’d hope to’, and ‘don’t you wish you had experienced life a little?’. Well first of all, for that individual to insinuate that I won’t be getting the opportunity to do everything I wished is completely wrong. I am just as motivated, if not more, and in as good a position as any to still go out their and achieve every single dream I have on my bucket list. This idea people seem to have stewed in their minds about younger mums being restricted to living a life of changing nappies, and wiping noses are completely ludicrous. My daughter is the driving force behind everything I do now, and she will always come first but she hasn’t taken over my individual identity. As much as I am a mother, I am also a writer, a friend, a girlfriend, an actress, a business woman and all the other things I choose to be.

 

So I would love to know where these ideas stem from; and why people think that at a younger age you are less adequate to raise a child. Being a new mother already puts you under the spotlight as it is . All the health checks and midwife appointments after baby is born aren’t set up as tests, but I can’t help but feel nervous, as they sit there watching me handle my new born. Before they pull out their scales, weighing her to make sure she’s put on enough weight, and checking her body for any marks. I wait with anticipation, almost to get the all clear that I’m doing things right. Then of course there’s the visitors that come round after the birth to see you, and silently judge whether or not they think you’re a good mum. It sounds pretty cynical of me I know, but I don’t think it’s a conscious decision to witness a situation, and not create an opinion in your own head. I have huge amounts of admiration for younger mothers, because they have to deal with all of that, as well as the judgements people pass on their age. It’s a lot. One of the inspirations I had for writing this post came from a collection of comments my health visitor made during our 3 week check up. After seeing my daughter was a healthy weight, that I was managing to breastfeed, and that everything else was okay, she light-heartedly said, ‘I have to say I’m impressed with how well you’re doing’. Before adding, ‘you would put some of the older mums to shame’. I know she intended for these comments to be complimentary, but it came across in a condescending way. Her words subtly communicated her opinion that she was surprised by the positive example I had made of a new mother; having expected me to be struggling a lot more in comparison to those who are older. Well I’m glad I was able to “impress”! but you shouldn’t have had such little faith in me in the first place.
So in conclusion here’s what kind of “young mum” I am… I’m kind, thoughtful and loving. I’m a little bit silly and have a playful nature. I get worried about little things, so am constantly checking in with Google. I’m completely besotted with my baby, my boyfriend and our little family. I’m excitable, and get giddy about the future, and watching my baby grow. I’m imperfect, but I learn from my mistakes. I’m super organised, and obsessed with items having their own place. I love the company of friends, but also the company of social media! I’m squeamish but have a high tolerance for pain. I love putting together outfits for my daughter every morning. I still hold my breath when I change her pooey nappies. I try and take her out every day, mostly to keep my own sanity. I am learning on the job, but I’m motherhood’s most keen student.
…Is that so different to every other mum? Do those qualities show that I am young in age? And if they do are they bad qualities to have in Mum?

 

Please leave a comment as I would love to hear some opinions on this topic…
Maya x
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25 Comments

  1. August 20, 2017 / 5:26 pm

    Absolutely couldn't agree with you more! I am coming up to my third trimester and have received the same comments and questions you have. Being 22 I thought that wasn't necessarily young but apparently I was wrong. I think it's disgusting how we are treated by older generations in terms of the questions we receive and the condescending tone we are spoken to in, I will be going above and beyond for my daughter and my family and you can bet your ass I will still achieve everything I wanted to before she came along, if not more!

  2. August 20, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    Couldn't agree more with this! I was 5 months into starting my DREAM job when I found out I was pregnant and people assumed I'd have to give that up? Apparently they'd never considered actually going back to work after having a baby and presumed I'd be a stay at home mum and would have to quit my job. OH NO.

    http://www.thenextthingcarolinedid.co.uk

  3. August 20, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    Couldn't agree more with this! I was 5 months into starting my DREAM job when I found out I was pregnant and people assumed I'd have to give that up? Apparently they'd never considered actually going back to work after having a baby and presumed I'd be a stay at home mum and would have to quit my job. OH NO.

    http://www.thenextthingcarolinedid.co.uk

  4. August 20, 2017 / 5:39 pm

    I love your attitude! That's exactly what people need to understand, age is just a number and having a baby is not a barrier by any means. You're going to be such an amazing mum x

  5. August 20, 2017 / 5:42 pm

    Yes go girl!! I can't believe that people actually assumed you'd give up your dream job x

  6. August 20, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    I'm 19 and I'm not pregnant/ don't have a child but I see this kind of judgement around everyday and it's really a shame as people who don't understand individual situations at all are making comments on them. It's your choice whether to have a baby or not and to do it when you want, as it doesn't stop you from doing other things!

    Carla x
    https://makemeupinside.wordpress.com/

  7. August 20, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    I really enjoyed this! There is definitely a stigma attached to being young and pregnant, it is always assumed that the person has been 'irresponsible' and the like. I'm so glad you're so happy, I'm sure you are a wonderful mum, and well done for speaking out about this! x

    whatevawears.co.uk

  8. August 21, 2017 / 9:06 pm

    I'm 22. I'm not a mother. But I have a lot of friends (the same age as me) who are mothers. I've seen the world beat them down because they didn't want to go to university and get a fancy degree or get an amazing career at the time, they wanted to be mothers, and I'll tell you this, they're some of the best mothers I've ever met. They work hard for their kids and if I turn out like them when I decide I want to be a parent, I'd be happy.

    So don't think too much about what society says you should be doing – you're rocking it. Congratulations on your little family and good luck with everything in your future, doll.

    Liz | efforlescence.com

  9. August 21, 2017 / 9:12 pm

    Thank you for your comment, it really is sad that people are so quick to judge and just goes to show that something is definitely not right with how society view the younger generation. Like you said we are more then capable of achieving our dreams while raising a child x

  10. August 21, 2017 / 9:14 pm

    Thank you so much! I hope overtime social stigmas will change x

  11. August 21, 2017 / 9:16 pm

    I love that! Thank you so much for sharing your comment with me. Your friends sound like amazing young women, as do you x

  12. August 24, 2017 / 7:04 am

    It comes down to women. Women need to be more supportive and less judgmental of each other. Experience doesn't have an age, and people should realize this. I'm not a mom, but my older sister had her child at age 21 and because she looked younger then people used to make her feel less than even more. Encouraging words you wrote! 🙂

  13. August 24, 2017 / 11:19 am

    Thank you so much, I completely agree with you. So nice to read your comment xx

  14. August 24, 2017 / 10:43 pm

    Your daughter is adorable and your family looks lovely. I'm not exactly a young mum (I had my son just after I turned 30) but a lot of my family and friends are/were. I'm in awe of how well they adapted to motherhood at a young age- mostly because I could never have dealt with that level of responsibility at that age. Being a good parent isn't age-restricted! Just because your life is on a different path to someone else's doesn't mean it's the wrong one x

  15. August 25, 2017 / 10:07 am

    Thank you, that is so lovely. I love what you said about different paths, because it's true everyone is on their own individual journey and who are we to comment on it. I'm sure you're an amazing mummy ☺️ X

  16. August 27, 2017 / 7:11 pm

    I had my oldest at 19 and heard a lot of the same comments and judgments that you have. It's incredibly frustrating hearing such harsh words when you're going through what's supposed to be the best time of your life! Young or not, you're just as capable of being the best mom for your children. I heard that my life was ending, I wouldn't be able to fulfill my dreams, and I'd never be happy. All of which were completely wrong. I'm the happiest I've ever been, I'm fulfilling my career dreams, and my life isn't over. So, no.. those stereotypes don't cover all young moms.

    ourchaoticmess.com

  17. August 28, 2017 / 8:33 pm

    You're completely right and it's so amazing to hear from someone who is a living example of that so thank you x

  18. September 2, 2017 / 4:01 am

    Yeah pregnancy causes a lot of mixed reactions amongst people you come across. I personally didn't have a child till I was older +30 but I still received mixed reactions. So no matter who you are, what's going on, or what you do- there will always be haters 😩 Can't please everyone, and shouldn't! Enjoy motherhood!!!

  19. September 5, 2017 / 1:34 pm

    Exactly right! I guess people will always have something to say x

  20. September 7, 2017 / 4:55 pm

    Your daughter is lovely, well done on your pregnancy!! xx

  21. December 18, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    I was 17 when I got pregnant 35 years ago. I see the negativity has gotten worse. My daughter grew up beautiful and is now working on her second degree. I never regretted having her. She never stop me from having a great life. My two younger children have waited to have their children and now can’t get pregnant. I’m so sick of the lie society keeps telling young people that you are better off having children later in life. There is nothing more important than your kids. You can have a wonderful time with your kids while you are raising them. Maybe those rude people should not have kids at all if they find them such a burden.

    • allthingspink
      December 19, 2017 / 11:52 am

      Thank you so much for your comment I think the points that you have raised are so important and ones that I also believe strongly in. My daughter is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I can’t comprehend why people feel it’s okay to bring negativity into that. It sounds like you have done an amazing job raising your children, I have so much admiration for you.

      Maya x

  22. December 18, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    I’d say your rather lucky! I wish I had my children at a younger age – but I was different then and this is life: we all make different choices.

    • allthingspink
      December 19, 2017 / 11:47 am

      So true, and no ones choice is wrong because we’re all different.

      Maya x

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